Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers two majors—a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Chemistry (certified by the American Chemical Society)—and a minor in Chemistry

Major PROGRAMS

The majors in Biochemistry and Chemistry are designed to provide sound training in the fundamental principles and basic techniques of the science and to provide interested students with the opportunity for advanced study and research opportunities. 

The rigorous undergraduate curriculum prepares students for graduate study in the chemical and/or biochemical sciences at any university, medical school, dental school, or for industrial, teaching, or research careers. Indeed, most of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in the Chemical, Biochemical or Medical Sciences.

Undergraduate Advising

All declared chemistry and biochemistry majors will be assigned an academic advisor at the time the major is declared. Entering first-year students with declared majors in chemistry and biochemistry will receive their advisor’s contact information over the summer before their arrival on campus. The academic advisors work with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to ensure that all majors receive sufficient assistance in planning their academic programs throughout the four years. Research is strongly encouraged in our department and many undergraduate students join a research group at some point in their career. Once a research mentor has been selected, he/she will naturally assume the academic advising duties for the student.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Majors—the First Two Years

The first year typically includes General Chemistry I & II (CHEM-055 & 056) and General Chemistry for Majors Lab (CHEM-057 & 058). CHEM-009 & 010 can also be used to fulfill the first-year lab requirement for majors with permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Calculus (Math-035 and/or 036) and core courses round out the first year (note: Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are exempt from the social science requirement). Biochemistry majors additionally take Foundations in Biology (BIOL-103–104) in the first year. Chemistry majors interested in pursuing future medical studies may also elect to take Fundamentals of Biology in the first year. In the second year, most students complete Organic Chemistry I with Lab (CHEM-119-117) and Organic Chemistry II with lab (CHEM-120–118), as well as Physics (PHYS-101 & 102 or 151 & 152) and Multivariable Calculus (MATH-137). Chemistry and biochemistry majors must take CHEM-119 and CHEM-120 to fulfill the Organic Chemistry I and II requirement. After the second year, the course requirements for the two majors diverge. Any student who has not completed the “typical” program described by the end of sophomore year should consult with his/her academic advisor and/or the Director of Undergraduate Studies to work out a plan to ensure an on-time graduation.

REQUIRements for the B.S. in Chemistry 

  • 2 General Chemistry Lecture and Lab  (CHEM 055-058)
  • 2 Organic Chemistry Lecture and Lab (CHEM 117-120)
  • 2 Physical Chemistry Lecture (CHEM-219–220)
  • 1 Analytical Chemistry with Lab (CHEM-211–213)
  • 1 Inorganic Chemistry Lecture (CHEM-366)
  • 1 Physical-Chemical Measurements (CHEM-323)
  • 1 Synthetic Methods Lab (CHEM-228)
  • 1 Chemical Instrumentation (CHEM-368)
  • 1 Biochemistry I (CHEM-419)
  • 1 Advanced science elective. Chemistry courses which can be used in fulfilling the advanced science course requirement include Intro to Chem Research (CHEM-361 & 362), or any of the courses numbered 400 or higher. Upper-level courses in other science departments (e.g., Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) classes may count as electives with prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. All advanced electives should be at least 3-credits.

Corollary Requirements:

  • 3 Calculus I, Calculus II, and Multivariable Calculus (MATH-035, 036, and 137)
  • 2 Physics Lecture and Lab (PHYS-101 and 102 or 151 and 152)

REQUIREments FOR THE B.S. in Biochemistry

  • 2 General Chemistry Lecture and Lab (CHEM 055-058)
  • 2 Foundations in Biology Lecture and Lab (BIOL 103-104 and 113-114)
  • 2 Organic Chemistry Lecture and Lab (CHEM 117-120)
  • 2 Physical Chemistry Lecture (CHEM-219–220)
  • 1 Analytical Chemistry with Lab (CHEM-211 and 213)
  • 1 Physical-Chemical Measurements (CHEM-323)
  • 2 Biochemistry I & II (CHEM-419 & 520)
  • 1 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry (CHEM- 408)
  • 2 Advanced science electives. Chemistry courses which can be used in fulfilling the advanced science course requirement include CHEM-228, 361, 362, 366, 368 and those numbered 400 or higher. A maximum of 3-credits of Intro to Chem Research (CHEM- 361 & 362) may be applied toward the major, though additional credits may be taken as general electives. Upper-level courses in the Biology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Departments may count as electives with prior approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. All advanced electives should be at least 3-credits or sum to 3-credits in the case of partial semester courses.

Corollary Requirements:

  • 3 Calculus I, Calculus II, and Multivariable Calculus (MATH-035, 036, and 137)
  • 2 Physics Lecture and Lab (PHYS-101 and 102 or 151 and 152)
ADVANCED CREDIT 

An AP score of 5 or IB score of 6 or 7 earns 3 credits for General Chemistry I lecture (CHEM-055). All Chemistry and Biochemistry majors should still plan to enroll in the associated General Chemistry Laboratory I course (CHEM-057). Students majoring or minoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry with an AP score of 5 or IB score of 6 or 7 may elect to take Introduction to Research Experimentation (CHEM-064) in lieu of 057.

CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY HONORS PROGRAMS

The Honors Programs in both Chemistry and Biochemistry require a significant research experience which leads to both an oral presentation of the research results and the completion of a research-based thesis deemed acceptable by the faculty. Students in the Honors Program are required to maintain an average of at least B (GPA 3.0) both in their major and overall. Juniors with a major GPA of 3.5 will be invited by the department to participate in the program generally at the beginning of October. Others are welcome to apply during the fall semester of their junior year.

For a Chemistry Honors degree, a student must complete the regular requirements of the Chemistry major, with the exception of being relieved from taking either Synthetic Methods (CHEM-228) or Chemical Instrumentation (CHEM-368). In addition, they will take two semesters of Honors Research (CHEM-364 & 365) and a final semester of Honors Thesis (CHEM-370). The advanced Chemistry elective must be a graduate level chemistry course, chosen in consultation with the research mentor.

For a Biochemistry Honors degree, a student must complete the regular requirements of the Biochemistry major, two semesters of Honors Research (CHEM-364 & 365) and a final semester of Honors Thesis (CHEM-370). One of the advanced science electives must be a graduate level course, chosen in consultation with the research mentor.

STUDY ABROAD

The Chemistry Department is eager to accommodate the study abroad aspirations of Chemistry and Biochemistry majors. Advanced planning is advisable given the sequential nature of the curriculum. Interested students are encouraged to consult with their advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the earliest possible opportunity. Students are also encouraged to apply for summer study abroad/research abroad programs as a means to acquire international experiences.

Minor in Chemistry

Requirements for the minor

The Chemistry minor consists of two additional courses beyond the General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry sequences, chosen from among the following:

  • Physical Chemistry (CHEM-219 & 220), Analytical Chemistry with lab (CHEM-211–213), Synthetic Methods Laboratory (CHEM-228), Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM-366), Chemistry Research (CHEM-361 & 362), Biochemistry (CHEM-419) and Experimental Methods in Biochemistry (CHEM-408). One of the two courses must include laboratory component.

A minor in Chemistry, when combined with an appropriate major, qualifies a student for a variety of science-related postgraduate activities, such as graduate work in art conservancy, a career in environmental or patent law, and many jobs in industry.

(For course listings for Chemistry see http://courses.georgetown.edu)