Jul 25, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 
Undergraduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, B.S.


Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, and properties of substances, and the chemical processes and transformations that substances undergo. It is fundamental to the understanding of many other sciences.

What careers can this major prepare you for?

Chemists work to discover new compounds and reactions that lead to the development of new drugs, plastics, energy sources and various other materials such as paints, adhesives, cosmetics, pesticides, and others. Chemists work in various fields, including environmental science, measuring and reducing pollution; medicine, contributing to advances in disease diagnosis and treatment; agriculture, food processing, and many other areas and industries. Chemists work as scientists in various testing and research laboratories. Graduates have many employment opportunities as: technicians in biotechnology, environmental, pharmaceutical, clinical, and forensic testing laboratories; research assistants in industrial, government and academic labs; technical sales and service for chemical and other related industries; high school chemistry/science teachers (licensure required); Bachelor graduates also pursue advanced degrees to receive doctorates in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary science; or pursue master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry or a related science.

What skills are developed within this major?

The skills in chemistry are developed in these areas: organic chemistry - the study of carbon compounds, including synthesizing new compounds, studying the reaction chemistry of compounds, and determining reaction mechanisms; analytical chemistry - the measurement and identification of chemical substances from samples of any source, including medical, industrial, environmental and other natural sources; physical chemistry - the study of mathematical models upon which chemistry is based, including thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and kinetics; inorganic chemistry - the study of the chemistry of elements other than carbon, including synthesizing new compounds, studying the reaction chemistry of compounds, and determining reaction mechanisms; and biochemistry - the study of the chemistry of life processes.

Special tracks/programs

American Chemical Society Certification, Pre-Professional Studies (premedical/pre-dental/pre-veterinarian or concentration in pharmaceutical sciences), Honors, Secondary Teacher Licensure program

Honors Program

Honors General Chemistry (CHM 261H , CHM 262H , and CHM 267H ) is available to students in the CSU Honors or Scholars program. An honors track for Chemistry majors admitted to the Honors Program is also available.

Cooperative Education Program

In earning the Bachelor of Science degree with ACS certification, the Chemistry major may elect the Cooperative Education Program (see Special Programs  Chapter) in order to supplement chemistry coursework with employment in the chemical industry.

Admission to Major

No additional requirements beyond the prerequisites for the required courses.

Hours Required for Degree

Minimum hours required for the degree: 120

Minimum hours required for major with ACS Certification: 92 - 93

Minimum hours required for pre-professional major: 89 - 90

Minimum hours required for pre-professional with concentration in pharmaceutical science major: 91 - 92

College Requirements

See college page  for college requirements.

Major-Field Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry - American Chemical Society (ACS) Certified Track

The program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and meets the requirements for professional certification by the American Chemical Society. This program provides the broad fundamental knowledge most suited to students planning to become professional chemists or planning to pursue graduate training.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry - Pre-Professional Studies Track

The B.S. program in chemistry for students who plan to continue graduate study in the medical sciences provides those courses required and strongly recommended by most medical schools and also affords an excellent base for students considering careers in medicine, medical research, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. This program does not lead to certification by the American Chemical Society.


Additional 12 hours of CHM or BIO courses at the 300-/400- level.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry - Pre-Professional Studies with a Concentration in Pharmaceutical Sciences Track


Additional 9 hours of CHM or BIO courses at the 300-/400- level.

Chemistry with Secondary Teacher Licensure

The CSUteach Program offers an integrated science license. This licensure program requires coursework from the College of Sciences and Health Professions and the College of Education and Human Services. Contact the CSUteach Program for education courses required for undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Teacher Licensure programs (216-687-4625 or JH 170).

See also Education, Adolescent and Young Adult with Licensure, Grades 7-12 .

BS in Chemistry, Integrated License, Grades 7-12

Honors Program/University Scholars Requirements

The Chemistry Department participates in the Honors/Scholars at CSU by requiring honors/scholars students who are chemistry majors (available for all tracks) to register for research courses (either CHM 379H Independent Study or, with senior status, CHM 489H Senior Research) under the guidance of a professor who acts as mentor. Honors/Scholars chemistry students are required to enroll in at least 2 credit hours of research coursework each semester, for a minimum of 8 credit hours by the time of degree completion. Students are required to begin enrolling in research courses upon declaration of a Chemistry major or upon acceptance into the Honors/Scholars Program. By getting involved in scientific research as soon as possible, honors/scholars students will better understand chemistry’s status as a bench science and have the opportunity to participate in original, ground-breaking laboratory work.

Accelerated 4+1 Program

See the Chemistry, Accelerated 4+1 BS/MS  page.