Chemistry - American Chemical Society Certified Concentration

The American Chemical Society-certified chemistry major strengthens your understanding of chemistry principles for a career or graduate school. ACS certification tells employers and graduate schools your classroom and laboratory coursework meets rigorous, up-to-date standards.

Ready for Anything

You gain a foundation in chemistry’s five areas — analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and biochemistry. With that background, you learn how to ask — and answer — thoughtful questions about chemistry in the world around you. Courses introduce you to research as early as your freshman year with opportunities to participate in faculty-mentored projects. You can continue research year-round through labs, independent studies and summer grants.  These projects could make a difference in agriculture, medicine and the environment.

By the time you graduate, your experiences include:

  • Close mentoring relationships with faculty starting your freshman year, as the department boasts a 2:1 faculty-freshman major ratio
  • Hands-on experience using state-of-the-art lab equipment
  • A senior research project that allows you to explore a topic of interest
  • Opportunities to publish research with faculty and present your work at local, regional and national conferences
  • Networking and professional growth through weekly seminars, departmental employment, the Chem Club and Chem Demo Crew

Making your Mark

An ACS-certified chemistry major is valuable for careers in private industries, government or academia. You can work in quality control, research and development, manufacturing or sales and marketing. Recent graduates found jobs at places such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, St. Louis Metropolitan Crime Laboratory, Emerald Performance Materials and Exelon Energy. Others attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, University of Iowa and the University of California-Riverside. Graduates interested in further studies pursued Ph.Ds at the University of Illinois, University of Iowa and the University of California-Riverside.

Major Requirements

Chem/Biochem Common Requirements

Required Courses - 51 hrs.

  • CHM 110: General Chemistry I - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 111: General Chemistry I Laboratory - 1 hr.
  • CHM 114: Chemistry of the Elements - 1 hr.
  • CHM 116: General Chemistry II - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 117: General Chemistry II Laboratory - 1 hr.
  • CHM 252: Organic Chemistry I - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 253: Organic Chemistry Laboratory I - 1 hr.
  • CHM 256: Organic Chemistry II - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 257: Organic Chemistry Laboratory II - 1 hr.
  • CHM 292: Chemical Informatics - 1 hr.
  • CHM 326: Analytical Chemistry - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 360: Biochemistry - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 380: Seminar I in Chemistry and Biochemistry - 0 hr.
  • CHM 386: Seminar II in Chemistry and Biochemistry - 1 hrs.
  • CHM 470 or 570: Physical Chemistry I - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 480 or 580: Seminar III in Chemistry and Biochemistry - 1 hrs.
  • BIO 151: Molecules to Cells - 3 hrs.
  • BIO 152: Molecules to Cells Laboratory - 1 hr.
  • PHY 110: University Physics I - 4 hrs.
    and PHY 201: University Physics II - 4 hrs.
  • MTH 121: Calculus I - 4 hrs.
    and MTH 122: Calculus II - 4 hrs.

Concentration Requirements

Required Courses - 14 hrs.

  • CHM 361: Biochemistry Laboratory - 1 hr.
  • CHM 412 or 512: Molecular Modeling - 1 hr.
  • CHM 420 or 520: Instrumental Analysis - 4 hrs.
  • CHM 436 or 536: Inorganic Chemistry - 3 hrs.
  • CHM 437 or 537: Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory - 1 hr.
  • CHM 471 or 571: Physical Chemistry Laboratory I - 1 hr.
  • CHM 476 or 576: Physical Chemistry II - 3 hrs.

Elective Courses - 6 hrs.

A minimum of six additional hours in chemistry numbered 299 or above, excluding CHM 302. At least two of the six credit hours must be selected from the list below:

  • CHM 299* (1–4 hr.)
  • CHM 441 (1 hr.)
  • CHM 499* (1–4 hr.)
  • Approved LAS 301* (1-3 hr.)

*When LAS 301, CHM 299 or 499 is used to complete this requirement, a written research paper must be submitted to the chair of the department.