Students obtain a thorough working knowledge of the fundamentals of chemistry, supplemented by study in physics, mathematics, and other sciences. The curriculum is further enriched by the requirement of a broad basic background in the social sciences and humanities. The department offers special lecture and laboratory courses for its majors.
Chemistry majors must select one of nine areas of concentration, preferably in their sophomore year. The different concentrations can be grouped according to whether or not they prepare the student for an active career in chemistry or for another profession, such as medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine.
Active Careers in Chemistry • These concentrations are recommended for students who seek a professional career in chemistry or plan to pursue graduate studies in chemistry or a closely related field. The areas of concentration listed in this section are certified by the American Chemical Society. Students successfully completing those concentrations will receive a certificate upon graduation. The biological chemistry concentration strengthens the student’s knowledge of the chemistry and structure of living systems. The chemical physics concentration emphasizes understanding chemical systems based on fundamental physical, mathematical, and theoretical principles. The chemistry concentration provides a broad background in chemistry. It is recommended to students who desire a career in chemistry but do not yet know which branch of chemistry best suits them. The environmental chemistry concentration is recommended for preparation as a chemical professional or for entrance to graduate study in chemistry, but with an environmental emphasis. The materials concentration makes the connection between chemistry and a wide range of practical materials used to fabricate electronic, optical, and other devices. The polymer concentration is designed for students with career objectives in the science of synthetic or biological macromolecules, including plastics.
The secondary education concentration leads to certification as a chemistry teacher in grades seven through 12.
Chemistry for Other Professions • The pre-professional concentration is designed primarily for students who will apply for graduate education in another profession, such as medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. The chemistry and a second discipline concentration allows students to develop their interests and abilities in other disciplines outside of chemistry, whether or not graduate education is contemplated. Students may choose second disciplines such as computer science, geology, engineering, business administration, history, foreign languages, political science, and others.