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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 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 biological chemistry concentration ties knowledge of chemistry to the structure of living systems. The chemical physics concentration investigates chemical systems based on fundamental physical, mathematical, and theoretical principles. The environmental chemistry concentration emphasizes chemistry in various environmental fields. The materials concentration connects chemistry and materials used in electronic, optical, and other devices. The polymer concentration explores synthetic and 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.