Program Information for Chemistry and Biochemistry Majors

Chemistry and Biochemistry are among the more structured majors on campus, meaning that a significant number of courses must be taken (and passed) in a particular sequence. It is important that majors and prospective majors take the time to carefully plan out each semester leading up to graduation.  Chemistry and Biochemistry majors must meet certain benchmarks as they progress through the major.

Linked below are sample plans for chemistry and biochemistry. These plans assume that the student begins his or her first year as a Chemistry or biochemistry major, but they can be adapted to other situations, such as students who declare later than their first year.

  • Sample plan leading to a degree in CHEM
  • Sample plan leading to a degree in BCHM

Linked below are printable check-sheets for the chemistry and biochemistry programs. The check-sheets allow quick evaluation of one’s progress toward completion of a chemistry or biochemistry major.

 For students who entered in Fall 2013 or thereafter:
For students who entered before Fall 2012:

AP Chemistry Credit

  • Students who got a 4 on the AP Chemistry exam (or an equivalent score on the IB exam, British A-Levels, etc.) will receive credit for CHEM 131 and CHEM 132. Students with chemistry AP scores of 4 can enter organic chemistry directly unless they are CHEM or a  BCHM major, in which case they have to take CHEM 177 their first term.
  • Students who got a 5 on the AP chemistry exam (or an equivalent score on the IB exam, British A-Levels, etc), will receive credit for CHEM 131, CHEM 132, and CHEM 271. Students with chemistry AP scores of 5 can enter organic chemistry directly unless they are a CHEM or a  BCHM major, in which case they have to take CHEM 177 their first term.  PLEASE NOTE: Students with chemistry AP scores of 5 do not receive CHEM 272 credit and generally have to take the CHEM 272 laboratory to complete their chemistry requirements; consult with your program advisor.

American Chemical Society Certification

Chemistry and Biochemistry majors can complete programs that are certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Chemistry and Biochemistry degrees certified by the ACS are guaranteed to have a specified level of content and rigor as defined by the ACS as esential for high level training in the discipline. Majors completing the certification requirements will receive a certificate from the ACS indicating their degree is ACS certified. To be certified:
  • Chemistry majors, as part of their program, must complete BCHM 461 or BCHM 463 as one of their upper level elective classes.
  • Biochemistry majors must complete CHEM 401 (Inorganic Chemistry) in addition to the rest of the major requirements. CHEM 401 is only offered in the spring semester.
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