Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Chemistry + Biochemistry

Majoring and Minoring

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers majors and minors within the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees.

The department is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and offers an option for students to pursue an ACS-certified BS degree in chemistry. For students who wish to enter graduate school in chemistry or a related field upon completion of their degree, the ACS-certified chemistry major offers a strong foundation in all fields within the chemical sciences. 

The flexibility of the chemistry degree program allows students to prepare for a number of career options including graduate or professional school, or obtaining a position in government or industry. Students should consult with their academic advisers to determine the best course choices within their individual degree plan. 

Major in Chemistry (BA or BS): 30-34 semester hours, including Chemistry 51-153/151 and 163/161 or 173/171 and 214;352; 912 (Capstone); one course, taken at Southwestern, from each of the following five areas: Analytical 51-214, 614, 644; Biochemistry 51-573/571, 583, 682, 683; Inorganic 51-624, 633, 654, 661, 662; Organic 51-544, 554 or 564, 593, 673; Physical 51-714, 724, 731, 732; enough additional hours in chemistry above the introductory level to total a minimum of 30 hours in the major.

Major in Chemistry (American Chemical Society (ACS) certified) (BS): 44-46 semester hours, including Chemistry 51-153/151 and 163/161 or 173/171 and 214; 352, 544; 554 or 564 (sophomore year); 714, 724 (junior year); 573/571, 624, 644, 912 (Capstone); two additional courses above the introductory level approved by the Department Chair.

Minor in Chemistry: 20 semester hours, including Chemistry 51-153/151 and 163/161 or 173/171 and 214; one course, taken at Southwestern, from three of the five following areas: Analytical 51-214, 614, 644; Biochemistry 51-573/571, 583, 682, 683; Inorganic 51-624, 633, 654, 661, 662; Organic 51-544, 554 or 564, 593, 673; Physical 51-714, 724, 731, 732.

Major in Biochemistry (BS): 41 or 42 semester hours, including Chemistry 51-153/151 and 163/161 or 173/171 and 214; 352, 544; 554 or 564; 573/571, 583, 714; 682 or 683; 912 (Capstone); Biology 50-102, 112, 122, 162, 232.

Required supporting courses for the Chemistry and Biochemistry majors: 15 semester hours, including Mathematics 52-154, 254; Physics 53-154, 164. Students seeking the BS degree must also complete one of the Approved Science Electives listed under Bachelor of Science in the University Degrees section of the catalog.

In addition to their regular course work, chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to become involved in laboratory research during their junior and/or senior years. Members of the department’s faculty are available to consult with chemistry students about research programs available at Southwestern and other universities. All chemistry majors are required to complete a capstone experience based on a laboratory research project. In addition, all chemistry majors must participate in a literature seminar course to prepare them for their capstone experience.