Degree Requirements

Chemistry Programs

The B.A. degree is for the student who wants to understand the fundamental principles of chemistry and to study a number of other fields. The B.S. degree prepares students for graduate school and professional careers. Both are based on a high school background that includes at least 1½ years of algebra and 1 year of geometry. High school courses in chemistry and physics are desirable but are not required. Many chemistry majors are preparing for medical school or for graduate study in chemistry and related fields. For graduate school, the common body of knowledge in the B.A. program is the minimum prerequisite. For premedical students, much of the knowledge will be important in their careers. Even more important, however, is the training in logical thinking, drawing conclusions from experimental observations, and digesting and understanding scientific information.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Because study in chemistry requires preparation in mathematics and physics as well as a structured series of courses in chemistry, students should begin meeting major requirements in the first year. Students planning to major in chemistry should consult a chemistry department major advisor during their first semester to develop a 4-year plan for degree completion. It is particularly important to take CHEM 170 (or CHEM 130 or CHEM 190) and CHEM 175 (or CHEM 135 or CHEM 195) in the first year and CHEM 330 (or CHEM 380) and CHEM 331 in the second year. For those seeking a B.S. degree it is also important to complete CHEM 335(or CHEM 385) and CHEM 336 in the second year as well as their mathematics preparation (MATH 121, MATH 122, MATH 220 or MATH 320, and MATH 290) and physics preparation (PHSX 211 and PHSX 216; and PHSX 212 and PHSX 236) in the first 2 years.

Requirements for the B.A. Major

In addition to the common College requirements for the B.A., a minimum of 29 hours in chemistry (including 5 hours each of analytical, organic, and physical chemistry lecture and laboratory) and one year each of calculus and physics (prerequisites for physical chemistry) are required. These courses fulfill the requirements:

Chemistry Courses 29 hours
  • CHEM 170 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences I (5) or
    CHEM 130 General Chemistry I (5) or
    CHEM 190 Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors (5)
  • CHEM 175 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences II (5) or
    CHEM 135 General Chemistry II (5) or
    CHEM 195 Foundations of Chemistry II, Honors (5)
  • CHEM 180 Seminar I (0.5)
  • CHEM 310 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry (3) or
    CHEM 330 (or CHEM 380) Organic Chemistry I (3)
  • CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 510 Biological Physical Chemistry (3) and
    CHEM 511 Biological Physical Chemistry Laboratory (2) or
    CHEM 530 Physical Chemistry I (3) and
    CHEM 531 Physical Chemistry I Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 620 Analytical Chemistry (3)
  • CHEM 621 Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 695 Seminar II (0.5)
  • Additional chemistry course (3)
Mathematics and Physics 14-18 hours

Courses that fulfill the additional 3 hours for the major are CHEM 335 (or CHEM 385) Organic Chemistry II, CHEM 635 and CHEM 636 Instrumental Methods of Analysis and Laboratory, CHEM 535 Physical Chemistry II, or CHEM 660 Systematic Inorganic Chemistry. Note that CHEM 535 has CHEM 530, MATH 220, and MATH 290 as prerequisites. Students in premedical programs should be aware that a year of organic chemistry lecture and laboratory (CHEM 330 or CHEM 380, CHEM 331, CHEM 335 or CHEM 385, and CHEM 336) is required for admission to virtually all medical schools. Students who need only 1 semester of organic chemistry should substitute CHEM 310 (the 1-semester organic chemistry lecture course) for CHEM 330, when possible.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years.

Environmental Chemistry Option

This option is available to students who plan to use their chemistry background in environmentally related areas. The additional courses required provide background in other environmental sciences as well as further exposure to important methods used in environmental laboratories.

In addition to all of the requirements for the regular B.A. major, the following courses are required:

  • *CHEM 335 (or CHEM 385) Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 635 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (2)
  • CHEM 636 Instrumental Methods of Analysis Laboratory (2)
  • Plus 2 electives (6) (In consultation with a faculty major advisor, choose two courses from those listed in Environmental Chemistry Option Group I or Environmental Chemistry Option Group II below.)
  • Environmental Chemistry Option Group I
    BIOL 100 Principles of Biology (3) or
    BIOL 150 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology (4)
    EVRN 148 Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies (3)
    GEOG 304 Environmental Conservation (3)
    GEOL 351 Environmental Geology (3)
    BIOL 400 Fundamentals of Microbiology (3)
    BIOL 414 Principles of Ecology (3)
    BIOL 600 Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures (4)
    ATMO 105 Introductory Meteorology (5)
  • Environmental Chemistry Option Group II
    BIOL 661 Ecology of Rivers and Lakes (with or without BIOL 662 Aquatic Ecology Laboratory) (3-5)
    CE 477 Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science (3)
    GEOL 552 Introduction to Hydrogeology (3)
    ATMO 525 Air Pollution Meteorology (3)
    EVRN 611 Water Quality, Land Use, and Watershed Ecosystems (3)
    CHEM 698 Undergraduate Research Problems (3)

*Select this course as the additional chemistry course.

Biological Chemistry Option

This option is available to students interested in the biological applications of chemistry. The curriculum is compatible with many pre-health-professions programs and prepares the student for graduate study or career opportunities.

In addition to all of the requirements for the regular B.A. major, the following courses are required:

  • *CHEM 335 (or CHEM 385) Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (2)
  • BIOL 636 Biochemistry I (3)
  • BIOL 638 Biochemistry II (3)
  • Plus 1 elective (3) (In consultation with a faculty major advisor, choose 1 course from those listed in the Biology Option Group in requirements for the B.S. degree in Chemistry: Biological Chemistry option.)

Biology Option Group

*Select this course as the additional chemistry course.

Contact Info

Department of Chemistry

Malott Hall
1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, Room 2010
Lawrence, KS 66045-7572
785-864-4670
http://www.chem.ku.edu/
Craig E. Lunte, Chair
785-864-4670

Department of Chemistry

Malott Hall
1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, Room 2010
Lawrence, KS 66045-7572
785-864-4670
http://www.chem.ku.edu/
Robert G. Carlson, Associate Chair, Undergraduate Affairs
785-864-4670

Department of Chemistry

Malott Hall
1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, Room 2010
Lawrence, KS 66045-7572
785-864-4670
http://www.chem.ku.edu/
Brian B. Laird, Associate Chair, Graduate Affairs
785-864-4670
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