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The Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers a major in chemistry culminating in a bachelor of science in chemistry (BCh) degree or a bachelor of science (BS) degree. The BCh degree is American Chemical Society-certified (ACS-certified) and consists of two tracks, chemistry and biochemistry. The BS degree with a major in chemistry is not ACS-certified and is designed primarily for students pursuing health professions. The Department also offers a minor in chemistry.

Chemistry Major (BCh)

Department of Chemistry, 2004 Shelby Hall
www.as.ua.edu/chem
chemistry@as.ua.edu

Degree requirements. Students earning the bachelor of science in chemistry (BCh) degree must complete all University, college (see pp. 52-53), and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following major requirements chosen from one of two tracks, and sufficient other credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Admission into the major. Students are expected to declare a major formally no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). With the assistance of an advisor in the major department, students should complete the “Declaration of Major” form.

Grade point average. A 2.0 grade point average in the major is required. The major GPA is calculated based on all courses applicable to the major that the student has attempted at UA.

Degree tracks. The ACS-certified degree tracks in chemistry and biochemistry provide thorough preparation for students interested in pursuing careers in chemistry, biochemistry, or related fields (for example biomedicine, forensics, toxicology, and environmental science); pursuing graduate studies in chemistry or related fields; or enrolling in a health professions school (MD, DDS, PharmD, or DVM) upon graduation.

Major courses. The major in chemistry BCh degree requires the successful completion of one of the following tracks for 41 or 43 semester hours:

Chemistry Track  
CoursesHours
CH 101 or CH 117 4
CH 102 or CH 118 4
CH 223 4
CH 231 3
CH 232:237 5
CH 338 2
CH 341 3
CH 342 3
CH 348 2
CH 413 4
CH 424 4
CH 461 3
Total 41

Biochemistry Track  
CoursesHours
CH 101 or CH 117 4
CH 102 or CH 118 4
CH 223 4
CH 231 3
CH 232:237 5
CH 338 2
CH 341 3
CH 342 3
CH 348 2
CH 413 4
CH 461 3
CH 462 3
CH 463 3
Total 43

Upper-level residency. A minimum of 18 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be earned on this campus.

Ancillary courses. Grades in ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The major in chemistry culminating in the BCh degree requires the successful completion of the following courses outside the major:

CoursesHours
MATH 125 or MATH 145 4
MATH 126 or MATH 146 4
MATH 227 or MATH 247 4
PH 105 or PH 125 4
4PH 106 or PH 126 4

Required minor. The BCh degree (both chemistry and biochemistry tracks) does not require a minor.

Additional major requirements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, college, major, and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an advisor in the major department for academic planning and to be cleared for registration each semester. College advisors are also available for additional assistance with minor, college, and University requirements.

Special opportunities. The Department of Chemistry Honors Program is available to students pursuing either of the ACS-certified bachelor of science in chemistry tracks. To participate in the chemistry honors program, students must complete the course requirements for either track in the ACS-certified bachelor of science in chemistry degree; maintain a 3.3 GPA in chemistry courses, with no more than one “C,” and a 3.0 overall GPA; participate in CH 491:492, CH 493:494, honors research seminars, and research courses; submit an acceptable senior thesis based on research conducted under the supervision of a chemistry department faculty member; and submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination or other appropriate examinations prior to graduation. Students are invited to apply for admission to the honors program in chemistry on the basis of performance in introductory chemistry courses. Contact the chemistry department director of undergraduate studies for more details.

The department sponsors student organizations, including the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society; the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers; and Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the national chemistry honorary. Gamma Sigma Epsilon aims to recognize academic performance by chemistry majors, promote an interest in chemistry among students and the community, and foster a feeling of fellowship among its members. Students are eligible for membership who have completed, or are near completion of, their second year of chemistry courses and who have maintained a minimum 3.3 GPA for chemistry courses and overall. Applications for membership are generally accepted in the spring semester.

Pre-health professional preparation. Students completing any of the chemistry major tracks or the minor in chemistry will have fulfilled all chemistry, math, and physics requirements for admission to pre-health professional programs (medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, veterinary, etc. schools). With the addition of appropriate biological sciences electives, students earning the BCh degrees will have met all math and science requirements for pre-health professional programs.

Undergraduate research. The Department of Chemistry offers two undergraduate research courses designed to provide students with a hands-on experience at the forefront of chemistry. These courses include CH 396:398:399 and CH 497:498:499. In each course, students work directly with a faculty member on a research project. Chemistry majors, minors, and students with an interest in chemistry are encouraged to become involved in undergraduate research through these courses. Students should receive approval from the faculty mentor before registering for a research course. Students may find descriptions of faculty research interests on the Department of Chemistry Web site. Students may contact potential research mentors directly or seek advice on possible mentors from their academic advisors.

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