2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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BA in Chemistry
BS in Chemistry
Chemistry Minor

BS in Biochemistry


Science Building

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Faculty

Chemistry is primarily concerned with matter, energy, and their interactions. Chemists do a wide variety of things:

  • Make new substances, including new materials and medicines.
  • Design new ways to make known compounds.
  • Isolate and determine chemical structures of naturally occurring substances.
  • Elucidate the chemical bases of biological processes.
  • Attempt to explain the changes matter undergoes.
  • Develop and apply analytical techniques for criminal investigations and environmental problems.
  • Sell chemicals, teach chemistry, and apply chemical knowledge to solve other societal and technological problems.

Chemists are concerned about the effect their work and technology have on society and on individuals. They are in the forefront of efforts to make sure that technology serves humankind rather than vice versa.

The curriculum is designed to serve persons desiring to enter a career in chemistry, biochemistry, or science education, as well as those interested in pursuing further study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, and the other sciences.

Admission to the Major or Minor

To qualify for admission to the Chemistry and Biochemistry major or minor, a student must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average in SPU chemistry courses.

Application may be made through the Major or Minor Application form (PDF). A student must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.

Requirements for the Chemistry Major

CHM 1100, CHM 1110, CHM 1310, CHM 1330, and CHM 1360 cannot be counted in the chemistry major or minor. 

BS in Chemistry
67 credits in chemistry, including 47 upper-division; an additional 15 credits in math and 15 in physics

This course of study is recommended for a professional degree in chemistry or for those interested in doing graduate and other advanced work in chemistry, certain aspects of molecular biology, toxicology, and forensic science.

It is guided by recommendations of the American Chemical Society and should prepare the student for graduate work in chemistry or for employment as a chemist.

In order to complete this degree in four years, a student should generally begin with CHM 1211 and MAT 1234 in the first quarter of the freshman year.

Required Chemistry Courses | Required Mathematics and Physics Courses

For students planning graduate studies in chemistry, additional mathematics (e.g., MAT 2401, MAT 3238, MAT 3237, and MAT 3360) may be recommended by the advisor.

For the older literature, a reading knowledge of German is helpful for those who plan to do graduate work in chemistry. All students are urged to seek advising by a member of the chemistry/biochemistry faculty as early in their programs as possible.

BA in Chemistry
52 credits in chemistry, including 32 upper-division; an additional 10 credits in mathematics and 15 credits in physics

This option is suited for students preparing for medical or dental school, careers in medical technology, pharmacy or related fields, or to teach chemistry at the secondary level. Those interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, or other health-related fields should refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.

Required Chemistry Courses | Required Mathematics and Physics Courses

BS in Biochemistry
67 credits in chemistry and biology, including 49 upper-division in biology and chemistry; an additional 15 credits in mathematics and 15 credits in physics

The molecular aspects of the life sciences call for an interdisciplinary course of study in chemistry and biology, plus background support in physics and mathematics.

This degree prepares students for graduate study in biochemistry and molecular biology. Biochemistry students interested in health sciences should refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.

To complete this degree in four years, generally a student should begin with CHM 1211 and MAT 1234 in the first quarter of the freshman year.

Required Chemistry and Biology Courses | Required Mathematics and Physics Courses

Chemistry Minor
35 credits in chemistry/biochemistry, including 20 upper-division

Must include CHM 1212 General Chemistry II (5 credits), CHM 3371, 3372 Organic Chemistry (10 credits). Chemistry courses must include at least two of these five areas: organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry.

Required Chemistry Minor Courses

Chemical Education

Students preparing for a secondary certificate should complete the requirements for a BA in chemistry including at least two quarters of physical chemistry. Information about secondary certification can be found in the School of Education section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Integrated Studies Major With a Concentration in Natural Sciences

(For students seeking K-8 certification)

Students who are planning to obtain Residency Teacher Certification and are interested in chemistry must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in Natural Sciences.

  • The concentration consists of courses in biology, physics, and chemistry.

Requirements for Integrated Studies: Natural Sciences concentration

Requirements for Elementary Certification

Pre-Professional Health. The BS in Biochemistry, or the BS or BA in Chemistry including biochemistry courses, provide preparation for professional education in medicine, dentistry, and similar health-related careers.

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