Chemistry is primarily concerned with matter, energy, and their interactions; and 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 also 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 you if you desire a career in chemistry, biochemistry, or science education, or if you are interested in pursuing further study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, or the other sciences.
Find out more about this department’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.
This degree prepares you for graduate study in biochemistry and molecular biology.
- A minimum of 103 credits, including 49 upper-division, are required for this major.
- To complete this degree in four years, you should begin with CHM 1211 and MAT 1234 in the first quarter of your freshman year.
- If you are interested in health sciences, you should refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.
If you are preparing for medical or dental school, a career in medical technology, pharmacy, or related fields, or to teach chemistry at the secondary level, this major is intended for you.
- A minimum of 80 credits are required for this major, including 37 upper-division credits in chemistry.
- If you are interested in a career in medicine, dentistry, or other health-related fields, you should refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.
This major is recommended if you intend a professional degree in chemistry or plan on graduate and other advanced work in chemistry, certain aspects of molecular biology, toxicology, and forensic science.
- A minimum of 100 credits are required for this major, including 52 upper-division credits in chemistry.
- To complete this degree in four years, you should generally begin with CHM 1211 and MAT 1234 in the first quarter of your freshman year.
- If you plan on graduate studies in chemistry, additional mathematics (e.g., MAT 2401, MAT 3238, MAT 3237, and MAT 3360) may be recommended by your advisor.
- This major is guided by recommendations of the American Chemical Society and should prepare you for graduate work in chemistry or for employment as a chemist.
- To understand the older literature, a reading knowledge of German is helpful if you 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.
Apply to the major or minor
To qualify for admission to the Chemistry and Biochemistry major or minor, you must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average in SPU chemistry courses.
Application may be made through the Major or Minor application. You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major or minor.
Elementary Teacher Certification
If you plan to obtain Residency Teacher Certification and are interested in teaching chemistry, you must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in Natural Sciences.
The concentration consists of courses in biology, physics, and chemistry.
Application (PDF) to this major is through the advisor for the natural sciences concentration, Dr. Kara Gray (email@example.com).
Further information on the elementary certification program is available in the School of Education.
Secondary Teacher Certification
If you plan to obtain secondary Residency Teacher Certification, you 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.