Chemistry and Biochemistry

Programs offered
  • Biochemistry (major)
  • Chemistry (majors and minor)

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 mechanisms behind biological processes.
  • Attempt to explain the changes matter undergoes.
  • Develop and apply analytical techniques for criminal investigations and environmental problems.
  • Teach chemistry, work in the chemical industry, 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.

At Seattle Pacific, the curriculum in this department 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.

Biochemistry (BS)


This degree prepares you for graduate study in biochemistry and molecular biology. 

  • A minimum 103 credits, including 49 upper-division credits, are required for this major.
  • To complete this degree in four years, begin with CHM 1211 and MAT 1234 in the first quarter of your freshman year.
  • If you are interested in health sciences, refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.

Chemistry (BA)


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 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, refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.

Chemistry (BS)


This major is not accepting new admits as of Summer 2024.

This major is recommended if you intend to pursue a professional degree in chemistry or plan on graduate and other advanced work in chemistry, pharmacy, professional health sciences, medical school, toxicology, forensic science, and certain aspects of molecular biology.

  • A minimum 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 1236, MAT 3237, and MAT 3360) may be recommended by your faculty 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.
  • If you are interested in a career in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, or other health sciences,refer to Pre-Professional Health Programs.

Chemistry minor


  • A minimum of 35 credits in chemistry/biochemistry, including 20 upper-division credits are required for this minor.
  • You must include CHM 1211 General Chemistry I (5 credits) and CHM 1212 General Chemistry II (5 credits).
  • Chemistry electives must include at least three of these areas:  organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, environmental, and biochemistry. 

Entering and completing the major or minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified a major in this department as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change to or add a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Future teachers

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. 

The advisor for the natural sciences concentration is, Dr. Kara Gray (

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 and any additional requirements needed for certification. Information about secondary certification can be found in the School of Education

Time Schedule:

Course planning: Suggested course sequences