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Chemistry Major


Chemists study atoms and molecules with the goal of understanding the composition, properties and changes that substances undergo. They identify individual components of materials found in nature, and measure how much of them are present. They also recombine atoms and molecules to deduce the rules of combination and to make new substances. Chemistry is central to understanding other branches of science—the biological, earth, medical, and materials sciences, along with aspects of physics and astronomy. Knowledge of chemistry is crucial to understanding the manufacture and uses of many common materials such as metals, plastics, fibers, paper, glasses and ceramics; food products and food supplements, flavors and cosmetics; detergents and household chemicals; and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paints, dyes and inks. Chemistry is used in medical and criminal investigations, and in studying causes, effects, and cures for pollution. Finally, chemistry is central to authenticating, conserving, restoring, and preserving cultural treasures including rare books and documents, fine art, architectural works, and artifacts of the recent and distant past.

Students who major in chemistry and who choose appropriate electives are well prepared for advanced study in chemistry or related sciences such as biochemistry and molecular biology, computer sciences (with appropriate undergraduate work in computer science), engineering (especially chemical or environmental), environmental studies, forensic science, information science, materials science, neuroscience, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, or technical writing, and for advanced study in the health care professions: medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine. Students who major in chemistry are also well prepared to enter careers in commerce, education, government as well as private and foundation-supported organizations.

Students who wish to receive preparation more in-depth than the chemistry major presented here are advised to pursue the ACS-Certified Chemistry major instead.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare a major in chemistry.

Program Requirements

Students in the chemistry major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree's requirements.

Chemistry Requirements (35 credits):

  • CHM205 College Chemistry I
  • CHM206 College Chemistry II
  • CHM301 Chemical Safety
  • CHM302 Inorganic Chemistry I
  • CHM303 Quantitative Chemical Analysis
  • CHM305 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM306 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM400 Seminar I
  • CHM401 Seminar II
  • CHM405 Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM406 Physical Chemistry II
  • CHM408 Physical Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHM409 Physical Chemistry Laboratory II

Math and Physics Requirements (20 credits):

  • MTH201 Calculus I
  • MTH202 Calculus II
  • MTH203 Calculus III
  • PHS235 Physics I
  • PHS240 Physics II

To make normal progress in the major, a student should complete CHM 205, 206 in the freshman year, and CHM 303, 305, 306, PHS 235, 240, and MTH 201, 202, 203 before entering the junior year.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Department Chair: Margaret Logan
Location: Smith Hall 223
Visit Website
Phone: (585) 395-2182
Fax: (585) 395-5805

Related Programs

Other Undergraduate Programs

Faculty & Staff

Joshua Blose Ph.D
(Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus)
Assistant Professor

Stephen J Brady MS
(Rochester Institute Of Technology)
Adjunct Lecturer

Michael A Brown Ph.D
(University Of Memphis)
Assistant Professor

Stephen A Godleski Ph.D
(Princeton University)
Professor Emeritus

Elizabeth A Gregory MS
(University Of Rochester)
Instructional Support Associate

Mark P Heitz Ph.D
(SUNY At Buffalo)
Associate Professor

Markus M Hoffmann Ph.D
(Washington University In St Louis)

Algernon T Kelley Ph.D
(Louisiana State University + Agricultural + Mechan)

Dawn Lee MS
(Rochester Institute Of Technology)
Chemical Hygiene Coordinator

Margaret E Logan Ph.D
(University Of Rochester)
Associate Professor and Chair

Judith M Mevs Ph.D
(University Of Vermont And State Agricultural Colle)
Adjunct Lecturer

Paul Milazzo Ph.D
(University Of Rochester)
Adjunct Lecturer

Carly Reed Ph.D
(Ohio State University-Main Campus)
Assistant Professor

Jessica Smith Ph.D
(University Of Rochester)

Brandy Sreenilayam Ph.D
(University Of Iowa)
Assistant Professor

Gopeekrishnan Sreenilayam Ph.D
(University Of Iowa)