students listening in classThe Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers two majors, chemistry and biochemistry. Both programs lead to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The chemistry major requires 30 hours of upper division chemistry coursework; the biochemistry major requires 26 hours of upper division chemistry coursework. Both majors require courses in general, organic, and physical chemistry as well as in calculus and physics. A chemistry major requires additional courses in inorganic and analytical/instrumental chemistry while a biochemistry major requires additional courses in biochemistry and biology.

In addition to these requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences' core curriculum. The core curriculum covers three skills acquisition areas and seven content areas of study. This is designed to provide students with a broad education. Credits taken for the major may also apply toward these core hours.

The chemistry and biochemistry department offers minors in both chemistry and biochemistry. A year of general chemistry, year of organic chemistry and additional upper division courses are required for both minors.

Students should check the University of Colorado Boulder Catalog for college policies, procedures, and course listings. They may also want to consult each semester's Registration Handbook and Schedule of Courses as well as the Professor Performance Guide for further information about course offerings and faculty.

For more information, please email Brendan Griffiths.

See the undergraduate blog for announcements and postings. 


Career Opportunities

Chemistry or Biochemistry major students will be prepared for many different careers after graduation. About 50 percent of chemistry majors enter directly into industry or government positions that require scientific expertise, such as chemical, oil, electronics, mining, and manufacturing industries, water districts, crime laboratories, biotechnology, health and safety, atmospheric science, and environmental quality. Additional information about careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry can be found on the American Chemical Society’s website.

Approximately 25 percent of chemistry graduates are attracted by specialized graduate education in chemistry and biochemistry. Graduate work is often in one of the traditional areas of biochemistry or analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry, and, increasingly, in interdisciplinary areas such as atmospheric, bioorganic or organo-metallic chemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, and chemical physics for their advanced work. Another 25 percent of a typical graduating class goes on to professional school, pursuing advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, business, engineering, and computer science.

Career Services offers a number of programs and services designed to help students plan their career, including workshops, internships, and placement services after graduation. For an appointment with a career counselor or for more information call 303 492 6541, or stop by Center for Community, N352.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP and other opportunities)

UROP logoThe Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, UROP, offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data, and present the results. For more information please visit the UROP Website.  Visit the following website for a list of other funding opportunities for undergraduates Other Funding Opportunities.

Independent Study

Independent study (CHEM 4091), provides an opportunity for a student to work on a research project with an individual faculty member outside of the regular class structure. This generally provides an experience much more like real-life chemistry or biochemistry, where new results are being sought and the outcome of the research is not known in advance. The student may have a totally independent project or may become part of a research team working at the forefront of science. In favorable cases, the project may result in publication of the results of the independent study in the scientific literature. As part of the research team in a particular group, the student will usually participate in group seminars and informal discussions with other members of the group. You can find more information here: CHEM 4901 Independent Study

Study Abroad

The experience of studying abroad can prove invaluable for a Chemistry or Biochemistry major.

Office of International EducationFurther information about study abroad programs is available from the Office of International Education/Study Abroad.

Teaching Certification

Chemistry or Biochemistry majors can also earn certification as teachers through the School of Education. The program for a secondary school science-teaching certificate is challenging requiring a broad, strong background in science, as well as course work in education and practice teaching. It usually requires at least five years of study. Students interested in teacher certification are encouraged to contact the School of Education.