Major

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Chemistry

The chemistry major requires 30 credits of upper-division chemistry coursework, including courses in general, organic, physical and analytical/instrumental chemistry, as well as an introductory general chemistry sequence and ancillary work in calculus and physics.

Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below. No more than 45 credits of CHEM courses can be applied to the 120-credit minimum to graduate.

Transfer students who plan to take a chemistry major must complete at the Boulder campus a minimum of 12 credits of upper-division work covering at least two subdisciplines: organic, physical, analytical and inorganic for chemistry majors.

  • General Chemistry

 Note: Students who transfer to Arts & Sciences after having taken General Chemistry for Engineers, CHEN 1211 and CHEM 1221 are required to take CHEM 1133/1134 to complete their general chemistry requirement. CHEN 1211 and CHEM 1221 are equivalent to CHEM 1113/1114 only.
 Note: CHEM 2100/2101 are taken after second semester organic chemistry lecture and lab.
  • One of the following general chemistry sequences:
    • CHEM 1400/1401 - Foundations of General Chemistry and CHEM 2100/2101 - Chemical Energetics and Dynamics
    • CHEM 1113/1114 and CHEM 1133/1134 - General Chemistry 1/Lab and 2/Lab
  • Organic Chemistry
    • One of the following organic chemistry lecture sequences:
      • CHEM 3451, and CHEM 3471or CHEM 3491 - offered starting spring 2017
      • CHEM 3351 and CHEM 3371 - not offered after spring 2017
      • CHEM 3311 and CHEM 3331
    • Required lab sequence
      • CHEM 3361 and CHEM 3381
  • Physical Chemistry 

 Note: PHYS 1120 is a corequisite and MATH 2400 a prerequisite for CHEM 4511 or 4411. If in doubt about the selection of alternates, consult an advisor for course perspectives. CHEM 4521 or CHEN 4521 can not be used to satisfy the major’s physical chemistry requirement.
  • Required physical chemistry lecture sequence:
    • CHEM 4511 and CHEM 4531
  • Required physical chemistry lab sequence:
    • CHEM 4581 and CHEM 4591
  • Analytical Chemistry 

 Note: Organic chemistry 2 lecture and lab, and PHYS 1140 or CHEM 4400 are a prerequisites for CHEM 4171. CHEM 4171 is taught in the fall semester and CHEM 4181 is taught in the spring semester. CHEM 4171 is a prerequisite for CHEM 4181.
  • Required analytical chemistry sequence:
    • CHEM 4171 and CHEM 4181
  • Inorganic Chemistry 

 Note: Organic chemistry 2 is a required prerequisite. CHEM 4011 is taught in the fall and spring semesters.
  • The following inorganic chemistry lecture:
    • CHEM 4011
  • Calculus

 Note: Students need MATH 1150, or the required math placement score to start either of these sequences.
  • One of the following calculus sequences is required (or a combination of these sequences):
    • APPM 1350, 1360, 2350
    • MATH 1300, 2300, 2400
  • Physics

 Note: A student who has taken PHYS 2010 and 2020, courses not requiring calculus, must make up the deficiency by completing PHYS 2130. Chemistry majors should consider Calculus I (MATH 1300) as a prerequisite and Calculus II (MATH 2300) as a corequisite for PHYS 1110.
 
  • The following physics sequence is required:
    • PHYS 1110, 1120, 1140
  • Recommended Electives

 Note: Various advanced math and other science courses may also be helpful. All students intending to enter graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry are advised to take additional advanced classes. Independent study (CHEM 4901) is especially recommended.
  • Graduate CHEM courses
  • CHEM 4901 - Indepedent Study
  • CHEM 4740 - Biochemistry of Gene Transmission, Expression and Regulation
  • CHEM 4720 - Metabolic Pathways and Human Disease
  • CHEM 4700 - Foundations of Biochemistry
  • CHEM 4611 - Survey of Biochemistry
  • CHEM 4555 - Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
  • CHEM 4271 - Chemistry of Solar Energy
  • CHEM 4261 - Organic Materials
  • CHEM 4251 - Materials Chemistry
  • CHEM 4141 Environmental Water and Soil Chemistry
  • CHEM 4021 - Inorganic Synthesis Lab
  • CHEM 3251 - Sustainable Energy from a Chemistry Perspective
  • CHEM 3151 - Air Chemistry and Pollution

Double Major

Many students in the CHEM department pursue double majors, between departments. Common combinations include combining a CHEM major with Biochemistry (BCHM), Integrative Physiology (IPHY), and Molecular & Cellular Developmental Biology (MCDB). Some students also pursue a double degree with Engineering. It's recommended to work with an advisor early in your time here at CU to best fulfill requirements for a diverse range of programs, and overlap your studies in innovative and collaborative ways. 

Minor

Minor in Chemistry

Declaration of a chemistry minor is open to any student enrolled at CU Boulder, regardless of college or school. To complete a CHEM minor, students must take 20 hours in CHEM (9 must be upper division).

  • General Chemistry
    • General Chemistry Sequence:
      • CHEM 1113/1114 (5) and CHEM1133/1134 (5), or CHEM 1400/1401 (5)
  • Organic Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry 1
      • Lecture: CHEM 3311 (4), CHEM 3351 (4), or CHEM 3451 (4)
      • Lab: CHEM 3321 (1)  or CHEM 3361 (2)
    • Organic Chemistry 2
      • Lecture:  CHEM 3331 (4), CHEM 3371 (4), CHEM 3471 (4) , or CHEM 3491 (4)
      • Lab:  CHEM 3341 (1) or CHEM 3381 (2)

 Note: Physical Chemistry 1 has a prerequisite of calculus 3 and a prerequisite or co-requisite of PHYS 1120(4).
  • Physical Chemistry
    • CHEM 4511(3) 

 Note: CHEM 4011 and CHEM 4171 have very specific prerequisites.  Students are advised to check the course prerequisites before trying to enroll.
  • One of the Following:
    • CHEM 4531(3) - Physical Chemistry 2
    • CHEM 4011(3) - Inorganic Chemistry
    • CHEM 4171(3) - Instrumental Analysis