Majors and Courses


The student of chemistry examines, describes, and explores the composition, structure, and properties of substances and the changes they undergo. This curriculum provides a firm foundation in the principles of chemistry as well as sufficient experience to prepare the student for basic research, secondary school teaching, the pursuit of a career in medicine, or graduate study in the field.  The Keck Science chemistry major is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS).


  1. Chemistry 14L-15L. Basic Principles of Chemistry, or Chemistry 40L. Introduction to Biological Chemistry and 15L, or Chemistry 29L. Accelerated General Chemistry, or both semesters of the AISS course
  2. Chemistry 116L-117L. Organic Chemistry
  3. Chemistry 121-122. Principles of Physical Chemistry
  4. Physics 33L-34L. Principles of Physics, or Physics 30L-31L. General Physics, with permission of adviser, or both semesters of the AISS course
  5. Chemistry 126L-127L. Advanced Laboratory in Chemistry
  6. Chemistry 128. Inorganic Chemistry
  7. Chemistry 177. Biochemistry
  8. Electives: one advanced elective (or two halves) in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or interdisciplinary electives involving chemical concepts of techniques, chosen in consultation with the chemistry faculty
  9. Senior Thesis in Chemistry: chemistry majors must complete a one- or two-semester thesis in Chemistry - students must do a two-semester thesis (Chem 188L-Chem 190L or Chem 189L-Chem 190L) to complete the ACS accredited major in Chemistry.

NOTES: Mathematics 31, Calculus II is co-required of Chemistry 121, and Mathematics 32, Calculus III is co-required for Chemistry 122 and Biology 43L, Introductory Biology is co-required for Chemistry 177. Additional electives in chemistry, mathematics, physics and computer science are strongly recommended for all chemistry majors.

Requirements for a Dual Major in Chemistry 
     A dual major in chemistry requires seven upper-division chemistry courses, in addition to senior thesis. This reduces the load of a regular chemistry major by two courses. The seven courses must include: Organic Chemistry 116L and 117L, Physical Chemistry 121 and 122, at least one semester of Advanced Laboratory (either 126L or 127L), and either Inorganic Chemistry 128 or Biochemistry 177. The remaining elective can consist of either a single upper-division course or two halves. All lower-division courses and prerequisites in other disciplines (math, physics) must still be met.   Students doing a dual major in chemistry are not eligible for the ACS accredited major.

Keck Science Common Learning Outcomes

Students completing a major in the Keck Science Department should demonstrate the ability to:

1. Use foundational principles to analyze problems in nature.
2. Develop hypotheses and test them using quantitative techniques.
3. Articulate applications of science in the modern world.
4. Effectively communicate scientific concepts both verbally and in writing.

Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates in Chemistry will:

  • 1. be able to apply knowledge of chemistry, physics and math to solve chemical problems,
  • 2. possess a breadth of knowledge in analytical, physical, organic, analytical, inorganic and bio-chemistry,
  • 3. be able to identify, formulate and solve complex problems,
  • 4. have a mastery of techniques and skills, used by chemists.