VCU Bulletins

Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in professional chemist

Special requirements

Students must complete 49 credits in chemistry and 22 credits of collateral requirements.

A minimum grade of C is required in each prerequisite course: CHEM 100 Introductory Chemistry (if required through placement qualifiers), CHEM 101 General Chemistry, CHEM 102 General Chemistry, CHEM 301 Organic Chemistry and CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry.

The curriculum in chemistry prepares students for graduate study in chemistry and related fields and for admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. It prepares students to teach in secondary schools or to work in chemical and industrial laboratories and in related fields of business and industry. The department also offers required and elective courses in chemistry to students in other programs of study.

The Department of Chemistry offers five areas of concentration for completing the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry: chemical science, professional chemist, professional chemist with honors, biochemistry and chemical modeling. With proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

The professional chemist concentration requires a greater number of chemistry courses, and is designed for students whose future studies or career plans involve chemistry as a central theme. With the proper combination of courses, this degree can be certified as meeting the requirements of the American Chemical Society.

Degree requirements for Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in professional chemist

Learning outcomes

  • Structure: Students will demonstrate understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and function.
  • Descriptive chemistry: Students will be conversant with common chemical phenomena both symbolically and sensorially.
  • Measurement and numeracy: Students will perform calculations needed to describe and model common chemical phenomena.
  • Communication: Students will develop written and oral communication skills needed to explain chemical phenomena to novices and experts.
  • Literacy: Students will search, read and assess scientific literature.
  • Laboratory skills: Students will develop and practice laboratory bench and instrumentation skills.
  • Information processing: Students will interpret tables, graphs, drawings and models.
  • Critical thinking: Students will practice critical thinking and problem solving.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (22 credits)  
MATH 200-201 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 8
MATH 307 Multivariate Calculus 4
PHYS 207 and PHYS 208 University Physics I and University Physics II 10
Major requirements (49 credits)  
Chemistry core (36 credits)  
CHEM 101 and CHEZ 101 General Chemistry and Laboratory I 4
CHEM 102 and CHEZ 102 General Chemistry and Laboratory II 4
CHEM 301 and CHEZ 301 Organic Chemistry and Laboratory I 5
CHEM 302 and CHEZ 302 Organic Chemistry and Laboratory II 5
CHEM 303 and CHEZ 303 Physical Chemistry and Laboratory I 5
CHEM 304 and CHEZ 304 Physical Chemistry and Laboratory II 5
CHEM 309 and CHEZ 309 Quantitative Analysis and Laboratory 4
CHEM 320 Inorganic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 398 Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar 1
Chemistry electives (13 credits) 13
Choose from the approved chemistry electives below (13 credits minimum, including at least two credits of laboratory) or any CHEM 500 level class for which prerequisites have been met.  
Open electives (3-17)  
Open electives 3-17
Total minimum requirement 120

Chemistry electives

CHEM 306/CLSE 306 Industrial Applications of Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 310/MEDC 310 Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design
CHEM 401 Applications of Instrumental Techniques in Organic and Forensic Chemistry
CHEM 403 Biochemistry I
CHEM 404 Biochemistry II
CHEM 406 and CHEZ 406 Inorganic Chemistry II and Laboratory*
CHEM 409 and CHEZ 409 Instrumental Analysis and Laboratory*
CHEM 492 Independent Study
CHEM 493 Chemistry Internship
CHEM 510 Atomic and Molecular Structure

* These four courses are required to satisfy the requirements for the American Chemical Society certification of the professional chemist concentration. MATH 307 also is required for the American Chemical Society certification. Chemistry majors in the professional chemist concentration meet their statistics general education requirements by taking the required chemistry classes.

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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Last update: 6/14/2013

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