Bachelor of Science Degree
Arts and Sciences
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What Is Chemistry ?
Chemistry is the study of all matter found in living structures, geological formations and human-created products. Chemists explore the molecular structure of matter in order to develop theories about how such structures work and to apply these theories to the development of products that range from pharmaceuticals to heat shields.
The UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) BS program in chemistry is well suited for students with a background and interest in science. Since the calculus and physics requirements for the BS program are more extensive than for the BA program, the BS program is most appropriate for students with strengths in both science and mathematics. The program provides for extensive laboratory work; therefore, the enjoyment of hands-on laboratory work is important. Chemistry majors also learn to observe critically and record what happens in the laboratory; they analyze data and apply chemical knowledge learned in the classroom to draw conclusions about their observations.
Graduates of this major are employed as:
- Chemists in the manufacturing industry and state, local or federal governments, including production, quality control and research
- Chemistry teachers and professors
- Industrial research and development scientists
- Forensic scientists
- Physicians and healthcare professionals
Many of the students in the BS program go on to graduate schools, primarily into doctoral programs. Others go to professional schools, including medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.
This BS program is approved for certification by the American Chemical Society and is intended for students planning on graduate work in chemistry or related fields after completion of the degree.
A BS in chemistry provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry, and also advanced courses in specialized areas of chemistry, including analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. While undergraduate research is optional in the BS degree program, this experience is strongly encouraged. This program is designed to be completed in four years by students who begin as freshmen; however, if a student selects an academic internship during the undergraduate years, this will extend the time to five years.
A&S offers flexible degree requirements allowing for multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.
- Foreign languages
- Biological sciences
- Biomedical engineering
- Chemical and material engineering
The minor is designed for students who want a strong background in chemistry to complement their major area of study. Students who are enrolled in pre-professional programs may also find a minor in chemistry to be helpful to their professional preparation. To obtain a minor in chemistry, a minimum of 40 credits must be successfully completed, with the following distribution:
- First Year Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 101/111-102/112/103/113 (15 credits)
- Organic Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 201/211-202/212-203/213 (16 credits)
- At least nine credits from any additional chemistry courses numbered 300 or higher [except 331-2-3 and 350-1-2-3]. Credits must bring total number of hours in Chemistry to at least 40. Undergraduate research, Chemistry 499, may not be used for fulfillment of these credits.
- Applied Calculus: MATH 224-226-227 (9 credits) or Calculus: MATH 251-252/256 (10 credits)
- College Physics: PHYS 101/111-102/112-103/113 or General Physics: PHYS 201/211-202/212-203/213 (15 credits)
There is no certificate program in chemistry for students currently enrolled in a major at the University of Cincinnati. Rather, the minor in chemistry described above is available. Students not currently enrolled in a major may earn a certificate in chemistry (but not a minor in chemistry) by completing the same set of requirements needed for the minor.
Individuals not yet enrolled as UC students may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.
Students interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry should see the undergraduate program director to plan a program.
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this major. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently enrolled at UC, you can audit your degree online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school use the course applicability system (CAS) to see how credits you have earned will apply to this major at UC. For course descriptions by college, click here.
Note: All chemistry major courses not taken within this college must receive prior approval by the chemistry undergraduate curriculum committee.
|First Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*English Composition||ENGL 101, 102||6|
|Calculus I, II, and III (QR)||MATH 251, 252/256, 253/257||15|
|First Year Chemistry Lecture and Lab||CHEM 101/111, 102/112, 103/113||15|
|*Humanities (HU)||see offerings||3|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||6|
|Total for first year||45|
|Second Year||Course Number||Credits|
|Sophomore Seminar Series for Majors||CHEM 280 (autumn quarter)||1|
|*Intermediate Composition||ENGL 289||3|
|Organic Chemistry Lecture and Lab||CHEM 201/211, 202/212, 203/213||16|
|General Physics||PHYS 201/211, 202/212, 203/213||15|
|*Foreign Language||see checklist||15|
|Total for second year||50|
|Third Year||Course Number||Credits|
|Physical Chemistry||CHEM 381, 382, 383||9|
|Inorganic Chemistry I & II||CHEM 441, 442 (autumn and winter)||6|
|Physical-Analytical Measurements I||CHEM 361 (autumn quarter)||3|
|Chemical Equilibrium and Separations||CHEM 341 (winter quarter)||3|
|Electrochemistry and Spectroscopy [Pre-req: CHEM 341]||CHEM 342 (spring quarter)||3|
|Inorganic Synthesis||CHEM 444 (spring quarter)||2|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||3|
|*Historical Perspectives (HP)||see offerings||9|
|*Literature (LT)||see offerings||3|
|Total for third year||41|
|Fourth Year||Course Number||Credits|
|Introduction to Biochemistry||CHEM 421 (autumn quarter)||4|
|Physical-Analytical Measurements II||CHEM 362 (autumn quarter)||2|
|Organic Structural Analysis||CHEM 544 (autumn quarter)||3|
|Instrumental Measurements II & III [includes option to complete capstone project]||CHEM 562, 563 (winter and spring)||4|
|(Optional) Undergraduate Research in Chemistry [if capstone not completed with 562-563]||CHEM 499||0-4, varies|
|Senior Capstone Series for Majors||CHEM 480 (autumn quarter)||1|
|*Humanities, Literature, or Fine Arts (HU, LT, or FA)||see offerings||3|
|*Social & Ethical Issues (if not already taken, SE)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||24|
|Total for fourth year||44|
|Total overall||Minimum 180|
*Needed to fulfill A&S college requirements.
Students in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, tri-state location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies, and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.
The BS program in chemistry is a rigorous course of study that prepares graduates to be successful in a wide range of careers. The BS degree is certified by the American Chemical Society. Important experiential opportunities are available to students in this program, including undergraduate research and academic internships. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged, and many undergraduates co-author journal articles from the research they conduct in the department. The optional academic internship program in chemistry allows students in the program to have industrial lab experience along with their formal course of study.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following state of Ohio articulation requirements with no more than two units missing:
- English (4 units)*
- College-preparatory mathematics (3 units)*
- Science (2 units)
- Social science (2 units)
- Foreign language (2 units)*
- Additional college-prep subjects (3 units)
*A&S does not allow units missing from these areas.
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was not in any of the UC colleges must apply through the Office of Admissions. Applicants in this category must submit transcripts for all secondary school and college-level work. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all college-level work is required for admission consideration. Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus applicants who have received an associate degree from an accredited college or university and whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and any admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are available through the previous links.
Changing Major Requirements
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was as a degree student in one of UC’s other colleges can apply directly to the A&S college office. Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus students who have:
- at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions),
- successfully completed two quarters of English Composition or its equivalent, and
- gained credit for a college-level mathematics course.
A&S students must meet the college residency requirement of 45.0 hours which begins immediately upon matriculation in the college and consists of courses taught within A&S.
To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:
- Earn at least 180 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 180.
- Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
- Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 45 credits after matriculating into the college. These minimum 45 credits must be taught within A&S (15) and also must be completed after gaining admission to the college.
- Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
- Complete the College Core Requirements.
- Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.
UC operates on a quarter system, with 10-week grading periods beginning in late September, early January, late March and mid-June. While midyear admission is possible, fall quarter is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that quarter. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).