Program Overview

Chemistry is the study of the energetics, composition, properties, structure and reactions of matter. A student earning a B.S. Chemistry degree will learn to think creatively, to analyze data, to utilize instrumentation, and to understand human interaction with the material world from multiple perspectives.

The chemistry major provides students with a broad introduction to the discipline of chemistry combined with detailed exploration of at least one area of interest. The chemistry major prepares students to apply scientific methodology to solve chemical problems, to relate chemistry to their daily life and environment, to think critically and quantitatively, and to understand the experimental methods, techniques and instrumentation used in chemistry.

Earning a B.S. degree in chemistry can be a natural pathway to a wide variety of career choices. Some of these career options are lab intensive positions such as research, analytical and product chemists. Others options that are outside of the typical lab oriented positions would be careers in sales, marketing and management. The B.S. chemistry degree can also be a stepping stone towards careers that require more advanced degrees such as teaching chemistry at a university level, medicine, law, pharmacy or dentistry.

In addition to the overall university graduation requirements, the B.S. Chemistry major requires each student to complete 64 credits in the major, including at least 25 upper division Chemistry credits, at least 25 Metropolitan State University credits and at least 6 upper division lab credits as part of the chemistry electives. Students must also complete the Chemistry program exit interview and assessment test during their final semester of classes before graduation.

All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above. Transfer coursework equivalency is determined by the Natural Sciences Department. All courses listed in the primary and secondary set of required courses must include at least one credit of professionally supervised laboratory experience with standard undergraduate laboratory equipment and materials. Lower-division (100- and 200-level) courses cannot be used to fulfill elective requirements of the major.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be eligible for acceptance to the Chemistry BS major, students must submit a College of Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when the Primary Set of Required Courses is completed. Students will need to complete an online Chemistry Majors' Declaration Survey and Assessment upon declaring their major.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

Elective Courses

An additional 18 credits of upper-division chemistry courses chosen from the list of courses below or other approved 300- or 400-level chemistry courses (see advisor for details). Five credits must be chosen from Category 1 courses, five credits must be chosen from Category 2 courses, and the remaining six credits may come from Category 1, Category 2, or Category 3 courses. A total of six lab credits must be earned in the elective courses. A total of five credits may be earned for CHEM 489 Research and CHEM 350I Internship combined.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Chemistry Prerequisites Courses

  • One of the following classes is required:
    • MATH 115 College Algebra
      4 credits

      This course develops the fundamental concepts of algebra with an emphasis on the classification and analysis of linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions. Applications to the natural and social sciences are given throughout. It aims to provide insights into the nature and utility of mathematics, and helps students develop mathematical reasoning skills.

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    • MATH 120 Precalculus
      4 credits

      This course is designed to prepare students for calculus. Topics include polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; the algebra of functions; multiple function representations; and an introduction to analytic geometry.

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Requirements ( 120 total credits)

Chemistry Required Courses: Primary (8 credits)

  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I
    4 credits

    The first semester of the comprehensive first year course in chemistry. Covers measurement, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, atomic structure, bonding, molecular structure, molecular visualization, and problem solving. Lab includes basic laboratory techniques, instrumentation, methodology, chemical analysis, and laboratory notebook procedures. The labs are also designed to engage students in critical thinking and concept building and are directly coordinated with the lecture part of the course. Intended for students who are pursuing, or considering, the biology or life sciences teaching major and/or chemistry minor, and qualified students seeking a general education science course with lab.

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  • CHEM 112 General Chemistry II
    4 credits

    The second semester of the comprehensive algebra-based first year course in chemistry. Covers acid/base theory, chemical equilibria, nuclear and electrochemistry, redox reactions, terminology, functional groups, reactivity of organic compounds and an introduction to biochemistry. Includes lab. Intended for students pursuing the biology or life sciences teaching major and/or chemistry minor.

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Chemistry Required Courses Secondary (36 credits)

This set of required coursework for the major can be done at any time. Check for prerequisites for each class.

  • MATH 210 Calculus I
    4 credits

    Since its beginnings, calculus has demonstrated itself to be one of humankind's greatest intellectual achievements. This versatile subject has proven useful in solving problems ranging from physics and astronomy to biology and social science. Through a conceptual and theoretical framework this course covers topics in differential calculus including limits, derivatives, derivatives of transcendental functions, applications of differentiation, L'Hopital's rule, implicit differentiation, and related rates.

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  • MATH 211 Calculus II
    4 credits

    This is a continuation of Math 210 Calculus I and a working knowledge of that material is expected. Through a conceptual and theoretical framework this course covers the definite integral, the fundamental theorem of calculus, applications of integration, numerical methods for evaluating integrals, techniques of integration and series.

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  • CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I
    4 credits

    The first semester of a comprehensive course in organic chemistry. This course covers structure and nomenclature, bonding theory, reaction mechanisms, stereochemistry, reaction kinetics and thermodynamics, instrument methods [e.g. NMR, IR, MS] and the syntheses and reactions of various functional groups of organic compounds. Molecular modeling software is used to assist in visualizing structures and reaction mechanisms, and in the interpretation of various spectra. Intended for biology majors and chemistry minors.

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  • CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II
    4 credits

    The second semester of a comprehensive course in organic chemistry. This course introduces organic functional groups that include oxygen, nitrogen, and aromatic systems and related reaction mechanisms, multi-step synthetic routes, polymers, and introduce the chemical structures common in many biomolecules. Instrumentals methods (e.g. NMR, IR, MS, UV) are discussed in greater detail, and molecular modeling software used to assist in visualizing structures and reaction mechanisms, and in the interpretation of various spectra. Intended for biology majors and chemistry minors.

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  • PHYS 211 Calculus Based Physics I
    5 credits

    This is the first course of a two semester sequence covering the fundamental concepts of physics. This course covers Newton's laws of motion, work, energy, linear momentum, rotational motion, gravity, equilibrium and elasticity, periodic motion, fluid mechanics, temperature, heat, and the laws of thermodynamics. Laboratories emphasize application of physics concepts and quantitative problem solving skills. Intended for science majors and general education students with strong mathematical background.

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  • PHYS 212 Calculus Based Physics II
    5 credits

    This is the second course of a two semester sequence covering the fundamental concepts of physics. This course covers oscillatory motion, waves, superposition and interference of waves, diffraction, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, light, mirrors and lenses. Laboratories emphasize application of physics concepts and quantitative problem solving skills. Intended for science majors.

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  • CHEM 341 Quantitative Analysis
    5 credits

    This course is first in a series for analytical chemistry. Student work will focus on the fundamental principles of volumetric and gravimetric methods for separation, identification and quantification of chemical substances. Students will learn proper statistical treatment of experimental data and error analysis as well as develop concepts of accuracy and precision. Techniques and concepts presented in this class are in high demand by a variety of industrial labs.

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  • CHEM 351 Physical Chemistry I
    5 credits

    This course introduces the concepts of thermodynamics. Topics include first law of thermodynamics, second law of thermodynamics, entropy, statistical mechanics, specific heat capacities of gases and solids, efficiency and the Carnot cycle, chemical potential, chemicals and phase equilibriums, etc. Applications explored will include the behavior of gases and the operation of heat engines. Laboratories emphasize real world applications of the concepts and problem solving skills taught in this course.

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Category 1: Biochemistry, Medicinal and Biochemistry

  • CHEM 301 Biochemistry
    5 credits

    This course covers the structure of biologically important compounds (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and enzymes) and their transformations during metabolism. Topics include: enzyme kinematics, chemical reactions (acid/base, reduction/oxidation, hydrolysis, etc.), protein synthesis and regulation, use and interpretation of biochemical information, and problem-solving in biochemistry. Lab includes biochemical methods and techniques and develops skills with laboratory instruments, data collection, and scientific writing. Intended for biology majors and chemistry minors.

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  • CHEM 421 Medicinal Chemistry
    3 credits

    Medicinal chemistry allows the advanced chemistry student to explore the considerations of drug design and development as well as case studies on how different classes of therapeutic agents act in the human body. Topics include drug targets, drug sources, structure-activity relationships, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the modern drug discovery pipeline. This class is suggested for those students intending to continue in health sciences.

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  • CHEM 433 Advanced Organic Chemistry
    3 credits

    This upper-division elective course is designed for chemistry majors and minors who have completed Organic Chemistry 1 and 2. Students will develop their abilities to construct multistep syntheses for complex molecules, including asymmetric catalysis, and refine their understanding of reaction mechanisms. Students will expand their knowledge of transformations on molecules with biological, pharmaceutical, and industrial significance. Students will read current primary literature for organic chemistry and gain understanding of research methodologies.

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  • CHEM 435 Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab
    2 credits

    This upper-division elective laboratory course is designed for chemistry majors and minors who have completed Organic Chemistry 1 and 2 lab courses (CHEM 231L and CHEM 332L). This two credit lab course is designed to be taken concurrently with CHEM 433, Advanced Organic Chemistry lecture. Students will gain experience with techniques of multistep synthesis, handling of moisture and air sensitive reagents, solid phase chemistry, assymetric catalysis, chromatography, and further their understanding of analytical techniques such as simple and multidimensional NMR, mass spectrometry, GC or HPLC, and IR.

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Category 2: Analytical, Environmental and Inorganic Chemistry

  • CHEM 311 Environmental Chemistry
    3 credits

    This class addresses the principles of atmospheric chemistry, energy and climate changes, water chemistry, and soil chemistry. During the course of the semester, students will learn the chemistry behind modern challenges to our environment. It will include and examination of the sources, reactions, transport, and fates of different chemical species in the environment. The following topics will be covered: a) atmospheric chemistry and air pollution; b) energy and climate change; c) water chemistry and water pollution; d) toxic organic compounds e) wastes, soils and sediments.

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  • CHEM 361 Inorganic Chemistry Lecture and Lab
    5 credits

    This course is intended for Chemistry majors and minors; this course contributes to Category 2 electives for the Chemistry major. Topics include chemistry of the main group and transition metals; structure, physical and chemical properties, synthesis, and spectroscopy. Includes 3 credits dedicated to lecture and 2 credits to lab.

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  • CHEM 441 Instrumental Analysis
    5 credits

    This course is intended for Chemistry majors and minors; this course contributes to Category 2 electives for the Chemistry major. Topics include instrumental methods of analysis including spectrochemical, kinetic and chromatographic methods. Includes 3 credits dedicated to lecture and 2 credits to lab.

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Category 3: Other course offerings

  • CHEM 350I Chemistry Internship
    0 credits

    Students obtain internships in selected areas of study to gain deeper understand of knowledge, skills and the context of a given field. Site supervisors give guidance and direction to customized internship projects. Faculty members serve as liaisons between the internship sites and the university, providing information to students and potential supervisors and supervising the learning experience. Students should contact the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship (ICES) at Metropolitan State University for more information.

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  • CHEM 355 Physical Chemistry II
    3 credits

    This course covers special relativity, elementary quantum theory, atomic structure and spectra. It is intended for students pursuing chemistry and physics major/minor.

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  • CHEM 357 Physical Chemistry II Lab
    2 credits

    This course provides laboratory activities to test the major theories that lead to the understanding of atomic structure and their spectra. It is intended for students pursuing chemistry and physics major/minor.

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  • CHEM 469 Seminars in Chemistry
    1 credits

    This course develops critical analysis of primary scientific presentations by utilizing the many scientific seminar presentations offered in the Twin Cities Area. These presentations include those given by educational institutions such as Metropolitan State University and the University of Minnesota or public seminars given by area industrial speakers. The student chooses eight one-hour seminars to attend; for one presenter, the student conducts further analysis and writes a 5-7 page paper demonstrating how the currently presented research integrates with the presenters past work or the surrounding research community. This course can, with instructor permission, be taken more than once for credit. This course cannot be used to fulfill the General Education Goal III Natural Science requirement. This course may be used to fulfill the upper division credits for the Chemistry minor.

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  • CHEM 479 Special Topics in Chemistry
    0 credits

    This course will include an in depth study of a specific area of chemistry, and may include offerings in forensic chemistry, food chemistry, polymers, thermodynamics, medicinal chemistry, environmental chemistry, or other areas of interest or not represented in regular course offerings within the department.

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  • CHEM 489 Directed Research in Chemistry
    0 credits

    This is a faculty designed independent study (FDIS) which provides students the opportunity to do independent research in the field of chemistry under the supervision of a resident chemistry faculty member. This course improves students problem solving, analytical, and reasoning skills. At the end of the course, students complete a research report that must be approved by the instructor. The number of credits will be decided by the faculty and the student.

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