Chemistry BS

College of Sciences
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

two female scientists in lab coats and safety goggles with an experiment

About this program

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.

Student outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Apply the scientific method to experimental design and execution. More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Describe the design of an experiment.
    • Apply discipline specific laboratory techniques.
    • Analyze results and interpret data.
    • Summarize the experiments and results using standard discipline conventions.
    • Design an experiment to test a particular hypothesis.
  • Relate matter and energy as well as quantify changes to a given system. More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Identify ionic and covalent compounds utilizing the periodic table.
    • Summarize system energy before, during, and after a given system perturbation.
    • Analyze common reaction types for a given system.
    • Evaluate reaction types and energy changes to a complex natural system.
  • Categorize matter according to structure and function within living systems. More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Classify organic and biological compounds by name and chemical structure.
    • Relate structure to a compound’s physicochemical properties.
    • Formulate relevant reactions to compounds and predict products.
    • Evaluate a complex living system on a molecular level.
  • Interpret scientific findings via written and oral presentations.
    • Distinguish the parts of a primary literature report.
    • Summarize a scientific experiment or series of experiments using discipline language in written form.
    • Discuss a scientific concept orally and in writing.
    • Write a scientific report in the style of primary literature.

Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

Students expressing interest in the Chemistry BS major when they apply for admission to the university will be assigned an academic advisor in the Natural Sciences Department and will be given pre-major status

To be eligible for acceptance to the Chemistry BS major, students must submit a College of Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when the following is completed:

  • Prerequisites and Pre-major Foundation courses of CHEM 111, CHEM 112

All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above. Transfer coursework equivalency is determined by the Natural Sciences Department.

Current students: Declare your program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Chemistry BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Chemistry BS

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your Chemistry BS that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Program requirements

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.

Course requirements

Prerequisites

One of the following courses or math assessment placement score above college algebra is required. This prerequisite does not count towards total credits for this major but fulfills math GELS requirements.

Choose one

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.

Full course description for College Algebra

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.

Full course description for Precalculus

Requirements (120 Credits)

Pre-major Foundation (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.

Full course description for General Chemistry I

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.

Full course description for General Chemistry II

Core Requirements (38 credits)

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.

Full course description for Calculus I

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.

Full course description for Calculus II

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.

Full course description for Organic Chemistry I

CHEM 231L Organic Chemistry I Lab

1 credits

This course provides the laboratory experience to accompany Chem 231 Organic Chemistry I. This course introduces the techniques, specialized equipment, instrumental methods and safety procedures common in an organic lab setting. Students get hands-on experience with the instrumentation, equipment, hazardous material procedures, and multi-step methods employed in the synthesis of larger, more complicated organic structures from simpler molecules.

Full course description for Organic Chemistry I Lab

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.

Full course description for Calculus Based Physics I

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.

Full course description for Calculus Based Physics II

Upper division core requirements

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.

Full course description for Organic Chemistry II

CHEM 332L Organic Chemistry II Lab

1 credits

This course provides the laboratory experience to accompany CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry II. This course continues the introduction of the techniques, specialized equipment, instrumental methods and safety procedures that was begun in Chem 231 Organic Chem I Lab. Students get hands-on experience with the instrumentation, equipment, hazardous material procedures, and multi-step methods employed in the synthesis of larger, more complicated organic structures from simpler molecules.

Full course description for Organic Chemistry II Lab

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.

Full course description for Quantitative Analysis

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.

Full course description for Physical Chemistry I

Electives (18 credits)

A total of 18 credits fulfills the elective requirement and consists of three category areas. A minimum of six credits must be specified as lab credits. 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.

Category one: Biochemistry, Medicinal and Organic Chemistry (5 credits)

CHEM 325 Biochemistry I: Biomolecule Structure and Function

3 credits

This course is the first of two-semester biochemistry lecture sequence and part of three lecture-lab biochemistry series. The series broadly cover the study of chemical processes in living organisms. In this course, the emphasis is on the structure and function of biomoleculesparticularly proteins and nucleic acid. Topics covered include structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleotides and nucleic acids; biosignaling pathways and signal transduction; biological membranes and the mechanism of protein transporters; acid-base chemistry and how it applies to enzyme mechanism; and, enzyme kinetics and coenzyme structure and function.

Full course description for Biochemistry I: Biomolecule Structure and Function

CHEM 327 Biochemistry Laboratory

2 credits

This lecture/laboratory course exposes students to modern techniques in biochemistry. The course is part of a year-long biochemistry series that broadly cover the study of chemical processes in living organisms. Biochemical techniques covered include bench chemistry techniques, chromatography techniques, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, protein purification and characterization, protein assay techniques, and spectrophotometry. Students also carry out semester-end research project in which they apply the techniques they learned in the first part of the semester.

Full course description for Biochemistry Laboratory

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.

Full course description for Medicinal Chemistry

CHEM 429 Biochemistry II: Bioenergetics, Metabolism, and Macromolecule Biosynthesis

3 credits

This course is the second of two-semester biochemistry lecture sequence and part of three lecture-lab biochemistry series. The series broadly cover the study of chemical processes in living organisms. In this course, students learn about the energy producing pathways of glycolysis, Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty-acid oxidation. Coverage will also include a discussion of how biosynthetic processes are controlled and integrated with metabolism of the cell as well as gene regulation and biochemical aspects of evolution. This course is intended for students majoring in chemistry and provides more extensive coverage of the subject than a student will get in a comprehensive/introduction to biochemistry course.

Full course description for Biochemistry II: Bioenergetics, Metabolism, and Macromolecule Biosynthesis

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.

Full course description for Advanced Organic Chemistry

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.

Full course description for Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab

Category two: Analytical, Environmental and Inorganic Chemistry (5 credits)

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.

Full course description for Environmental Chemistry

CHEM 311L Environmental Chemistry Lab

2 credits

This course is intended for Chemistry and Environmental Science majors; this course contributes to the Category 2 electives for the Chemistry major and Physical Science Core Courses for Environmental Science. This two-credit lab course must be taken concurrently with CHEM311 Environmental Chemistry. This course continues the introduction of the techniques, specialized equipment, instrumental methods and safety procedures that was begun in CHEM 112. Students get hands-on experience with the instrumentation, equipment, and hazardous material procedures. Students will learn techniques relevant to the study of atmospheric and water chemistry. Students will gain experience with bench analytical techniques such as titrations and instrumental analysis using mass spectrometry and atomic absorption.

Full course description for Environmental Chemistry Lab

Category three: Other course offerings (6 credits)

Select from the following courses and any course not otherwise taken to fulfill the other two categories to fulfill the remaining elective requirement. Note: Research (CHEM 489) and internship (CHEM 350I) combined cannot exceed five credits towards the elective requirement.

CHEM 350I Chemistry Internship

1-9 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.

Full course description for Chemistry Internship

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.

Full course description for Seminars in Chemistry

CHEM 489 Directed Research in Chemistry

1-5 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.

Full course description for Directed Research in Chemistry