Chemistry B.A.

Information and Policies

The requirements for the bachelor of arts (B.A.) in chemistry have been kept to a minimum so that students may tailor their program to their own purposes, for example, to pursue a double major, to complete major requirements late in their college career, or to concentrate on a specific branch of chemistry. The minimum requirements (including prerequisites) constitute 54 percent of a student’s total undergraduate program; consequently, there is ample time to explore and discover other interests within the university. To plan wisely, students are advised to refer to each course description for a detailed listing of prerequisites. Students who decide they want a professional career in chemistry are advised to meet with the chemistry undergraduate faculty adviser.

Academic Advising for the Program

The chemistry and biochemistry adviser provides counsel to undergraduate majors. Students are encouraged to seek out advising and assistance in planning their academic career to ensure completion of their major in a timely manner. For assistance, please contact Chemistry Advising at chemistryadvising@ucsc.edu or visit our department website. Transfer students should also consult the Transfer Information and Policy Section.

Getting Started in the Major

High School Preparation

Prospective chemistry majors should have a solid foundation in high school mathematics; familiarity with algebra, logarithms, trigonometry, and analytic geometry is particularly required. Students taking chemistry at UCSC begin with CHEM 1A or CHEM 1B, both of which require a strong background in high school chemistry.

Prerequisites

In order to determine what preparation may be needed to succeed in the general chemistry sequence , CHEM 1A, CHEM 1B, and CHEM 1C, students are encouraged to take the  Chemistry Self-Assessment Examination.

Program Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes summarize the most important knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that students are expected to develop over the course of their studies.

The program learning outcomes clearly communicate the faculty’s expectations to students, provide a framework for faculty evaluation of the curriculum based on empirical data, and help improve and measure the impact of implemented changes.

Students graduating with a B.S. or B.A. in chemistry or a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology should be able to:

  • demonstrate mastery of a broad set of chemical knowledge concerning the fundamentals in the basic areas of the discipline (organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry);
  • solve area-specific problems by identifying the essential parts of a problem, formulating a strategy for solving the problem, applying appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, testing the correctness of the solution, and interpreting their results;
  • use modern library search tools (such as SciFinder, PubMed, or Web of Science) to locate and retrieve scientific information about a topic, chemical, chemical technique, or an issue relating to chemistry;
  • know and follow the proper procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of chemicals;
  • understand the objective of their chemical experiments, properly carry out the experiments, and appropriately record and analyze the results;
  • use computers in data acquisition and processing, and use available software as a tool in data analysis;
  • use standard laboratory equipment, modern instrumentation, and classical techniques to carry out experiments;
  • communicate the concepts and results of their laboratory experiments through effective writing and/or oral communication using the discipline standards for reporting and citation; and
  • collaborate effectively as part of a team to solve problems, debate different points of view, and interact productively with a diverse group of team members.

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

Students must complete the following qualification courses, or their equivalents, each with a grade of C (2.0) or better and with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 or greater in these six required courses:

CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1CGeneral Chemistry

5

Plus one of the following options:
Either these courses

MATH 11ACalculus with Applications

5

MATH 11BCalculus with Applications

5

or these courses

MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

 

And one of the following options:
MATH 22Introduction to Calculus of Several Variables

5

or this course

MATH 23AVector Calculus

5

or this course

AM 30Multivariate Calculus for Engineers

5

Determining qualification for the major

When determining qualification to declare the major:

  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • For courses required to qualify for the major that have been satisfied with AP credit based on an AP examination score of 5 (for CHEM 1A), and an AP Calculus BC examination score of 4 or 5 (for MATH 11A or MATH 19A), students may substitute a grade of A for each course when calculating their cumulative GPA.
  • Students with two or more grades of NP, C-, D+, D, D-, or F in courses required to qualify for the major are not eligible to declare.

Transfer students should also consult the Transfer Information and Policy Section.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare the major may appeal by submitting a letter to the chemistry adviser, chemistryadvising@ucsc.edu within 15 days from the date the notification was sent. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student and their affiliated college of the decision. For more information about the appeal process, see the Appeal Process at this website.

How to Declare a Major

You may declare a major as early as you would like, if you have decided which major to pursue and have satisfied prerequisites or qualification requirements (if any) for the major.

Students who enter UC Santa Cruz as frosh are required to be formally declared in a major before enrolling in their third year (or equivalent). Upper-division transfer students are required to be declared in a major by the deadline in their second term at UCSC.

Each major/minor advising office has a process for declaring.  To initiate the process to declare, please complete the online declaration petition located on the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department website. For assistance, please contact Chemistry Advising at chemistryadvising@ucsc.edu.

Students enrolled in their final qualification policy course at the major declaration deadline may submit the petition, but will not be declared until satisfactory grades have been posted.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department welcomes applications from transfer students who are prepared to enter as junior-level chemistry majors. To be considered for admission to UCSC as a chemistry B.A. or B.S. major, transfer students must pass equivalents of the following courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher:

CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1CGeneral Chemistry

5

MATH 22Introduction to Calculus of Several Variables

5

Plus one of the following options:
Either these courses

MATH 11ACalculus with Applications

5

MATH 11BCalculus with Applications

5

or these courses

MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

For more information on qualifying for the major as a transfer applicant, see the Transfer Students webpage.

In addition to the required transfer admissions courses, we strongly recommend that all transfer students complete equivalents of the following preparatory courses prior to transfer:
CHEM 8AOrganic Chemistry

5

CHEM 8LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

CHEM 8BOrganic Chemistry

5

CHEM 8MOrganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

PHYS 6AIntroductory Physics I

5

PHYS 6LIntroductory Physics Laboratory

1

PHYS 6BIntroductory Physics II

5

PHYS 6MIntroductory Physics Laboratory

1

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer students are highly encouraged to meet with the chemistry academic adviser in their first quarter. For assistance with advising, please contact Chemistry Advising at chemistryadvising@ucsc.edu. More information specific to transfer students may also be found at our department website.

Students who have satisfied the screening requirements can declare their major any time after coming to UC Santa Cruz but are required to be declared in a major by the applicable deadline; in their second term at UCSC for students entering at the junior level. 

Letter Grade Policy

For all students entering UCSC in fall 2001 and later, all courses used to satisfy degree requirements in any of the chemistry and biochemistry majors must be taken for a letter grade.

Course Substitution Policy

At least half of the upper-division courses (CHEM 100– CHEM 199) required for any chemistry major must be taken through the chemistry program at UCSC, not as transfer credits from another department or institution. Transfer students are advised to contact the department undergraduate adviser before enrolling in any upper-division courses at other institutions to verify articulation. For more information on transferring courses to UCSC, please consult the Transfer Preparation website.

CHEM 199, Independent Study Course, may not be taken more than once per quarter and may be repeated no more than three times during an undergraduate career.

Honors

Honors in the chemistry major requires a 3.5 or higher GPA in all chemistry courses; highest honors requires a 3.8 or higher GPA in all chemistry courses for the major. Students may also receive honors for a senior research thesis.

Materials Fee

Chemistry students should be aware of the materials fee required for some courses. The fee is billed to the student’s account for specific laboratory materials purchased by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department through the university. Fees generally range from $18 to $75 per course. Students may incur additional expense for individual supplies.

Program for Students of the Health Sciences

Students intending to enter medical, dental, or another health science professional school can satisfy entrance requirements with a major program in chemistry supplemented with further courses, especially in biology, as specified by the admissions requirements of the school where they intend to apply. Students are urged to contact the Career Center for assistance with the application process.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements

Lower-Division Courses

General Chemistry:
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1MGeneral Chemistry Laboratory

2

CHEM 1CGeneral Chemistry

5

CHEM 1NGeneral Chemistry Laboratory

2

Calculus:

Choose one of the following options:

Either these courses

MATH 11ACalculus with Applications

5

MATH 11BCalculus with Applications

5

or these courses

MATH 19ACalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

MATH 19BCalculus for Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

5

A student may combine the MATH 11series with the MATH 19 series to complete this portion of the major requirement(s). For example, a student can take and complete MATH 19A and then take and complete MATH 11B

Multivariable Calculus:
Either this course

MATH 22Introduction to Calculus of Several Variables

5

or these courses

MATH 23AVector Calculus

5

MATH 23BVector Calculus

5

or this course

AM 30Multivariate Calculus for Engineers

5

Physics:

Choose one of the following options:

Either these courses

PHYS 5AIntroduction to Physics I

5

PHYS 5LIntroduction to Physics Laboratory

1

PHYS 5BIntroduction to Physics II

5

PHYS 5MIntroduction to Physics Laboratory

1

PHYS 5CIntroduction to Physics III

5

PHYS 5NIntroduction to Physics Laboratory

1

or these courses

PHYS 6AIntroductory Physics I

5

PHYS 6LIntroductory Physics Laboratory

1

PHYS 6BIntroductory Physics II

5

PHYS 6MIntroductory Physics Laboratory

1

PHYS 6CIntroductory Physics III

5

PHYS 6NIntroductory Physics Laboratory

1

A student may combine the PHYS 5 series with the PHYS 6 series to complete this portion of the major requirement(s). For example, a student can take and complete PHYS 5A and 5L and then take and complete PHYS 6B and 6M and PHYS 6C and 6N. 

Organic Chemistry:
CHEM 8AOrganic Chemistry

5

CHEM 8LOrganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

CHEM 8BOrganic Chemistry

5

CHEM 8MOrganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Upper-Division Courses

Intermediate Organic Chemistry:
CHEM 110Intermediate Organic Chemistry with Emphasis on Synthesis and Analytical Methods

5

CHEM 110LIntermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Inorganic Chemistry:
CHEM 151AChemistry of Metals

5

CHEM 151LInorganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Physical Chemistry:
CHEM 163AQuantum Mechanics and Basic Spectroscopy

5

CHEM 163BChemical Thermodynamics

5

CHEM 164Physical Chemistry Laboratory

5

One of the following laboratory courses:
CHEM 146AAdvanced Laboratory in Organic Chemistry

3

CHEM 146BAdvanced Laboratory in Inorganic Chemistry

3

CHEM 146CAdvanced Laboratory in Physical Chemistry

3

Students currently conducting senior thesis research are strongly encouraged to choose an advanced laboratory in the CHEM 146 series that is outside their research area.

Electives

At least one from the following:

BIOC 100ABiochemistry and Molecular Biology

5

CHEM 103Biochemistry

5

CHEM 122Principles of Instrumental Analysis

5

CHEM 143Organic Chemical Structure and Reactions

5

CHEM 144Catalysis In Organic Synthesis Using Metals and Metalloids Based Reagents

5

CHEM 151BChemistry of the Main Group Elements

5

CHEM 156CMaterials Chemistry

5

CHEM 163CStatistical Thermodynamics and Kinetics

5

CHEM 169Chemistry and Biology of Drug Design and Discovery

5

METX 101Sources and Fates of Pollutants

5

METX 102Cell and Molecular Toxicology

5

OCEA 120Aquatic Chemistry: Principles and Applications

5

OCEA 121Aqueous Geochemistry

5

PHYS 180Biophysics

5

Students may also satisfy the elective requirement by completing a chemistry graduate course with permission of the instructor and department. Please consult with the department undergraduate adviser prior to enrolling.

 

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement. The DC Requirement for the bachelor of arts degree in chemistry is satisfied by completing:

CHEM 151LInorganic Chemistry Laboratory

2

Plus one of the following courses:
CHEM 146AAdvanced Laboratory in Organic Chemistry

3

CHEM 146BAdvanced Laboratory in Inorganic Chemistry

3

CHEM 146CAdvanced Laboratory in Physical Chemistry

3

Comprehensive Requirement

The comprehensive requirement is a part of all UCSC degrees. In the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, there are two options for satisfying this requirement:

Senior thesis:

A senior research project based on original experimental or theoretical research.

CHEM 195ASenior Research

5

CHEM 195BSenior Research

5

CHEM 195CSenior Thesis

5

At the conclusion of the project, the student submits a formal research paper to the faculty sponsor for review and a revision process. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry or the biochemistry and molecular biology major programs should have the title and description of the proposed thesis reviewed by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate faculty adviser. Students, usually working in the laboratory of the faculty sponsor, acquire experimental and/or theoretical research experience and skills in the laboratory as well as instruction in the writing of a research paper. Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing while they take CHEM 195 courses. Students who achieve excellence in both research and thesis may be awarded honors in the thesis upon graduation. Students are encouraged to apply for research funding opportunities on campus and external to the campus at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities website.

Senior essay:

An essay based on literature research.

CHEM 194Senior Essay

5

Students find a faculty sponsor and agree in advance on an appropriate topic of interest and a format The student submits a draft essay to the sponsor for the revision process. Students arrange for a faculty sponsor by consulting with a relevant faculty member within the chemistry and biochemistry major program. In some cases, faculty outside these major programs (for example, in biology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology, or Earth sciences) may be an appropriate sponsor. Students who select a sponsor outside the chemistry and biochemistry major program should have the title and description of the proposed essay reviewed by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate faculty sponsor. Students acquire experience and skills in scientific literature research as well as in the writing of a research paper.

Planners

This is the ideal academic plan for chemistry B.A. majors. If needed, the plan can be arranged differently.

  Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh) MATH 19A or MATH 11A MATH 19B or MATH 11B CHEM 1C & CHEM 1N
CHEM 1A  CHEM 1B & CHEM 1M   
     
2nd (soph) CHEM 8A & CHEM 8L CHEM 8B & CHEM 8M CHEM 110 & CHEM 110L
PHYS 6A & PHYS 6L  MATH 22 PHYS 6B & PHYS 6M
     
3rd (junior) CHEM 163A CHEM 163B CHEM elective
PHYS 6C & PHYS 6N  CHEM 164  
     
4th (senior) Senior essay or CHEM 146 Lab CHEM 151A & CHEM 151L Senior essay or CHEM 146 Lab
     
     

Two of the required general  education requirements will be fulfilled by the major requirements listed in the above planner (MF & SI). In addition to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student will also need to complete courses satisfying the following general education requirements: Cross- Cultural Analysis, Ethnicity & Race, Interpreting Arts & Media,  Statistical Reasoning, Textual Analysis & Interpretation, Perspectives, and Practice

Sample Transfer Two-Year Planner

For students who have transferred in with the recommended courses. Note: Failure to do so may require additional time to degree. Please refer to the following academic planners that detail student plans with only the minimum transfer requirements completed.

  Fall Winter Spring
1st (junior) CHEM 163A CHEM 163B CHEM 110 & CHEM 110L
PHYS 6C & PHYS 6N  CHEM 164  
     
  Fall Winter Spring
 2nd (senior) CHEM 146 CHEM 151A & CHEM 151L CHEM elective
    Senior essay
     
 

*Recommended Courses: