Undergraduate Program

A degree in chemistry opens the door to a wide variety of academic careers. Some UC Santa Cruz graduates are working as industry researchers in electronic materials, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacy, or laser technology. Others have entered government service as research chemists in the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, DOD, DOE or law enforcement crime laboratories. Fields such as patent law, commercial development, and scientific writing are open to graduates. Many chemistry majors go on to university graduate programs across the nation to prepare for careers in academia, government, or industry. The degree in chemistry also provides a strong disciplinary background in preparation for a career in the important and much needed area of science teaching in high school. A major in chemistry is also an excellent beginning for one of the many opportunities in the health sciences.

The UCSC Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers both B.S. and B.A. degree programs. The B.S. degree should be the choice if a student is interested in getting a job in industry immediately after receiving his or her college degree. The B.S. program also provides a good background for graduate work in chemistry. The B.A. program has fewer requirements and should be considered by students who wish to take more science courses outside of chemistry to enter an interdisciplinary area. Examples might be chemical oceanography, geochemistry, chemical physics, environmental chemistry, or health sciences. The B.A. might also be a good choice for students who wish to become high school teachers. For either degree, the courses stress the fundamentals of chemistry and allow students to pursue independent research.

A minor in chemistry is also offered for those who wish to have a strong complementary program in chemistry while majoring in another area of study.