Chemistry Major

Program Director: Michael Montague-Smith, Ph.D.

The study of molecular and atomic properties and interactions that encompass Chemistry and Biochemistry are central to many scientific disciplines including biology, geology, astronomy, environmental science, materials science and numerous others. Chemistry and Biochemistry majors continue to graduate or professional school, and obtain employment as educators and technical scientists. Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronyms: BCHM, CHEM

Admission to the Major

Chemistry and Biochemistry are part of a Limited Enrollment program (LEP) within the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). Current UMCP students who wish to declare in CHEM or BCHM must complete a series of gateway courses (CHEM146/CHEM177 (or CHEM131/CHEM132),
CHEM237 (or CHEM231/CHEM232), and MATH140 and MATH141) prior to applying to the program. Information is available at:

Placement in Courses

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry rigorously enforces all of its prerequisites. Enrollment in CHEM131/CHEM132 or CHEM146/CHEM177 requires placement in calculus (MATH120 or MATH130 or MATH140).

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students should demonstrate mastery of a body of knowledge represented by the curricula in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Students should have mastered the critical knowledge in each level in the curriculum that is necessary to move on to the next level in the curriculum.
  2. The ability to read, evaluate and interpret chemical and numerical information for a novel problem using their foundational knowledge in science.
  3. Students should have knowledge of appropriate safe-handling procedures and disposal of chemicals.
  4. Students at lower level should demonstrate an ability to carry out key experimental techniques used in the chemical and life sciences disciplines.
  5. Students at upper level should be able to design experiment to test specific hypotheses, carry out these experiments using appropriate instrumentation and analyze the results.
  6. Students should demonstrate the ability to use the broader scientific literature to select appropriate information to support his/her work.
  7. Students should effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, the processes of science and the results of scientific inquiry using appropriate language and models of chemistry (i.e. equations, symbolism, etc).
  8. Students should understand the importance of good ethical practices in scientific research.
  9. Students should continue their career in science through gainful employment or entrance into a graduate or professional school.

All required chemistry courses must be passed with a minimum grade of "C-".  Required supporting courses, including BSCI170&171, must be passed with a 2.0 grade point average.

Course Title Credits
UNIV100The Student in the University1
Lower-Level CHEM Courses
Principles of General Chemistry
and Introduction to Laboratory Practices and Research in the Chemical Sciences
CHEM237Principles of Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM247Principles of Organic Chemistry II4
General Chemistry and Energetics - Majors
and Fundamentals of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Laboratory
Supporting Courses
Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology
and Principles of Molecular & Cellular Biology Laboratory
General Physics: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics
and General Physics: Vibration, Waves, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism
and General Physics: Mechanics, Vibrations, Waves, Heat (Laboratory)
MATH140Calculus I4
MATH141Calculus II4
Required Upper-Level CHEM Courses
CHEM395Professional Issues in Chemistry and Biochemistry1
CHEM425Instrumental Methods of Analysis4
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory I 1
CHEM401Inorganic Chemistry3
Physical Chemistry II
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory II
ELECT UL6 credits of approved upper level CHEM/BCHM courses6
Total Credits62

Note: All majors and potential majors are encouraged to take MATH241 prior to beginning Physical Chemistry.

In order to meet requirements for a degree approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), students must complete a specific set of courses in addition to this curriculum. Information about ACS certification can be obtained in the undergraduate office.

Information about and requirements for the Chemistry major can be found at:

Click here for roadmaps for four-year plans in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences.

Additional information on developing a four-year academic plan can be found on the following pages: