Chemistry, B.S. (Science)

Program Code: CHEM_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Chemistry major, a student must have:

  1. Attained at least a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average
  2. Completed and earned both a grade of C or better and a combined grade point average of at least 2.50 in each of the following courses: CHEM 110, CHEM 111, CHEM 112, CHEM 113, CHEM 210, MATH 140, and MATH 141. Note: If courses are repeated, only the higher grade will be used in this calculation.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, a minimum of 125 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 94

15 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

 A cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.00 is required in these courses. A grade of C or better is required in all courses within the major field.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
MATH 231Calculus of Several Variables2
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 212General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 213General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics Keystone/General Education Course2
PHYS 214General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course2
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 210Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 212Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 213Laboratory in Organic Chemistry2
CHEM 227Analytical Chemistry4
CHEM 310Introductory Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 316The Professional Chemist1
CHEM 450Physical Chemistry - Thermodynamics3
CHEM 452Physical Chemistry - Quantum Chemistry3
CHEM 457Experimental Physical Chemistry2
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
MATH 250Ordinary Differential Equations3
or STAT 401 Experimental Methods
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following advanced laboratory courses:4
Chemical Spectroscopy
Chromatography and Electrochemistry
Organic and Inorganic Preparations
Advanced Experimental Physical Chemistry
Select 16 credits of chemistry at the 400 level 116
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 17 credits of any courses not on the Chemistry Department list of excluded courses 217

Integrated B.S. in Chemistry and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

Requirements for the Integrated B.S. in Chemistry and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction can be found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Students will acquire a foundation in chemistry of sufficient breadth and depth to integrate and apply knowledge across chemical subdisciplines.
  2. Students will develop analytical reasoning and problem solving skills required for the pursuit of scientific research.
  3. Students will retrieve, read, and incorporate information from the chemical literature in various media forms.
  4. Students will demonstrate the necessary laboratory skills to design and safely conduct experiments and to accurately document and interpret experimental data.
  5. Students will develop the ability to communicate scientific information in written and oral form using an appropriate scientific style.
  6. Students will conduct themselves in a professional, ethical, and productive manner when working independently or in a team setting.
  7. Students will recognize the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry and its impact on society and the environment.
  8. Students will explore traditional and nontraditional career paths in chemistry and related fields.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Dan Sykes
Associate Head for Undergraduate Education, Teaching Professor
330 Whitmore Lab
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-0796
dgs12@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Analytical Concentration Option: Chemistry, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSU 161CHEM 112H or 112*#3
CHEM 110H or 110*#3CHEM 113*#1
CHEM 111*#1MATH 141B or 141*‡#†4
MATH 140B or 140*‡#†4General Education Course3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153PHYS 2114
General Education Course3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 210H or 210*#3-4CHEM 212H or 212*3
CHEM 227*4CHEM 213W or 213M*2
MATH 2312CHEM 310*3
PHYS 2124PHYS 213
PHYS 214
4
General Education Course3CHEM 4001
 CHEM 4303
 16-17 16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 3161CHEM 452*3
CHEM 450*3CHEM 457*2
CHEM 400 Level Selection (consult with and academic adviser for options)3General Elective Course3
ENGL 202C, 202A, 202B, or 202D3CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3
General Education Course3STAT 401 or MATH 2503
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 17.5 15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 425W (or CHEM 400 level selection - consult with an academic adviser for options)4CHEM 423W*4
CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)4CHEM 400 Level Elective (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
 17 16
Total Credits 128-129

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Physical Concentration Option: Chemistry, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSU 161CHEM 112H or 112*#3
CHEM 110H or 1103CHEM 113*#1
CHEM 111*#1MATH 141B or 141*‡#†4
MATH 140B or 140*‡#†4General Education Course3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153PHYS 2114
General Education Course3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 210H or 210*#3CHEM 212H*3
CHEM 227*4CHEM 213*2
MATH 2312CHEM 310*3
PHYS 2124PHYS 2132
General Education Course (GHW)1.5PHYS 2142
CHEM 4001General Education Course3
 15.5 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 3161CHEM 457*2
CHEM 450*3CHEM 4643
CHEM 4523MATH 4053
MATH 2514ENGL 202C, 202A, 202B, or 202D3
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 17 15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3CHEM 459W*4
CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
General Education Course3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 16
Total Credits 125.5

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Synthetic/Biological Concentration Option: Chemistry, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSU 161CHEM 112H or 112*#3
CHEM 110H or 110*#3CHEM 113*#1
CHEM 111*#1MATH 141B or 141*‡#†4
MATH 140B or 140*‡#†4General Education Course3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153PHYS 2114
General Education Course3 
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 210H or 210*#3-4CHEM 212H or 212*3
CHEM 227*4CHEM 213W or 213M*2
MATH 2312CHEM 310*3
PHYS 2124CHEM 4001
General Education Course3CHEM 4303
 General Education Course3
 16-17 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 3161CHEM 452*3
CHEM 431W*4CHEM 457*2
CHEM 450*3PHYS 2132
ENGL 202C, 202A, 202B, or 202D3PHYS 2142
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
 15.5 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 425W*4CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
CHEM 4323CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
CHEM 4763General Education Course4
STAT 4013Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
General Education Course3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 17.5 16
Total Credits 125-126

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

2 + 2 Option: Chemistry, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PSU 161CHEM 112H or 112*#3
CHEM 110H or 110*#3CHEM 113*#1
CHEM 111*#1MATH 141*‡#†4
MATH 140*‡#†4General Education Course3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153PHYS 2114
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15 16.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 210H or 210*#3CHEM 212H or 212*3
MATH 2312CHEM 213W or 213M*2
PHYS 2124ENGL 202C, 202A, 202B, or 202D3
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3PHYS 2132
General Education Course3PHYS 2142
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3General Education Course3
 18 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 227*4CHEM 310*3
CHEM 3161CHEM 4001
CHEM 4503CHEM 4303
MATH 2503CHEM 452*3
General Education Course3CHEM 457*2
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course3
 Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
 15.5 18
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 431W or 425W*4CHEM 423W or 459W*4
CHEM 459W*4CHEM 400 Level Selection (consult with and academic adviser for options)3
CHEM 400 Level Elective Selection (consult with an academic adviser for options)3CHEM 400 Level Selection (consult with and academic adviser for options)3
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3Supporting course (consult with an academic adviser for options)3
 17 16
Total Credits 131

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Career Paths

The technical background and hands-on experiences in the chemistry major provides students with a wide variety of post-graduate career and educational options. A BS in Chemistry prepares students for jobs in industry, government, and research and discovery laboratories. Many graduates with the BS in chemistry go on to pursue advanced degrees in chemistry and related disciplines, or to professional schools including medical, dental, law, and business.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE CHEMISTRY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Penn State students with a BS in Chemistry often choose to pursue graduate education in chemistry, focusing on one or more of the sub-disciplines of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry, or graduate programs in related disciplines such as materials science, forensics, toxicology, and others.

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The Penn State Chemistry Department is approved by the American Chemical Society to confer ACS-certified degrees to chemistry majors who meet certain requirements beyond those required by the major. Courses in biological chemistry and chemical literature must be included among a student’s 400-level chemistry electives, and two additional credits of laboratory work, typically chemical research, are required.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ACCREDITATION BY THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
219 Whitmore Lab
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-8234
sle30@psu.edu

https://science.psu.edu/chem/undergrad