The Wiess School of Natural Sciences
The Department of Chemistry offers undergraduate chemistry majors leading to both the bachelor of science degree and the bachelor of arts degree. The BS program rigorously prepares students for advanced work in chemistry or a related discipline, and the degree requirements are consistent with the guidelines for certification by the American Chemical Society. This curriculum provides a broad and comprehensive introduction to core areas of chemistry while promoting depth of understanding in one or more specific fields. BS students complete a series of foundation courses in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, biological chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Students then complete one or more specializations, or “tracks,” consisting of in-depth courses both in and out of the specialization. The BA degree is a more flexible program that provides a comprehensive overview of all areas of chemistry, including laboratory experiences, but can be coupled more easily with other majors or professional career paths. Both degree programs offer students a solid background in the fundamental principles of chemistry, the properties and reactions of chemical compounds, and their uses.
Graduate studies emphasize individual research together with a fundamental understanding of chemistry beyond the students’ specific interests. Faculty research interests include the synthesis and biosynthesis of organic natural products; supramolecular chemistry, molecular recognition and biological catalysis; bioinorganic and organometallic chemistry; main group element and transition metal chemistry; the design of nanophase solids; molecular photochemistry and photophysics; infrared kinetic spectroscopy, laser, and NMR spectroscopy; studies of electron transfer in crossed beams; theoretical and computational chemistry; the study of fullerene molecules, carbon nanotubes, and their derivatives; polymer synthesis and characterization; molecular electronics; molecular machines; and chemical-based nanotechnology.
Jump to: BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry BA Degree with a Major in Chemistry
Upon completing the BA and BS degrees, students majoring in Chemistry will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BS degree with a major in Chemistry (CHEM) must complete:
The areas of specialization for the Chemistry major in the BS degree are:
CORE REQUIREMENTS Students pursuing the BS degree must complete a total of 20-24 courses (57 credit hours) depending on course selection as listed below to satisfy the Chemistry major's Core Requirements.
General Chemistry Students must complete the following 4 courses (8 credit hours):
Note: The CHEM 121/123 and CHEM 122/124 General Chemistry sequence is an acceptable substitute.
Chemistry Foundation CoursesStudents must complete the following 6 courses (18 credit hours):
Mathematics Students must complete the following 3 courses (9 credit hours):
Notes: MATH 221 and 222 Honors Calculus III and IV may substitute for MATH 212. MATH 211 Ordinary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra is strongly recommended for students planning to specialize in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry or pursue graduate studies. The Department of Mathematics may, after consultation with a student concerning his/her previous math preparation, recommend that a student be placed into a higher level math course than that for which the student has received official credit. The Department of Chemistry will accept this waiver of the math classes upon a written confirmation of the waiver from the Department of Mathematics and upon the student's successful completion of the higher level math course.
Physics Students must complete 2-4 courses (8 credit hours) depending on course selection as listed below.
Advanced LaboratoriesStudents must complete a total of 3 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:
ResearchStudents must complete a minimum of 8 credit hours from the list below. CHEM 391 must be taken as part of the Research requirement and for at least 3 credit hours. The other 5 credit hours can be selected from the additional courses in the list below. Enrollment in CHEM 391 requires permission of the course instructor. Students are expected to complete CHEM 391 before the end of their junior year; permission will not normally be granted for students in their final year of undergraduate study.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATIONTo fulfill the remaining Chemistry major requirements, students must complete advanced work that satisfies the requirements of one specialization as listed below. A student may, working with his or her chemistry major advisor and with the approval of the Director of the Undergraduate Program, propose a track in another specialization. Such proposed tracks must have course and laboratory experiences comparable to those of the tracks listed below. A double specialization can be earned by completing the requirements for two specialties. For double specialization, only two advanced lecture courses may count towards both specializations. The remaining two advanced courses in each specialization must be unique (i.e., double specialization requires six advanced lecture courses, and triple specialization require eight). A Nanochemistry specialization can be added to any of the standard tracks by adding two nanoscience courses.
For purposes of this requirement, “advanced coursework” includes chemistry lecture courses at the 400-level or higher (courses in Rice's course catalog that have a course type listed as "lecture"). CHEM 212 or CHEM 320 or BIOC 302 counts as “advanced coursework” for purposes of this requirement. Courses in other departments at the 400-level or higher with substantial chemistry content may count toward this requirement with approval of the Director of the Undergraduate Program.
Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below.
Inorganic Chemistry and Inorganic MaterialsStudents must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below.
Organic Chemistry Students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below.
Physical and Theoretical ChemistryStudents must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below.
The Chemistry Honors Research Program is a suite of courses (CHEM 492/493) offering the opportunity for a rigorous two-semester “capstone” individual research project in Chemistry. This immersive program is intended to give students a first-hand experience of a career in research. Students interested in graduate school are strongly encouraged to apply. Students having completed previous independent research (as CHEM 391 and/or CHEM 491) in an off-campus laboratory in the Texas Medical Center are eligible to apply to perform honors research in that laboratory. The honors research courses (CHEM 492 and CHEM 493) function as a pair and must all be taken in the same academic year. Registration for CHEM 492 requires a commitment to register for CHEM 493.Students who complete the Chemistry Honors Research Program are given primary consideration for “Distinction in Research and Creative Work,” a university award for select undergraduates, chosen by the department and granted at commencement, which appears on the transcript and diploma.Chemistry Honors Research Program components
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Chemistry (CHEM) must complete:
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents pursuing the BA degree must complete a total of 16 courses (48 credit hours) as listed below to satisfy the Chemistry major's Core Requirements.
Chemistry Foundation CoursesStudents must complete a total of 6 courses (18 credit hours) as listed below.
MathematicsStudents must complete the following 3 courses (9 credit hours):
Notes: MATH 221 and 222 Honors Calculus III and IV may substitute for MATH 212. MATH 211 Ordinary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra is strongly recommended for students planning to specialize in Physical and Theoretical chemistry or pursue graduate studies.
ELECTIVES To fulfill the remaining Chemistry major requirements, students must complete 2 additional courses (6 credit hours) from additional advanced coursework in chemistry. For the purposes of this requirement, “advanced coursework” includes chemistry lecture courses at the 400-level or higher (courses in Rice's course catalog that have a course type listed as "lecture"). CHEM 212 or CHEM 320 or BIOC 302 counts as “advanced coursework” for purposes of this requirement. Courses in other departments with substantial chemistry content may count toward this requirement with approval of the Director of the Undergraduate Program.back to menu
This degree is jointly managed by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. For more information, see Chemical Physics.
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Chemistry undergraduate degrees and major. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule: - Course offerings/subject code: CHEMDepartment Code and Description - Chemistry: CHEM Degree Codes and Descriptions - Bachelor of Arts degree: BA - Bachelor of Science degree: BS Major Codes and Descriptions: - Major in Chemistry: CHEM
Jump to: PhD Degree in Chemistry MA Degree in Chemistry
Students graduating from this program will:
For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees. Students who have completed course work equivalent to that required for a BA or BS in chemistry may apply for admission to the PhD program. For more information, see Admission to Graduate Study. Students are not normally admitted to study for an MA degree.
Research—The PhD in chemistry is awarded for original research in chemistry. During the first semester of residence, students select a research advisor from among the members of the faculty. In some cases, students may choose research advisors outside of the department. Approval of the department chair is required to formalize these advising relationships. The research advisor will guide the student in the choice of an appropriate research topic and in the detailed training required to complete that project. Students must successfully complete CHEM 800 Graduate Research and CHEM 600 Graduate Seminar every semester of residence. Candidates earn a PhD after successfully completing at least 90 semester hours of advanced study in chemistry and related fields, culminating in a thesis that describes an original and significant investigation in chemistry. The thesis must be satisfactorily defended in a public oral examination. The student must pass the thesis defense before the end of the 16th semester of residency.
Coursework—Within the first two years, the student must complete six 3-semester-hour graduate-level lecture courses at Rice University, or their approved equivalent. In order to satisfy this requirement, each of these courses must satisfy the following criteria:
Responsible Conduct of Research —Each graduate student must successfully complete the ethics course UNIV 594.
Teaching—Each graduate student must participate in teaching (CHEM 700) for the equivalent of three semesters. Assignments are determined by departmental needs.
Qualifying Examination—The qualifying exam has written and oral components, and the expectations for these are available in the department office. The examination committee will be composed of three faculty members, excluding the research advisor. The written document must be submitted to the committee at least one week before the date of the oral examination. The examination must be taken by the last day of class at the end of the student’s fourth semester in residency. Any follow-up work required by the committee must be completed by the assigned date, and the exam must be passed by the end of the sixth semester.
Advancement to Candidacy for the PhD—After completing the required coursework, teaching, and qualifying examination, a student must petition to be advanced to candidacy for the PhD degree. Upon advancement to candidacy, a student chooses a thesis committee of at least three faculty members with the guidance and approval of the research advisor and department chair. The thesis committee must include one faculty member whose primary appointment is outside of the chemistry department.
To remain in good standing, a student must maintain a GPA of 3.00 (B) or higher in all lecture courses, a GPA of 3.00 (B) or higher in all semesters of CHEM 700, and a grade of B or higher in every semester of CHEM 600 and CHEM 800. Failure to maintain satisfactory grades and sufficient progress in research will result in probation and possible dismissal. The student must be enrolled full time in a departmentally approved research group beginning the second semester, and every semester thereafter. All graduate students are evaluated annually to ensure that they are making appropriate progress towards the degree. The student, advisor, or department may request a meeting between the student and a faculty committee at any time to evaluate progress or to determine a course of action. If progress is unsatisfactory, the committee may recommend a semester of probation, which could result in dismissal from the program if progress remains unsatisfactory in the probationary semester. back to menu
MA Program—Although students are not normally admitted to study for an MA, graduate students may earn the MA after obtaining approval of their candidacy for the PhD. The MA degree may also be earned by students who do not achieve PhD candidacy by:
Students may petition the Chemistry Department Graduate Advising Committee for variances on these academic regulations.back to menu
Descriptions and Codes Legend
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Chemistry graduate degree programs. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: CHEMDepartment Description and Code - Chemistry: CHEMDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Arts degree: MA - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in Chemistry: CHEM
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for Chemistry can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Chemistry, see the department's website: https://chemistry.rice.edu/.