Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics

Upon completing the BS degree with a major in Chemical Physics, students will be able to: 

  1. Acquire and demonstrate a solid foundation of knowledge in chemical physics and deeper knowledge of subdivisions of the field related to their interests.
  2. Develop the ability to identify, formulate, and solve challenging scientific and technical problems as encountered in chemical physics.
  3. Learn to read scientific literature and communicate scientific results orally and in writing for scientists and the general public.

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BS degree with a major in Chemical Physics must complete:   

  • A minimum of 73 credit hours to satisfy major requirements.  
  • A minimum of 133 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.  
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 33-35 credit hours, depending on course selection, taken at the 300-level or above.

The Chemical Physics major is offered jointly by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Students take upper-level courses in both chemistry and physics, focusing on the applications of physics to chemical systems. Students may obtain credit for some courses by advanced placement, and the program's undergraduate committee can modify requirements to meet the needs of students with special backgrounds.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for Major in Chemical Physics73
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics133

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I 1
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II 1
4
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
CHEM 215ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB2
or CHEM 365 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB
CHEM 311PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I3
CHEM 312PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II3
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
PHYS 201WAVES, LIGHT, AND HEAT3
PHYS 202MODERN PHYSICS3
PHYS 231ELEMENTARY PHYSICS LAB1
PHYS 301INTERMEDIATE MECHANICS4
PHYS 302INTERMEDIATE ELECTRODYNAMICS4
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
or MATH 221 HONORS CALCULUS III
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
or MATH 222 HONORS CALCULUS IV
Elective Requirements
Advanced Coursework in Physics and Chemistry
Select 3 from the following:9
INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS I
INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS II
QUANTUM CHEMISTRY
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
CHEMICAL KINETICS AND DYNAMICS
CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS
STATISTICAL & THERMAL PHYSICS
Advanced Laboratories
Select 2 from the following:4
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB
MATERIALS CHEMISTRY LAB
CHEMICAL MEASUREMENT LAB
RESEARCH FOR UNDERGRADUATES 2
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
JUNIOR PHYSICS LAB II
Advanced Coursework in Mathematics (MATH) or Computational and Applied Math (CAAM)
Select 2 courses from MATH or CAAM course offerings at the 300-level or above.6
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Chemical Physics73
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours133

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Chemical Physics should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

For additional information, please see the following department websites:

Opportunities for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemical Physics

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

For additional information, please see the following department websites: