Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Chemistry

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry

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

  1. Demonstrate understanding of and proficiency with:
    1. the structure, bonding, spectroscopy, and reactivity of organic compounds and functional groups;
    2. curved-arrow formalism to describe reaction mechanisms, and
    3. the synthesis of organic compounds.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of and proficiency with:
    1. thermochemical principles, acid-base and redox reactions,
    2. structure of simple solids and construction of molecular orbital diagrams (group theory), and 
    3. survey of main group chemistry.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of:
    1. the principles of quantum mechanics and applications to atomic and molecular structure and spectroscopy,
    2. classical and basic statistical thermodynamics and applications to equilibrium physico-chemical systems, and
    3. kinetics of gas phase processes and chemical reactions.
  4. Design, conduct, record, and analyze chemical experiments, while practicing responsible and ethical scientific conduct. 

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry

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

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 the Major in Chemisty69
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry129

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
General Chemistry 1
CHEM 151
CHEM 153
HONORS CHEMISTRY I
and HONORS CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
CHEM 152
CHEM 154
HONORS CHEMISTRY II
and HONORS CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II
4
Chemistry Foundation Courses
BIOC 301BIOCHEMISTRY I 23
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
CHEM 311PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I3
CHEM 312PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II3
CHEM 330ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 360INORGANIC CHEMISTRY3
Mathematics 3
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS 43
Physics
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
GENERAL PHYSICS II (WITH LAB)
Advanced Laboratories
Select 3 from the following:6
ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB
INORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB
MATERIALS CHEMISTRY LAB
CHEMICAL MEASUREMENT LAB
Research
CHEM 391RESEARCH FOR UNDERGRADUATES 53
Select 5 credit hours from the following:5
RESEARCH FOR UNDERGRADUATES
UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH
UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH
TEACHING PRACTICUM 6
Area of Specialization
Select 1 from the following (see below for the requirements for each Area of Specialization):12
Biological and Medicinal Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry and Inorganic Materials
Organic Chemistry
Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Chemistry69
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours129

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Areas of Specialization

To 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.

Additionally, 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.

Area of Specialization: Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Select 1 from the following:3
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
and ORGANIC CHEM DISCUSSION II
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
BIOC 302BIOCHEMISTRY II3
Advanced Coursework in Chemistry
Select 2 from the following: 16
Any lecture course between CHEM 400 and CHEM 489
Any lecture course between CHEM 495 and CHEM 699
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Inorganic Chemistry and Inorganic Materials

CHEM 475PHYSICAL METHODS IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 495TRANSITION METAL CHEMISTRY3
Advanced Coursework in Chemistry
Select 2 from the following: 16
BIOCHEMISTRY II
Any lecture course between CHEM 400 and CHEM 489
Any lecture course between CHEM 495 and CHEM 699
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Organic Chemistry

Select 1 from the following:3
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
and ORGANIC CHEM DISCUSSION II
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
CHEM 401ADVANCED ORGANIC CHEMISTRY3
Advanced Coursework in Chemistry
Select 2 from the following: 16
BIOCHEMISTRY II
Any lecture course between CHEM 400 and CHEM 489
Any lecture course between CHEM 495 and CHEM 699
Total Credit Hours12

Area of Specialization: Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

CHEM 430QUANTUM CHEMISTRY3
CHEM 420CLASSICAL AND STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS3
Select 1 from the following:3
CHEMICAL KINETICS AND DYNAMICS
ADVANCED QUANTUM CHEMISTRY
SPECTROSCOPY AT THE SINGLE MOLECULE/PARTICLE LIMIT
Select 1 course (for at least 3 credit hours) from MATH or PHYS course offerings at the 400-level or above3
Total Credit Hours12
Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry 

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. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Chemistry should be aware of the following departmental 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 Chemistry website: https://chemistry.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BS Degree with a Major in Chemistry 

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.

Honors Research Program in Chemistry

The Chemistry Honors Research Program is a suite of courses (CHEM 492/CHEM 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 the Distinction in Research and Creative Work, a university honor for select undergraduates, carefully selected by the department and granted at commencement, which appears on the transcript and diploma.

Chemistry Honors Research Program Components
  • CHEM 492: Fall semester, 5 credit hours. For approved students only, requires a formal application and recommendation of a faculty research advisor. Requirements include at least 15 hours of laboratory research per week and regular written and/or oral progress reports.
  • CHEM 493: Spring semester, 5 credit hours. Requirements include at least 15 hours of laboratory research per week and a formal thesis.
  • Applications may be submitted to the course instructor, February 1–August 1. Students are encouraged to apply early.

For additional information, please see the Chemistry website: https://chemistry.rice.edu/.