Chemistry and Biochemistry Requirements

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Chemistry is an excellent foundation for any scientific, professional or business career, including but not limited to agricultural chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, dentistry, ecology and environmental chemistry, forensic science, geochemistry, management and marketing, materials science, medicine, optometry and ophthalmology, patent law, pharmacology, physical chemistry, plastics and polymer chemistry, renewable energy, synthetic organic chemistry, toxicology or veterinary science. Undergraduate research experiences are readily available under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with an undergraduate advisor to design a curriculum focused on their career goals.

All Chemistry majors begin in the Comprehensive Chemistry specialization, which provides a rigorous program with advanced study in analytical, organic and physical chemistry for the professional chemist. After the freshman year, all students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Science have the option to continue in Comprehensive Chemistry or move into a more specialized specialization, which builds upon the foundation course work in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

Pre-professional students and those interested in biological chemistry may pursue the Biochemistry specialization with additional advanced courses in other life sciences. The Environmental Chemistry specialization complements advanced study in analytical and organic chemistry with in depth study of environmental chemistry and related fields of engineering, forestry, geology, plant biology and soil science. The Forensic Chemistry specialization gives students the opportunity to study the science required for investigative research in a crime lab. Although not required for graduate study or employment as a chemist, students are encouraged to pursue certification from the American Chemical Society, 1155 Sixteenth St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Future business leaders can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Science. The Business specialization allows students to pursue a minor degree in Business and Administration and is ideal preparation for a career in the production, management, marketing and technology transfer aspects of the chemistry industry. Additional course work is recommended to prepare for a Masters in Business Administration.

All science majors require proficiency in mathematics, which is prerequisite for upper level course work in chemistry. Students are encouraged to enroll in the highest level of mathematics appropriate to their background within the first semester. All students are expected to show proficiency in chemistry prerequisites that are chemistry courses with a grade of C or better, or obtain consent of the instructor for enrollment in the subsequent chemistry course. For chemistry majors, a grade of C- or better is needed in every Chemistry Introductory course and in every Chemistry Foundation course to be eligible for graduation. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 in chemistry course work is needed in order for a student to receive a degree in chemistry. A student cannot repeat a course or its equivalent in which a grade of B or better was earned without the consent of the department.

Students wishing more detailed information should visit our website at chem.siu.edu or contact an undergraduate advisor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Neckers Hall, Rm. 224 - Mail Code 4409, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 1 39
College of Science Academic Requirements 6
Biological Sciences - (3 hours included in the UCC Life Sciences hrs, and 3 hours completed with CHEM 350) Mathematics – completed with major Physical Sciences – completed with major Supportive Skills - CS 201 or CS 202; ENGL 290 or ENGL 291 or ENGL 391; MATH 282 or MATH 483 2 6
Chemistry Major Requirements 3 62-64
CHEM 200 or CHEM 200H, CHEM 201, CHEM 202 or CHEM 202H, CHEM 210 or CHEM 210H, CHEM 211, CHEM 212 or CHEM 212H (3 hours included in the UCC Physical Science hours) 7
CHEM 330, CHEM 340, CHEM 341, CHEM 350, CHEM 351, CHEM 360, CHEM 361, CHEM 410, CHEM 411 24
MATH 150, MATH 250 (3 hours included in the UCC Mathematics hours) 5
MATH 221 or MATH 251 or MATH 305 or MATH 483 3-4
PHYS 205A, PHYS 255A, PHYS 205B, PHYS 255B 8
One of the following specializations:
Biochemistry Specialization 16
CHEM 442, CHEM 443, CHEM 452, CHEM 453 10
Six hours from the following: BIOL 305, BIOL 306; CHEM 434, CHEM 444, CHEM 451 A/B in lieu of CHEM 350, CHEM 456, CHEM 460/CHEM 463; MICR 301, MICR 302, MICR 425, MICR 460; PHSL 310, PHSL 401A, PHSL 401B, PHSL 410A, PHSL 410B, PHSL 420A, PHSL 420B, PHSL 460; PLB 320, PLB 419, PLB 427; ZOOL 409, ZOOL 418 6
Comprehensive Chemistry 16
CHEM 434, CHEM 442, CHEM 443, CHEM 460, CHEM 461 13
One of the following: CHEM 431, CHEM 439, CHEM 444, CHEM 451 A&B in lieu of CHEM 350, CHEM 452, CHEM 456, CHEM 468, CHEM 479 3
Environmental Chemistry Specialization 15
CHEM 431, CHEM 434, CHEM 442, CHEM 443 12
MATH 483 (included in math hours above)
At least 3 hours from the following: CE 310, CE 418; FOR 452/FOR 452L; GEOL 418, GEOL 421; ME 410, ME 416; MICR 423, MICR 425; CSEM 442, CSEM 446, CSEM 447/CSEM 448; PLB 427; ZOOL 411, ZOOL 432 3
Forensic Chemistry Specialization 15
CHEM 434, CHEM 439, CHEM 442, CHEM 443 12
MATH 483 (included in math hours above)
PHIL 104 or PHIL 340 (3 hours included in UCC humanities)
At least 3 hours from the following: BIOL 305; GEOL 310, GEOL 417; MICR 301, MICR 302, MICR 454, MICR 460; PHSL 310, PHSL 401A, PHSL 401B, PHSL 420A, PHSL 420B; PLB 330; ZOOL 409 3
American Chemical Society Certification 3
Certification by the ACS requires a minimum of 300 contact hours of undergraduate research over at least two semesters, including two credit hours of CHEM 396 or CHEM 496H; attending undergraduate seminar, CHEM 490; and completion of a comprehensive research report under the direction of a faculty advisor. A student can receive ACS Certification with any of the above specializations.
Chemistry Honors 6
Participation in Chemistry Honors requires completion of the ACS Certificate with 300 contact hours of undergraduate research, including two credit hours of CHEM 496H; attending undergraduate seminar, CHEM 490H; and completion of an honors thesis, CHEM 499H or UHON 499, under the direction of a faculty advisor. A faculty advisor approved proposal for an honors research project should be submitted one year prior to the expected completion of an honors thesis. A student can earn Chemistry Honors with any of the above specializations.
General Electives 11-13
Total 120

1 A total of nine hours of biological science, mathematics, and physical science course work are accounted for in the 39-hour University Core Curriculum requirement. An additional two hours of human health are accounted for if students choose PHSL 310 as part of the Biochemistry Specialization.

2 A total of three hours of biological sciences are completed with biological chemistry or biochemistry. CHEM 451A may substitute for CHEM 350, if a student continues with CHEM 451B. Prerequisite is MATH 106, MATH 111 or MATH 108 and MATH 109. The elective hours are decreased by three to six hours for students who place into a course lower than calculus. Three hours of supportive skills are accounted for in the College of Science requirement and elective hours may increase by two hours if students choose MATH 483.

3 Students must complete all of the additional courses listed under the specialization as well as any prerequisites not listed here for all additional courses. These courses may substitute for electives and may require more than 120 total credit hours if not chosen wisely and with guidance from advisors.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 1 39
College of Science Academic Requirements 6
Biological Sciences–(three hours included in the UCC Life Sciences hours, and three hours completed with CHEM 350) Mathematics – completed with major Physical Sciences – completed with major Supportive Skills: CS 201 or CS 202; ENGL 290 or ENGL 291 or ENGL 391; MATH 282 or MATH 483 6
Requirements for Major in Chemistry 62
CHEM 200 or CHEM 200H, CHEM 201, CHEM 202 or CHEM 202H, CHEM 210 or CHEM 210H, CHEM 211, CHEM 212 or CHEM 212H (3 hours included in the UCC Physical Science hrs) 7
CHEM 330, CHEM 340, CHEM 341, CHEM 350, CHEM 351, CHEM 360, CHEM 361, CHEM 410, CHEM 411 24
MATH 150, MATH 250 (3 hours included in the UCC Mathematics hrs) 5
PHYS 205A, PHYS 255A, PHYS 205B, PHYS 255B 8
Business Specialization 21-22
One of the following: CHEM 431, CHEM 434, CHEM 442, CHEM 452, CHEM 460 3-4
ACCT 220, ACCT 230 6
ECON 240 3
FIN 330 3
MGMT 304 or MGMT 318 3
MKTG 304 3
Free Electives 7-10
Total 120

1 A total of nine hours of biological science, mathematics, and physical science course work are accounted for in the 41-hour University Core Curriculum requirement. An additional three hours of social science are accounted for if students take ECON 240 in the Business Specialization

Chemistry Minor

The minor in chemistry requires a minimum of 20 semester hours of chemistry in formal course work including CHEM 200, CHEM 201, CHEM 210, CHEM 211 and three elective lecture courses at 300-level or above. At least one of the elective courses must include a lab component. All elective courses must be taken at SIU. A grade of C or better is needed in all elective courses to be eligible for a minor in chemistry. Microbiology majors may take MICR 425 in place of CHEM 350 to meet the requirements for a minor in chemistry.

Forensic Science Minor

Required courses for the Forensic Science Minor amount to 15 hours, including nine hours of required courses and six hours of electives (with no more than four of the minimum six hours of electives from a single discipline/department).

Required Courses: nine hours: ANTH 231, CCJ 201, CHEM 173.

Electives: (note, some have prerequisites) six hours: AH 313; ANTH 240A, ANTH 440B, ANTH 441D, ANTH 455A, ANTH 455H, ANTH 465 (Internship in Forensics - must be arranged individually); BIOL 305; CCJ 290, CCJ 310, CCJ 330, CCJ 408; CHEM 439; PHIL 104, PHIL 340; PHSL 301; PLB 300, PLB 330; POLS 334; PSYC 305, PSYC 431, PSYC 440; SOC 372.

American Chemical Society Certificate

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Certificate program prepares students for a career in the chemical industry or for further studies in graduate school. The certificate indicates that a student has completed the rigorous academic requirements for a degree in chemistry and has actively participated in undergraduate research under the direction of a faculty research advisor. Students should contact a faculty research advisor at least one year prior to graduation to apply for an undergraduate research position in their laboratory. Students will complete 300 hours of undergraduate research including two credit hours of CHEM 396 or CHEM 496H; attend undergraduate seminar, CHEM 490; and complete a comprehensive research report for submission to the department. An application to receive an ACS Certificate must be submitted at least one month prior to graduation with verification by a faculty research advisor of completion of all requirements.

Chemistry Honors Specialization

All freshmen chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in CHEM 200H and to participate in the University Honors Program. The Chemistry Honors track includes completion of an ACS Certificate and an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty research advisor. Applications for Chemistry Honors should be submitted at least one year prior to graduation and must include an honors research project proposal with a letter of support from a faculty research advisor. Acceptance and participation in an honors research project requires a 3.25 grade point average in all chemistry coursework. Students will complete 300 hours of undergraduate research including two credit hours of CHEM 496H; attend undergraduate seminar, CHEM 490H; complete an honors thesis, CHEM 499H; and present their thesis work as a seminar or poster presentation. The honors thesis and all chemistry honors courses may be included in the pursuit of an Honors Degree offered by the University Honors Program, which requires submission of an honors thesis project proposal to the Honors Program Director before the end of the junior year after approval from a faculty research advisor. The Honors Thesis course, University Honors 499, may substitute for CHEM 499H and requires submission of an honors thesis to the Honors Program Office and OpenSIUC.

Multiple Specializations in Chemistry

Students meeting the requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry may earn multiple specializations. All requirements for each specialization must be satisfied.

Transfer Credit

Credit for a course in chemistry successfully completed at another accredited institution will be accepted to meet major or minor requirements in chemistry at SIU, subject to the following conditions:

1. The course number must bear a departmental prefix clearly indicating the course is a chemistry (or biochemistry) course.

2. The course must have covered substantially the same material as a course currently offered at SIU to meet major requirements.

3. Any course used to meet major or minor requirements in chemistry must be explicitly approved by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.