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Overview of Undergraduate Studies

B.S. in Chemistry

B.S. in Biochemistry

BS/TE in the Teaching of Chemistry

B.A. in Chemistry

Minor in Chemistry

Placement Test Policy

Course Websites

Science Learning Center

ACS Student Chapter/Alchemy Society

Placement Test Policy

"Any student who plans on taking a chemistry course should take the chemistry placement test. Any student who is planning on taking a general chemistry course (Chem 101-112-114-116-118) must take the test and adhere to its results. The only person who can issue exceptions is the Department Director of Undergraduate Studies, Donald Wink (dwink@uic.edu). A student may not be placed in a general chemistry class on the basis of a transcript, including if that transcript has General Chemistry I. Students who do not meet the requirements for enrollment, including the placement test, may be dropped from the class."


Undergraduate Study in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers course work leading to four undergraduate degrees. Each degree program is designed to prepare students for different postgraduate career choices as described below. Course work leading to a minor in chemistry is also provided by the Department of Chemistry and is included in the descriptions that follow the degree requirements. Students interested in pursuing any of the degree programs or the minor in chemistry are advised to contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Prof. Donald Wink.


Curriculum in Chemistry (B.S. Chem)

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry degree program is accredited by the American Chemical Society and designed to prepare students for a professional career in chemistry. The B.S. degree in chemistry also provides the best program of study to prepare for further graduate study in chemistry. For B.S. requirements and a four-year model plan of study, go to B.S. Chem.


Major in Chemistry (B.A. Chem)

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree with a major in Chemistry is designed to prepare students for a variety of career choices, including professional programs in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, as well as positions in industry and government that require a background in chemistry. For B.A. requirements and a four-year model plan of study, go to B.A. Chem.


Curriculum in Biochemistry (B.S. Biochem)

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry degree program is certified by the American Chemical Society and endorsed by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This degree program is designed to prepare students for a professional career in biochemistry. The B.S. degree in Biochemistry provides the best program for further graduate study in biochemistry and professional schools of dentistry and medicine. For B.S. Biochemistry requirements and a four-year model plan of study, go to B.S. Biochem.


Teacher Education in Chemistry (BS/TE Chem)

The Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education is designed to prepare students for teaching chemistry in secondary schools. Courses are arranged by area and sequence. For Teacher Education in Chemistry requirements and a Secondary Education Program in Chemistry, go to B.S./T.E. Chem.

Minor in Chemistry

For a list of the course requirements for a minor in chemistry, go to Chem Minor.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates may engage in a research experience by enrolling in CHEM 488 (Cooperative Chemistry Practice), CHEM 492 (Independent Study), or CHEM 499 (Supervised Research). If 488 is selected a student can use an internship to earn 1 credit hour when participating in an offcampus governmental or industrial training program. A student in 492 may do individual study in areas not covered in standard courses or do individual research for 1-2 credit hours. Students who select CHEM 499 will be working within a faculty member’s research laboratory for 3 credit hours. A maximum of 6 credit hours in CHEM 488, CHEM 492, and CHEM 499 may be combined to meet departmental undergraduate degree course requirements. Credit is contingent upon submission of a final report. Registration requires the individual faculty member’s unique call number which may be used once a prospective student has been accepted into the course.

An undergraduate interested in research in chemistry should begin by reviewing the research interests of the faculty (click on the desired faculty member’s name under the Faculty & Staff tab on the departmental website). When a student finds one or more individuals with whom they wish to work, an appointment is set up with the faculty member to discuss the possibilities. The faculty member decides whether or not a student has the requisite background to fit into their research program. Most faculty members prefer that an undergraduate work for a minimum of two semesters to allow ample time to finish a project.

At the end of each semester of research a student submits a final report. Students using research to satisfy the requirements for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry or B.S. in Biochemistry must take 3 credit hours or more of CHEM 499 and submit a more comprehensive research report. Those students continuously engaged in research with the same faculty member may, with approval of the faculty member, defer submission of their comprehensive report and receive a deferred grade. The maximum time granted to a student to defer submission of the comprehensive report is until 1 year (2 semesters and 1 summer) of consecutive research with the same supervising faculty member is completed.

Chemistry and biochemistry majors are strongly encouraged to participate in research during their undergraduate careers. Research provides an opportunity to apply the principles learned in the classroom to an original problem. It is an invaluable asset for further graduate or professional studies. In addition, prospective employers strongly value the undergraduate research experience.

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