Douglas Raynie, Department Head
131 Avera Health Sciences Building, Box 2202
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Chemistry is often referred to as the central science because of its strong connections to the other natural sciences and mathematics. Chemistry is therefore an area of study that allows students vast opportunity to explore the unknown and to address some of human society’s most pressing scientific problems. Professional chemists are employed in a number of diverse fields: governmental policymakers, pharmaceutical/industrial chemists, intellectual property attorneys, high school teachers, and physicians. The curriculum reaches both the breadth and depth of the discipline. Students take a foundational course in each of the five sub-disciplines (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry) and advanced courses in these sub-disciplines based on the student’s individual interests and career goals. Undergraduate training in chemistry at SDSU provides students with enhanced critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities, attributes that are highly desired in the modern workforce. The chemistry major is also excellent preparation for professional study in medicine, dentistry, business, and law. The American Chemical Society (ACS), in recognition of the quality and rigor of the curriculum, certifies the B.S. degree in chemistry offered by the Department. In addition to completing the degree requirements listed below, students engage in independent research projects in collaboration with departmental faculty; this capstone experience affords students a means to apply the knowledge of the discipline to questions for which the answers are unknown.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completing a B.S. in Chemistry, graduates will demonstrate the following capacities:
- Possess a foundational knowledge of the contemporary theories of chemistry;
- Apply the foundational knowledge of the field toward answering unknown questions;
- Effectively communicate scientific information in written and verbal formats;
- Safely handle chemicals and chemical equipment;
- Become proficient in the design and execution of experimental procedures;
- Use a variety of techniques to evaluate experimental outcomes;
- Develop the human skills to work effectively and efficiently in a team setting;
- Efficiently search the relevant chemical literature;
- Develop an understanding of the career opportunities within and outside of the field;
A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses required for the major.
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure
The B.S. in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS), whose certification serves as recognition of a high quality and rigorous curriculum.
Course Delivery Format
Courses offered in the B.S. Chemistry curriculum are taught in a variety of formats which address student learning outcomes: Didactic (lecture) methods ensure the development of foundational knowledge of chemistry; Practical (laboratory) methods ensure the development of laboratory skills and training. A combination of didactic and practical methods ensures the successful completion of the undergraduate research project.