2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Chemistry (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact
Douglas Raynie, Department Head
131 Avera Health Sciences Building, Box 2202
E-mail: douglas.raynie@sdstate.edu
Click here for additional information.  

Program Information
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;

Academic Requirements
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.

Requirements for Chemistry Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science in Arts and Sciences 

System General Education Requirements

Institutional Graduation Requirements

College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 10+
  • Natural Sciences  Credits: 10+
    • Any two lab sciences.
    • Coursework must include 2 prefixes.
    • MATH and STATS courses do not count toward the science requirement.
  • One declared minor outside of the major prefix OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33

SGRs, IGRs, and/or Major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details. See the College of Arts and Sciences for additional information about Bachelor of Arts specifications.


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.


Within the major, electives may be selected to develop a multidisciplinary emphasis area.  Students who wish to pursue multidisciplinary emphasis should consult their academic advisor early in their academic career to plan courses and electives in support of the intended multidisciplinary emphasis.

Total Required Credits: 120


1CHEM 498 Undergraduate Research: The required undergraduate research project must be in chemistry and for at minimum 3 credits. The research project is usually completed during the summer preceding registration in CHEM 498. (Students must register for CHEM 498 in spring semester) CHEM 498 credit is given for completing a written paper of the research project and presenting the paper at a scientific meeting in a semester after the project is completed. Refer to the department for information about additional summer research experiences.

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