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Chemistry Major

The Chemistry Department offers a flexible curriculum for those who wish to acquire a knowledge of chemistry within the environment of a liberal arts college.

Ten 1-semester courses are required for the Major in Chemistry plus five co-requisites from other departments. The ten 1-semester courses amount to 37 credits, and the co-requisite courses amount to 22 credits. Students who wish to prepare for graduate school in Chemistry should seek the advice of a department faculty member.

Learning Outcomes

Advice regarding introductory chemistry courses

General Chemistry I-II (CHEM1109-1110 plus lab) is recommended for the majority of beginning students.

Honors Modern Chemistry I-II (CHEM1117-1118 plus lab) is recommended for
students who have taken and performed well in an advanced level
chemistry course in high school, such as AP, IB or British A levels.

Honors Modern Chemistry I-II constitutes the first year of the two year Honors Program in Chemistry. It moves at an accelerated pace, skipping basic principles from general chemistry that our honors students already know. This makes it possible to begin the study of Organic Chemistry in the second semester of the course, CHEM1118.

Students who are interested in the Honors Program should contact a chemistry department advisor (see below).

CHEM1109-1110 General Chemistry I-II (6 credits)
plus
CHEM1111-1112 General Chemistry Laboratory I-II (2 credits)
OR
CHEM1117-1118 Honors Modern Chemistry I-II (6 credits)
plus
CHEM1119-1120 Honors Modern Chemistry Laboratory I-II (6 credits)
CHEM2231-2232 Organic Chemistry I-II (6 credits)
plus
CHEM2233-2234 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I-II (2 credits)
OR
CHEM2241-2242 Honors Organic Chemistry I-II (6 credits)
plus
CHEM2243 Honors Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1 credit)
and
CHEM2234 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
CHEM3322 Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits)
plus
CHEM3324 Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (1 credit)
CHEM3351 Analytical Chemistry (4 credits)
plus
CHEM3353 Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (0 credits)
CHEM4465 Introduction to Biochemistry (3 credits)
CHEM4475-4476 Physical Chemistry I-II (6 credits)
CHEM5552 Advanced Methods in Chemistry I (4 credits)
plus
CHEM5554 Advanced Methods in Chemistry Laboratory I (0 credits)


The co-requisites are:

MATH1102-1103 Calculus for Math/Science Majors I-II* (8 credits)
MATH2202 or MATH2203 Multivariable Calculus (4 credits)
PHYS2200-2201 Introductory Physics I-II (8 credits)
plus
PHYS2050-2051 Introductory Physics Laboratory I-II (2 credits)

*Other options exist that will satisfy the Calculus requirement. See advisor.

If you have questions about the Chemistry major, please call Prof. Lynne O'Connell, Merkert Center 111, x 2-3626, oconnell@bc.edu. Please also see below for a suggested sequence of courses.

(Updated 2.26.14)


The preceding fulfills the Boston College requirements for a B.S. degree in chemistry. For this degree to be also certified by the American Chemical Society, two additional chemistry laboratory electives are required, usually CHEM5591-5592, Undergraduate Chemical Research.

The department strongly recommends that students take additional advanced chemistry electives (courses numbered CHEM5500 or higher).

Students are also strongly urged to engage in a research project under the direction of a faculty member, particularly if the student is planning to attend graduate school. Juniors who show exceptional ability may engage in an independent research project and receive academic credit by registering for CHEM4491-4492, Introduction to Undergraduate Research I and II. Students who wish to pursue research in their senior year should register for CHEM5591-5592, Undergraduate Chemical Research. Students who intend to complete a Scholar of the College thesis should register for CHEM5595-5596, Advanced Research in Chemistry I and II. Consult a faculty advisor concerning these research options. See also Undergraduate Research.

The links below display examples of course sequences for chemistry majors. These are just examples.  Consult with your faculty advisor to find the best program for you.

Non-honors track
Non-honors track, semester abroad
Honors track
Honors track, semester abroad


For additional information, contact Professor Lynne O'Connell, Merkert 111,
ext. 2-3626, oconnell@bc.edu.

•The Honors Program

•Study Abroad

•Secondary Education/Chemistry Majors


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