Degree Planner for the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Undergraduate Advisement (Major Code 024)
Updated Spring 2014

Requirements for chemistry majors include the course requirements of the Chemistry Department and College Residency Requirements. Requirements for the B.S. degree are presented below. You should meet with your major adviser at least once every other semester to review your progress. Please print this page or the pdf and bring it with you when you see the departmental adviser.

All of the following courses are required — {F} = Fall offerings; {S} = Spring offerings; * = Writing Intensive

  • CHEM 1100 — General Chemistry I (or CHEM 1050 and CHEM 2050 — General Chemistry IA&IB)
  • CHEM 2100 — General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 3415W* — Writing Intensive Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 3511/3512 — Organic Chemistry I Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 3521/3522 — Organic Chemistry II Lecture/Lab
  • CHEM 4610 {F} — Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 4620 {S} — Physical Chemistry II
  • PHYS 1150 — General Physics I (or PHYS 1100 — General Physics I)
  • PHYS 2150 — General Physics II (or PHYS 2100 — General Physics II)
  • MATH 1201 — Calculus I
  • MATH 1206 — Calculus II
  • MATH 2210 — Multivariable Calculus
  • CISC 1110 — Introduction to Programming Using C++

Nine credits from the following list of advanced courses are required — {F} = Fall offerings; {S} = Spring offerings

  • CHEM 2700 {F} — Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CHEM 3420 {F} — Instrumental Analysis (5 credits)
  • CHEM 4530 {S} — Advanced Organic Lab Techniques (5 credits)
  • CHEM 4550 {S} — Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CHEM 4570 {F} — Biochemistry (5 credits) (or CHEM 4571 — Biochemistry Lectures (3 credits))
  • CHEM 4581 {S} — Biochemistry II Lectures (3 credits)
  • CHEM 4640 {F} — Quantum Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CHEM 4760 {S} — Inorganic Chemistry (5 credits) (or CHEM 4761 {S} — Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits))
  • CHEM 4780 {S} — Environmental Chemistry

Elective Courses

  • CHEM 5010, 5020, 5030 — Independent Research
  • CHEM 5110, 5120, 5130 — Independent Research (Honors)
  • CHEM 5210, 5220, 5230 — Seminar
  • CHEM 5400 — Industrial Internship in Chemistry

Writing-intensive Requirement

Chemistry majors must take a writing-intensive course (denoted by *) in an area relevant to the major.

Residency Requirement

Twenty-four credits in advanced chemistry courses must be earned with a grade of C- or better at Brooklyn College.

General Information

Information on careers in chemistry is available at the Chemistry Department office (359 Ingersoll Hall Extension) and on the departmental website.

Chemistry Advisement

The undergraduate adviser is Associate Professor Maria Contel. Students interested in declaring a chemistry major or minor, or discussing chemistry graduate schools are strongly urged to meet with her as soon as possible to plan their course of study. Please contact her by e-mail and include your CUNYFirst EMPLID number.

Courses of Study

The bachelor of science degree is generally recommended for students planning to make a career as a chemist, including going on to graduate school. Students interested in medical or other professional careers are generally advised to take the bachelor of arts degree.

Preprofessional Advisement

The campus pre-professional adviser is Dr. Steven Silbering. Students interested in medical or other professional schools are strongly urged to speak to him as soon as possible to plan their course of study.

Research Experience

Students may obtain research work in any laboratory that agrees to host them, and may begin at any time. Students are encouraged to look for mentors on campus and at the many medical and research institutions around New York City. Some institutions offer paid summer research internships in which students live and work on site for eight to 10 weeks, such as the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. The Chemistry Department maintains a file on such opportunities; inquire at the chemistry office for more information.

Those seeking academic credit for research within the Department of Chemistry should register either for the CHEM 5010 – 5030 (2 credits) or CHEM 5110 – 5130 series (3 credits, honors). CHEM 5110 – 5130 require a GPA of 3.20 or better within the major to register. Students seeking to register for these courses must work with a Chemistry Department faculty member; those working with faculty outside the department should register for an independent study course in that program. The format for CHEM 5010 and 5110 is very much the same. Prospective students should find a faculty member whose work interests them; a list of faculty and their research interests is available on the Brooklyn College website. Once students have found a mentor, they should contact the faculty member to discuss possibilities. If the student and mentor agree on a project and a set of expectations, the mentor will grant the student permission to register for the course.

Research requires time, and students should be sure they will follow through on their commitment before registering for credit. Provided a mentor allows it, students may choose to work in a lab without registering for a course; however, the student is still obligated to meet the mentor's expectations and should communicate openly about possible problems with time or scheduling and work with the mentor to resolve them.

Residency Requirement

Only chemistry courses taken at Brooklyn College can be used to meet the 24-credit residency requirement. Course taken elsewhere or in other departments cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.

Degree Audit

At the end of their junior year, students should go to the Office of the Registrar to request an official Degree Audit. This represents a list of all requirements the student must fulfill in order to graduate and commits the college to confer the degree once the specified work is completed. This is far superior to DegreeWorks (WebSIMS).

Departmental Honors

Students who graduate with a GPA of 3.50 or better within the Chemistry Department and have completed three or more credits in honors courses in chemistry are eligible for departmental honors. Honors courses in chemistry include CHEM 5110 and 5120. Students who believe they may be eligible for honors should contact the departmental adviser during their senior year.

Graduating

Throughout your college career, come to see your undergraduate adviser at least once a year, and more often if you have questions. Bring this schedule with you to save time. At the end of your junior year, request a Degree Audit (see above) to ensure a timely graduation. Do not leave ABS or INC grades unresolved: If you receive an ABS or an INC grade, work with the appropriate department to resolve it quickly. Check your transcript periodically to make sure it is cleared. Your graduation can be delayed by pending ABS and INC grades.

Job Hunting

Good opportunities exist for chemists, both at the bachelor's level and for those with higher degrees. The department has a folder on such opportunities in 359 Ingersoll Hall Extension. Students should also go to the Magner Career Center for advice on job-seeking and other issues, such as résumé writing and dressing for success.

Graduate School

Students completing the bachelor of science in chemistry and wishing to study further should consider either a master's or a Ph.D. in chemistry or the related disciplines, such as biochemistry, materials science and forensic science. Research experience is a critical prerequisite for graduate school, and students should commit as much time to it as possible. This not only provides students with useful skills, it makes it possible for a research adviser to write a strong letter of recommendation. Those interested in graduate school should begin the application process in the summer after their junior year. This should include identifying programs of interest and acquiring information about applications (including deadlines). Students should also plan to take the GRE during the summer of their junior year to ensure the scores are on file in time to support their application. Applicants will need both the subject area GRE (chemistry, biochemistry, etc.) and the general exam. Students should not attempt to do both on the same day, as this is grueling and can lead to poor performance.