Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate broad and core science proficiency
  • Demonstrate competency in at least two sciences or in a non-science area
  • Apply learning to selection and pursuit of professional or graduate career objective
  • Demonstrate proficiency in communication of scientific or research findings
  • Demonstrate ability to apply the scientific method/approach to professional problems
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the interrelation of core sciences to interdisciplinary problems

Special requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Science requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Along with the general education requirements of the undergraduate programs and the College of Humanities and Sciences for a Bachelor of Science degree, this curriculum requires 29 to 33 credits in foundation science and mathematics courses and 33 to 34 credits in supplemental courses in the concentration. In preparation for the required mathematical sciences courses, all students must take the Mathematics Placement Test. Science majors are strongly encouraged to select a minor in an area different from their area of concentration that will complement their career interests and contribute additional upper-level credits to their curriculum.

Science majors declaring the chemistry concentration may not simultaneously declare a major or minor in chemistry.

Grade requirements

A minimum grade of C is required in each prerequisite course:

CHEM 100Introductory Chemistry (if required through placement test)3
CHEM 101General Chemistry3
CHEM 102General Chemistry3
CHEM 301Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 302Organic Chemistry3

A minimum grade of C is required in the following courses before enrollment in advanced BIOL courses:

BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
4
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
4
BIOL 300Cellular and Molecular Biology3

Degree requirements for Science, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in chemistry

General education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV 200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS 202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S general education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Major requirements

Foundational courses
Select one of the following:4
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
Environmental Science
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
ENVS 301Introduction to Meteorology (or upper-level natural or health science elective from list below)3
ENVS 310Introduction to Oceanography (or upper-level natural or health science elective from list below)2-3
INSC 490Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science (or an approved capstone from another natural science major from list below)1-3
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics (or placement)4
MATH 200Calculus with Analytic Geometry4
PHYS 201General Physics4-5
or PHYS 207 University Physics I
STAT 208Statistical Thinking3
or STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics
Supplemental courses
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
Human Biology
and Human Biology Laboratory
Select one of the following:3
Ecology
Energy and the Environment
Environmental Pollution
Or upper-level natural science elective from list below
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
CHEM 301
CHEZ 301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
CHEM 302
CHEZ 302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
CHEM 309
CHEZ 309
Quantitative Analysis
and Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
5
Select one of the following:4
Physical Geology
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
Physical Geography: Geomorphology and Soils
and Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils
Or a 200-level or higher natural science elective and a 200-level or higher natural science laboratory elective from the list below
PHYS 202General Physics4-5
or PHYS 208 University Physics II
Total Hours63-68

Open electives

Select seven-26 open elective credits7-26
Total Hours7-26

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Natural science electives

LFSC 301Integrative Life Sciences Research3
LFSC 401Faith and Life Sciences3
PHTX 400Drugs and Their Actions3
Any 200-level or higher BIOL, BNFO, CHEM, CLSE, EGRB, ENVS, FRSC, INSC or PHYS course, except:
Introduction to Research
Biology Capstone Seminar: ____
Biology Capstone Experience
Communicating Research
Presenting Research
Independent Study
Biology Internship
Research and Thesis
Biology Preceptorship
Independent Study
Independent Study
Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship in Bioinformatics
Directed Study
Independent Study
Chemistry Internship
Engineering Seminar
Independent Study in Engineering
Research Seminar in Environmental Studies
Independent Study
Environmental Studies Internship
Professional Practices in Forensic Science
Forensic Science Independent Study
Forensic Science Internship
Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science
Seminar in Conceptual Physics
Independent Study

Natural science laboratory electives

BIOL 205Basic Human Anatomy 14
BIOL 309Entomology 14
BIOL 320Biology of the Seed Plant 14
BIOL 402Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 15
BIOL 417Mammalogy 14
BIOL 435Herpetology 13
BIOL 445Neurobiology and Behavior 14
BIOL 503Fish Biology 14
BIOZ: any 200-level or higher course
BNFO 380Introduction to Mathematical Biology 14
BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics 13
BNFO 440Computational Methods in Bioinformatics 13
CHEZ: any 200-level or higher course
EGRB 307Biomedical Instrumentation 14
EGRB 308Biomedical Signal Processing 14
EGRB 310Biomechanics 14
ENVZ 335Environmental Geology Laboratory1
FRSZ: any 200-level or higher course
PHIZ 206Human Physiology Laboratory1
PHYS 202General Physics 14
PHYS 208University Physics II 15
PHYZ 320Modern Physics Laboratory1
URSZ 203Physical Geography Laboratory: Weather, Climate and Biogeography1
1

Courses have a combined lecture and lab and will satisfy both natural science lecture and laboratory requirements.

Health science electives

AFAM/ANTH/INTL/GSWS 309Global Women's Health3
AFAM 310African American Health: Health Disparities3
AFAM 401African-Americans and the U.S. Health Care System3
HPEX 325Pathology and Pharmacology in Athletic Training3
HPEX 345Nutrition for Health and Disease3
HPEX 350Nutrition3
HPEX 353Disease Trends, Prevention and Control3
HPEX 373Structural Kinesiology3
HPEX 374Musculoskeletal Structure and Movement4
HPEX 375Physiology of Exercise3
HPEX 440Chronic Disease and Exercise Management3
PSYC 401Physiological Psychology3
PSYC 412Health Psychology3
PSYC/GSWS 414Psychology of Women's Health3
SCTS 300Introduction to Science and Technology Studies3
SCTS 301Illness Narratives3
SCTS 392Revolutions in Science I3
SCTS 393Revolutions in Science II3
SCTS 397Genetics and Society: 1865 to the Present3
SCTS 398History of Medicine and Public Health: ____3
SOCY 445Medical Sociology3
GSWS 392Women's Health Care Across the Life Span3

Natural science capstones (approved for chemistry concentration)

BNFO 420Applications in Bioinformatics3
CHEM 398Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar1
CLSE 402
CLSE 403
Senior Design Studio I (Laboratory/Project Time)
and Senior Design Studio II (Laboratory/Project Time)
4
EGRB 402Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Studio3

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
MATH 151 Precalculus Mathematics (or placement) 4
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
4
UNIV 101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Approved diverse and global communities 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
4
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
MATH 200 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 4
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved human, social and political behavior 3
 Term Hours: 15
Sophomore year
Fall semester
Select one of the following: 4
BIOL 101
BIOZ 101
Biological Concepts
and Biological Concepts Laboratory
-
BIOL 103
Environmental Science
or Environmental Science
-
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
-
CHEM 301
CHEZ 301
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
5
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Experiential fine arts 1-3
 Term Hours: 13-15
Spring semester
Select one of the following: 4
BIOL 201
BIOZ 201
Human Biology
and Human Biology Laboratory
-
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
-
CHEM 302
CHEZ 302
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
5
STAT 208
Statistical Thinking
or Basic Practice of Statistics
3
Approved literature and civilization 3
 Term Hours: 15
Junior year
Fall semester
CHEM 309
CHEZ 309
Quantitative Analysis
and Quantitative Analysis Laboratory
5
PHYS 201
General Physics
or University Physics I
4-5
Approved General Education elective 3
Foreign language (101), upper-level open elective or minor elective 3-4
 Term Hours: 15-17
Spring semester
ENVS 301 Introduction to Meteorology (or upper-level science elective) 3
PHYS 202
General Physics
or University Physics II
4-5
Approved science and technology 3-4
Foreign language (102), upper-level open elective or minor elective 3-4
Upper-level open elective or minor elective 3
 Term Hours: 16-19
Senior year
Fall semester
BIOL 317
Ecology
or Energy and the Environment
or Energy and the Environment
or Environmental Pollution
or Environmental Pollution
3
ENVS 105
Physical Geology
or Physical Geography: Geomorphology and Soils
3
URSZ 204 Physical Geography Laboratory: Geomorphology and Soils 1
Approved General Education elective 3
Upper-level open elective or minor electives 6
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
ENVS 310 Introduction to Oceanography (or upper-level science elective) 3
Select one of the following: 1-3
INSC 490 Capstone Research Experience in Interdisciplinary Science -
Or approved capstone from another science major (biology, chemistry or physics) -
Upper-level open electives or minor electives 12
 Term Hours: 16-18
 Total Hours: 121-130

CHEM 100. Introductory Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 1 problem session hour. 3 credits. Prerequisite: students must be eligible to take MATH 131 or higher. A course in the elementary principles of chemistry for individuals who do not meet the criteria for enrollment in CHEM 101; required for all students without a high school chemistry background who need to take CHEM 101-102. These credits may not be used to satisfy any chemistry course requirements in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

CHEM 101. General Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 3 lecture and 1 recitation hour. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 100 with a grade of C or higher, or high school chemistry and a satisfactory combination of Math SAT score and high school GPA. Pre- or corequisite: MATH 151. Prerequisite for CHEM 102: CHEM 101 with a grade of C or higher. Fundamental principles and theories of chemistry, including qualitative analysis.

CHEM 102. General Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 3 lecture and 1 recitation hour. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 100 with a grade of C or higher, or high school chemistry and a satisfactory combination of Math SAT score and high school GPA. Pre- or corequisite: MATH 151. Prerequisite for CHEM 102: CHEM 101 with a grade of C or higher. Fundamental principles and theories of chemistry, including qualitative analysis.

CHEM 110. Chemistry and Society. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The basic principles of chemistry are presented through the use of decision-making activities related to real-world societal issues. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Chemistry.

CHEM 112. Chemistry in the News. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. The basic principles of chemistry are used to interpret newspaper and magazine articles of current interest relating to chemistry in manufacturing, the global environment and medicine. Not applicable for credit toward the B.S. in Chemistry.

CHEM 301. Organic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 3 lecture hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 102 with a minimum grade of C. Prerequisite for CHEM 302: CHEM 301 with a minimum grade of C. A comprehensive survey of aliphatic and aromatic compounds with emphasis on their structure, properties, reactions, reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry.

CHEM 302. Organic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 3 lecture hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 102 with a minimum grade of C. Prerequisite for CHEM 302: CHEM 301 with a minimum grade of C. A comprehensive survey of aliphatic and aromatic compounds with emphasis on their structure, properties, reactions, reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry.

CHEM 303. Physical Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 309 or CLSE 201 with minimum grades of C, and PHYS 202 or PHYS 208, and MATH 201 or MATH 301 or MATH 307. Ideal and nonideal gases, thermodynamics, free energy and chemical equilibrium.

CHEM 304. Physical Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 303 with a minimum grade of C. Kinetics, solution thermodynamics, heterogeneous equilibria, electrochemistry and introductory biophysical chemistry.

CHEM 305. Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 301-302 and CHEM 309 with minimum grades of C; and MATH 200. Concepts and principles of physical chemistry as related to the life sciences, forensic science and the B.S in science programs. Major topics include thermodynamics of proteins and nucleic acids, enzyme kinetics and spectroscopic techniques useful in biophysical research such as circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging.

CHEM 306. Industrial Applications of Inorganic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 302 and CHEZ 302. Chemical engineering students: EGRC 201 and EGRC 205. A study and analysis of the most important industrial applications of inorganic chemistry, with emphasis on structure/properties correlation, materials and energy balance, availability and logistics of starting materials, economic impact and environmental effects. Crosslisted as: CLSE 306.

CHEM 309. Quantitative Analysis. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 with a minimum grade of C, and MATH 151. Theory and practice of gravimetric, volumetric and instrumental analysis techniques and treatment of multiple equilibria in aqueous solutions.

CHEM 310. Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 302. This course is designed to expose undergraduate chemistry, biology and pre-medicine majors to the history, theory and practice of medicinal chemistry. The course will emphasize a combination of fundamentals and applications of drug design. In particular, the molecular aspects of drug action will be discussed. Special emphasis will also be placed on the methods used by medicinal chemists to design new drugs. Crosslisted as: MEDC 310.

CHEM 320. Inorganic Chemistry I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 101-102 with minimum grades of C. A systematic, unified study of the structures, properties, reactions and practical applications of inorganic compounds.

CHEM 350. Guided Inquiry in Chemistry. 1.5 Hour.

Semester course; 1.5 lecture hours. 1.5 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 101-102 with minimum grades of B. Student facilitators lead recitation sections using guided inquiry, group-based activities. Introduces students to the principles of guided inquiry, active learning and collaborative learning in chemistry through practical, hands-on class work, discussions, readings and a final project.

CHEM 351. Chemistry Preceptorship. 1.5 Hour.

Semester course; 1.5 lecture hours. 1.5 credits. Course may be repeated once for a total of 3 credits. Prerequisites: completion of relevant course with minimum grade of C, completion of CHEM 350 with a grade of B and permission of course instructor and departmental chair. Student facilitators lead recitation sections or laboratories in chemistry courses. Responsibilities vary and may include, but are not limited to, attending all classes, holding weekly review sessions or office hours and/or routine grading. A weekly reflection journal and final project are required.

CHEM 391. Topics in Chemistry. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 4 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all chemistry topics courses may be applied to the major. Prerequisites: CHEM 101-102 and CHEZ 101, 102. A study of a selected topic in chemistry. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

CHEM 392. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 8 credits; only 3 credits are applicable to the chemistry major. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 and CHEZ 101 and 102. The independent investigation of chemical problems through readings and experimentation under the supervision of a research adviser. Written interim and final reports are required.

CHEM 398. Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar. 1 Hour.

Seminar course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Prerequisites: completion of 18 credits in chemistry. Seminar course for students considering careers in chemistry-related fields covering topics such as scientific professionalism and ethics, and using chemical literature.

CHEM 401. Applications of Instrumental Techniques in Organic and Forensic Chemistry. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture and 3 laboratory hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 302 and CHEZ 302. Theory and laboratory practice of instrumental and chemical methods applied to the analysis of organic compounds with emphasis on applications in forensic chemistry.

CHEM 403. Biochemistry I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 302 with a minimum grade of C. A presentation of structural biochemistry, enzymology, biophysical techniques, bioenergetics and an introduction to intermediary metabolism.

CHEM 404. Biochemistry II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CHEM 403 with a minimum grade of C. A presentation of metabolism and its regulation as integrated catoblism and anoblism of molecules that are essential to life.

CHEM 406. Inorganic Chemistry II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 304 and 320. An advanced study of inorganic chemistry, including inorganic spectroscopy, organometallic compounds and catalysis, and bioinorganic systems.

CHEM 409. Instrumental Analysis. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 303 and 309, and CHEZ 309. Theory and practice of modern spectrophotometric, electroanalytical and chromatographic and nuclear magnetic resonance methods.

CHEM 491. Topics in Chemistry. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 4 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all chemistry topics courses may be applied to the major. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 and CHEZ 101 and 102. A study of a selected topic in chemistry. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

CHEM 492. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 8 credits; only 3 credits are applicable to the chemistry major. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 and CHEZ 101 and 102. The independent investigation of chemical problems through readings and experimentation under the supervision of a research adviser. Written interim and final reports required.

CHEM 493. Chemistry Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits; 1 credit will be given for each 150 hours (approximately one month) of part-time or full-time chemical work experience. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 and CHEZ 101 and 102. Acquisition of chemistry laboratory experience through involvement in a professional chemistry setting. Written progress and final reports will be required.

CHEM 498. Honors Thesis. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 credit. Prerequisites: completion of 29 credits in chemistry, including CHEM 398 and at least six credits of CHEM 492. Students submit to the Department of Chemistry a thesis based on their independent study research. Students also present their results to the department as a research seminar.