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
4
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 Hours62-67

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:
BIOL   220
BIOL   292
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   302 15
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
4
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: 14-16
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: 120-129

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.