Chemistry BA

General Education Requirements

Students must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. Courses in chemistry may be used to meet the university’s science and mathematics area requirement. The college’s foreign language requirement fulfills the departmental requirements for B.A. candidates. B.S. degree candidates are not required to take a foreign language: however, the American Chemical Society (ACS) states that the study of a foreign language is recommended, especially for students planning to pursue graduate studies in chemistry.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Restrictions

Chemistry majors may not take required chemistry, mathematics, or physics courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Declaring the Chemistry Major

Students seeking to major in chemistry are first designated as ‘pre-chemistry majors’ until they have completed both CHEM 1111 and CHEM 1121 or equivalent courses. Upon successful completion of CHEM 1111 and CHEM 1121 with grades of C or better, students will be allowed to declare chemistry as their major. Each of these courses must be completed successfully within two attempts.

Related Area Requirements

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Candidates for both degrees must also complete:

MATH 1800Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
MATH 1900Analytic Geometry and Calculus II5
MATH 2000Analytic Geometry and Calculus III5
PHYSICS 2111Physics: Mechanics and Heat (MOTR PHYS 200L)5
PHYSICS 2112Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics5
Total Hours25

This degree is intended primarily for preprofessional students in health science and related areas, as well as prelaw students interested in patent law. Candidates must complete the following chemistry courses:

CHEM 1111Introductory Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 150L)5
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
CHEM 2223Quantitative Analysis in Chemistry3
CHEM 2612Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2622Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2633Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 3022Introduction to Chemical Literature1
CHEM 3312Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics3
CHEM 3322Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy3
CHEM 3333Physical Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 3412Basic Inorganic Chemistry2
CHEM 4897Seminar in Chemistry1
Select one of the following:
Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Laboratory in Instrumental Analysis
Physical Chemistry Laboratory II
Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Biochemistry Laboratory
Total Hours33

No more than 45 hours in chemistry may be applied toward the degree. Each chemistry major must present a seminar and pass a comprehensive examination during the senior year. At least 12 credits at the 3000 level or higher must be completed at UMSL. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry may require students to pass a tracking test in order to enroll in the next level course, provided this or an equivalent test is administered to all students seeking to enroll in that course.

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Certificate

The university offers a certificate program for science majors who are interested in careers in biochemistry. This is an interdisciplinary program that involves additional courses in biochemistry and biology. In addition to the usual requirements for the B.A. degree in chemistry, the student must take the following courses:

CHEM 4712Biochemistry3
CHEM 4722Advanced Biochemistry3
CHEM 4733Biochemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 4772Physical Biochemistry3
BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules to Organisms (MOTR BIOL 150L)5
BIOL 2012Genetics3
BIOL 3622Cell Biology3
BIOL 4602Molecular Biology3
Total Hours25

At least 12 hours at the 3000 level or above must be completed at UMSL.

Students may obtain a minor in biology by adding BIOL 1821 to the curriculum described above. The Biology department also offers a certificate in biochemistry.

B.S. Ed. in Secondary Education with Emphasis in Chemistry 

The B.S. Ed. is a professional education degree designed for students who wish to pursue a teaching career in secondary schools.  Much of the discipline-specific coursework parallels the B.A. or B.S. degree in the discipline; however, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requires specific coursework for teacher certification.  Therefore, students interested in the B.S. Ed. should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education for discipline-specific requirements.  Note:  To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall. 

B.A. or B.S. in Chemistry with Master’s Level Coursework for Secondary Teacher Certification

In addition to the B.S. Ed., students may opt to complete a B.A. or B.S. degree in their discipline as an undergraduate, followed by admission to the Graduate School for Master’s level teaching certification.  The College of Education has a one-year accelerated program for post-graduate certification called Teach in 12, or students can choose a traditional path to certification.  Graduate coursework for certification can apply towards a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, with additional coursework.  Students interested in Master’s Level teacher certification should contact the advising office (OASIS) 314-516-5937 in the College of Education.  Note:  To obtain teaching certification, DESE requires a 3.0 GPA in the discipline and professional education coursework, as well as a 2.75 GPA overall. 

Learning Outcomes

  • B.S. degree students will demonstrate a clear understanding of the essential principles of the five foundational areas of chemistry and be able to apply them to solve chemical problems. The foundational areas of chemistry are specified as analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and biochemistry and include both the study of small molecules and macromolecules. B.A. degree students do not need to meet this outcome in biochemistry. Demonstrating understanding and application at the foundational level requires a thorough comprehension of basic chemical concepts from the introductory course sequence including stoichiometry, states of matter, molecular structure and bonding, thermodynamics, equilibria and kinetics. B.S. degree graduates will demonstrate proficiency in at least four of the foundational areas at an in-depth level. B.A. degree graduates will demonstrate proficiency at an in-depth level in organic chemistry and physical chemistry.
  •  Students will apply appropriate concepts and investigative and quantitative methods as used in all sub-disciplines of chemistry research.
  • Students will critically evaluate existing scientific studies to integrate and apply that body of knowledge to the design of studies to test specific hypotheses addressing unsolved problems in the chemical and life sciences.
  • Students will use computers and the required scientific software in data acquisition, processing, presentation or analysis, including statistical and regression analysis.
  • Students will demonstrate basic skills associated with safely performing and properly documenting laboratory experiments in chemistry following a broad introduction of commonly used equipment and procedures. B.S. degree graduates will demonstrate skills in performing laboratory experiments using advanced and specialized instrumentation related to the areas of chemistry that are studied in depth. Students will demonstrate the ability to work either independently or as a part of a small team.
  • Students will be able to identify the need for information, procure the information from relevant scientific literature publications and databases, properly cite the information, and critically evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  • Students will effectively communicate orally, visually and in writing about the processes of the chemical sciences and the results of scientific inquiry.
  • Students will follow ethical practices in research, experimental interpretation, presentation, citation and application of research.

Sample Four Year Plan

First Year
INTDSC 100311CHEM 11215
ENGL 11003MATH 18005
MATH 10352EXPLORE - Humanities and Fine Arts3
CORE- US History & American Government3EXPLORE – Social Sciences3
CHEM 10001 
CHEM 11115 
 15 16
Second Year
CHEM 22233CHEM 26223
CHEM 26123CHEM 26332
MATH 19005CHEM 34122
CORE - Communication Proficiency3MATH 20005
 EXPLORE - Humanities and Fine Arts3
 14 15
Third Year
CHEM 33123CHEM 33223
PHYSICS 21114CHEM 33332
Foreign Language 10015PHYSICS 2112L1
EXPLORE - Social Sciences3Foreign Language 10025
 16 15
Fourth Year
CHEM 30221CHEM 48972
Additional Chemistry Laboratory2EXPLORE - Social Sciences3
Foreign Language 21013EXPLORE - Humanities and Fine Arts3
Junior Level Writing Requirement3Elective or minor6
Cultural Diversity Requirement3 
Elective or minor3 
 15 14
Total Hours: 120

PLEASE NOTE: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical full-time student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.