Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and an ability to solve problems in the five chemistry sub-disciplines: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry.
  2. Perform basic chemistry laboratory procedures, including the use of modern instrumentation, for the synthesis, separation, isolation, analysis and characterization of molecules.
  3. Effectively communicate the results of scientific experiments in oral reports, technical graphics and written reports.
  4. Demonstrate the retention and synthesis of prior learning in advanced classes.
  5. Search the chemical literature for published work relevant to a project of interest, read and understand technical literature related to the discipline.
  6. Draw on classroom knowledge to contribute to solutions of problems encountered in a laboratory.
  7. Articulate an understanding of the relationship between chemistry and related disciplines such as biological science, materials science and environmental science.
  8. Contribute to solving problems encountered in chemistry as part of a team.
  9. Understand the key experiments that led to the development of chemical theories and models.

High school preparation for the chemistry and biochemistry degree programs should include two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, one year of chemistry, and one year of physics. Calculus is highly recommended.

Mandatory Advising

All undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to meet with a major advisor several times over their academic career. First-time freshmen and new transfer students are required to meet with an advisor or attend a group advising session during the first semester of attendance. Continuing students enrolled in the following courses will be required to meet with an advisor that semester to avoid having a hold placed on their registration for the next semester.

CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry5
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 300General Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 351Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics3

Chemistry (B.S.) — 72 units

  • All courses used in the major program must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC not allowed) and a minimum GPA of 2.0 (SFSU Major GPA).
  • Grades of C or better are required in chemistry prerequisite courses.
  • Other courses for the major must be completed with grades of C– or better with one exception.

General Education Requirements Met in the Major

The requirements below are deemed “met in the major” upon completion of the courses listed (even though the courses and their prerequisites are not approved for GE). This is true whether or not the student completes the major.

  • Area B1 (Physical Science) is satisfied upon completion of CHEM 233.
  • Area B3 (Laboratory Science) is satisfied upon completion of CHEM 234.

Lower-Division Requirements (34 units)

CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry5
CHEM 215
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts
and General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts
5
CHEM 233
CHEM 234
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
5
CHEM 251Mathematics and Physics for Chemistry3
MATH 226Calculus I4
MATH 227Calculus II4
PHYS 220
PHYS 222
General Physics with Calculus I
and General Physics with Calculus I Laboratory
4
PHYS 230
PHYS 232
General Physics with Calculus II
and General Physics with Calculus II Laboratory
4

Upper-Division Requirements (38 units)

CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 322Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory2
CHEM 325Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 12
CHEM 340Biochemistry I3
CHEM 351Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics3
CHEM 353Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy3
CHEM 390GWContemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR3
CHEM 426Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory 22
CHEM 451Experimental Physical Chemistry Laboratory 22

Upper-Division Electives

A minimum of 9 units of electives must be selected from the following list of courses. Courses from community colleges cannot be substituted for the courses on the list below.

CHEM 341Biochemistry II3
CHEM 343Biochemistry I Laboratory 23
CHEM 370Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry3
CHEM 420Environmental Analysis3
CHEM 422Instrumental Analysis4
CHEM 433Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 443Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory4
CHEM 645GWResearch Trends in Chemistry and Biochemistry - GWAR3
CHEM 680Chemical Oceanography3
CHEM 699Independent Study 31-3

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Government LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):

  1. Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
  2. Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
  3. Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.

For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.

Pathway QR Cat I/II QR Cat III/IV
ENG 114 Roadmap A Roadmap C
ENG 104/ENG 105 Roadmap B Roadmap D

*Composition for Multilingual Students: If taking ENG 209 as your first English course, choose the ENG 114 row. If taking ENG 204 for your first English course, choose the ENG 104/ENG 105 row.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All Students Must Meet the Transfer Eligibility Requirements Outlined Below for Admission.

For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units.
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • Complete 30-semester units (45-quarter units) of General Education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (same as CSU GE Area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90-quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a C- or better grade in each basic skills course.