Chemistry Curriculum

Current students: See the Recommended Academic Plans for detailed course recommendations for each option and refer to the University Bulletin for course descriptions and more degree requirements. Or find other resources on the Current Students page.

Chemistry Options

With a large number of supporting courses and free electives, the chemistry major at Behrend provides our students the opportunity to tailor their degree to suit their personal career goals. To help achieve their objectives, students can choose one of several options within the chemistry major. Each option is described below. For complete requirements, please refer to the University Bulletin.

Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF Format) | (Word Format)

The general option is the most traditional and flexible version of the Behrend chemistry major. It has been designed to suit any student and their personal career goals. Students who choose this option can select from a wide range of supporting and related courses which will prepare them for employment in the chemical industry or acceptance into graduate programs including health related careers or graduate school in chemistry or another related physical science such as but not limited to forensics, materials science and polymer science. This option fulfills the requirement for an ACS-approved degree in Chemistry.

Biochemistry

Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF Format) | (Word Format)

The biochemistry option is designed for students with interests at the interface of chemistry and biology. It is structured to prepare graduates for work in industry or further training in graduate school. The curriculum provides a broad fundamental background in biochemistry with the introductory biochemistry courses stressing the application of chemical principles to biological systems. The upper-level courses can be tailored to suit a student’s interests by choosing optional courses in molecular biology, genetics, proteins or microbiology. Students opting for two 400-level biology courses as electives meet the requirements for a minor in biology. This option fulfills the requirement for an ACS-approved degree in Chemistry.

Business

Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF Format) | (Word Format)

The national and global need for graduates with strong marketing and sales skills coupled with a solid technical background is increasing as the business climate changes. Many students who graduate in business frequently have little or no technical background. The business option is designed for those who enjoy and value chemistry as their primary goal and also see the excitement and potential in the business applications. By selecting the business option, students will earn a technical degree while preparing for careers in sales and marketing of products in the chemical industry or entrance into an MBA program. Graduates will have the skills to obtain positions in any company competing in the global market place including but not limited to the pharmaceutical industry, speciality chemicals, the food industry, cosmetics and many more.

Education

Recommended Academic Plan - Checksheet (PDF Format) | (Word Format)

The education option is recommended for students who are interested in teaching science in a secondary school setting. After completing a four year degree in chemistry, students can then pursue their Pennsylvania Teacher Certification at another university. There are many universities close to Penn State Behrend that students can choose for their certification. The student who chooses the education option will have a strong background in chemistry that will be very beneficial when teaching secondary education. It should be noted that the CHMBD education option has specific course requirements required by the state of Pennsylvania which include PSY 100, CHEM 472, HDFS 129 and PSY 212. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.00 is mandatory in the state of Pennsylvania in order to be certified to teach.

 


 

Typical Course Sequence

The chemistry major consists of four options: Biochemistry, Business, Chemistry Education Precertification, and General Chemistry. Below is a typical course sequence for the Chemistry bachelor's degree program. Schedules will vary by student, depending on option choice.

Semester 1 Credits   Semester 2 Credits
Chemical Principles I 3 General Physics: Mechanics 4
Rhetoric and Composition 3 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I 4
Experimental Chemistry I 1 Experimental Chemistry I1 1
Calculus and Analytic Geometry I 4 Chemical Principles II 3
Health and Physical Activity 1.5 Health and Physical Activity 1.5
Arts course 3 Humanities course 3
First-Year Seminar 1 Total Credits 16.5
Total Credits 16.5    
 
Semester 3     Semester 4  
Quantitative Analysis 4 General Physics: Wave Motion and
Quantum Physics
2
Organic Chemistry I 3 Organic Chemistry II 3
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry 3 Laboratory in Organic Chemistry 1
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism 4 Effective Writing: Technical Writing 3
Ordinary Differential Equations 3 Arts Course 3
Total Credits 15 Social and Behavioral Science course 3
    Total Credits 15
 
Semester 5     Semester 6  
Physical Chemistry—Thermodynamics 3 Physical Chemistry—Quantum Chemistry 3
Experimental Physical Chemistry 1 Experimental Physical Chemistry 1
Chemical Literature 1 Instrumental Analysis 3
Upper level Chemistry course 3 Elemental Analysis and Instrumental Design Lab 1
Humanities course 3 Upper level Chemistry course 3
General Physics: Fluids and Thermal Physics 2 Chemical Research or Independent Studies 1
Supporting course for option 3 Supporting course for option 3
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 15
 
Semester 7     Semester 8  
Chemistry of the Elements 4 Chemical Research or Independent Studies 1
Electrochemistry and Chromatography Lab 1 Effective Speech 3
Chemical Research or Independent Studies 1 Social and Behavioral Science course 3
Supporting course for option 3 Supporting course for option 3
Supporting course for option 3 Supporting course for option 3
Total Credits 15 Elective 3
    Total Credits 16