Chemistry Major

Why study chemistry at CMU?

The chemistry program offers a solid science and mathematics curriculum to prepare students for a variety of chemistry careers or graduate studies. Consider some key features of this program:

  • Advanced chemistry equipment and laboratories
  • Personal guidance from faculty and opportunities to participate in research projects
  • Internship opportunities at nearby industries such as The Dow Chemical Company
  • CMU's American Chemical Society Student Affiliate received an outstanding award for chapter conduct for three consecutive years. Of more than 1,000 student affiliates nationwide, only 34 were presented with outstanding awards in a recent year.

Career outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, for all occupations through the year 2014:

  • Job growth for chemists and materials scientists will be concentrated in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies and in professional, scientific, and technical services firms.
  • Graduates with a bachelor's degree will have opportunities at smaller research organizations; those with a master's degree, and particularly those with a Ph.D., will enjoy better opportunities at larger pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.
  • Within the chemical industry, job opportunities are expected to be most plentiful in pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.

Career options

Graduates of the chemistry program at CMU will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.

  • Agricultural Chemist
  • Biochemist
  • College or University Professor
  • Environmental Chemist
  • High School Teacher
  • Materials Scientist
  • Nuclear Chemical Processor
  • Toxicologist

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Chemistry Major

Total: 40 semester hours Notes: 11 credit hours must be in laboratory courses. (One credit hour each of CHM 131,132,211 and 331, and two credit hours of CHM 161 count as laboratory credit hours). *CHM 521 (3) and CHM 522 (3) may be substituted for CHM 425 (3). Students are urged to consult their major/pre-professional advisor before enrolling for biochemistry courses. Mathematics and Physics: The following courses are required for students desiring American Chemical Society certification: MTH 132, 133, 223 and 233; PHY 145QR, 146, 175, and 176. Students with inadequate high school preparation may find it necessary to complete additional MTH courses. These MTH and PHY courses are also recommended for students who do not desire ACS certification. The MTH and PHY courses must be completed prior to enrolling in Physical Chemistry.
Chemistry Core I
(5-8 hours)
Select one of the following options:
Option A
(8 hours)
Option B
(5 hours)
Chemistry Core II
(27-29 hours)
Quantitative Analysis
CHM 331
Inorganic Chemistry
CHM 345
Organic Chemistry I
CHM 346
Organic Chemistry II
CHM 349
Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 351
Physical Chemistry I
CHM 352
Physical Chemistry II
CHM 357
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 425
Introductory Biochemistry
CHM 491
Undergraduate Research
(3-8 hours)
Sufficient 500-level advanced courses to meet the minimum credit hour requirement. Select from the following:
Note: Other courses may be substituted only with permission of a chemistry major advisor.
CHM 511
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
CHM 513
Chemistry of Natural Waters
CHM 522
Intermediate Biochemistry
CHM 527
Biochemistry Laboratory
CHM 528
Bioanalytical Techniques Laboratory
CHM 531
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHM 541
Intermediate Organic Chemistry
CHM 547
Advanced Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 551
Materials Chemistry: Inorganics and Nanomaterials
CHM 555
Advanced Physical Chemistry
CHM 561
Polymer Chemistry
CHM 562
Industrial Chemistry
CHM 564
Polymer Technology
CHM 566
Introduction to Biomaterials
CHM 567
Polymer Science Laboratory
CHM 568
Pharmaceutical Chemistry
CHM 571
Topics in Chemistry
CHM 583
Seminar in Chemistry


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