The Department of Chemistry offers programs that introduce students to the study of the properties, composition, and structure of matter; the changes that alter the identity of substances; and the energy changes that take place during such transformations.

The department is approved by the American Chemical Society for the professional training of chemists and offers sound training in principles and techniques for students who plan careers in chemistry and closely allied fields. For those without definite career aims, the major provides an excellent background for understanding the nature of the physical world and the problems that face a technological society, and gives insight into the philosophy, methods, and limitations of science.

Lafayette offers the A.B. and B.S. degrees with majors in both chemistry and biochemistry. The B.S. in chemistry degree is the most highly structured and rigorous and meets the certification standards of the American Chemical Society. The B.S. degrees include a required research component and are often preferred by those graduate schools and government and industry employers who seek maximum professional capability at the undergraduate level.

Because it requires fewer and sometimes less rigorous courses in chemistry, the A.B. chemistry program offers a wider choice for the student than is possible in the B.S. curriculum. The A.B. chemistry program is the most flexible; it can involve minimum work in chemistry and more study in other fields, or courses can be selected to achieve a high degree of specialization in chemistry. The A.B. biochemistry degree requires a core of chemistry and biology courses, but it retains the flexibility inherent in the A.B. chemistry program.

Students completing majors in other areas may earn an minor in chemistry by completing the following courses:

  • CHEM 121 and 122 (General Chemistry I and II)
  • CHEM 221 and 222 (Organic Chemistry I and II)
  • CHEM 311 or (CHEM (323 or 325) and (324 or 326)) (Physical Chemistry)
  • One additional course: CHEM 212 (Inorganic Chemistry I);  CHEM 213 (Inorganic Chemistry I with lab); CHEM 231 (Analytical Chemistry I); or CHEM 350 or 351 or 361 (Biochemistry)

No more than three courses also can meet requirements in a student’s major.

Major Requirements: