All schools & programs > College of Liberal Arts and Sciences > Department of Chemistry >

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

Visit their website » Print...

Chemistry Programs

The B.A. degree is for the student who wants to understand the fundamental principles of chemistry and to study a number of other fields. The B.S. prepares students for graduate school and professional careers. Both are based on a high school background that includes at least 1 ½ years of algebra and 1 year of geometry. High school courses in chemistry and physics are desirable but are not required. Many chemistry majors are preparing for medical school or for graduate study in chemistry and related fields. For graduate school, the common body of knowledge in the B.A. program is the minimum prerequisite. For premedical students, much of the knowledge will be important in their careers. Even more important, however, is the training in logical thinking, drawing conclusions from experimental observations, and digesting and understanding scientific information.

Go to the top of the page top

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Because study in chemistry requires preparation in mathematics and physics as well as a structured series of courses in chemistry, students should begin meeting major requirements in the first year. Students planning to major in chemistry should consult a chemistry department major adviser during their first semester to develop a 4-year plan for degree completion. It is particularly important to take CHEM 184 (or CHEM 185) and CHEM 188 (or CHEM 189) in the first year and CHEM 624 (or CHEM 628) and CHEM 625 in the second year. For those seeking a B.S. degree it is also important to complete CHEM 626 (or CHEM 630) and CHEM 627 in the second year as well as their mathematics preparation (MATH 121, MATH 122, MATH 220 or MATH 320, and MATH 290) and physics preparation (PHSX 211 and PHSX 212) in the first 2 years.

Go to the top of the page top

Requirements for the B.A. Major

In addition to the common College requirements for the B.A., a minimum of 29 to 30 hours in chemistry (including 5 hours each of analytical, organic, and physical chemistry lecture and laboratory) and one year each of calculus and physics (prerequisites for physical chemistry) are required. These courses fulfill the requirements:

Chemistry Courses 29 hours
Mathematics and Physics 14-18 hours

Courses that fulfill the additional 3 hours for the major are CHEM 626 (or CHEM 630) Organic Chemistry II, CHEM 635 and CHEM 636 Instrumental Methods of Analysis and Laboratory, CHEM 648 Physical Chemistry II, or CHEM 667 Systematic Inorganic Chemistry. Note that CHEM 648 has CHEM 646, MATH 223, and MATH 290 as prerequisites. Students in premedical programs should be aware that a year of organic chemistry lecture and laboratory (CHEM 624 or CHEM 628, CHEM 625, CHEM 626 or CHEM 630, and CHEM 627) is required for admission to virtually all medical schools. Students who need only 1 semester of organic chemistry should substitute CHEM 622 (the 1-semester organic chemistry lecture course) for CHEM 624, when possible.

Go to the top of the page top

Environmental Chemistry Option

This option is available to students who plan to use their chemistry background in environmentally related areas. The additional courses required provide background in other environmental sciences as well as further exposure to important methods used in environmental laboratories.

In addition to all of the requirements for the regular B.A. major, the following courses are required:

  • *CHEM 626 (or CHEM 630) Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHEM 627 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (2)
  • CHEM 635 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (2)
  • CHEM 636 Instrumental Methods of Analysis Laboratory (2)
  • Plus two electives (6) (In consultation with a faculty major adviser, choose two courses from those listed in Environmental Chemistry Option Group I or Environmental Chemistry Option Group II below.)
  • Environmental Chemistry Option Group I
    BIOL 100 Principles of Biology (3) or
    BIOL 150 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology (4)
    EVRN 148 Scientific Principles of Environmental Studies (3)
    GEOG 304 Environmental Conservation (3)
    GEOL 351 Environmental Geology (3)
    BIOL 400 Fundamentals of Microbiology (3)
    BIOL 414 Principles of Ecology (3)
    BIOL 600 Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures (4)
    ATMO 105 Introductory Meteorology (5)
  • Environmental Chemistry Option Group II
    BIOL 660 Lake Ecology (with or without BIOL 662 Aquatic Ecology Laboratory) (3-4)
    CE 477 Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science (3)
    GEOL 552 Introduction to Hydrogeology (3)
    ATMO 525 Air Pollution Meteorology (3)
    EVRN 611 Water Quality, Land Use, and Watershed Ecosystems (3)
    CHEM 698 Undergraduate Research Problems (3)

*Select this course as the additional chemistry course.

Go to the top of the page top

Biological Chemistry Option

This option is available to students interested in the biological applications of chemistry. The curriculum is compatible with many pre-health-professions programs and prepares the student for graduate study or career opportunities.

In addition to all of the requirements for the regular B.A. major, the following courses are required:

  • *CHEM 626 (or CHEM 630) Organic Chemistry II (3)
  • CHEM 627 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory (2)
  • BIOL 600 Introductory Biochemistry, Lectures (4)
  • Plus 2 electives (6) (In consultation with a faculty major adviser, choose 2 courses from those listed in Group I or Group II in Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Chemistry: Biological Chemistry Option.)

*Select this course as the additional chemistry course.

Go to the top of the page top

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.