BS in Chemistry

Units required for Major: 77

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science degrees are recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in Chemistry or Biochemistry or those desiring a strong technical background for work in the chemical or biotechnology industry or other highly technical areas. The BS Chemistry degree is approved by the American Chemical Society.


Due to the potential hazards some chemicals may present, safety is an essential element of all Chemistry laboratory classes, including independent research. All students must adhere to the Department of Chemistry Laboratory Safety Policies. Failure to adhere to the Safety Policies may constitute grounds for withdrawal from a course and/or dismissal from the program. 

Contact Lenses

Chemistry Department policy states that contact lenses are prohibited in all chemistry laboratories; prescription glasses should be worn instead. In addition, safety goggles are required in all laboratories. Laboratory aprons are recommended.


The Department believes advising of students is an important function. Members of the Chemistry Department who have a strong interest in advising have been selected to serve as advisors for students wishing to major in chemistry. Each represents a particular area of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, biochemistry, organic, and physical. Each Chemistry major will be assigned to one of these advisors when entering the Chemistry Department, coordinated to the area of each student's expressed interest.

Prerequisite Requirements

When enrolling in a course, it is required that the student will have met the specific prerequisites listed. A course listed as a prerequisite may have its own set of prerequisites. All must be met prior to enrolling in a chemistry course. Students not meeting the prerequisite requirements for a course will be administratively removed from the class.

Minimum Grade Requirements

In all courses required for the Chemistry major and minor, a minimum grade of "C-" must be earned with the exception of CHEM 1A which requires a grade of C or better. A minimum grade of "C-" is required in all prerequisite courses with the exception of CHEM 1A which requires a grade of C or better to meet the prerequisite requirement for CHEM 1B if a student has not achieved a "C-" in all prerequisite courses for a particular chemistry course, the instructor of the course will administratively remove the student from class.

Transfer Majors and Minors

Transfer students majoring in Chemistry must complete at least three of the required courses in chemistry while fulfilling the residence requirements of California State University, Sacramento. Transfer students seeking a minor in Chemistry must complete at least one upper division chemistry course at the University.

Note: Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (44 Units)
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I 15
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
CHEM 24Organic Chemistry Lecture I3
CHEM 25Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 31Quantitative Analysis4
MATH 30Calculus I4
MATH 31Calculus II4
MATH 32Calculus III4
PHYS 11AGeneral Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 11BGeneral Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics4
PHYS 11CGeneral Physics: Electricity and Magnetism4
Required Upper Division Courses (33 Units)
CHEM 110
Inorganic Chemistry Lecture
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 124Organic Chemistry Lecture II3
CHEM 125Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 133Chemical Instrumentation4
CHEM 140APhysical Chemistry Lecture I3
CHEM 140BPhysical Chemistry Lecture II3
CHEM 141Physical Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 161General Biochemistry3
Structure and Function of Biological Molecules
Metabolism and Regulation of Biological Systems 2
Select additional courses from the following to a minimum of 33 upper division units in Chemistry. Elective courses should be selected in consultation with an advisor:6
Organic Synthesis
Applications of Computational Chemistry
Metabolism and Regulation of Biological Systems
General Biochemistry Laboratory
Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
Senior Research
Total Units77

Passing a placement exam or obtaining a passing grade of "C" or better in CHEM 4 is required to enroll in CHEM 1A.


 Students taking CHEM 160A to fulfill the Biochemistry requirment MUST take BOTH CHEM 160A AND CHEM 160B.

Note: An appropriate upper division mathematics or physics course may be used to fulfill Chemistry elective units (department permission required).

Graduate courses (excepting CHEM 200, CHEM 299 and CHEM 500) may be used to fulfill Chemistry elective units (department permission required).