This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2021-2022 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The curriculum in chemistry prepares students for graduate study in chemistry and related fields and for admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. It prepares students to teach in secondary schools or to work in chemical and industrial laboratories and in related fields of business and industry. The department also offers required and elective courses in chemistry to students in other programs of study.

The Department of Chemistry offers five areas of concentration for completing the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry: chemical science, professional chemist, professional chemist with honors, biochemistry and chemical modeling. With proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

The biochemistry concentration focuses on the biological aspects of chemistry, including molecular genetics and molecular biotechnology. This degree is another option for students planning to study medicine or dentistry.

Student learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate student expertise in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Proficiency in the major concepts and theoretical principles of chemistry, especially the relationship between molecular structure and function. Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills, such as the ability to perform calculations necessary to describe and model chemical phenomena.
  • Develop of appropriate written and oral communication skills needed to explain chemical phenomena including summary reports, research papers, notebook writing, use of the chemical literature, group discussion during class and oral presentations.
  • Demonstrate competency in laboratory skills in three areas: bench-top chemistry skills, usage of state-of-the-art instrumentation and computer usage.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the need for ethical practices in chemistry and an awareness of the practice of chemistry and the issues facing chemists and society. Focus on professionalism and career preparation..
  • Demonstrate proficiency in proper procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of chemicals.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in scientific literacy skills including searching, reading and critically reviewing, scientific publications.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in information processing by generating and interpreting data represented in tables, graphs, drawings and models.