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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Biochemistry, Chemical Modeling, Chemical Science, Professional Chemist, Professional Chemist with Honors
Program description

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.


With the proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most professional school such as schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.


The biochemistry concentration focuses on the biological aspects of chemistry, including molecular genetics and molecular biotechnology.


The chemical modeling concentration emphasizes areas of overlap between chemistry and the mathematical sciences and computer science. Students in this concentration will focus on learning the chemistry and computer technology for modeling the structure, properties and reactivity of molecules.


The chemical science concentration is tailored for the pre-professional study of the health sciences and other interdisciplinary areas where an emphasis on chemistry is sought. This concentration for the bachelor's degree in chemistry permits students to select more courses from other disciplines. With fewer requirements in mathematics, physics and chemistry, this concentration is one option for students planning to study medicine or dentistry.


The professional chemist concentration requires a greater number of chemistry courses, and is designed for students whose future studies or career plans involve chemistry as a central theme. With the proper combination of courses, this degree can be certified as meeting the requirements of the American Chemical Society.


The capstone requirement includes upper level lecture and upper level laboratory courses to include a research component.

Career opportunities
The employment pathways for chemical professionals can be divided into five main sectors: industry, academia, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurship.  Within each of these sectors, areas of career opportunity include research and development, quality control/regulatory, environment and health, law and policy, manufacturing,  education, military and law enforcement, and technical communication. Common skills include science, critical thinking, reading, active listening, mathematics, and both deductive and inductive reasoning. Technical skills are highly preferred in areas such as analytical/scientific software, computer aided design (CAD), databases/query software, graphics, and Office suite. With the proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.
Change of major requirements

VCU students in other programs who wish to declare chemistry as their major must complete, with grades of C or higher, CHEM 101, CHEZ 101, CHEM 102, and CHEZ 102 and have a minimum 2.0+ chemistry GPA.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Chemical Technician
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Food Technologist
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Quality Control Analysts
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialists
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Survey Researchers
  • Technical Writers
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Chemist
  • College Professor
  • Material Scientist
  • Research Director
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA
Department name:
Department of Chemistry
Building/room location:
1001 West Main Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1298
Email:
chemistry@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete your plan of study with your academic advisor and include CHEM 398 and UNIV 200.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and plan to complete core and collateral coursework.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Select three potential career paths.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Develop attention to detail and strong problem solving skills. Pursue advanced instrumentation and computer skills along with knowledge of statistics.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Seek extensive laboratory and research experience along with courses in quantitative, qualitative and instrumental analyses. Pursue experimental design, data interpretation and problem solving competence through coursework and research with professors.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Biochemistry, Chemical Modeling, Chemical Science, Professional Chemist, Professional Chemist with Honors
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Complete your plan of study with your academic advisor and include CHEM 398 and UNIV 200.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and plan to complete core and collateral coursework.  
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Select three potential career paths.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
  • Develop attention to detail and strong problem solving skills. Pursue advanced instrumentation and computer skills along with knowledge of statistics.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Seek extensive laboratory and research experience along with courses in quantitative, qualitative and instrumental analyses. Pursue experimental design, data interpretation and problem solving competence through coursework and research with professors.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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