Chemistry Major, B.A.

Department of Chemistry

http://www.chem.unc.edu

Caudill and Kenan Laboratories, CB# 3290

(919) 843-7100

Jeffrey S. Johnson, Chair

Andrew Moran, Director of Undergraduate Studies

ammoran@email.unc.edu

Donnyell Batts and Jill Fallin, Chemistry Student Services Coordinators

chemus@unc.edu

Chemistry is the scientific study of the composition and properties of matter and the investigation of the laws that govern them. All chemists have a common core of knowledge, learned through a highly structured sequence of undergraduate courses in which the content is divided into the classical subdisciplines. Toward the end of students’ progress through their four years of undergraduate study, they may choose to concentrate in one or more areas of chemistry through the courses selected to fulfill the chemistry elective requirements and through undergraduate research.

Department Programs

Majors

Minor

Graduate Programs

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the chemistry (B.A.) program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of basic chemical principles (knowledge base in chemistry)
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve chemical problems (analytical skills)
  • Demonstrate the use of critical and creative thinking skills in conducting research with mentoring from a faculty member (critical thinking skills in chemistry)

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must

  • attain a final cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major course requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 18 hours of C or better in the major core requirements (some majors require 21 hours).

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Gateway Course
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
4
Core Requirements
CHEM 102General Descriptive Chemistry II H3
or CHEM 102H General Descriptive Chemistry II
CHEM 102LQuantitative Chemistry Laboratory II1
CHEM 241Modern Analytical Methods for Separation and Characterization H2
CHEM 241LLaboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compounds1
or CHEM 245L Honors Laboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compound
CHEM 251Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry2
CHEM 430Introduction to Biological Chemistry H3
CHEM 480Introduction to Biophysical Chemistry3
or CHEM 481 Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 550LSynthetic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H3
CHEM 262Introduction to Organic Chemistry II H3
CHEM 262LLaboratory in Organic Chemistry1
or CHEM 263L Honors Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
One course from the following list (three hours): 13
Research in Chemistry for Undergraduates H
Introduction to Polymer Chemistry
Synthesis of Polymers
Macromolecular Structure and Metabolism
Metabolic Chemistry and Cellular Regulatory Networks
Intermediate Analytical Chemistry
Separations
Analytical Spectroscopy
Mass Spectrometry
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Intermediate Organic Chemistry H
Laboratory Techniques for Biochemistry
Additional Requirements
MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I4
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II4
One of the following:4
General Physics I
General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
Mechanics H
Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
One of the following:4
General Physics II
General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
Electromagnetism and Optics H
Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
Total Hours47
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Other courses numbered above 420 may be substituted with the permission of the instructor.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

The recommended course sequence for the bachelor of arts degree is listed below. At least 18 semester hours of credit in chemistry courses above CHEM 101/CHEM 101L with individual grades of C or better are required. Grades of C- do not satisfy this requirement. Courses in chemistry and other courses specifically required (and designated by number) may not be declared Pass/Fail.

First Year
MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I (QR)4
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II (QI) 14
ENGL 105English Composition and Rhetoric3
Foreign language through level 3 (with level 2 placement)6
Lifetime fitness1
CHEM 101
101L
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I (PX)
4
An additional PL or PX course (e.g., BIOL 101)3-4
CHEM 102General Descriptive Chemistry II H3
or CHEM 102H General Descriptive Chemistry II
CHEM 102LQuantitative Chemistry Laboratory II1
Approaches (three courses)9
Sophomore Year
CHEM 241Modern Analytical Methods for Separation and Characterization H2
CHEM 241LLaboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compounds1
or CHEM 245L Honors Laboratory in Separations and Analytical Characterization of Organic and Biological Compound
CHEM 251Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry2
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H3
CHEM 262Introduction to Organic Chemistry II H3
CHEM 262LLaboratory in Organic Chemistry1
or CHEM 263L Honors Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
One of the following:4
General Physics I
General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
Mechanics H
Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity 2
One of the following:4
General Physics II
General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
Electromagnetism and Optics H
Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta 2
Approaches (three courses)9
Junior and Senior Years
CHEM 430Introduction to Biological Chemistry H3
CHEM 480Introduction to Biophysical Chemistry3
or CHEM 481 Physical Chemistry I
One course from: 33
Research in Chemistry for Undergraduates H
Introduction to Polymer Chemistry
Synthesis of Polymers
Macromolecular Structure and Metabolism
Metabolic Chemistry and Cellular Regulatory Networks
Intermediate Analytical Chemistry
Separations
Analytical Spectroscopy
Mass Spectrometry
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Intermediate Organic Chemistry H
Laboratory Techniques for Biochemistry
Other courses numbered above 420 may be substituted with permission of the instructor
CHEM 550LSynthetic Chemistry Laboratory I2
Other Connections; Supplemental General Education; three courses9
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Placement (PL) credits (zero hours) for MATH 232, MATH 233, or MATH 383 do not satisfy chemistry major requirements.

2

PHYS 118 and PHYS 119 are encouraged for those students considering careers as professional chemists or those students who want the option to switch from the B.A. program to the B.S. program.

3

With the permission of the course instructor, CHEM 420 or other chemistry courses numbered above 420 may be substituted for the listed courses.

Special Opportunities in Chemistry

Honors in Chemistry

Upon the recommendation of the Department of Chemistry, the B.A. or B.S. degree with a major in chemistry may be awarded with honors in chemistry or highest honors in chemistry.

Highest honors in chemistry is a distinction bestowed on a truly exceptional student who has excelled in coursework and who has completed a research project of considerable depth and significance. To attain this distinction the candidate must have nominally satisfied the following guidelines:

  • B.A. candidates must have achieved a chemistry major grade point average of 3.85 or higher; B.S. candidates, a chemistry major grade point average of 3.75 or higher.
  • Have completed at least five courses in chemistry numbered CHEM 420 or above. For B.A. candidates one of these may be a laboratory course; for B.S. candidates they must all be lecture courses.
  • Have completed or be about to complete a research project certified to be of publishable quality by the research advisor and two faculty members appointed by the director of undergraduate studies

Honors in chemistry is a distinction bestowed on an outstanding student who has demonstrated marked competence in the coursework and who has completed a research project of considerable merit. To attain this distinction the candidate must have nominally satisfied the following guidelines:

  • Have achieved a chemistry major grade point average of 3.40 or higher
  • Have received no grade below B- in junior- or senior-level chemistry courses
  • Have completed at least three lecture courses in chemistry numbered CHEM 420 or above
  • Have completed or be about to complete a research project certified to be of honors quality by the research advisor and two faculty members appointed by the vice chair for undergraduate studies

Students who wish to qualify for either of these awards should begin planning their course programs and research activities in the junior year so that ample time and effort may be devoted to succeeding in upper-level courses and research.

Departmental Involvement

Majors are encouraged to participate in AXE (chemistry fraternity) and the undergraduate advisory board.

Laboratory Teaching Internships and Assistantships

Undergraduates have the opportunity to serve as laboratory teaching assistants for entry-level undergraduate laboratory courses.

Special Topics

Special topics not offered through the normal course sequence may be pursued through directed reading and registration in CHEM 396 with the approval of the supervising faculty member, advisor, and vice chair for undergraduate studies. An approved learning contract is required, and students must be registered no later than the end of the first week of classes.

Undergraduate Awards

Excellent performances by undergraduates in chemistry are recognized by the department through the following awards:

  • Francis P. Venable Medal: A medallion and cash award are presented to the two most outstanding graduating seniors majoring in chemistry in honor of Dr. Francis P. Venable, who was chair of the department, president of the University from 1900 to 1914, and president of the American Chemical Society.
  • Emmett Gladstone Rand Premedical Scholarship: A scholarship is presented to an exceptionally talented graduating senior intending to pursue a career in medicine.
  • Jason D. Altom Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research: This cash award recognizes research potential of an undergraduate chemistry major.
  • J. Thurman Freeze Scholarship: This scholarship serves to fund summer research between a student’s junior and senior years.
  • E.C. Markham Summer Research Fund: The department chair selects the recipient of this award, who will use the salary to perform research between the junior and senior years.
  • Carrie Largent Award for Research Excellence: This award is given annually to a graduating senior who has excelled in research.
  • David L. Stern Scholar: Top students from upper-division laboratory courses are chosen for this cash award.
  • AXE Sophomore Chemist Award: A cash award and certificate are presented to an outstanding sophomore chemistry major.
  • James H. Maguire Memorial Award: This award goes to an outstanding and academically gifted junior honors student majoring in chemistry.
  • Tanya R. Ellison Scholarship: A female, junior or senior B.S. chemistry major is selected for this cash award on the basis of character and academic commitment.
  • Hypercube Scholar Award: An outstanding senior majoring in chemistry is given this chemical software package.

Undergraduate Research

Almost every undergraduate chemistry major who has undertaken a research project has found it to be an exciting and rewarding experience. The reasons are many. One certainly is that it affords an opportunity to make pioneering discoveries at the forefront of science, using instrumentation and techniques far more sophisticated than those usually encountered in standard laboratory courses.

More than 80 students are involved in undergraduate research projects in chemistry each year. Although successful completion of an undergraduate research project is a requirement for graduation with honors or highest honors (see above), it is not necessary to be a participant in Honors Carolina to undertake a research project.

The usual mechanism for becoming involved in a research project is to register for CHEM 395. This process begins well in advance of a preregistration or registration period with a visit to the Chemistry Student Services office, where a student may obtain a list of undergraduate research opportunities and a form titled Request for Registration in CHEM 395.

Most students begin research during the spring semester of their junior year and continue throughout their senior year. CHEM 395 and CHEM 396 together may be taken for credit as many times as desired but may be counted for no more than nine hours total credit toward graduation in either the B.A. or B.S. traditional and polymer tracks and for no more than six hours in the B.S. biochemistry track. In the B.S. curriculum CHEM 395 may be counted no more than once as an advanced chemistry elective.

UNC–BEST

The UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching (UNC–BEST) Program is a collaboration between the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences and is designed to allow undergraduate science majors interested in teaching high school science the opportunity to earn their science degree and obtain licensure as a North Carolina high school science teacher in four years. UNC–BEST students meet all the degree requirements for their chemistry degree using CHEM 410 as one of their upper-level chemistry courses. UNC–BEST students also fulfill teaching licensure coursework requirements as well as many General Education and elective requirements as they complete courses in teaching and learning.

EDUC 516Introduction to the Education of Exceptional Learners3
or EDUC 689 Foundations of Special Education
EDUC 532Introduction to Development and Learning3
EDUC 615Schools and Community Collaboration3
or EDUC 533 Social Justice in Education
EDUC 593Internship/Student Teaching (final semester)12
EDUC 601Education Workshops (final semester)1
Total Hours22

For more details on admission requirements, application deadlines, and instructions for submitting an online application, visit the School of Education Web site.