The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provides a strong education in chemistry and biochemistry that prepares its students to function and thrive in our society. The department attempts to increase the problem solving and critical thinking skills of all students. Non-science students learn about the scientific and chemical aspects of everyday life that allow them to understand issues related to the environment, energy production, disease prevention, and nutrition. Students of the sciences learn the fundamentals of chemistry that control the interactions of elements and molecules which form the building blocks in nature. Chemistry majors receive extensive instruction in predicting chemical reactivity. Building on an understanding of mathematics, physics, and biology, chemistry majors receive a background in the major disciplines of chemistry including inorganic, analytical, organic, physical, and biochemistry. Students learn the protocols and techniques for working safely with chemicals. The department recognizes the importance of the pursuit of new knowledge in the development of skilled scientists and productive members of society, and encourages its students to participate in research projects and cooperative educational opportunities.
The undergraduate programs offered by the department include: Chemistry, B.S.; Biochemistry, B.S.; Chemistry, Forensic Science Option, B.S.; Chemistry, B.A.; Chemistry, Chemistry Education Option, B.A.; Biochemistry, B.A.; Biochemistry, Chemistry Education Option, B.A.; and a Chemistry Minor. Descriptions of these programs and their requirements are listed below. (See the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Graduate) for descriptions of the department’s Chemistry, M.S. and M.S. Option in Biochemistry.)
The Chemistry, B.S. degree is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). A certified degree is a valuable credential that serves as national-level recognition for completing a rigorous academic chemistry curriculum in an ACS-approved department. The extra rigor of an ACS certified degree is valued by both potential employers and graduate schools.
It is imperative that CSUEB chemistry students possess sufficient theoretical and practical training in chemistry and biochemistry so that they will be able to assume the significant technical responsibilities required by the chemical and biotechnology industries that will employ them. It is important that our students are not only trained in chemistry (and biochemistry), but will become respected scientists and research technicians. In addition, it is important that students planning for entrance into Ph.D. programs or pre-professional programs are more than adequately prepared for entrance into these programs.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry from Cal State East Bay will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge in the various areas of chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry.
- Work effectively and safely in a laboratory environment to perform experimental procedures and operate modern chemical/biochemical instruments.
- Use quantitative reasoning to analyze chemical problems and evaluate chemical data.
- Write and speak clearly on chemical or biochemical issues.
- Work collaboratively in teams to solve chemical problems.
Food and Drug Inspector
Public Health Educator
Quality Control Technician
Water Purification Chemist
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry employs highly qualified and experienced technical staff to assist faculty and students in their course and research experiences.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry maintains laboratory equipment and instruments typical of comparable institutions. These include a 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer; UV-Visible (diode array), infrared and atomic absorption (AA: flame, graphite furnace and cold vapor) spectrophotometers; high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and ion chromatograph (IC); an FTIR spectrometer; and capillary gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS). Other specialized equipment includes a research-grade dry box, growth chamber, anaerobic chamber, and environmental field sampling equipment. There are PC-controlled and various desktop versions of the HPLC and visible spectrometers. A molecular modeling facility is also available for instruction and research.
The university offers Cooperative Education coursework which provides chemically related employment opportunities and students may, with department approval, obtain credit for this work.
The Alchemist Club, a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society, is available to students majoring in Chemistry. They are active in many aspects of the department and provide free peer tutoring, participate in fund-raising for special projects, and take interesting field trips to local industries.
Preparation and Prerequisites
For Advanced Placement course equivalencies, see Registration. Prerequisite courses for all chemistry courses must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. Requests for Grade Forgiveness will be allowed only on a space-available basis.
Major Requirements (B.A.)
The Bachelor Arts degree, major in Chemistry, is intended for students who would like to use their knowledge of chemistry as a starting point for a career in medicine, molecular biology, dentistry, teaching, environmental remediation, law, or business. Graduate degrees in these fields follow naturally from the undergraduate training required of the chemistry student. The major consists of 83-84 units; the B.A. degree requires a total of 180 units.