May 29, 2023  
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, B.S.

Chemistry (B.S.) 180 units

Program Description

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: B.S. degree major in Chemistry; B.S. degree major in Biochemistry; B.S. degree major in Chemistry, option in Forensic Science; B.A. degree major in Chemistry; B.A. degree major in Chemistry, option in Chemistry Education; B.A. degree major in Biochemistry; B.A. degree in Biochemistry, option in Chemistry Education; and a minor in Chemistry. Descriptions of these programs and their requirements are listed below. (See the Graduate section of this catalog for descriptions of the department’s M.S. in Chemistry and M.S. Option in Biochemistry.)

The B.S. degree in Chemistry 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.

Mission Statement

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:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in the various areas of chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry.
  2. Work effectively and safely in a laboratory environment to perform experimental procedures and operate modern chemical/biochemical instruments.
  3. Use quantitative reasoning to analyze chemical problems and evaluate chemical data.
  4. Write and speak clearly on chemical or biochemical issues.
  5. Work collaboratively in teams to solve chemical problems.

Career Opportunities

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Biochemist
  • Biophysicist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemist
  • Dietitian
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Food and Drug Inspector
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Geochemist
  • Geophysicist
  • Health Professional
  • Materials Scientist
  • Organic Chemist
  • Perfumer
  • Petrologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Chemist
  • Physical Chemist
  • Pollution Control
  • Professor
  • Public Health Educator
  • Quality Control Technician
  • Teacher
  • 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 chapter. 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.S.) 108-109 units

The Bachelor of Science degree, major in Chemistry, is designed to prepare students for graduate school in Chemistry and related fields and for industrial employment which involves research or a high degree of technical proficiency. It is intended for students desiring the highest degree of specialization. Please consult an advisor in your major department for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements. The B.S. degree requires a total of 180 units.

  • The core major consists of 57 units;
    • the advanced elective for the Non-Option consists of 51-52 units;
    • the Forensic Science Option consists of 51 units.
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) consist of any remainder units to reach the 180 total units (see your advisor). 

Lower Division Core (32 units)

The following are required lower division courses in the shared core group for Chemistry B.S. majors:

Upper Division Core (25 units)

The following are required upper division courses in the shared core group for Chemistry B.S. majors:

Option Requirements

An additional 51-52 units are required to complete the Chemistry B.S. degree.  Refer to the list below for the remaining degree requirments.  If a student chooses to pursue the Forensic Science option (below link) the additional units to complete the degree will be 55 units.  

Advanced Chemistry Electives 51-52 Units

An additional 51-52 units are required to complete the Chemistry B.S. degree if not choosing the option in Forensic Science.

Elective Units (9-10 units)

Note: No more than four units of CHEM 4810 and 4811 and 4900 combined may be applied to the electives for the B.S. degree major. Graduate courses (numbered 6000 or above) may be taken to satisfy this requirement.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described throughout this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.