Academics > Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

The following courses are required to complete the chemistry major:

  • Principles of Structural Chemistry and lab+
  • Principles of Chemical Reactivity and lab+
  • Organic Chemistry I+
  • Organic Chemistry II+
  • Organic Laboratory+
  • Analytical Chemistry+
  • Analytical Chemistry laboratory (0.5 credits)+
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • One additional advanced course in chemistry
  • Calculus II
  • General Physics I and II

+ Courses required for a minor in chemistry


For checklists and sample schedules, click on the options described below. . You can find course descriptions in the college catalog.

The standard chemistry major (Pdf) — If you're interested in pairing chemistry with an additional major (such as biology, psychology, or physics), this is the track you will want to follow. Students working toward secondary education certification, or those who decide later in their Coe career to pursue chemistry are likely candidates for this option. The disadvantage? You may not have the depth of coursework you might want if you decide to pursue graduate study in chemistry or a job in the chemistry profession.

Chemistry/pre-med (Pdf) — Those thinking about going into the medical professions need a solid grounding in chemistry, biology, and physics (along with healthy doses of humanities and social sciences!) In particular, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is usually taken in April or August of your junior year, which means you need to have your biology and physics course taken prior to the test. Be sure to consult with Dr. Dean, the chemistry department's pre-health advisor, about your schedule.

ACS-certified major (Pdf) — If you want to get a Ph.D. in chemistry or be a chemist, this is the track we recommend. The American Chemical Society has a pretty rigorous set of standards they require for a student to be considered “ACS-certified”. You have to take your courses from an ACS accredited department (which we are), and you have to take most of the courses we offer. While Coe doesn't offer a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) in chemistry, this track will generally be viewed as the equivalent by employers or by graduate schools.

Chemistry major with a concentration in biochemistry (Pdf) — For those interested in pursuing a career in biochemistry, molecular biology, or medical school, this is an excellent choice. Students interested in preparation for pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy, or physician's assistant programs would also benefit from this concentration. Note that you complete all requirements for a chemistry major while picking up additional coursework in biology. (You cannot complete both the molecular biology and biochemistry concentrations – they're too similar.) You can also complete an ACS-certified degree while also earning a concentration in biochemistry.

Chemistry major with a concentration in environmental science (Pdf) — This option is similar to the biochemistry options, as it involves completing the requirements for a chemistry degree while also taking appropriate courses in biology. This track will prepare you for graduate work in environmental chemistry/science, working in an environmental laboratory or consulting firm, or positions in governmental environmental agencies.

Departmental Distinction in chemistry (Pdf) — If you would like to write a thesis in chemistry, you need to plan ahead. You'll want to be thinking about what type of research you would like to do as early as possible to be able to write a good thesis.