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University of Utah    
  Sep 23, 2017
2017-2018 General Catalog


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College of Science
Department Office: 2020 Henry Eyring Building
Phone: 801-581-6681
Fax: 801-581-8433

Department Chair. Cynthia J. Burrows

Chemistry is often called the “central science” because of its impact on our lives. It is a discipline considered essential to the training of life scientists, engineers, physicians, physical and earth scientists, and those in other professions with a technological base. Chemists are employed in a variety of fields not traditionally considered “chemistry.” The wide applicability of the field may be exemplified by the scope of the interdisciplinary majors offered in the department. These programs of study are grounded in the chemistry core, but offer sufficient flexibility to allow students to develop individualized programs for both general and specialized training.

Undergraduate Program

Please see the Chemistry B.A., B.S., H.B.A., H.B.S., Minor and Chemistry Teaching  Minor listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.

All chemistry degree programs share a common core of required courses within the department as well as a group of allied courses in mathematics and physics. The additional requirements that give the professional major and each of the interdisciplinary majors their unique foci are listed below.

Placement for AP Credit

Chemistry Course Placement: A score of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Chemistry Exam normally will earn 6-8 semester hours of credit.

However, students should consult with the chemistry Academic Advisor, Tascha Knowlton (801-585-7284) for proper placement.

Chemistry Lab Requirement: Note that AP credit alone does not satisfy any of the lab requirements (

  ,   ). AP students may submit their AP lab notebooks to Professor Charles Atwood for such consideration.

Math and Physics AP Placement: Normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree in chemistry requires the completion of

  by the end of the freshman year, meaning that entering freshmen must be able to pass the University’s mathematics placement examination in college algebra. Otherwise, deficiencies in mathematics should be made up as soon as possible prior to entering the second year of study. Consult with the Mathematics and Physics departments for proper placement in courses based on performance on AP examinations in those subjects.

**Premedical students should be aware that many medical schools will not accept a score of 3 on this exam. They may also expect college credit for the associated lab classes and also encourage students to take additional upper-division chemistry courses. Some professional programs may not accept AP chemistry at all. Any of the degree programs outlined below are appropriate for premedical students, who should consult the Premedical Student Advisor for more information on these requirements and on the application procedure to medical schools.

Course Prerequisites

Students will be dropped from any chemistry class who have not satisfied the stated prerequisite(s) by the beginning of the semester. Courses substituted for those specifically listed as prerequisites, including courses in allied areas, should be approved by the instructor prior to registration. Specific course prerequisites are listed in the course descriptions later in this section.

Introductory Courses

Chemistry courses numbered below 1100 are designed for non-science majors and satisfy the University’s science intellectual explorations requirement.

   is a preparatory course for students who need to strengthen their background in chemistry prior to taking the general chemistry sequence.   and    are online 1-credit courses designed to review key concepts required in   and  , respectively, and are taken at the start of the semester that a student enrolls in 1210 or 2310.


 ,   sequence is primarily for students in nursing and other allied health areas requiring a one-year introductory sequence in general, organic, and biochemistry. This sequence also satisfies the science intellectual explorations requirement.

Typically, students complete the full general chemistry sequence (

 ,  ,  ,   ) in the first year and then organic chemistry ( ,  ,  ,  ) in the second year. Honors courses for general chemistry are   ,  ,  ,   and for organic chemistry are  ,  .

General Requirements

Chemistry majors must complete all university wide graduation requirements, including those in the following areas: writing (

  ), intellectual explorations [eight 3-semester-hour courses with two in each of fine arts, humanities, physical and life sciences (courses in the chemistry major may satisfy this requirement), and social sciences], American institutions (one 3-semester-hour course from an approved list), communication/writing, international, quantitative intensive, and diversity (one 3-semester-hour course from an approved list). Appropriately chosen diversity and international courses can also count as intellectual explorations courses. Any two 3-semester-hour mathematics courses numbered above 1100 will meet the 6-semester-hour quantitative/reasoning requirement (for example, the calculus sequence   and  ). The communication/writing requirements and quantitative intensive will be met by currently required chemistry courses. However, we encourage students to consider upper-division writing courses to hone their skills in this important area. Most chemistry majors earn a B.S. degrees, those seeking the B.A. degree must complete 16 semester hours split evenly between first-year and second-year language courses.

The above section is designed to guide chemistry majors in meeting University graduation requirements, and does not supersede or replace any such rules. Students should consult with the Academic Advising Center, 450 SSB, for assistance in meeting these and other university wide requirements.

A minimum of 122 semester hours is required to graduate and at least 40 semester hours must be in upper-division courses numbered 3000 and above. Most of the chemistry degree programs require about 32-34 upper-division hours; thus, students should plan to take additional upper-division work in chemistry, physics, or mathematics, or in their general education courses to meet this 40-semester-hour standard. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 based on University of Utah work only is required by the University. In addition, the department requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 based on all courses taken in the College of Science at the University of Utah for the particular degree option chosen, and a minimum grade of C- in each science class as well as classes specific to each emphasis. For chemistry classes taken at other institutions, the minimum grade required is a C. A minimum of 12 upper division semester hours of chemistry courses must be taken in residence at the University of Utah. Finally, all chemistry majors must pass four of the five departmental comprehensive exams in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, which are normally given twice each semester. Notification will be sent by email to students formally listed as chemistry majors. Generally students may take these exams in their final three semesters.

Chemistry majors are highly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research, whether through

  or CHEM 4999 - Honors Thesis/Project . For those having the professional emphasis, either of these classes will automatically count for respective maxima of 2 or 3 units toward the advanced laboratory requirement. For those having other emphases, 1 or 2 units of Chem 4800 or Chem 4999 may usually be counted toward emphasis requirements (see programs below). All potential undergraduate researchers are strongly encouraged to look into the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for possible support

Other Areas. Students may choose to design a degree program that emphasizes another specialized area, provided they obtain departmental approval of their proposed program before entering their last two years of undergraduate study. Please note that such proposed programs must contain the chemistry, physics, and mathematics core courses listed above, have an additional semester of physical chemistry, and at least two advanced laboratory courses. In intellectual rigor, they should be similar to the approved programs listed above and have some rational connection to the field of chemistry.

The above section is designed as a guide for meeting the Chemistry Department’s requirements. To ensure that they are meeting the graduation requirements, students must consult with the departmental advisor, Tascha Knowlton, Room 2112 Henry Eyring Building, 801-585-7284, e-mail:  for additional information or advice in planning their program.

Graduate Program

Please see the Chemistry M.A., M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D., Chemistry (Teaching) M.S., and Chemical Physics Ph.D. listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.

Program and Course Offerings



    Undergraduate MajorMinorMasterDoctorate


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