Undergraduate Program

SMU Chemistry Undergraduate Program

chemistry notes

Undergraduate Program in Chemistry at SMU

Chemistry is a central discipline in the understanding of natural phenomena and the creation of products useful to humanity. Chemists are at the forefront of exciting research in material design, biology, medicine, nanotechnology, and environmental technologies. Challenging problems reaching from basic research to societal needs and from terrorism defense to environmental protection can be addressed with an educational background in chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry at SMU prepares students to meet the increasing demand for a scientifically trained workforce. Expertise in chemistry remains in high demand in the job market. Students and faculty build strong interactions in the classrooms, research labs, and through co-authoring papers. The emphasis in all courses offered by the Department of Chemistry is a modern scientific approach to the solution of chemical problems including biochemistry and the health sciences. Accredited by the American Chemical Society, the Department of Chemistry at SMU supports the commitment of the University to undergraduate learning, while also maintaining a strong graduate and research program.  To support undergraduate chemistry majors, the department typically offers 15–20 scholarships annually from department endowed funds.  

The atmosphere of the Chemistry Department is an informal one where students have easy access to the faculty. All chemistry majors are encouraged to join a faculty research group and work in teams with faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Graduates from the Department of Chemistry are consistently accepted into leading graduate and professional schools in the nation. Those who choose employment after graduation have no difficulty finding positions, with a particular area of success being the local school districts.

Major in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Chemistry.  In addition to chemistry courses, both degrees require students to take courses in mathematics and physics.

Bachelor of Science With a Major in Chemistry

The B.S. degree is a more rigorous degree that requires considerably more teaching laboratory hours and undergraduate research.  The B.S. degree is intended for students who desire a complete and well-rounded chemistry background for graduate work in chemistry or the medical field.  The B.S. degree is also well-suited for students desiring employment immediately after graduation.  The B.S degree requires a minimum of 44 hours in the department, including eight hours of physics and nine hours of calculus.  Three credit hours of undergraduate research are also required, although most B.S. majors conduct research for more than this requirement. The B.S. degree is certified by the American Chemical Society for professional training in chemistry.

Bachelor of Arts With a Major in Chemistry

The B.A. degree is intended for students who desire a general training in chemistry that still provides adequate preparation for graduate work in chemistry or the medical field.  The B.A. degree is also suited for those students wishing to add a major in another field.  The B.A. degree requires a minimum of 26 credit hours in the department, in addition to eight hours of physics and six hours of calculus or statistics. This degree is not certified by the American Chemical Society.

Minor in Chemistry

Students majoring in other departments may obtain a minor in chemistry by completing CHEM 1303, 1113 and CHEM 1304, 1114 plus three additional advanced three- or four-hour courses to be chosen in consultation with the Chemistry Department adviser. Note that organic chemistry courses taken elsewhere generally do not count as advanced hours towards the minor.

Academic Advising for all Chemistry majors and minors: please contact Professor Werner Horsthemke, email: whorsthe@mail.smu.edu, phone: 214.786.4241. Detailed degree requirements including a suggested four-year plan can be found at http://faculty.smu.edu/whorsthe/advising.html