Major in Chemistry
Major in Chemistry: Biochemistry
Teaching of Chemistry
BA/MA Program in Chemistry
Minor in Chemistry
Interdisciplinary Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)

Each of the following programs uses a common set of required core chemistry courses and required related courses, which are listed below.  A chemistry program qualifies students for certification by the American Chemical Society.

Core Chemistry Courses:

  • General Chemistry (CH 111/112, or CH 109/110, or CH 101/102/201)
  • Organic Chemistry (CH 211/212, or CH 203/214, or CH 203/204/220)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (CH 232)
  • Two of the following: Chemical Synthesis and Analysis (CH 301), Instrumental Analysis Laboratory (CH 303), Physical Chemistry Lab (CH 354)
  • Physical Chemistry I (CH 351)
  • Physical Chemistry II (CH 352)
  • Biochemistry (CH 421)

Required Related Courses:

  • Calculus (MA 123/124 or MA 127 or MA 129, and CH 225 or MA 225 or MA 230)
  • Physics (PY 211/212, or PY 241/242, or PY 251/252)

Major in Chemistry

Option A (Intensive):

Core chemistry courses, required related courses, plus two advanced four-credit courses in chemistry numbered CAS CH 401 or higher; only one of these two advanced courses may be a research course, i.e., CH 401, CH 402, CH 491 or CH 492*. One of these advanced courses may be satisfied by the completion of the requirements of a Major or minor in astronomy, biology, biomedical engineering, earth sciences, physics, mathematics, neuroscience or computer science. Students in the MMEDIC program may substitute GMS BI 555 and CAS CH 527 for CH 421, and GMS BI 556 and CAS CH 528 for CH 422; one additional course in chemistry numbered CAS CH 401 or higher is required.

* Applies to students entering Boston University during academic year 2008-2009 and later.

Option B:

Core chemistry courses, required related courses, plus one additional advanced four-credit course as described under Option A.

Major in Chemistry: Biochemistry

Core chemistry courses, required related courses, CAS BI 118 (or 108), BI 213 (or 203), CAS CH 422, and one additional 400 or higher level CH course in biochemistry or biological chemistry, including research in biochemistry (401, 402, 491, 492).

Teaching of Chemistry

Core chemistry courses, required related courses, plus SED ED 100/101; DS 502; SE 251; ED 410, 412; CT 575; SC 571, 572; SC 509 or 510.

BA/MA in Chemistry

This program of a minimum of 37 courses allows the student to receive the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees in five years. With the consent of the advisor, and with two summers of academic work, the program may be completed in four years. The departmental BA/MA statement and further information are available from the graduate program coordinator.

For the BA/MA, there are some basic rules to follow.

  1. The earliest you may apply is the Spring of the sophomore (4th semester of enrollment) year for admission into the program at the start of the junior (5th semester of enrollment) year. The latest you may apply is the Spring semester of your junior year (6th semester of enrollment).
  2. Students must be a CAS student.  They cannot be in BUCOP.
  3. Generally there is a BA/MA advisor in each department.  This will likely be a faculty member.  Whoever the advisor is must sign off on the application form.
  4. Student’s GPA must meet the minimum requirement of 3.0 through the end of the junior year.
  5. The deadline for the application is November 30, 2015 for Spring 2016 and April 18, 2016 for Fall 2016.  Any applications received after this time should have the “Request for Waiver of Application Deadline” completed as well as signed by the BA/MA advisor.
  6. Ask two faculty members in the field of proposed study to submit recommendations for you using the Recommendation for Admission form. You should complete the top portion of each form and ask your referees to email the completed forms to
  7. Finally, please note that if the student is a dual Major, Dean Hughes will need to review the application (especially the Plan of Study).

For more general information about BA/MA programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, please refer to the BA/MA Programs website.

Minor in Chemistry

CAS CH 111, 112 (or CH 101, 102, 201 or CH 109, 110), 211, 212 (or 203, 214 or 203, 204, 220), and one advanced four-credit course in chemistry (CH 232 or a 300-level or higher nonresearch course). Students in the MMEDIC program may substitute GMS BI 555, 556 for this advanced course. Neither CH 201 nor CH 220 may be counted toward the five course requirement for the minor in chemistry. Note that according to CAS rules,  “a student wishing to take a minor may use no more than two courses from a Major to fulfill the requirements of a minor.” Students interested in the minor should contact the associate chairman for undergraduate affairs.

Interdisciplinary Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Two degrees are offered by this interdisciplinary program: the BA in biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) and the MA in biotechnology. The program includes faculty and resources in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at CAS. It offers an exceptionally broad range of opportunities for coursework and research in the molecular biosciences. The BA in biochemistry and molecular biology may be of interest to students as a means of preparing for graduate school, graduate professional studies (in medicine, dentistry, law, or business), teaching, or employment in the biotechnology industry. This program follows the guidelines for undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology recommended by the American Society of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology. When coupled with the MA in biotechnology, it serves as the undergraduate component of a coherent BA/MA program.

Students with potential interests in the molecular biosciences should note that several paths leading in this direction are available at Boston University, each with its particular objectives. In addition to the interdisciplinary BA program described in this section, related but distinct programs exist as Majors in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Each biochemistry and molecular biology student will be assigned a permanent faculty advisor through the BMB administrator in the Department of Biology. The advisor will meet with the student regularly and assist in drawing up a long-range program of study.

For degree requirements in this field, please refer to the Undergraduate Bulletin for the College of Arts and Sciences.