Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

You will be prepared as a chemistry major for professional careers as chemists, either upon graduation or after graduate study in chemistry or related fields. In addition, the chemistry degree may serve as a basis for a wide range of career choices outside of chemistry, including but not limited to: materials science, medicine and other healthcare related occupations, pharmacology, secondary school teaching, environmental science, and patent law.

Why choose Chemistry?

As a central discipline, chemistry is critical for making significant positive impacts on human life. Chemistry is critical to solving today's issues such as faster and cheaper drug development, cleaner and more economical fuel sources, safer air and drinking water, biotechnology to improve health and food sources, and green industrial processes to prevent pollution. A chemistry degree can lead you to fascinating and high-paying careers where you can create new drugs, new materials, new technologies, new theories, new policies, or new businesses. Billion-dollar industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, household and personal care products hire chemists in quality assurance, technical sales, research project management, and many other positions.

Our chemistry curriculum provides broad and comprehensive training in all areas of modern chemistry, including coursework in the major sub-disciplines of chemistry: organic, inorganic, physical, biological, and analytical.

Shivaliben "Shivali" Patel

a Chemistry major

Shivaliben "Shivali" Patel, a Chemistry major, served as Chancellor for a Day on February 3, 2016. Shivali stated that she "strives to be the best representative for FSU, whether it is on campus by doing research with professors as an LSAMP scholar, or off-campus serving as a tutor at the Fayetteville Urban Ministry." She feels that as Chancellor for a Day she will learn more about administrative processes as well as other things, which would make her a better and more successful person. Always striving for excellence, she has been on the Chancellor's Honors List each semester.

What will you learn, in general, in each of the courses?

General Chemistry: molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, periodic trends, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, thermodynamics.

Organic Chemistry: structure, bonding, and reactions involving organic compounds, organic mechanisms, organic synthesis, spectroscopy.

Physical Chemistry: states of matter, thermodynamics, phase diagrams and phase equilibria, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, quantum mechanics.

Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis: making accurate and precise measurements, scientific statistics, laboratory instrument operation, quantitative analysis.

Inorganic Chemistry: structure and bonding of inorganic compounds, coordination compounds, organometallics, group theory, spectroscopy, molecular orbital theory.

Biochemistry: chemistry of: amino acids, proteins, polymers, enzymes, nucleic acids, lipids, cholesterol; metabolic pathways, phosphorylation.

In addition to these chemistry courses, you will be taking several physics, mathematics, and chemistry elective courses.

How much time will you spend in the lab?

Hopefully, lots of time! An important aspect of your training as a future chemist is learning the skills of research. Because chemistry is an experimental science, work in the laboratory is the method by which new areas of the field are discovered and contributions to society are made.

Most schools require that laboratory work be included as part of main classes - General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, etc.; however, we offer labs as separate classes. In other words, you will take the lectures and labs separately. In laboratory classes, expect to spend several hours working in the laboratory or analyzing data you have collected. You will be learning techniques that will serve you well as you develop your ability to ask good scientific questions and explore possible solutions. You will also reinforce what you have learned in lecture classes and gain the ability to support the theory you have learned with an applied context.

In the chemistry lab, you will learn how to:

  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Make accurate and precise measurements
  • Use instruments
  • Keep an accurate and complete laboratory notebook
  • Handle chemicals and dispose of them safely
  • Work independently or as part of a team
  • Communicate your results orally or in writing
  • Synthesize, separate, and characterize chemical compounds



You may choose one of the following 5 (five) concentrations:

General Chemistry Concentration

General Chemistry Track prepares students for graduate school in chemistry (or related fields) or a career in the chemical industry.

4-Year Plan for General Chemistry Concentration (PDF).

Faculty Coordinator(s) for General Chemistry Concentration: Dr. Shubo Han and Dr. Bidisha Bose-Basu

Academic Advisor: Ms. Andrea Bennett

Chemistry Entrepreneurship Concentration

The Chemistry Entrepreneurship Concentration is intended for students who wish to pursue the fields of chemistry and business; it contains a solid foundation in chemistry and an introduction to business and entrepreneurship coursework.

4-Year Plan for Chemistry Entrepreneurship Concentration (PDF).

Faculty Coordinator(s) for Chemistry Entrepreneurship Concentration: Dr. Jonathan Breitzer 

Professional Academic Advisor: Ms. Andrea Bennett

Materials Science Concentration

The Materials Science Concentration is ideal for students interested in the growing field of nanotechnology and materials on all scales; it prepares students for a variety of graduate programs in engineering, industry, and related fields.

4-Year Plan for Materials Science Concentration (PDF).

Faculty Coordinator(s) for Materials Science Concentration: Dr. Zhiping Luo

Professional Academic Advisor: Ms. Andrea Bennett

Pre-Pharmacy Concentration

The Pre-Pharmacy Concentration is designed to prepare students for success in professional pharmacy degree programs.

4-Year Plan for Pre-Pharmacy Concentration (PDF).

Faculty Coordinator(s) for Pre-Pharmacy Concentration: Dr. Daniel Autrey and Dr. Ali Siamaki

Professional Academic Advisor: Ms. Andrea Bennett

Pre-Health Concentration

The Pre-Health Concentration gives students the foundation they need for careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, physician's assistant, veterinary medicine, and other health-related careers. 

4-Year Plan for Pre-Health Concentration (PDF).

Faculty Coordinator(s) for Pre-Health Concentration: Dr. Subir Nagdas and Dr. Ali Siamaki

Professional Academic Advisor: Ms. Andrea Bennett