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Undergraduate Programs

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Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Studies

In addition to preparing students to graduate with a B.S. degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Biosciences from our department, we also provide undergraduate instruction to many students who need training in chemistry or biochemistry. Around one half of University of Oklahoma undergraduates take at least one course in Chemistry.

In our general chemistry courses we provide students with the theoretical tools to understand the role of chemistry in nature. We also provide laboratory experiences that teach how to observe and extract data from experiments, how to process experimental data, reach scientific conclusions and how to put those conclusions into the broad context of understanding how the natural world changes.

Our advanced courses in Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry provide deeper insights and understanding in these specialized fields. Most of these courses provide advanced laboratory experience to deepen understanding of the field and to provide practical skills that are needed to prepare students for research work or as practitioners upon graduation. The undergraduate coursework culminates with capstone experiences. We offer capstone courses in advanced techniques of biochemistry, nanotechnology, proteomics, medicinal chemistry and research thesis options.

We recognize from personal experience and through feedback from our undergraduates that participating in undergraduate research is one of the most fulfilling and important components of undergraduate training. Our department offers tremendous opportunities for undergraduates to participate in faculty-mentored research starting with a First Year Research Experience (FYRE) on through to a senior thesis. Additional information is on our Undergraduate Research web pages.

Major Degrees Offered

The Chemistry and Biochemistry (Standard) major is the most flexible degree program offered by the department, as it allows for some choice among the advanced courses. It allows students with other interests to develop a curriculum that best suits them. The resulting degree is Bachelor of Science. It requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of chemistry courses beyond General Chemistry. 

B170 - Chemistry and Biochemistry (Standard) Degree Requirements (pdf)

The Chemistry (Professional) major is most suitable for majors who plan to pursue a graduate degree after obtaining their baccalaureate degree. It is the most rigorous in its chemistry course requirements. The professional degree program also is a very good choice for students who begin their chemical studies unsure of their ultimate degree goal. This is because it is much easier to switch from the Professional degree program to either the Chemistry Standard or Biochemistry degree programs, even as late as the senior year, than it is to switch to the professional option from the standard option or biochemistry degree program.

The Chemistry (Professional) degree is certified by the American Chemical Society as appropriate for students wanting to pursue graduate studies. It also provides the best background in chemistry for students planning to pursue a job in chemistry after obtaining the baccalaureate degree. It is not a required degree for graduate study in chemistry or biochemistry, however, and some students prefer to take one of the other degree options so that there is room in their schedules to take additional courses outside chemistry that meet their career goals. For example, students wanting to pursue a research career in pharmaceutical research or biochemistry would probably want to take additional courses in microbiology or zoology. The Professional degree requires a total of 40 credit hours of chemistry courses beyond General Chemistry.

B175 - Chemistry (Professional) Degree Requirements (pdf)

The Biochemistry major is appropriate for premedical and predental students or students with a strong interest in biomedical research. It includes advanced biochemistry coursework as well as a molecular biology course. It requires 36 credit hours of chemistry courses beyond General Chemistry.

B100 - Biochemistry Degree Requirements (pdf)

This is our newest undergraduate degree, aimed at students who are specifically focused on a career in a healthcare profession. The requirements overlap with the pre-requisites for medical, pharmacy, dental and other health-related programs. As such, it does not adequately prepare students for a traditional graduate program in chemistry or biochemistry, but might prepare them for a graduate program in biomedical studies (depending on the entry requirements for the individual program, since these can vary). And it will not prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the chemical industry. Students would be prepared for work in medical labs and related opportunities. So students entering this program should be very focused on these types of careers and not considering a traditional graduate program in chemistry or biochemistry. It requires a minimum of 40 hours of chemistry and biological science courses beyond general chemistry.

B155 - Chemical Biosciences Degree Requirements (pdf)

The Chemistry Minor (N175) is available to students majoring in other subjects. It can be attained by completing 15 major credit hours of upper-division Chemistry. No more than three of these credit hours may be completed through independent study. At least 6 hours must be earned in courses acceptable for residence credit by Arts and Sciences standards (i.e. excluding transfer, correspondence, and examination credit). Students who are interested in obtaining a chemistry minor should contact their advising college.