Major in Chemistry

The major in chemistry is the most flexible track and is appropriate for students planning to go directly into industry or secondary school teaching, those who would like flexibility in scheduling to accommodate other majors and/or minors, or students wishing to have a broad choice of chemistry upper-level electives.

Beginning with the fundamentals and progressing to advanced studies of both theoretical and applied chemistry, you’ll be able to tailor a curriculum that suits your personal goals. In addition to a solid chemistry education, you’ll learn sound research methods and technical writing skills, which are essential in the academic and business worlds.

The major in chemistry is also an excellent foundation for careers in environmental studies, law, business (chemical, pharmaceutical, and petroleum-related companies), technical writing and editing, and scientific information retrieval.

Major Requirements

Core Curriculum

  • CHM 220 Advanced Chemical Principles
    or CHM 211, 212 (or equivalent) Chemical Principles I and II
  • CHM 221 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM 311, 312 Organic Chemistry I and II
  • CHM 412 Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
  • CHM 413 Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Statistical Mechanics
  • CHM 494 Independent Research (.50 credit)
  • CHM 496, 499 Chemistry Research Seminar I and II (.25 credit each)
  • CHM 497, 498 Chemistry Literature Seminar I and II (.25 credit each)
  • MTH 151, 152 Calculus I and II
  • PHY 121, 122 General Physics I and II

Additional Requirements

  • CHM 420 Chemical Instrumentation 1: Chromatographic and Spectroscopic Techniques (.75 course credit)
  • CHM 421 Chemical Instrumentation 2: Electrochemical and Molecular Spectral Analysis Techniques (.50 course credit)
  • Three additional course credits of CHM courses at the 300/400 level

Recommended Courses

Depending on your career goals, our faculty will assist you in selecting classes to enhance your education. Common suggestions include math classes beyond MTH 152, CS 220 and BIO 200.

Chemistry courses with a minimum grade of C and taken within the last 10 years may be transferred into the department.

Secondary School Teaching Licensure

Qualified middle and high school science teachers are in great demand in the United States. Chemistry majors can earn a license for teaching in secondary schools by completing any of the majors in chemistry and a specified course sequence in both the chemistry and education departments.

For more information about becoming a middle or high school science teacher and applying for admission to a teacher licensure program in the Department of Education at Elmhurst College, see Broadfield Requirements for Secondary Science Licensure.

Minor in Chemistry

A chemistry minor is an excellent option for majors of other science fields to add to their credentials if they wish to apply to a pre-professional school, such as medical school, or if they want to teach secondary school chemistry along with biology, physics or mathematics. It’s also a valuable complement to a major in business administration or marketing.

Required Courses

  • CHM 220 Advanced Chemical Principles or CHM 211, 212 Chemical Principles I and II
  • CHM 311, 312 Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Two additional course credits of chemistry electives from the following: (one must have a lab)
    • CHM 221 Analytical Chemistry
    • Any 300/400-level chemistry course

Students should consult with department faculty for course selection to ensure that the laboratory requirements are met. A grade of C or higher in each course is required.

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