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 credit)
  • CHM 421 Chemical Instrumentation 2: Electrochemical and Molecular Spectral Analysis Techniques (.50 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.

Licensure in Secondary Science Education

As a science teacher at the middle (grades 5-8) or high school (grades 9-12) level, you’ll be in great demand—and you’ll make a lasting difference. Teaching is a great way to combine your interest in chemistry with a passion for influencing the next generation.

Students should convey their intentions to teach as soon as possible to their advisor. Students who declare a double major in Chemistry and Secondary Science Education are eligible for the Elmhurst Noyce STEM Teachers Scholarship Program.


Chemistry students should complete the Secondary Teacher Application. See the Director of Teacher Education Admission, William Slodki, for further information about application requirements.

Education Requirements

As a Chemistry major or minor at Elmhurst, you can earn a license to teach science at the middle school level, or teach chemistry or AP chemistry at the high school level, by completing a specified course sequence in chemistry and broadfield science courses (biology, chemistry, physics and earth space science).

  • EDU 104 Cultural Foundations of Education in the United States
  • SEC 223 Education of PK–12 Learners with Exceptionalities
  • SEC 311 Educational Psychology
  • SEC 100 Introductory Seminar to Teaching as a Caring Profession (.25 credit) 
  • SEC 300 Intermediate Seminar for Teaching in Diverse and Inclusive Schools (.25 credit)
  • SEC 310 Methods and Best Practices in Middle and Secondary Education
  • TEL 317 Methods and Materials for Teaching English Language Learners (.75 credit)
  • SEC 360 The Middle School: History, Philosophy, Organizational Structures and Best Practices
  • SEC 421 Theory and Practice for Building Academic Literacies in K-12 Classrooms
  • SEC 450 Advanced Seminar in Teacher Collaboration and Professional Practice (.25 credit)
  • SEC 440 The Teaching of Middle and Secondary School Science
  • SEC 455 Student Teaching in Secondary Schools (3.00 credits; requires formal admission to student teaching)

Students must apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program in the Department of Education. Students should keep in close contact with both the chemistry and biochemistry and education departments to complete the requirements for the major and teacher licensure.

Broadfield Science Requirements

  • BIO 200 General Biology I
  • BIO 201 General Biology II
  • CHM 211 Chemical Principles I and CHM 212 Chemical Principles II or
    CHM 220 Advanced Chemical Principles
  • GEO 102 Earth System Science or
    AST 212 Introduction to Astronomy
  • PHY 121 General Physics I or
    PHY 122 General Physics II

Chemistry Concentration for Secondary Science Education

For a minor in Chemistry, the following courses are required. At least three of the five courses must be completed at Elmhurst University. See Chemistry major if completing the major.

  • CHM 211, 212 Chemical Principles I and II or
    CHM 220 Advanced Chemical Principles
  • 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

Minor in Chemistry

A chemistry minor is an excellent option for majors in 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 211, 212 Chemical Principles I and II or
    CHM 220 Advanced Chemical Principles
  • 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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