Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the miniaturized world of atoms and molecules. Chemists analyze the structure of this world of chemicals, discover the forces that govern chemical changes, and invent chemical reactions which create new molecules and materials for the benefit of mankind. For example, most of the clothes we wear and the containers that hold our food are made of synthetic fibers and polymers that were conceived and developed by chemists. Life-saving pharmaceuticals are designed and synthesized by chemists. The development of insecticides, cosmetics, fragrances, fertilizers, and high-tech materials are other examples of the impact of chemistry on society. The objective of the Illinois Institute of Technology undergraduate program in chemistry is to provide rigorous education in the fundamental areas of chemical theory and chemical experimentation. Students become well-trained for industrial careers in research and development, chemical analysis, or chemical manufacturing and marketing. The opportunity for participation in an original research project also provides the necessary experiences for entrance into graduate school in one of the chemical sciences. In addition, the undergraduate program in chemistry provides excellent pre-professional training for careers in medicine (see Preparatory Program for Medical Studies and iit.edu/~premed), law, business, and other areas of science and healthcare. The university has developed a very flexible curriculum which, in addition to our standard Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree, gives students the option of selecting an area of chemical emphasis such as biological, pharmaceutical, polymer, materials, chemical physics, or chemical education. Students learn not only the basic science of chemistry but also the practical aspects of the discipline and its numerous applications. The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree is approved by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.

Coursework

The first stage of undergraduate training provides a solid foundation in all of the five basic areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, and biochemistry). Most of these courses include required laboratory work. These laboratories provide extensive practical exposure to each of these areas and experience with modern chemical instrumentation such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and gas and high-pressure liquid chromatography. Concurrently, students take courses to strengthen their understanding of mathematics and physics. Students are invited and encouraged to attend weekly chemistry colloquia where lectures are given by prominent chemists from industrial, governmental, and academic laboratories. In the second stage, students take advanced and specialized courses which focus on career interests. Students are encouraged to participate in a research project under the supervision of a member of the chemistry faculty. This research may lead to a senior thesis. Students may receive certification of their Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree through the American Chemical Society (acs.org) by selection of appropriate chemistry electives.

Optional Degree Programs in Chemistry

Because of the diversity of interests of students in chemistry and the increasing interdisciplinary impact of chemistry in other areas, the university offers optional degree programs in chemistry. Each degree program maintains the five basic core areas of chemistry while at the same time providing options to prepare students to enter an operationally well-recognized career path. Students can elect the traditional Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree where they choose their own technical electives or focus on one of the following six options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Biological Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Chemical Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Chemical Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Materials Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Polymer Chemistry
 

Required Courses

Chemistry Requirements (54)
CHEM 100Introduction to the Profession2
CHEM 124Principles of Chemistry I with Laboratory4
CHEM 125Principles of Chemistry II with Laboratory4
CHEM 237Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 239Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 240Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 247Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 321Instrumental Analysis4
CHEM 343Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 344Physical Chemistry II4
CHEM 415Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 416Advanced Chemistry Laboratory 13
CHEM 434Spectroscopic Methods in Identification and Analysis4
CHEM 451Undergraduate Seminar3
CHEM 485Chemistry Colloquium 11
CHEM 485Chemistry Colloquium 11
Select two CHEM electives 26
Biology Requirements (6-7)
BIOL 107General Biology Lectures3
or BIOL 115 Human Biology
BIOL 401Introductory Biochemistry3-4
or BIOL 403 Biochemistry
Mathematics Requirements (18)
MATH 151Calculus I5
MATH 152Calculus II5
MATH 251Multivariate and Vector Calculus4
MATH 252Introduction to Differential Equations4
Physics Requirements (8)
PHYS 123General Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 221General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4
Computer Science Requirement (2)
CS 105Introduction to Computer Programming2
or CS 110 Computing Principles
Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements (21)
See IIT Core Curriculum, sections B and C21
Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) (6)
See IIT Core Curriculum, section E6
Free Electives (12)
Select 12 credit hours12
Total Credit Hours127-128
1

CHEM 416 and CHEM 485 are not required for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree with emphasis in Chemical Education.

2

Students may choose from CHEM 410, CHEM 450, CHEM 454, CHEM 455, CHEM 470, CHEM 487, and CHEM 500+ level courses. Students planning on taking CHEM 487 must complete CHEM 450 in a previous semester and are only required to take one semester of CHEM 485.

 

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry Curriculum

Year 1
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHEM 1244CHEM 1002
CS 105 or 1102CHEM 1254
MATH 1515MATH 1525
Humanities 200-level Course3PHYS 1234
 Social Sciences Elective3
 14 18
Year 2
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHEM 2374CHEM 2393
BIOL 107 or 1153CHEM 2402
MATH 2514CHEM 2473
PHYS 2214MATH 2524
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective3Humanities Elective (300+)3
 18 15
Year 3
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHEM 3214CHEM 3444
CHEM 3433CHEM 4344
Chemistry Elective13CHEM 4851
IPRO Elective I3Humanities Elective (300+)3
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3Free Elective3
 16 15
Year 4
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours
CHEM 4153CHEM 41623
CHEM 4513CHEM 48521
BIOL 401 or 4033-4Chemistry Elective13
Free Elective3IPRO Elective3
Free Elective3Social Sciences Elective (300+)3
 Free Elective3
 15-16 16
Total Credit Hours: 127-128
1

Students may choose from CHEM 410, CHEM 450, CHEM 454, CHEM 455, CHEM 470, CHEM 487, and CHEM 500+ courses. Students planning on taking CHEM 487 must take CHEM 450 in a previous semester and are only required to take one semester of CHEM 485.

2

CHEM 416 and CHEM 485 are not required for students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with an emphasis in Chemical Education.

Note: CHEM 321, CHEM 434, CHEM 415 and CHEM 451 are not offered every semester. The curriculum may differ in semesters 5 through 8 depending on course offerings.

 

BS in Chemistry with Secondary Science Teaching Certification Curriculum

Year 1
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours 
CHEM 1244CHEM 1002 
CS 105 or 1102CHEM 1254 
MATH 1515MATH 1525 
Humanities 200-level Course3PHYS 1234 
 Social Sciences Elective3 
 14 18
Year 2
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit HoursSemester 3Credit Hours
CHEM 2374CHEM 2393Social Sciences Elective (300+)3
BIOL 107 or 1153CHEM 2402 
MSED 2003CHEM 2473 
PHYS 2214MATH 2524 
Humanities or Social Sciences Elective3MSED 2503 
 Humanities Elective (300+)3 
 17 18 3
Year 3
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours 
CHEM 3433CHEM 3444 
CHEM 3214CHEM 4344 
MSED 3003MSED 4003 
MSED 3203Humanities Elective (300+)3 
IPRO Elective3  
 16 14
Year 4
Semester 1Credit HoursSemester 2Credit Hours 
CHEM 4153MSED 4506 
BIOL 4013MSED 4976 
CHEM 4513  
MSED 3503  
IPRO Elective3  
Social Sciences Elective (300+)3  
 18 12
Total Credit Hours: 130

Note: CHEM 321, CHEM 434, CHEM 415 and CHEM 451 are not offered every semester. The curriculum may differ in semesters 5 through 7 depending on course offerings. All four courses will be offered, and must be taken, during the three semesters preceding student teaching (MSED 450).

Optional Chemistry Degree Program Course Requirements

Students choosing to pursue one of the optional degree programs below must take the following prescribed courses as chemistry and free electives. Detailed sample curricula are available for each of the degree programs here.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Emphasis in Biological Chemistry

Program Adviser: R. Wang

Biological chemistry is the study of the structure, composition, and chemical reactions of substances found in living systems. This option provides the necessary link between chemistry and biology which allows students to learn both the theory and technical skills required to initiate and successfully complete scientific problems at the interface of these two disciplines. The biological chemistry option is particularly well suited for students interested in the molecular basis of medicine. The option provides all the necessary background material required for admission to any medical, osteopathic, or veterinary school in the country.

Students must take:

BIOL 210Microbiology3
BIOL 214Genetics3
BIOL 402Metabolic Biochemistry3
BIOL 404Biochemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 538Physical Biochemistry3

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Emphasis in Chemical Physics

Program Adviser: D. Minh

Chemical physics is focused on the development of theoretical constructs and experimental methodologies to infer the properties of bulk matter from a molecular prospective. Chemical physicists seek to unravel varied mysteries such as how proteins fold, how nanostructures form and behave, and how small molecules interact with cell membranes. The chemical physics option provides a solid foundation in chemistry with extensive coursework in physics and mathematics allowing students to make connections using the language of mathematics and the laws of physics to solve chemical problems.

Students must take:

PHYS 308Classical Mechanics I3
PHYS 405Fundamentals of Quantum Theory I3
PHYS 410Molecular Biophysics3
PHYS 440Computational Physics3
Select one of the following:3
Modern Optics and Lasers3
Electromagnetism I3
Solid State Physics3

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Emphasis in Materials Chemistry

Program Adviser:  M.I. Khan

Materials chemistry is focused on the preparation and characterization of pure chemicals or chemical systems that have some unique function. This function can be dependent on the material’s optical, electronic, magnetic, or catalytic properties. The materials chemistry option draws from all five of the basic areas of chemistry to lay the foundation for understanding the synthesis, structure, characterization, and applications of materials. A particularly strong emphasis of the program is programmatic access to advanced X-crystallographic instrumentation to study the structure of inorganic-based materials in the solid state.

Students must take:

CHEM 470Introduction to Polymers3
MS 201Materials Science3
PHYS 437Solid State Physics3
Select two courses from the following:6
Structural Inorganic and Materials Chemistry3
Efficient Chemical and Materials Synthesis
Electrical, Magnetic, and Optical Properties of Materials3
Solid State Electronics

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Emphasis in Pharmaceutical Chemistry1

Program Adviser: H. S. Chong

Pharmaceutical chemistry is an area of chemistry focused on the development of new drugs used to prevent, cure, or relieve symptoms of disease. Modern medical practice relies on an enormous armamentarium of drugs that block, counteract, or lessen the debilitating effects of disease. The pharmaceutical chemistry option emphasizes the synthesis and characterization of pharmaceuticals as well as the relationship between the structure of the drug to its biological activity.

Students must take:

BIOL 402Metabolic Biochemistry3
CHEM 455Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 497Special Projects1-6
CHEM 531Tactics in Organic Synthesis3
CHEM 539Introduction to Pharmaceutical Chemistry3
1

Students interested in pursuing the pharmaceutical chemistry or polymer chemistry degree option must submit a formal letter of intent to a program adviser by the end of their second year. To insure adequate performance in CHEM 455 and graduate-level organic chemistry courses, students should have completed CHEM 237 and CHEM 239 with grades of "B" or better. Students must also take the American Chemical Society placement examination in organic chemistry after they complete CHEM 239. The results will be used for advising and tracking purposes.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Emphasis in Polymer Chemistry1

Program Adviser: B. Mandal

A polymer is a chain of small molecules linked together to form a larger single molecule. Chemists make polymers because of their unique properties which they impart to products such as paints and adhesives, drug delivery systems, and artificial skin. The polymer chemistry option emphasizes the techniques involved in the synthesis and characterization of polymeric materials.

Students must take:

CHEM 455Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 470Introduction to Polymers3
CHEM 535Polymer Synthesis3
CHEM 537Polymer Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 542Polymer Characterization and Analysis3
1

Students interested in pursuing the pharmaceutical chemistry or polymer chemistry degree option must submit a formal letter of intent to a program adviser by the end of their second year. To insure adequate performance in CHEM 455 and graduate-level organic chemistry courses, students should have completed CHEM 237 and CHEM 239 with grades of "B" or better. Students must also take the American Chemical Society placement examination in organic chemistry after they complete CHEM 239. The results will be used for advising and tracking purposes.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Secondary Science Teaching Certification

Program Adviser: C. Sobers

There is a national need for teachers with a rigorous training in chemistry. The chemical education option not only leads to the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree but also enables a student to obtain a science teaching certificate through the Department of Mathematics and Science Education (see Mathematics and Science Education and iit.edu/csl/msed).

Students must take:

MSED 200Analysis of Classrooms3
MSED 250Middle and Secondary Curriculum/Foundations3
MSED 300Instructional Methods/Strategies I3
MSED 320Inquiry and Problem Solving in Mathematics and Science3
MSED 350Advanced Methods for Inclusive Instruction and Practicum3
MSED 400Instructional Methods/Strategies II3
MSED 450Professional Internship6
MSED 497Special Projects1-6

Premedical Program for Chemistry Majors

Program Adviser: C. Sobers

Students majoring in chemistry can earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree and, at the same time, fulfill the prerequisites for medical school. For detailed information, visit the Premedical Program website (science.iit.edu/pre-medicine). The following is a list of university science courses that fulfill the premedical requirements of most medical schools:

BIOL 107General Biology Lectures3
BIOL 109General Biology Laboratory1
BIOL 115Human Biology3
BIOL 117Human Biology Laboratory1
CHEM 124Principles of Chemistry I with Laboratory4
CHEM 125Principles of Chemistry II with Laboratory4
CHEM 237Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 239Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 240Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
PHYS 123General Physics I: Mechanics4
PHYS 221General Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism4