Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Chair’s Office
2040 Urey Hall Addition
(858) 534-5489
http://www-chem.ucsd.edu

Undergraduate Student Affairs
4010 York Hall, Revelle College
(858) 534-4856

Graduate Student Affairs
4010 York Hall, Revelle College
(858) 822-6014

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Introduction

The UC San Diego Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was founded in the 1950s by the late Professor Harold Urey and a group of colleagues who strove to create a department that would stress the fundamentals of chemistry and, at the same time, embrace diverse applications of those principles at the frontiers of knowledge.

Degrees offered include

Biochemistry

Chemistry

Chemistry—Premedical Majors

Either a biochemistry/chemistry major (CH31) or a chemistry major (CH25) with appropriate choice of electives provides a strong background for students intending to pursue careers in the medical sciences.

Premedical students are encouraged to complete a three-quarter general chemistry series (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH-6BH-6CH) in their first year. Medical schools may not accept Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level exam scores to satisfy admissions requirements (see below). Students should complete the organic chemistry series (CHEM 40A-B-C) in their sophomore year. The lower-division biology (BILD 1-2-3) series or equivalent is also required for most medical schools, along with certain upper-division biology courses, some of which may be counted toward the major requirements in chemistry. Students should meet with one of the department’s undergraduate advisers early in order to plan their courses and discuss their options. Career Services offers in-depth advising to premedical students: http://career.ucsd.edu/undergrads/interest-areas/pre-med.html.

General Chemistry

Basic Chemistry: CHEM 4 is a one-quarter preparation course for 6A. It includes a lab component and is to be taken by those advised to do so or those who don’t have a strong background in chemistry.

General Chemistry: CHEM 6A-B-C sequence is intended for science and engineering majors as well as others who need quantitative courses. It satisfies all pre-professional program requirements.

Honors General Chemistry: CHEM 6AH-6BH-6CH sequence is designed for science and engineering majors with strong preparation in science and mathematics.

A student intending to major in chemistry can thus begin with CHEM 4, 6A, or 6AH depending on the level of preparation. A student intending to major in a discipline other than chemistry should consult his or her adviser in the appropriate department to determine which chemistry course is recommended.

Advanced placement: A score of AP3 or AP4 exempts from CHEM 4 only, and students may take CHEM 6A-B-C, or CHEM 6AH-BH-CH for credit. A score of AP5 exempts from CHEM 6A-B-C, but students may take CHEM 6AH-BH-CH for credit and are encouraged to do so.

CHEM 11, 12, 13 (The Periodic Table, Molecules and Reactions, and Chemistry of Life) is a terminal sequence for nonscience/nonengineering majors. Students should check with their college advisers to determine applicability toward general-education requirements.

General Information on Undergraduate Major Requirements

Residency Requirement: To receive a bachelor of science from UC San Diego and fulfill the campus residency requirement, all chemistry majors (including transfer students) must complete at least forty-eight or more units of upper-division chemistry course work. This course work must be taken while officially enrolled at UC San Diego.

Grade Requirements for Majors: The minimum GPA requirement (for both the major GPA and overall UC GPA) for graduation is 2.0. The minimum passing grade in required chemistry course work is a D, although students may not graduate with more than one D grade in upper-division required major course work and must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in the major. All courses for the major, except for independent research (CHEM 196 and 199) and chemistry instruction (CHEM 195), must be taken for a letter grade. CHEM 195, 196, and 199 are taken on a P/NP basis.

American Chemistry Society (ACS) Certification: Students completing their degree with a major in chemistry (CH25), biochemistry/chemistry (CH31), or molecular synthesis (CH36) are automatically granted certification by the American Chemical Society. Students completing their degree with a major in environmental chemistry (CH34) or pharmacological chemistry (CH35) can receive ACS certification with the addition of one or more eligible courses (see below).

The suggested programs following each of the major descriptions are only examples. The quarters in which courses are offered are subject to change.

Biochemistry/Chemistry Major (CH31)

The biochemistry/chemistry major deals with the chemical processes in living organisms, including structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. It is suitable for those planning to go to graduate school or to medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional schools. It is also suitable at the bachelor’s level for jobs in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical field. Note the requirement for two advanced elective courses in biochemistry. If one does not wish to take so much biochemistry, one should major in chemistry and use electives to take the desired number of biochemistry courses.  

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (MATH 20A-B-C-D)
  3. Physics (PHYS 2A-B and either 2C or 2D)
  4. Physics laboratory (PHYS 2CL [recommended], 2BL or 2DL)
  5. Organic chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, 40C or 40CH, and 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of physical chemistry (CHEM 126-127 recommended, or CHEM 130, 131, and 132)
  2. One quarter of inorganic chemistry (CHEM 120A)
  3. Three quarters of biochemistry (CHEM 114AC)
  4. Five advanced laboratory courses (CHEM 100A, 143B, 105A, either 108 or 109 and one additional chemistry lab from the following: CHEM 100B, 105B, 108 or 109, 123, 143C, or 143D)
  5. Two restricted elective courses from the following list: CHEM 113, 114D, 116, 118, 125, 157, 164, 165, 167, 168. Other biochemistry-related courses may be approved by petition.
  6. One additional elective course chosen from among all of the upper-division courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (except non-letter graded courses) or from the following list of courses offered by the Division of Biological Sciences (some biology courses will require additional course work to fulfill prerequisites): BICD 100, BICD 110, BICD 140, BIMM 114, BIMM 120, BIPN 100, BIPN 102, BIPN 140. Other electives, including CHEM 195 and CHEM 199, may be approved by petition.

Suggested Program for Biochemistry/Chemistry BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

CHEM 6A

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

 

BILD 1*

CHEM 7LM

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CHEM 40A

CHEM 40B

CHEM 40C

CHEM 100A

CHEM 43AM

CHEM 143B

MATH 20D

PHYS 2B

PHYS 2C

PHYS 2A

 

 

JUNIOR YEAR

CHEM 114A

CHEM 114B

CHEM 105A

CHEM 126

CHEM 127

CHEM 114C

PHYS 2CL

CHEM 105A

 

SENIOR YEAR

CHEM 120A

CHEM 109

CHEM 108

Restricted Elective

Restricted Elective

Elective

*Recommended, but not required.

Chemistry Major (CH25)

The chemistry major provides a broad introduction in biochemistry, organic, physical, and inorganic chemistry. This major will enable a student to pursue further studies in chemistry or in related fields of science, medicine, or engineering.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (MATH 20A-B-C-D)
  3. Physics (PHYS 2A-B and either 2C or 2D)
  4. Physics laboratory (PHYS 2CL [recommended], 2BL or 2DL)
  5. Organic chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, 40C or 40CH, and 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Three quarters of physical chemistry (CHEM 130, 131, and 132)
  2. Two quarters of inorganic chemistry (CHEM 120A-B)
  3. One quarter of biochemistry (CHEM 114A)
  4. Five advanced laboratory courses (CHEM 100A, 143B, 105A and two of the following: CHEM 100B, 105B, 108, 109, 123, 143C, or 143D)
  5. Three additional four-unit upper-division courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. CHEM 195 or 199 (four units) may be petitioned to fulfill one elective.

Suggested Program for Chemistry BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

CHEM 6A

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

   

CHEM 7LM

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CHEM 40A

CHEM 40B

CHEM 40C

MATH 20D

CHEM 43AM

CHEM 43B

PHYS 2A

PHYS 2B

PHYS 2C

JUNIOR YEAR

CHEM 120A

CHEM 120B

CHEM 105A

CHEM 130

CHEM 131

CHEM 132

CHEM 100A

PHYS 2CL

 

SENIOR YEAR

CHEM 114A

Elective Lab

Elective

Elective Lab

Elective

Elective

 

 

 

Environmental Chemistry Major (CH34)

Students have an option of earning a BS in environmental chemistry with or without ACS-Certification. The ACS-Certified version is recommended for those who intend to apply to graduate school in chemistry. The noncertified program is designed to prepare students to enter the industrial, governmental, or legal workforce, or to continue studies in some of the environmental sciences.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (MATH 20A-B-C-D)
  3. Physics (PHYS 2A-B and either 2C or 2D)
  4. Physics laboratory (PHYS 2CL [recommended], 2BL or 2DL)
  5. Organic chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, and 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Physical chemistry (CHEM 130, 131, and 132 recommended, or CHEM 126-127)
  2. Three advanced laboratory courses (CHEM 100A-B, and 105A)
  3. Two quarters of environmental chemistry (CHEM 171 and 172)
  4. Atmospheric chemistry (CHEM 173) and marine chemistry (CHEM 174)

For ACS Certification

  1. Increase electives by one to a total of five
  2. For three of the electives, choose CHEM 40C, 114A, and 120A
  3. For two of the electives, choose two labs from among CHEM 143B-C-D, 108, 109, 123, 105B

Suggested Program for Environmental Chemistry BS Major (ACS certification requires one additional course)

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

CHEM 6A

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

 

PHYS 2A

CHEM 7LM

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CHEM 40A

CHEM 40B

PHYS 2CL

CHEM 100A

CHEM 43A

PHYS 2C

MATH 20D

PHYS 2B

 

JUNIOR YEAR

CHEM 130

CHEM 131

CHEM 132

CHEM 171

CHEM 172

CHEM 173

Elective

Elective

Elective

SENIOR YEAR

CHEM 105A

CHEM 100B

CHEM 174

Elective

 

 

Molecular Synthesis Major (CH36)

The molecular synthesis major offers a thorough training in all aspects of the molecular synthesis of organic, inorganic, and biological substances, along with a fundamental understanding of their structure and reactivity. This major provides an excellent preparation for employment in biotechnology, diagnostic, electronic, and pharmaceutical enterprises as well as for graduate programs in organic, bioorganic, and inorganic chemistry.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (MATH 20A-B-C-D)
  3. Physics (PHYS 2A-B and either 2C or 2D)
  4. Physics laboratory (PHYS 2CL [recommended], 2BL or 2DL)
  5. Organic chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, 40C or 40CH, and 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of physical chemistry (CHEM 126, 127)
  2. Two quarters of inorganic chemistry (CHEM 120A-B)
  3. One quarter of biochemistry (CHEM 114A)
  4. Five advanced laboratory courses (CHEM 100A, 143B, 105A, and two of 143C, 143D, 123)
  5. Synthetic methods (CHEM 152)
  6. Structural or mechanistic organic chemistry (CHEM 154 or 156)
  7. Bioorganic or bioinorganic chemistry (CHEM 125 or 157)
  8. One additional restricted elective course from the following: CHEM 114B-C, 155, 185, or 199 (by petition)

Suggested Program for Molecular Synthesis BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

CHEM 6A

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

  PHYS 2A

CHEM 7L

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CHEM 40A

CHEM 40B

CHEM 40C

CHEM 100A

CHEM 43AM

CHEM 143B

MATH 20D

PHYS 2B

PHYS 2C

JUNIOR YEAR

CHEM 120A

CHEM 120B

CHEM 105A

CHEM 127

CHEM 126

 

CHEM 143C or 143D

PHYS 2CL

 

SENIOR YEAR

CHEM 114A

CHEM 156 or 154

CHEM 125 or 157

CHEM 152

CHEM 123

Restricted Elective

Pharmacological Chemistry Major (CH35)

The pharmacological chemistry major provides a strong background in chemistry. The major is intended primarily to prepare students for pharmacy school (PharmD). As for any professional school, students will need to supplement this program with other courses to meet all entrance requirements. Many pharmacy schools require a course in Economics (usually Econ 1 or 3) and a course in public speaking. Many pharmacy schools also require a year of biology with lab. Students may elect an upper-division biology lab or they may consult with pharmacy schools as to their requirements. Students fulfilling their elective requirements with appropriate courses should be prepared for graduate school in biochemistry or other areas of science. Degree recipients would also be prepared for jobs in the biotechnology and chemical industries.

Advanced Placement: Pharmacological chemistry students are encouraged to complete a full year of general chemistry and a full year of lower-division biology. Some pharmacy programs may not accept tests such as the Advanced Placement exam to satisfy these requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. Biology (BILD 1 and 2)
  2. General chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 6A-B-C or 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  3. Calculus (MATH 20A-B-C-D)
  4. Physics (PHYS 2A-B and either 2C or 2D)
  5. Physics laboratory (PHYS 2CL [recommended], 2BL or 2DL)
  6. Organic chemistry, including laboratory (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, 40C or 40CH, and 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of physical chemistry (CHEM 126 and 127 recommended; or CHEM 130, 131, and 132)
  2. Three quarters of biochemistry (CHEM 114A-B-C)
  3. Three advanced laboratory courses (CHEM 100A, 143B and either 108, 109, or 143C)
  4. One quarter of pharmacology and toxicology (CHEM 118)
  5. One quarter of medicinal chemistry (CHEM 167)
  6. One quarter of drug synthesis and design (CHEM 168)
  7. One elective course chosen from among all the upper-division courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, or the Division of Biology, or other preapproved courses that may fulfill admission requirements to pharmacy school. Must be taken for a letter grade, except four units of CHEM 195 or CHEM 199 may be considered by petition.

For ACS Certification

  1. CHEM 120A and 105A are required
  2. Must complete one additional laboratory course from among the following: CHEM 100B, 105B, 123, or 143C/108/109 (if not already taken as part of the requirements above)

Suggested Program for Pharmacological Chemistry BS Major (ACS certification requires additional courses)

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

CHEM 6A

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

 

BILD 1

CHEM 7LM

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CHEM 40A

CHEM 40B

CHEM 40C

CHEM 100A

CHEM 43AM

CHEM 143B

MATH 20D

PHYS 2A

PHYS 2B

JUNIOR YEAR

CHEM 114A

CHEM 114B

CHEM 114C

PHYS 2C

PHYS 2CL

CHEM 126

 

BILD 2

 

SENIOR YEAR

CHEM 118

CHEM 168

CHEM 167

CHEM 127

CHEM 108, 109, or 143C

Elective

 

 

 

Honors Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers an Honors Program to those students who have demonstrated excellence in any of the majors. Students are eligible to apply for Departmental Honors at graduation if they have met all of the following:

  1. Achieved an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher.
  2. Achieved a major GPA of 3.4 or higher.
  3. Completed a minimum of two quarters of CHEM 199 (eight units). A student who has successfully petitioned to use a CHEM 199 course to fulfill elective credit toward their major may not also use those four units to fulfill the honors requirements as well.
  4. Presented an oral report about their research before a group of at least three faculty. This can be at an undergraduate research conference, such as the ACS-SA Undergraduate Research Symposium held in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry each spring. Obtained faculty signatures to submit with the honors application form.

Students who are interested in the Honors Program should contact the Chemistry and Biochemistry Student Affairs Office in 4010 York Hall.

Education Abroad

Majors are encouraged to explore the programs that allow students to study abroad or at other US universities for a term or longer. Consider especially the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) and UC San Diego’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Subject to approval by our faculty, courses taken through EAP/OAP may be accepted for credit toward the major. Students interested in studying abroad, should see a departmental program adviser to discuss appropriate courses and programs for their plan of study.

Minor Program in Chemistry and Biochemistry

A typical minor in chemistry consists of three lower-division lecture courses and at least one laboratory course, followed by a minimum of five upper-division courses, including at least one laboratory course, focused in physical, inorganic, organic, environmental chemistry, or biochemistry. Lower-division course requirements may not be satisfied by advanced placement credit, although transfer units may be used to satisfy lower-division minor requirements.

Students may apply two upper-division chemistry courses required by their major toward the minor.

Students who wish to minor in chemistry should have their course work plans approved in advance by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Student Affairs Office.

Upper-division courses for the minor must be taken at UC San Diego in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and must be taken for a letter grade. The minimum overall GPA requirement for the minor is a 2.0.