Undergraduate Programs

biochemistry teaching lab

Inside the biochemistry teaching lab

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a variety of options for students interested in a major or minor in chemistry. Those options are described here, and in the current undergraduate catalog.  See the Chemistry Department video describing why a major in Chemistry might be right for you.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions about our programs or coursework:

Department office:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Box 870336
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0336
(205) 348-5954

Don’t miss our undergraduate FAQ, a compilation of the most common questions we hear from current and prospective students.

The Chemistry Major

three people in a chemistry labThe Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offers two undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree:  This degree is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).  Students can also pursue a biochemistry concentration within this degree.
  • Bachelor of Science degree:  This degree is designed for students pursuing careers in the health professions and meets all science and math requirements for admission to professional programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary science.

Within the chemistry program, students have several options for specialization or additional credentials:

  • All chemistry degrees are excellent preparation for the preprofessional tracks, such as premedical, preoptometry, and predental, offered within the College of Arts and Sciences. More information about pre-professional programs can be found on the Health Professions website.
  • An honors program for chemistry majors focused on research in addition to the academic requirements of the degree.
  • A dual chemistry-engineering degree.
  • A chemistry track within the College of Education’s secondary science program.

Students with questions about these programs should contact the chemistry department’s director of undergraduate studies.

Requirements for the Chemistry Major

Core courses: All chemistry majors are required to take the following core courses. Typically these courses will be completed over the first two years, with the exception of CH 338, which is taken in the fall of the junior year.

  • General Chemistry (101/102, 8 hrs) or Honors General Chemistry (117/118, 8 hrs)
  • Quantitative Analysis (CH 223, 4 hours)
  • Organic Chemistry Lecture (231/232, 6 hours)
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory (237/338, 4 hours)

Ancillary requirements: In addition to the core chemistry courses above, students should complete the following ancillary courses during their first two years. Students will also need to complete the general requirements as outlined in the undergraduate catalog.

  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree (ACS-certified degrees)
    • Calculus (125/126/227, 12 hrs)
    • Physics (105/106, 8 hrs)
  • BS degree (Pre-health option)
    • Calculus (125, 4 hrs)
    • Physics (101/102, 8 hrs)
    • Biology (114/115/116/117, 8 hrs)

Upper-level major requirements: The upper level requirements for the chemistry major depend on which track the student is pursuing. To complete the chemistry degree, students must fulfill the requirements for one of the tracks below as outlined in their catalog. Students using older catalogs should check their specific catalog to ensure they meet the requirements of that catalog. The choice of track will depend on the student’s career goals and interests. Students interested in careers in chemistry or related technical fields should pursue the ACS-certified degrees. Any of the degree tracks below are suitable for students interested in going on to health-professional schools, such as medical, dental, or pharmacy school.

Degree option Upper-level requirements
ACS-certified Chemistry Degree (BCH)

Suggested plan of study

  • Physical Chem (341/342/348, 8 hrs)
  • Inorg Chem (413 or 401/213, 4 hrs)
  • Instrumental Analysis (424, 4 hrs)
  • Biochemistry (461, 3 hrs) 
ACS-certified Chemistry Degree (BCH)-Biochemistry Concentration

Suggested plan of study

  • Physical Chem (341/342/348, 8 hrs)
  • Inorg Chem (413 or 401/213, 4 hrs) 
  • Biochemistry (461/462/463, 9 hrs)
Chemistry BS degree (Pre-health option)

Suggested plan of study

  • Elem Phy Chem (340/343, 4 hrs)
  • Biochemistry (461/462/463, 9 hrs) 
  • This track requires a minor
 Dual chemistry/chemical engineering degree See requirements for dual degree on Chemical and Biological Engineering site
Secondary science education, chemistry track See requirements for Science Education, Chemistry track at College of Education web site
Honors track — open to all chemistry majors (You do not need to be enrolled in the Honors College.)
  • Complete ACS-Certified degree 
  • Maintain 3.3 GPA in chemistry, with no more than 1 C, and a 3.0 overall 
  • Participate in CH 491/492/493/494 honors seminars
  • Submit a senior thesis on research done in the chemistry departemnt
  • Submit GRE scores


The Chemistry Minor

The minor in chemistry requires 23 hours of courses. Students earning degrees in biology or chemical engineering, or who are planning on going to a professional school in a health-related field, will be very close to completing the minor after finishing the necessary degree requirements for these programs. Requirements for the chemistry minor are the same for all catalogs. The minor requires the following courses:

  • General Chemistry (101/102, 8 hrs) or Honors General Chemistry (117/118, 8 hrs)
  • Quantitative Analysis (CH 223, 4 hrs)
  • Organic Chemistry (231/232/237, 8 hrs)
  • Elementary Physical Chemistry (340/343, 4 hrs)