Chemistry, B.A.


Department of Chemistry

Joy Goto, Chair
Science Building, Room 380

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Chemistry, B.A.
BS in Chemistry, B.S.
BS in Biochemistry, B.S.
CRED in Single Subject Credential - Chemistry
MN in Chemistry, Minor
MS in Chemistry, M.S.

Courses Offered

The Chemistry Department provides (1) undergraduate training in chemistry for students planning professional careers in chemistry, biochemistry and allied professions, and for those contemplating graduate work for advanced degrees; (2) undergraduate training in chemistry for those planning careers in professions such as medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.; (3) participation in the preparation of teachers of chemistry and the other physical sciences in the teaching credential programs; (4) teaching of the basic chemical sciences required by students majoring in related fields such as physics, biology, nursing, engineering, geology, agriculture, home economics, and criminology; (5) stimulation of interest in and understanding of the achievements and contributions of chemistry to our civilization for non-science students, as a part of General Education; and (6) graduate instruction in chemistry for the Master of Science degree for students who intend to enter the chemical industry, pursue further advanced study, or who wish to improve their qualifications as teachers in secondary schools and community colleges. The multi-disciplinary forensic science degree program prepares students for continued success by integrating instruction with active forensic research, collaboration with local crime laboratories, and real world experiences.

The Bachelor of Science degree programs in Chemistry/Biochemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society. Students who satisfactorily complete the program are recommended by the department for certification as graduate chemists by the American Chemical Society. Students completing the Bachelor of Arts degree may be recommended for certification by completing additional requirements of the American Chemical Society.


The graduate chemistry laboratories and support areas are housed in the science building. Students have access to a broad range of instrumentation, including two solution-state NMR spectrometers (300 MHz and 400 MHz), an EPR spectrometer, Jasco-1815 CD spectrometer, a TA instruments nano-DSC, a range of mass spectrometers (including ion trap, micro-TOF and MALDI-TOF-TOF), several HPLC systems. Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometers (transmission and multi-bounce ATR) a range of gas chromatographs (including instruments with mass spectrometer detectors, flame ionization detectors, and electron capture detectors), UV-vis spectrometers, a spectrofluorimeter, an isotope ratio mass spectrometer, X-ray fluorescence and diffraction instruments, and electrochemical analyzers (including spectroelectrochemical systems). Students also have access to a 108-node Linux cluster and several molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics software programs. Library facilities include over 100 journal subscriptions in chemistry plus numerous texts and related books.


Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry is intended primarily for those students who plan to take extensive coursework in other areas in addition to chemistry. This degree is suitable for prehealth professional students (premedical, predental, etc.), secondary school teaching credential students, and biochemistry students oriented toward biotechnology, forensic science, and the health professions. This degree is NOT intended for students who anticipate a career in chemistry, or who expect to continue their education in pursuit of graduate degrees.

Note: Chemistry majors may not take courses listed in the major or additional requirements for CR/NC grades.

1. The B.A. Chemistry Major requirements (38 units)
Core Program
CHEM 1A, 1AL, 1B, 1BL, 102, 108, 128A, 128B, 129A, 129B, 155A**, 155B***, 156 (38 units)

Additional requirements (31-38 units)
BIOL 1A, 1B, 1BL (8 units)
Elect 7 units from BIOL 102, 103, 104, 120 or other approved courses (7 units)
MATH 75, 76 (MATH 77 strongly recommended) (8-12 units)
PHYS 2A, 2B (or PHYS 4A, 4AL, 4B, 4BL, 4C strongly recommended) (8-11 units)

2. General Education requirements (49 units)

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)
(See Degree Requirements); may be used toward a double major or minor.

5. Total units (120)*

* G.E. and MI courses can be double-counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. Of the 49 required General Education units, 10 units will be satisfied by the following courses in the major and additional requirements: 4 units of CHEM 1A and 1AL or PHYS 2A in G.E. Breadth B1; 3 units of BIOL 1A in G.E. Breadth B2; and 3 units MATH 75 in G.E. Foundation B4. Consult the department chair or faculty advisor for additional details.

The following is an example of a four-year program for the B.A. in Chemistry.

First Semester - Fall
CHEM 1A and 1AL (5 units)
MATH 75 (4 units)
ENGL 5B or 10 (3 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (15 units)

Second Semester - Spring
CHEM 1B and BL (5 units)
MATH 76 (4 units)
PHYS 2A or 4A, 4AL (4 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (16 units)

Third Semester - Fall
CHEM 128A (3 units)
CHEM 129A (2 units)
PHYS 2B or 4B, 4BL (4 units)
BIOL 1A (4 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (16 units)

Fourth Semester - Spring
CHEM 128B (3 units)
CHEM 102 (5 units)
BIOL 1B, BIOL 1BL (5 units)
Electives or General Education (3 units)
Total (16 units)

Fifth Semester - Fall*
**CHEM 108 (4 units)
**CHEM 155A (3 units)
BIOL 102 (4 units)
Electives or General Education (3 units)
Total (14 units)

Sixth Semester - Spring
***CHEM 156 (3 units)
BIOL 103 and 104 or BIOL 120 (4 units )
Electives or General Education (6 units)
Total (13 units)

Seventh Semester - Fall
Electives or General Education
Total (15 units)

Eighth Semester - Spring
Electives or General Education
Total (15 units)

Total (120 units)

* It is important to fulfill the upper-division writing skills requirement by exam or W class during the junior year.
** Offered fall semester only.
*** Offered spring semester only.


Our faculty provide excellent research opportunities in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The broad interests within the faculty have resulted in interdisciplinary research projects in collaboration with scientists and professors in other science areas: agricultural chemistry, biotechnology, clinical chemistry, forensic chemistry, forensic biochemistry, chemical physics, enology, nutritional science, and molecular biology. Research projects have involved local facilities such as the California State Crime Laboratory, University Medical Center, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, USDA Research Station, U.S. Veteran's Administration Hospital, U.S. Forest Laboratory, and Valley Children's Hospital.

The graduate faculty are dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, rigorous M.S. program. Several of the faculty have received awards for the quality of their mentoring and teaching. They are widely respected in their field and regularly publish their work in leading scientific journals. The faculty have received funding to support their work from private foundations, and state and federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. They also work with researchers at several National Laboratories and a number of top-tier research universities.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.A. in Chemistry

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

Click here for roadmap.

Please note: Roadmaps are not a guarantee of course availability.

If you are looking for archived roadmaps, please click here.


Chemistry student in lab

The Department of Chemistry offers a Bachelor of Science degree fully accredited by the American Chemical Society, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree for those pursuing careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other professions. Since Chemistry is the central science, we also provide undergraduate training in the fundamentals for those majoring in other science related fields and teacher training.

Undergraduate degrees and program certificates in Forensic Science are not currently offered. See outlined recommendations for undergraduate study in preparation for graduate programs and careers in forensic science.

What You Can Earn

High School Teacher
$56,101 (in our region)

Chemist I
$48,788 (in our region)

Source: HR reported data from as of December 2012

What You Can Do

Become a professional chemist, plan a career in the medical professions, or continue study toward a career in forensic science or biotechnology

Interesting Classes You Might Take

  • Chemistry and Society
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Biochemistry
  • Chemistry in the Marketplace

What You Can Learn

  • Structure and behavior of organic and biological compounds
  • Basic treatment of gas laws, thermodynamics, kinetics, and spectroscopy
  • Real-world experiences with forensic science through collaboration with local crime laboratories

About the College

The College of Science and Mathematics provides professional training at the undergraduate and graduate levels to serve as a foundation for a career in science or mathematics, to provide preprofessional training in preparation for careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and other professions or for continued study at the graduate level.

College Contact Info

The office of the Dean is located in Science II, Room 301.
Telephone: (559) 278-3936

Department Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
2555 E. San Ramon - MS SB/70
Fresno, CA 93740-8034

Ph: 559.278.2103
Fax: 559.278.4402