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College of Natural Sciences

BA in Chemistry

Program Highlights

Where are they now?

The BA in Chemistry is our most flexible degree enabling students to select a broader range of elective courses and tune the degree to their particular career goals. The expectation is that students would pursue careers in teaching at the secondary level. Only a very few students have obtained the BA and are currently teaching at local high schools in Northern California.

How did they get there?

The BA in Chemistry has many elective opportunities, but at its core contains our rigorous curriculum, state-of-the-art instrumentation, online access to primary literature and opportunities for undergraduate research on campus or at external sites across the country.

  • Lectures and Upper division labs taught primarily by the PhD trained tenure/tenure track faculty
  • Hands-on experience with state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation starting in the second year
    • High field nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • Protein isolation chromatography
    • Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy
    • Airless techniques for synthetic chemistry
    • X-ray diffraction
  • Undergraduate Research with Faculty with expertise in a wide range of scientific interests
    • Preparation of materials for solar energy conversion
    • Synthesis and characterization of compounds with potential anti-cancer activity
    • Synthesis of inorganic compounds with potential pharmacological activity
    • Conversion of waste from biodiesel production to a high value solvent suitable for use by synthetic chemists
    • Research into how students learn chemistry
    • Development and assessment of novel approaches to instruction
Chemistry Summer Research Institute (CSRI)

Established in 2007 as a means for promoting and organizing research efforts by the faculty and students. As of Summer 2018, over 100 students have experienced cutting-edge research through CSRI. Funding comes from many sources – alumni donors, industry partners, on-campus and CSU Chancellor’s office grants, other external state and federal grants.

Examples of projects include:

  • Synthesis and Characterization of Metal-Organic Framework Thin Films: Towards Solar Energy Conversion Devices
  • Biological activity and Microwave reagent preparation of Novel Metallic Thiosalen Complexes
  • A Study of Antioxidant, Oxidation and Storage Properties of Different Hop Varieties
  • Synthesis of Dimeric Binders of the GRB2 SH2 Domain from Naphthaldehyde
  • Synthesis of a degradation product of the herbicide benzobicyclon"
  • Detecting Bone Diagenesis using FT-IR
  • Temperature Dependence of Solution Processed Formamidinium Iodide Based Perovskite Thin Films
  • Skilled Enough to be a Chemist?
  • Effects of Metal Ion Selection in Metal-Organic Frameworks for Electrical Device Applications
  • CHEM 108: Enhancing Learning in Lecture and Lab
  • Nickelacycles: Basic Properties and Reactivity

Summary Statement

The BA in Chemistry degree has yet to live up to our expectations for increasing the number of students that want to teach at the secondary level. By more intense promotion and recruitment we intend to increase the number of students in this critical pipeline.