College of Natural Sciences

BS in Chemistry

Program Highlights

Where are they now?

Graduates of our program are prepared to enter industry right away or begin the next step in their journey by gaining acceptance to some of the best graduate schools in the country.


  • Food Science and related
    • Sierra Nevada Brewery
    • EJ Gallo Winery
    • LaRocca Vineyards
    • Bayliss Ranch lavender products
  • Biotechnology
    • Genentech
    • Gilead Scientific

Graduate programs

  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Davis
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University
  • San Jose State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Sacramento State University

How did they get there?

The BS in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society in recognition of 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 BS in Chemistry degree is a gateway to a nearly unlimited range of career opportunities in industry, academia and government. We strive to maintain and improve the program with regular assessment and redesign of the curriculum, acquisition and maintenance of scientific equipment, recruitment of passionate faculty and staff, and expansion of our network of alumni and industry partners who share our vision for undergraduate education.