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Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science/Computer Science Track. In addition, students may pursue options in Biochemistry, Management, Computational Chemistry, or Polymer Science. We have provided a comparison table to help students choose the type of degree that best fits their interests.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
For the B.S. degree, students follow a curriculum of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and elective courses that is fully accredited by the American Chemical Society. It is the degree that most students pursue.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
About one-third of the courses in the B.A. degree program are free electives that may be taken in any department within the university. It is ideal for students who wish to design double majors in other departments.

Bachelor of Science/Computational Chemistry Track
This degree is designed for students interested in both computer science and chemistry. It has most of its electives in Computer Science and related fields. The FAQ explains the difference between this degree, a minor in computer science, and the computational chemistry option.

Compare the B.S., B.A., and B.S./Computational Chemistry Track.
Find out what courses are required for each degree.

B.S. with Honors
In addition to completing the basic B.S. chemistry curriculum, to earn an Honors B.S. degree in Chemistry students must satisfying the following requirements:

Have and maintain a 3.2 or higher QPA overall.
Take one 12 unit graduate course.
Complete a minimum of 18 units of undergraduate research (09-445).
Complete the course 09-455, Honors Thesis (6 units).

In this latter course, you are given 6 units of credit for writing and defending the required thesis describing the results of your research. The thesis defense may be before a faculty committee, or at a poster or scheduled presentation at the annual Carnegie Mellon Meeting of the Minds Symposium. Students contemplating this degree should apply for consideration to the undergraduate honors committee in the Department no later than by the end of the junior year. A committee will monitor the progress of the degree and certify its completion.

See also the MCS page on receiving MCS Research Honors at graduation.

B.S./M.S. Programs
B.S./M.S. Honors Degree in Chemistry
Students pursuing the B.S./M.S. Honors Degree in Chemistry will earn, normally in 4 years, both an Honors B.S. degree in Chemistry and a Masters Degree in Chemistry. The program is highly research intensive.

Students must do research for at least two summer sessions prior to the junior and senior years.
Research for credit in 09-445 must be taken for at least three semesters, 30 units total.
Requirements also include completing five 12 unit graduate level courses. (Up to three of these may be advanced undergraduate courses in other departments.)
Students are required to give periodic written and oral presentations summarizing their research results to an Honors Committee that is formed to monitor the progress of the project and offer suggestions.
Prior to approving the degree, the work must be defended before a faculty committee. A formal Masters Degree dissertation must be submitted to the Chemistry Department and approved by the Honors Committee prior to graduation.
Students earn 15 units of Honors Thesis (09-455) for writing and defending the dissertation. The final version of the dissertation is bound in a hard cover format and placed in an appropriate university archive.

To complete this degree, 395 units are required (a minimum of 360 are required for the B.S. and B.A. degrees), and an overall QPA of 3.5 is expected. The Department has a special document that explains the requirements for this degree in detail.

B.S. in Chemistry/M.S. in Chemical Biology
The Department of Chemistry has a new degree, BS in Chemistry/MS in Chemical Biology, to help prepare students for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other related careers. The first students can begin in this program in the spring. The main requirements are similar to those for the B.S. in Chemistry: 3 courses in chemical biology (Biochemistry I, Physical Biochemistry, one chemical biology elective), 5 graduate courses, at least one internship, and a thesis project. The program can be completed in 9-10 semesters.

See the PDF file (80K) with detailed requirements and a sample curriculum.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Bruce Armitage (, Program Director for the B.S./M.S. in Chemical Biology), Karen Stump (, or Rea Freeland (

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Department of Chemistry
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