2019-2020 Catalog 
    Feb 25, 2021  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry Major

Major Requirements

The major in chemistry requires a minimum of 13 courses, distributed as follows:

4. Elective (1 course)

One full (1.0) or 2 half (0.5) credit advanced elective course(s) in chemistry, molecular biology, or interdisciplinary electives involving chemical concepts or techniques, chosen in consultation with the chemistry faculty.

Additional electives in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science are strongly recommended for all chemistry majors.

5. Senior Thesis (1 or 2 courses)

Chemistry majors must complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis in chemistry.

Students must do a 2-semester research thesis to complete the ACS accredited major in chemistry.

Senior Thesis in Science

The senior thesis is a general education requirement and the capstone experience of a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception.

Science majors have the following senior thesis options. Refer to the major requirements above for major-specific senior thesis requirements.

1-Semester Library Thesis without Lab (1 course, 1 credit)

Students interested in a 1-semester library thesis without lab complete an extensive library research thesis in the 1st or 2nd semester of the senior year, chosen from:


The Senior Thesis Research Project course (188L) or the Summer Research Project course (189L) may  not be counted as elective courses in the major.

Special Options for Chemistry Majors

Dual Major

The dual major in chemistry requires a minimum of 11 courses, distributed as follows:

Honors in Science

To be eligible for departmental honors in a science major, students must:

  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 10.5 in courses in the major;
  • Complete a 1- or 2-semester thesis project in which the student has demonstrated excellence by making a significant contribution to the progress of the research, by producing a thesis document judged to be of honors quality by the department, by presenting the work in a cogent fashion, and by engaging in the departmental seminar program.

Study Abroad for Science Majors

The Keck Science Department supports study abroad for science majors, however majors need to be aware that spending a semester off-campus requires careful advanced planning and program selection. Science majors interested in study abroad should discuss their interest with their major advisors as soon as possible.

General Education Requirements for Science Majors

General Education Requirement in Science

Every CMC student must complete one (1) laboratory science course offered by the Keck Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium. This requirement must by satisfied by the end of the 2nd year at CMC.

General Education Requirements in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

For students with science majors, general education requirements in the social sciences and humanities must be met by courses outside of a student’s major field(s). Students in most science majors, including this major, must take courses in 3 of the 4 fields of the social sciences and in 2 of the 4 fields of the humanities for a total of 5 courses. 

Science majors with a dual or double major in either the humanities or the social sciences will be required to take an additional general education course in those categories.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes of the Chemistry Program

Learning Goals of the Chemistry Program

The objectives for the major in chemistry are to prepare students for:

  1. Graduate school
  2. Medical school
  3. Chemical/biotech industry
  4. STEM teaching
  5. Management consulting/investment banking.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Chemistry Program

In addition to the Keck Science overall learning outcomes, the chemistry major also has the following student learning outcomes:

Students majoring in chemistry will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of chemistry, physics and math to solve chemical problems;
  2. Process a breadth of knowledge in analytical, physical, organic, analytical, inorganic and biochemistry;
  3. Identify, formulate and solve complex problems;
  4. Have a mastery of techniques and skills used by chemists.