The Chemistry & Biochemistry program at CSUSB emphasizes high-quality teaching and undergraduate research. You will receive an excellent education and the preparation you need to go on to industry, government, or academia including graduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry, and professional programs in pharmacy and medicine. Chemistry graduates from CSUSB have earned PhD degrees from the California Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine, Texas A& M University, and Vanderbilt among others; have earned MD degrees from UCLA, Harvard University, USC, and UC Davis: have become teachers and college professors, or heads of companies; and others are successfully applying their chemistry knowledge in areas such as environmental health, pharmaceuticals, criminalistics, and medical technology. Each of the degree options below provide a broad, foundational chemical education that can be further developed into specific, technical careers.
Bachelor of Arts Chemistry Option
This program allows the greatest number of free elective units and is for someone who desires to combine chemistry with another area such as business, law, or criminal justice in pursuing a minor or perhaps a double major. Those that wish to teach high school chemistry may select this option, graduate, and then pursue a single-subject credential in education.
Bachelor of Arts Biochemistry Option
This program incorporates courses in biology while still leaving room for elective courses in other areas. It is particularly appropriate for students desiring to pursue a career in pharmacy or other health professions.
This American Chemical Society approved program is designed for the student who plans a career in chemistry upon graduation or plans to go on to graduate school, and desires more math and upper-division chemistry coursework. It does not have the additional biology and biochemistry requirements of the Biochemistry Option.
Bachelor of Science Biochemistry Option
This program incorporates additional course work in biology and biochemistry and is particularly suited for the student desiring a career in more biologically-applied fields of chemistry, including graduate or professional work.
Master’s of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences
This degree is part of a multidisciplinary program. In addition to courses in chemistry and geology, there are required courses in public administration, health sciences, geography, and either economics or information science. Electives are available in these departments as well as biology and management. Students are admitted from numerous backgrounds, but generally with bachelor's degrees in some scientific field such as chemistry, biology, or environmental science. The PSM degree is meant to combine non-science "professional" courses with science courses and is considered a terminal, non-thesis degree. In lieu of a thesis, a combination of an internship and a project is required for graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Students will be prepared to succeed in their chemistry coursework by having the prerequisite knowledge necessary. They will have sufficient mathematical and chemical skills to succeed.
- Students will know the general principles of chemistry. They will be able to compare and contrast physical properties and chemical reactivity based on molecular structure. They will be able to perform standard stoichiometric, solution, kinetic and thermodynamic calculations.
- Students will know the common reactions of elements and compounds, including oxidation-reduction, neutralization, and precipitation reactions. They will know the common methods of functional group inter-conversions, be able to perform retro-synthetic analysis, propose multistep syntheses, and evaluate synthetic schemes.
- Students will practice and demonstrate accurate quantitative measurements, analyze and interpret experimental results, and draw reasonable conclusions.
- Students will prepare compounds using common functional group conversions and multi-step syntheses, followed by separation, purification, and identification using modern chemical and spectroscopic analysis.
- Students will anticipate, recognize, and respond properly to the hazards of handling chemicals.
- Students will be proficient at using computer software to learn, gather, display and analyze chemical information.
- Students will communicate scientific information effectively through written reports.
- Students will communicate scientific information effectively through oral presentations.
- Students will progress through their chosen chemistry degree program and concentration in a timely manner. Graduation within four years for “first-time” CSUSB freshman and within two years for transfer students that have completed an associate degree for transfer to a bachelor’s degree will be possible and will likely succeed in six years or four years, respectively.
- Chemistry graduates will be educationally prepared to work and succeed in a scientific field related to chemistry.
- Students will be able to operate and explain the theoretical basis of modern chemical instrumentation. (BS, Chem Conc Only)
- Students will be able to correlate structure and function of biomolecules, particularly proteins. (BS, Biochem Conc Only)