The Department of Chemistry offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Because knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to success in so many fields, the Chemistry curriculum offers an unusual opportunity for a wide choice of electives so that the Chemistry major may adapt his or her program to individual interests or needs. Such individualized programs include preparation for medical school or other health professions, technical writing, industrial management, or computer applications. More information regarding individual program planning is available from the chair of the department.
Contact Information: Alice Bruce, Professor and Chair, 154 Aubert Hall, 207.581.1168, firstname.lastname@example.org
Transfer students are welcomed in the Department. For a UMaine Chemistry degree, students must take 14 hours of upper level Chemistry at the University of Maine. Half the credits for a minor in Chemistry must be taken at the University of Maine.
B.S. Degree in Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry offers two options for the B.S. degree in chemistry: The B.S. degree or the B.S. degree with ACS certification.
B.S. Degree (Non-certified)
This degree option is excellent for students considering pre-medical, pre-veterinary, pharmacy, or double majors. The B.S. allows students flexibility in their programs so that they may choose suitable electives to prepare for medical, veterinary, and other health professional schools, work in environmental testing and remediation, or work in the pharmaceutical industry. Students also have the option of taking business, law, computer science, materials science, or other courses to complement their chemistry curriculum. Students must take a minimum of 49 credits of course work in chemistry.
Additional requirements include MAT 126, 127, PHY 111/PHY 112 or PHY 121/PHY 122. General education courses and electives must be chosen to satisfy the university-wide and college requirements for the BS degree. Students interested in pursuing a double math major should take MAT 259 and 262 in lieu of MAT 258; this is also recommended for a math minor. Work completed as part of the Honors Program may be used to fulfill general education course requirements. HON 498 and HON 499 may be used in place of CHY 498 and CHY 499 respectively.
Capstone Experience: CHY 492 and CHY 498 (6 credits total).
B.S. with ACS certification
The American Chemical Society certified B.S. degree in chemistry prepares the student for employment in the chemical industry or for graduate studies in chemistry or a related field. Students must take a minimum of 58 credits of course work in chemistry.
Additional requirements include MAT 126, 127, 228, 258, PHY 111/PHY 112 or PHY 121/PHY 122. General education courses and electives must be chosen to satisfy the university-wide and college requirements for the BS degree. Students interested in pursuing a Math minor should take MAT 259 and 262 in lieu of MAT 258. Work completed as part of the Honors Program may be used to fulfill general education course requirements. HON 498 and HON 499 may be used in place of CHY 498 and CHY 499, respectively.
Capstone Experience: CHY 498 and CHY 499 (6 credits total).
B.A. Degree in Chemistry
The BA degree in chemistry prepares students for careers in which chemistry and physical science play a significant role. With appropriate electives, students can go on to jobs in a variety of fields including teaching of science in middle school or high school. Students must take a minimum of 43 credits of course work in chemistry.
Additional requirements include MAT 126, 127, PHY 111/PHY 112 or PHY 121/PHY 122. General education courses and electives must be chosen to satisfy the university-wide and college requirements for the BA degree including completion of a minor or a double major in another discipline.
Capstone Experience: CHY 492 and one upper level chemistry elective (CHY 4xx) (6 credits total).
Pre-medicine and Pre-pharmacy
The chemistry curriculum is strong preparation for further study in medicine, pharmacy and other health related fields. To meet the requirements of most health professional schools, the following courses are recommended: BIO 100 , BIO 200, SOC 101, PSY 100. Additional courses including BIO 377/BIO 378 , BIO 462, BMB 322/BMB 323 and BMB 400 also provide good preparation for these programs.
Overview of Degree Requirements
The requirements listed on this page are specific to this particular major. Students are also responsible for meeting any graduation requirements set out by their college. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) should make sure to review those requirements as stated on the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences page of the catalog.
- Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120
- Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0
- Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: A C or higher is required in any course used toward the Chemistry major. A one-time exception may be made for a passing grade of C- or below as long as the overall GPA is met.
- Other GPA requirements to graduate: A minimum accumulative GPA of 2.0 in the major.
- Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: CHY 498 and CHY 499; BS: CHY 492 and CHY 498; BA: CHY 492 and one upper-level chemistry elective.
Science Teaching Certification
There is dramatic need for well-qualified science teachers in both high schools and middle schools. The B.A. or non-certified B.S. in chemistry can be combined with a number of avenues for obtaining state certification as a secondary school science teacher. Students interested in this program should contact the Chemistry Department office for more information.
Other Areas of Focus
The chemistry curriculum provides a flexible grounding for areas of focus in materials science, biomaterials, wood chemistry, and computational chemistry to name a few. Other minors could include business for a career in management within the chemical industry or journalism for careers in technical and science writing. More detailed information is available in the Chemistry office.
Cooperative Work Experience
A program is available which allows students to accept opportunities for temporary employment provided by cooperating industries. The student may work during the summer or part of one summer and either the preceding or following semester. Credit will be allowed for this work under course numbers CHY 394 and CHY 594. This is a supervised and paid professional experience.
Five-Year Combined B.S.-M.S. Program
Selected students may apply for this option, which permits completion of both the B.S. and M.S. degree in five years. Work completed as part of the Honors program may be included. Application should be made by letter to the Department early in the junior year.
Undergraduate students seeking baccalaureate degrees in chemistry must demonstrate general chemical proficiency as outlined in the following Learning Outcome Goals:
- Chemical Principles: Students must have firm foundations in the fundamentals and application of current chemical and scientific theories and be able to demonstrate this command of chemistry through written and oral communications, i.e. reports, tests, and informal discussions.
- Methods of Chemistry: Students must be familiar with traditional chemical techniques and procedures, as well as demonstrate a working knowledge of modern chemical analysis instrumentation and computer skills.
- Problem solving and research: Students must be able to design, perform and record experimental protocols with the ability to critically analyze the results of those experiments in a hypothesis driven environment.
- Scientific communication: Students must be able to record experimental data and observations, write research reports summarizing their experimental work, effectively and efficiently search the scientific literature and present their results to their peers and faculty.
- Writing intensive and capstone courses
CHY 393 Undergraduate Seminar
CHY 491 Advanced Integrated Laboratory I
CHY 492 Advanced Integrated Laboratory II
CHY 498 Undergraduate Research
CHY 499 Undergraduate Thesis
Students in all three degree programs (BS ACS certified, BS, and BA) must take two writing intensive courses in the major: Undergraduate Seminar (CHY 393) and Advanced Integrated Laboratory I (CHY 491). In CHY 393, students learn to write in the language and style required in chemistry and they learn to thoroughly search the chemical literature. In CHY 491, students write advanced laboratory reports that include extensive statistical data analysis of experimental results.
The capstone requirements vary by degree:
Students in the BS ACS certified degree program work independently on a research project (CHY 498), present a research poster at the annual departmental poster session, and write a final thesis (CHY 499) for the capstone experience. Students work with a faculty member, graduate students or other undergraduates to investigate a problem with an unknown solution. Research requires students to integrate the knowledge they have learned from previous lecture and laboratory coursework. Students are required to write a thesis describing the results of their investigation and defend their thesis orally to a committee composed of at least three faculty members (at least two chemistry faculty), including their primary thesis advisor. The thesis includes an introductory chapter in which the student has the opportunity to briefly review the literature in their area of research. There is also an experimental section, results and discussion, conclusion (with suggestions for future work) and literature references. Writing the thesis provides students the opportunity to put their work in context and apply skills they have learned from writing laboratory reports and the writing-intensive chemistry seminar course, CHY 393. The oral defense of the thesis requires students to succinctly and clearly present their work.
Students in the BS degree program are required to take CHY 492 (Advanced Integrated Laboratory II), work independently on a research project (CHY 498), present a research poster at the annual departmental poster session, and write a final report for the capstone experience. Students work with a faculty member, graduate students or other undergraduates to investigate a problem with an unknown solution. Research requires students to integrate the knowledge they have learned from previous lecture and laboratory coursework.
Students in the BA degree program are required to take CHY 492 (Advanced Integrated Laboratory II) and an advanced Chemistry elective for the capstone experience.
- Final Oral Exam
At the time of the oral defense for BS ACS certified degree students, or at the end of CHY 492 for BS and BA degree students, each student is given an additional 15-minute general oral exam by the three-person committee. The purpose of the exam will be to assess the student’s ability to think critically and in an integrated manner about chemical problems. Students are evaluated on their:
- a) writing proficiency;
- b) laboratory proficiency; including knowledge of chemical techniques and instrumentation, as well as the ability to design, carry out, record and analyze experiments;
- c) technology/computer skills;
- d) conceptual understanding;
- e) oral communication.
The faculty committee ranks each student in the five areas listed above as less than acceptable, acceptable or superior. A short summary of the student’s performance is prepared by the faculty committee and kept for department records.
- American Chemical Society evaluation of our undergraduate program.
The Chemistry Department is required to report annually to the ACS CPT on the number of degrees granted by the chemistry program, the number of baccalaureate graduates certified to ACS and supplemental information on the curriculum and faculty. More extensive reviews are conducted every five years by the ACS CPT.
- Student success upon leaving the program. The Department attempts to track students’ success in job placement as well as acceptance to graduate schools and professional programs.