Chemistry Undergraduate Programs
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Chemistry is the study of the miniaturized world of atoms and molecules. Chemists analyze the structure of this world of chemicals, discover the forces that govern chemical changes and invent chemical reactions, which create new molecules and materials for the benefit of mankind. For example, most of the clothes we wear and the containers that hold our food are made of synthetic fibers and polymers that were conceived and developed by chemists. Life-saving pharmaceuticals are designed and synthesized by chemists. The development of insecticides, cosmetics, fragrances, fertilizers, and high tech materials are other examples of the impact of chemistry on society.
The objective of the IIT undergraduate program in chemistry is to provide rigorous education in the fundamental areas of chemical theory and chemical experimentation. Students become well trained for industrial careers in research and development, chemical analysis or chemical manufacturing and marketing. Our requirement for participation in an original research project also provides the necessary experience for entrance into graduate school in one of the chemical sciences. In addition, the IIT program in chemistry provides excellent pre-professional training for careers in medicine, law, business and other areas of science and healthcare. IIT has developed a very flexible curriculum, which in addition to our standard bachelor's degree in chemistry gives students the option of selecting an area of emphasis such as biological, pharmaceutical, polymer, materials, chemical physics or chemical education. Hence, students learn not only the basic science of chemistry but also the practical aspects of the discipline and its numerous applications. The IIT Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.
The first stage of undergraduate training provides a solid foundation in all of the five basic areas of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, physical and biochemistry). Most of these courses include required laboratory work. These laboratories provide extensive practical exposure to each of these areas and experience with modern chemical instrumentation such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy and gas and high-pressure liquid chromatography. Concurrently, students take courses to strengthen their understanding of mathematics and physics. Students are invited and encouraged to attend weekly chemistry colloquia where lectures are given by prominent chemists from industrial, governmental and academic laboratories. In the second stage, students take advanced and specialized courses, focused on career interests. An integral part of this stage is a research project under the supervision of a member of the chemistry faculty, culminating in a senior thesis. Students may receive Certification of their Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree through the American Chemical Society by selection of appropriate chemistry electives.
Optional Degree Programs in Chemistry
Because of the diversity of interests of students in chemistry and the increasing interdisciplinary impact of chemistry in other areas, IIT offers optional degree programs in chemistry. Each degree program maintains the five basic core areas of chemistry while at the same time providing options to prepare students to enter an operationally well-recognized career path. Students can elect the traditional Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry where they choose their own technical electives or focus on one of the following six options:
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Biological Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Polymer Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Materials Chemistry
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Chemical Physics
- Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Chemical Education
*CHEM 416, 450, 485, and 487 are not required for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with emphasis in Chemical Education.
**Requires approval by the advisor. One of the technical electives must be BIOL 107 or BIOL 115. This course must be taken prior to enrollment in BIOL 401.