Chemistry and Biochemistry

Degree Requirements Information

Below is listed information about the requirements to receive a degree from the BYU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Basic Information

Department Chair: Dr. David V. Dearden

Department Main Office: C100

College of Physical Sciences & Mathematics (including Chemistry Department) Advisement Contact Information:

Program Admission Information

A majority of degree programs in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry are open enrollment; however, special limitations apply for teaching majors.

The Discipline

Chemistry is the study of matter, the changes undergone by matter, and the laws that govern those changes. Chemists study atoms as well as the structures and reactions of molecules. They also work to develop simplifying models (theories) that permit the correlation and explanation of observations about matter. Chemical principles are fundamental to the understanding of subjects ranging from the molecular basis of biology to the structure of rocks and minerals. Chemistry is an essential foundation in engineering disciplines, especially in chemical engineering, electronics, energy and environmental science, geology, pharmacy and medicine, and in virtually all manufacturing areas.

Futhermore, chemistry is an active science that is vital to human existence. Energy needs, environmental concerns, and requirements for new materials all involve major contributions from chemists. Examples of the diverse areas of interest to chemists include regulation of protein synthesis, signal transduction at the cellular level and proteomics (biochemistry), design and synthesis of medicinal compounds (organic chemistry), design and synthesis of new molecular structures and materials (inorganic chemistry), spectroscopic study of energy transfer and molecular structures (physical chemistry), and analysis of medicinal compounds, biological materials, and contaminants or trace elements found in the environment (analytical chemistry).

Chemistry involves more than test tubes and beakers. It includes working with a variety of equipment and instruments such as mass spectrometers, calorimeters, chromatographs, ultracentrifuges, lasers, X-ray diffractometers, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers.

High School Preparation

It is highly recommended that hopeful Chemistry Department freshmen complete the following courses while in high school. 

  1. 2 physical science, chemistry, or physics classes 
  2. 3 English classes
  3. 4 mathematics classes (including at least 2.5 semesters of algebra, 1 semester of geometry, and .5 semester of trigonometry)

All students, especially incoming freshmen and transfers, should contact the Chemistry Department between March and August each year for advisement about efficient course scheduling and student employment opportunities. See the contact information listed at the top of the page.

To decide which mathematics course should be taken first in college, contact the Mathematics Department located in James E. Talmage Math Sciences/Computer Building (TMCB) via phone: 801-422-2061 or via email: office@mathematics.byu.edu.

Undergraduate Degrees

Students should contact the BYU Chemistry Department Office for help or information concerning Department undergraduate programs.

  1. Majors
  2. Minors

Scholarships

Click here to learn more about BYU-sponsored scholarships available to qualified students of the BYU Chemistry & Biochemistry program.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree (BA) or bachelor of science degree (BS) a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours in residence
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • Good standing with the BYU Honor Code Office
  • The university core, which consists of General Education classes and religion classes

Career Opportunities