Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2018-2019

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Chemical Science
Program description

The curriculum in chemistry prepares students for graduate study in chemistry and related fields and for admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. It prepares students to teach in secondary schools or to work in chemical and industrial laboratories and in related fields of business and industry.

With the proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

The chemical science concentration is tailored for the pre-professional study of the health sciences and other interdisciplinary areas where an emphasis on chemistry is sought. This concentration for the bachelor's degree in chemistry permits students to select more courses from other disciplines. With fewer requirements in mathematics, physics and chemistry, this concentration is one option for students planning to study medicine or dentistry.

Career opportunities

The employment pathways for chemical professionals can be divided into five main sectors: industry, academia, government, non-profit, and entrepreneurship.  Within each of these sectors, areas of career opportunity include research and development, quality control/regulatory, environment and health, law and policy, manufacturing,  education, military and law enforcement, and technical communication. Common skills include science, critical thinking, reading, active listening, mathematics, and both deductive and inductive reasoning. Technical skills are highly preferred in areas such as analytical/scientific software, computer aided design (CAD), databases/query software, graphics, and Office suite.   With the proper selection of electives, the degree satisfies admission requirements to most schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Chemical Technician
  • Chemist
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Materials Scientists
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Quality Control Analysts
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialists
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Survey Researchers
  • Technical Writers
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
Department name:
Department of Chemistry
Building/room location:
1001 West Main Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1298
Email:
chemistry@vcu.edu

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Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete introductory courses in biology, chemistry and math.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience. 
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond, including its museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Chemistry.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities. 
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Attend a Pre-Professional Health Interest Workshop, if you are considering a professional health program (medicine, pharmacy, etc.). 
  • Explore Career Pathways on VCU Career Services’ website.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility).  

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses and your plan to complete the Chemistry core and collateral coursework.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA). 
  • Join related professional organizations such as the American Chemical Society or the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • Apply to science-specific scholarships and awards.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and career events throughout the year. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Chemistry.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Register for CHEM 298 – Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar.
  • Complete foreign language requirement.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a science related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department.  
  • Attend a program through the Wellness Resource Center.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.  
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office. 
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
  • Develop attention to detail and strong problem solving skills. Pursue advanced instrumentation and computer skills along with knowledge of statistics.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation. 

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Seek extensive laboratory and research experience along with courses in quantitative, qualitative and instrumental analyses. Pursue experimental design, data interpretation and problem solving competence through coursework and research with professors.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Attend professional conferences that offer student rates or scholarships. Enhance your networking skills and practice your “elevator speech” when presenting yourself.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Conduct at least one informational interview a month – strategically explore employment sectors (government, private, nonprofit) and jobs within each sector.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Professional chemist with honors | Biochemistry | Chemical Modeling | Chemical Science
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete introductory courses in biology, chemistry and math.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience. 
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities. 
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses and your plan to complete the Chemistry core and collateral coursework.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Register for CHEM 298 – Professional Practices and Perspectives Seminar.
  • Complete foreign language requirement.
  • Conduct independent undergraduate research. Consider attending a scientific meeting and presenting a poster with your research advisor.
  • Complete internships, shadowing experiences and informational interviews.
  • Develop attention to detail and strong problem solving skills. Pursue advanced instrumentation and computer skills along with knowledge of statistics.
  • Based on career goals, talk to a career/academic advisor or a faculty member about whether graduate school or a job fits your career goals.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation. 
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Seek extensive laboratory and research experience along with courses in quantitative, qualitative and instrumental analyses. Pursue experimental design, data interpretation and problem solving competence through coursework and research with professors.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building.
  • Conduct at least one informational interview a month – strategically explore employment sectors (government, private, nonprofit) and jobs within each sector.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.