Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Professional chemist with honors
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 professional chemist concentration requires a greater number of chemistry courses, and is designed for students whose future studies or career plans involve chemistry as a central theme. With the proper combination of courses, this degree can be certified as meeting the requirements of the American Chemical Society.

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
  • Business Intelligence Analysts
  • Chemical Technician
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Food Technologist
  • Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Quality Control Analysts
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialists
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Survey Researchers
  • Technical Writers
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Chemist
  • College Professor
  • Material Scientist
  • Research Director
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 201 or higher
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
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):
Invalid campus
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 to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & to find out how to get research help.
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete introductory courses in biology, chemistry and math.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Apply to join the Honors College.
  • Get involved and meet new friends through VCU Student Government or one of over 450 student clubs and organizations.
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s many museums and parks.
  • Apply to live in one of VCU's four Living-Learning Programs.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Chemistry.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Visit a study abroad fair and complete Rams Abroad 101 online to learn about study abroad options.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website and follow them on social media for programs, events, resources and other ways to engage.
  • Consider the Peace Corps Prep Program through VCU Globe to expand skills in global leadership and intercultural communication.
  • Make an appointment with the National Scholarship Office to explore study abroad and national scholarship opportunities.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists.
  • Consider applying for a federal work-study (FWS) job on- or off-campus through the VCU Career Services and Handshake.
  • Create a draft resume and have it reviewed by VCU Career Services during drop-ins.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation with the da Vinci Center.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • 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
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and plan to complete the Chemistry core and collateral coursework.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Meet with a faculty member to discuss your personal and professional interests.
  • Take a service-learning class or volunteer to address a social issue (Hands on Greater Richmond).
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect or Alternative Spring Break.
  • 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.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Chemistry.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • 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 a community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Make an appointment with the National Scholarship Office to explore post-graduate scholarship and fellowship opportunities, such as the Fulbright Student Scholarship.
  • 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
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Seek research opportunities to refine goals and learn the discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through the VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student 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
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Study for and complete any admissions exams the summer before your senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • 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 on campus or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Literacy Lab, Richmond Teacher Residency, Teach for America, or 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 your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • 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 exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Chemistry

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Biochemistry | Chemical Modeling | Chemical Science | Professional chemist with honors
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 to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & to find out how to get research help
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Complete introductory courses in biology, chemistry and math.
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and plan to complete the Chemistry core and collateral coursework.  
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Chemistry.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides
  • 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.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Seek research opportunities to refine goals and learn the discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through the VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student 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.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Study for and complete any admissions exams the summer before your senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • 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 your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • 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 exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.