Undergraduate Study - Career Opportunities

Why Chemistry?

A Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology provides a strong basis for a wide range of careers. A firm education in a physical science makes a student especially well qualified for direct employment or for graduate and professional studies in many areas of the basic and applied sciences.

Program highlights include:

  • Capstone Courses. Designed to make use of knowledge gained from the core curriculum in a way that fosters development of research and communication skills. They include Seminar in Chemistry, Internship in Chemistry, Senior Research Project and Honors Research in Chemistry.
  • Honors in Chemistry. The Department offers a Departmental Honors Program for seniors. Upon successful completion of the program, a special notation is added to the diploma. Candidates are expected to complete at least 3 credits per term in an independent research project, to write a paper on their research, and to make a presentation at the end of their senior year.
  • ACS Certification. The American Chemical Society, the major professional organization of chemists in the United States, certifies certain degree programs that meet its requirements. Three options for the Rutgers chemistry major (General ACS, Chemical Biology, and Environmental) lead to ACS certified degrees.
  • Rutgers Chemistry Society. The society is organized and run by undergraduate chemistry students. It promotes and develops education and career opportunities.
  • Undergraduate Research. Provides excellent training in practical aspects of the chemistry discipline, helps consolidate the understanding of chemistry gained in courses, provides realistic insights into the daily routines and working environment of a career chemist, and most often leads to a close working relationship with faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. Participation in undergraduate research is strongly encouraged because it creates an important opportunity for obtaining meaningful letters of recommendation that will carry significant weight with future employers or with graduate and professional schools.
  • Programmatic Excellence. The Department received the Rutgers Award for Programmatic Excellence in Undergraduate Education for 2001, a University-wide honor.

Core Curriculum: Intended to give a broad introduction to the several subareas of chemistry

  • General Chemistry (2 semesters, 8 credits)
  • Introduction to Experimentation (lab, 1 semester, 1 credit)
  • Analytical Chemistry (1 semester with lab, 3 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry (2 semesters, 8 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry Lab (2 semesters, 5 credits)
  • Physical Chemistry or Physical Chemistry Biochemical Systems (2 semesters, 6 credits)
  • Experimental Physical Chemistry (lab, 1 semester, 2.5 credits)
  • Instrumental Analysis or Introduction to Molecular Biophysics Research (1 semester, 3 credits)
  • Chemical Bonding (1 semester, 1.5 credits)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (1 semester, 3 credits)
  • Seminar in Chemistry (2 semesters, 2 credits)

Required Ancillary Courses

  • Four semesters of math (15 credits, calculus, linear algebra, multivariable calculus)
  • General Physics (2 semesters, 6 credits)
  • General Physics Lab (2 semesters, 2 credits)


  • Options permit students to select relevant courses reflecting their particular interests and career goals
  • General ACS, Chemical Biology, Environmental, Business/Law, and Chemical Physics

Additional Information

For more information, contact:

Vice Chair, Undergraduate Program in Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Wright-Rieman Laboratories
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
610 Taylor Road
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854
Telephone: 848-445-2604
Email: undergradinfo@chem.rutgers.edu