Chemistry Major (B.S.)

Chemistry Major (B.S.)
Chemistry major student explaining their chemistry research poster

What is a Bachelor of Science in chemistry?

This comprehensive program prepares students for success as professional chemists in industry and can also serve as a strong foundation for graduate studies in chemistry or related fields like materials science and pharmaceutical sciences. The B.S. degree provides rigorous training in chemistry’s traditional sub-disciplines (analytical, inorganic, organic and physical). Students gain laboratory experience in molecular synthesis and characterization, analytical and instrumental methods, physical chemical measurements and data analysis, and spectroscopy. Students also participate in scientific inquiry (via independent advanced laboratory and research experiences), which builds the communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success in many careers. Students considering graduate degrees in chemistry should consider the Bachelor of Science degree.

Why study chemistry at UNH?

You’ll engage in a program of study approved by the American Chemical Society that explores a dynamic, creative and practical discipline. You’ll find a program small enough to be personal but comprehensive enough to provide excellent opportunities for challenge and growth, like independent research, leadership and peer-mentoring. You’ll have access to newly renovated laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment and faculty committed to transformative experiences for undergraduate students. Our graduates pursue careers in industry, go on to attend M.S. and Ph.D. programs and find success in environmental and health-related professions, making public policies, patent law and intellectual property, and educating future generations of scientists.

Potential careers

  • Agricultural and food products
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical analysis and quality control
  • Chemical/pharmaceutical sales and marketing
  • Chemical research and development
  • Chemistry teacher
  • Health professions
  • Patent law, intellectual property and science policy
  • Pharmaceuticals and pharmacology
  • Plastics and coatings
  • Science/technology writing
  • Toxicology and forensic science
  • Cemistry major student Tim Murphy
    Meet a Wildcat: Chemistry
    Tim Murphy is a chemistry major in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Read more to learn about why he loves being a chemistry student at UNH.
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

The B.S. Chemistry degree is certified by the American Chemical Society and provides a deep, rigorous experience that prepares students for graduate work or a career in chemical industry and related fields. The curriculum offers thorough training in the major fields of chemistry, covering analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as biochemistry and chemical biology. Students gain laboratory experience in molecular synthesis and characterization, chemical biology, analytical and instrumental methods, physical chemical measurements and data analysis, and spectroscopy. At the same time, the program requires students to participate in scientific inquiry, via both advanced laboratory experiences and independent research.

This is the suggested degree plan for B.S. Chemistry majors. A student can alter this plan in consultation with an academic advisor.
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CHEM 400 Freshman Seminar 1
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
MATH 425 Calculus I 4
PHYS 407 General Physics I 4
Discovery Course 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
MATH 426 Calculus II 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
PHYS 408 General Physics II 4
Second Year
CHEM 517 Introduction to Chemical Measurement Science 3
CHEM 518 Practical Chemical Measurement Techniques and Instrumentation 2
CHEM 547 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 549 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
CHEM 548 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 550 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
CHEM 574 Chemistry Across the Periodic Table 4
CHEM 576 Experimental Inorganic Chemistry 2
Discovery Course 4
Third Year
CHEM 683 Physical Chemistry I 3
CHEM 685 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 2
CHEM 774 Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM 755 Advanced Organic Chemistry 3
CHEM 777 Advanced Synthesis and Characterization 3
Discovery Course 4
CHEM 684 Physical Chemistry II 3
CHEM 686 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 2
CHEM 762 Advanced Chemical Analysis Instrumentation 3
CHEM 763 Advanced Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory 2
Elective Course 4
Discovery Course 4
Fourth Year
CHEM 776 Physical Chemistry III (Not offered every year. Can take CHEM 708 or CHEM 740 are Chem elective equivalent) 3
CHEM 799 Senior Thesis (first semester of a yearlong experience) 4
BMCB 658
or CHEM 740
General Biochemistry
or Chemical Biology
Elective Course (1 course at 4 credits or 2 Electives at 4 credits each if not taking BMCB 658) 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 3
CHEM 798 Senior Seminar 1
CHEM 799 Senior Thesis 4
 Total Credits128

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

CHEM 400Freshman Seminar1
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
CHEM 404General Chemistry II4
CHEM 517
CHEM 518
Introduction to Chemical Measurement Science
and Practical Chemical Measurement Techniques and Instrumentation
CHEM 547
CHEM 549
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 548
CHEM 550
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 574
CHEM 576
Chemistry Across the Periodic Table
and Experimental Inorganic Chemistry
BMCB 658General Biochemistry 1, 33
or CHEM 740 Chemical Biology
CHEM 683
CHEM 685
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 684
CHEM 686
Physical Chemistry II
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 755Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 762
CHEM 763
Advanced Chemical Analysis Instrumentation
and Advanced Chemical Instrumentation Laboratory
CHEM 774Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 776Physical Chemistry III3
CHEM 777Advanced Synthesis and Characterization3
CHEM 798Senior Seminar1
CHEM 799Senior Thesis 28
MATH 425Calculus I4
MATH 426Calculus II4
PHYS 407General Physics I4
PHYS 408General Physics II4
Total Credits85

BMCB 658 General Biochemistry satisfies the Discovery Biological Sciences requirement (for BS Chem majors only)


CHEM 799 Senior Thesis is a year-long experience of 4 credits per semester and satisfies the Discovery Capstone Experience requirement.


CHEM 740 Chemical Biology meets the ACS BIOCHEM requirement. Students can take CHEM 740 Chemical Biology . CHEM 740 Chemical Biology DOES NOT meet the Biological Sciences Discovery criteria. Students can meet this requirement with one of their discovery electives.

  • Reason with Chemistry’s anchoring concepts: that matter consists of atoms that have internal structures that dictate their chemical and physical behavior; that atoms interact via electrostatic forces to form chemical bonds that chemical compounds have geometric structures that influence their chemical and physical behaviors; that intermolecular forces—electrostatic forces between molecules—dictate the physical behavior of matter; that matter changes, forming products that have new chemical and physical properties that energy is the key currency of chemical reactions in molecular scale systems as well as macroscopic systems; that chemical changes have a time scale over which they occur; that all chemical changes are, in principle, reversible, and chemical processes often reach a state of dynamic equilibrium; that Chemistry is generally advanced via experimental observations; and that Chemistry constructs meaning interchangeably at the particulate and macroscopic levels.
  • Use Chemistry’s cross-cutting concepts to interrogate and explain phenomena: chemical identity (how do we identify chemical substances?); structure-property relationships (how do we predict the properties of materials?); chemical causality (why do chemical processes occur?); chemical mechanism (how do chemical processes occur?); chemical control (how can we control chemical processes?); benefits-costs-risks (how do we evaluate the impacts of chemically transforming matter?).
  • Demonstrate the following general scientific practices when displaying knowledge of chemical ideas and concepts: asking questions; developing and using models; constructing explanations; planning and carrying out investigations; engaging in argument from evidence; analyzing and interpreting data; using mathematics and computational thinking; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information OR demonstrate the following Chemistry core practices when displaying knowledge of chemical ideas and concepts (a) analysis: development and application of strategies for detecting, identifying, separating, and quantifying chemical substances (b)synthesis: the design of new substances and synthetic routes (c)transformation: controlling chemical processes for non-synthetic purposes.

Explore Program Details

Discovery Program

Parsons Hall Emergency Operations Plan


Chemistry Stockroom, Instrumentation, Chemistry Library, Chemistry Hygiene Plan

Those interested in the Chemistry (B.S.) major may also be interested in the following advanced degrees. Students in the program also have the opportunity to participate in the UNH accelerated master’s program.

Chemistry M.S.

Chemistry Ph.D.

Chemistry: Chemistry Education Ph.D.

Take the Next Step

undergraduate student in front of campus building
Students on the lawn at Thompson Hall
student at career event