B.S. in Chemistry, Emphasis in Environmental Chemistry

A Flower

The Environmental Chemistry emphasis provides students with tools to: (1) understand the processes governing chemical transformation in soil, water and air; (2) analyze for the key chemicals in the environment; and, (3) make meaningful predictions about the fates of these chemicals. This emphasis draws on subjects outside of a classical chemistry degree to include courses in atmospheric science, soil microbiology, environmental toxicology and mineralogy.

Graduates will be able to successfully pursue their career objectives in advanced education in graduate programs in areas such as atmospheric chemistry, geochemistry, toxicology and environmental chemistry and in a range of scientific careers including regulatory agencies, environmental consulting firms and industries concerned with the environmental impact and fate of their products.

Preparatory Subject Matter: 43-50 Units

Chemistry: CHE 2 A/B/C or CHE 2 AH/BH/CH
Mathematics: MAT 17 A/B/C or MAT 21 A/B/C
Physics: PHY 7 A/B/C or PHY 9 A/B/C
Biological Sciences: BIS 2A
Statistics: STA 13 or STA 32 or STA 100

Depth Subject Matter: 52-63 Units

Physical Chemistry: CHE 107 A/B or CHE 110 A/B/C
Organic Chemistry: CHE 118 A/B/C or CHE 128 A/B/C and CHE 129A, CHE 129B
Other Chemistry Courses: CHE 100, CHE 105, CHE 115, CHE 124A
Environmental Science and Policy: ESP 110
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 101

At least THREE additional upper division units in Chemistry (CHE 199 or 194H strongly encouraged).

At least THREE courses from:

Atmospheric Science: ATS 160
Civil and Environmental Engineering: ECI 148A
Chemical and Materials Science: ESM 120
Environmental Science and Policy: ESP 151
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 102A, ETX 102B, ETX 120, ETX 131, ETX 135, ETX 146
Fiber and Polymer Science: FPS 161, FPS 161L
Geology: GEL 146, GEL 148, GEL 150A
Hydrology: HYD 134
Soil Science: SSC 102, SSC 111

Total Units for Major: 95-113 Units

Sample Schedule for Environmental Chemistry Emphasis

This sample schedule has students taking required courses as early in the program as possible to permit the greatest flexibility in choosing electives and allow those who are qualified to engage in a full year of undergraduate research (CHE 194H or 199) in their senior year. Students who plan to continue their studies in graduate school are strongly urged to participate in undergraduate research. Elective courses are shown in italics.

Fall Winter Spring

Chem 2A (5)

Math 17A (4)

Chem 2B (5)

Math 17B (4)

Chem 2C (5)

Math 17C (4)

Biological Sciences 2A (5)


Chem 128A (3)

Chem 129A (2)

Physics 7A (4)

Chem 128B (3)

Chem 129B (2)

Physics 7B (4)

Chem 128C (3)

Physics 7C (4) 

Statistics 13 (4)


Chem 107A (3)

Environ Tox 101 (4)

Chem 107B (3)

Chem 100 (3)

Chem 105 (4)

Chem 124A (3)


Chem 115 (4)

Environ Tox 135 (3)

Chem 199 (1)

Atmospheric Sci 160 (4)

Environ Sci 110 (4)

Chem 199 (1)

Hydrology 134 (6)

Chem 199 (1)