B.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

UC Davis senior pharmaceutical chemistry major Manuel Munoz prepares a liquid solution for his intern project on cancer research.

The B.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is strongly focused on basic science while providing students with a greater understanding of the experimental and computational processes and societal issues that surround the synthesis, discovery and design of modern pharmaceuticals. Important relevant topics include potential drug targets, physical principles of drug action, drug synthesis and screening, computational drug design, drug delivery and ethical concerns. The demand for pharmaceutical chemists is high and anticipated to grow, as modern chemistry allows a wide range of choices for drug synthesis and our growing knowledge of biological processes presents challenging targets for novel therapeutics.

Graduates will be able to successfully pursue their career objectives in advanced education in professional and/or graduate schools and in a range of scientific careers in academia, government or industry including the pharmaceutical, medicinal and biological sciences, medicine, pharmacy, pharmacology and biotechnology.

Preparatory Subject Matter: 45-55 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 and BIS 2B or BIS 2C
Statistics: STA 13 or STA 32 or STA 100

Depth Subject Matter: 48-64 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 129 A/B/C
Other Chemistry Courses: CHE 124A, CHE 130 A/B, CHE 135, CHE 150 
Biological Sciences: BIS 102 or Chemistry: CHE 131

At least FOUR additional courses (not used to satisfy the above requirements) from:

Animal Science: ANS 170
Biological Sciences: BIS 102 or BIS 103
Biotechnology: BIT 171
Chemistry: CHE 199 or CHE 194H
Environmental Toxicology: ETX 103A
Microbiology: MIC 102
Molecular Biosciences: VMB 101Y
Molecular & Cellular Biology: MCB 123, MCB 124, MCB 126
Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior: NPB 100, NPB 101
Plant Biology: PLB 126

Total Units for Major:
96-119 Units

Sample Schedule for Pharmaceutical Chemistry

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)

Biological Sciences 2A (5)

Chem 2C (5)

Math 17C (4)

Biological Sciences 2B (5)


Chem 128A (3)

Chem 129A (2)

Physics 7A (4) 

Chem 128B (3)

Chem 129B (2)

Physics 7B (4) 

Chem 128C (3)

Chem 129C (2)

Physics 7C (4) 


Chem 124A (3)

Chem 131 (3)


Chem 107A (3)

Biological Sciences 102 (3)

Chem 107B (3)

Biological Sciences 103 (3)



Chem 135 (3)

Stats 13 (4)

Biotech 171 (3)

Chem 199 (1)

Chem 130A (3)

Neurobio Physiol & Behavior 101 (4)

Chem 199 (1)

Chem 130B (3)

Chem 150 (3)

Chem 199 (1)