Undergraduate Programs

Periodic Table of Elements Chart

Undergraduate Programs in Chemistry

Chemistry combines fundamental knowledge of molecular systems with important applications to medicine, biology, energy and materials.

We offer six program tracks among our majors (see Degrees in Chemistry). All of these major programs have the following eight learning objectives in common:

Knowledge-Based Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to master a broad set of theoretical and experimental chemical knowledge concerning the fundamentals in the basic areas of the discipline (organic, inorganic, analytical, physical and biological chemistry).
  • Graduates will be able to solve problems competently by identifying the essential parts of a problem and formulating a strategy for solving the problem. They will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution and interpret their results critically.
  • Graduates will be able to use computers in data acquisition and processing and use available software as a tool in simulation, computation and data analysis.
  • Graduates will be able to use modern library search tools (e.g., SciFinder) to locate and retrieve scientific information about a topic, chemical technique or an issue relating to chemistry.

Performance/Skills-Based Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to understand the objective of their chemical experiments, properly carry out the experiments and appropriately record and analyze the results.
  • Graduates will be able to use standard laboratory equipment, modern instrumentation and classical techniques to carry out experiments both singly and in teams.
  • Graduates will know and rigorously follow the proper procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of chemicals.
  • Graduates will be able to communicate the concepts and results of their laboratory experiments clearly and consisely to both chemists and non-chemists through effective writing and oral communication skills.

Jessica Bee and Angie Tran, biological science majors at UC Davis, conduct their experiment during a Chemistry 2C lab at UC Davis on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.  The students were preforming qualitative analysis on a solution, trying to identify the five cations present.

Student researchers having fun with Chemistry