Chemistry has a leading role in the technological challenges that touch all aspects of our lives. Global climate change, increasing demands on limited energy resources, the detection and treatment of human disease, concerns about environmental health, and the continuing need for new materials and synthetic strategies all demand an innovative response from chemists.
Chemistry majors gain the knowledge and skills needed to study environmental chemical pathways, produce efficient catalysts, develop new medicinal drugs, fabricate and use nanoscale materials, create new sensor technologies, identify methods for early disease diagnosis, find methods for remediation of environmental damage, and make new materials with unique properties.
Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Student organizations of special interest to chemistry students include the Undergraduate Chemical Society, which is affiliated with the American Chemical Society; a chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity; and Women in STEM.
The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.
Chemistry majors may earn a BA or BS degree.
The BA program is a good choice if you're interested in earning a degree in medicine. dentistry, law, or another professional field after you graduate. It also is good preparation for secondary school teaching.
The BS program will prepare you for graduate study in chemistry or related fields and for careers in business and industry. The BS degree in chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society.
Course requirements are similar for BA and BS students and include foundation courses in chemistry and organic chemistry, calculus, and physics. BA students take seven advanced chemistry courses. BS students take 10 advanced courses plus two additional courses that may include undergraduate research.
In addition to required course work for the major, all students must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Science GE CLAS CORE requirements.
Most BS students in chemistry and some BA students do undergraduate research where you'll have your own project and work closely with a faculty member. You will prepare a report on your work and have the opportunity to present your research at an undergraduate research poster session.
See Chemistry in the UI General Catalog to learn more about the chemistry major or minor, required course work, and graduating with honors.
Teacher Education in Chemistry
Chemistry students who plan to teach in secondary schools must complete the College of Education's Teacher Education Program. BA students who are interested in teaching may choose to enter a joint degree program and earn your BA and a Master of Arts in teaching (MAT) in five years.