Nov 18, 2019  
2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Department Chair: Christopher R. Brazier

Department Office: Hall of Science (HSCI) 370
Telephone/FAX: (562) 985‑4941/(562) 985-8557

Stuart R. Berryhill (Emeritus), Deepali Bhandari, Christopher R. Brazier, Xianhui Bu, Paul T. Buonora, Andrea Chen, Shahab Derakhshan, Nancy Gardner, Elena E. Grintsevich, Thach Ho, Lijuan Li, Marco A. Lopez, Eric Marinez, Douglas D. McAbee, Margaret L. Merryfield, Stephen P. Mezyk, Marjan Mahammadi, Kensaku Nakayama, Vasanthy Narayanaswami, Patrick Pierce, Michael Schramm, Jason Schwans, Gary Shankweiler, Young Shon, Katarzyna Slowinska, Krzysztof Slowinski, Eric Sorin, Enrico Tapavicza, Hadi Tavassol, Fangyuan Tian, Paul M. M. Weers

Administrative Support Coordinator: Irma Sanchez

Undergraduate, Biochemistry: Douglas D. McAbee
Undergraduate, Chemistry: Kasha Slowinska
Credential: Kristin Straits
Graduate: Biochemistry: Paul M. M. Weers; Chemistry: Michael Schramm, Young Shon

Graduate Studies Committee: Michael Schramm, Christopher R. Brazier, Fangyuan Tian, Paul M. M. Weers, Young Shon

Honors in the Major: Douglas D. McAbee
Students desiring information should contact the undergraduate advisor.

College: College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics  

Courses: CHEM  

Career Possibilities

Patent Agent • Chemist • Assayer • Water Purification Chemist • Chemical Lab Technician • Biochemist • Quality Control Coordinator • Pharmaceutical or Technical Sales Representative • Public Health Educator • Industrial Hygienist • Health Administrator • Teacher • Food / Drug Inspector • Materials Scientist • Medical Librarian • Environmental Scientist • Criminologist • Pharmacologist • Dentist • Physician • Geochemist • Chemical Oceanographer (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers three bachelor's degrees, the B.S. in Chemistry, the B.S. in Biochemistry, and the B.A. in Chemistry, and two master's degrees, the M.S. in Chemistry and the M.S. in Biochemistry. These programs combined serve over 700 majors. In addition, the Department offers a Minor in Chemistry.

Degree Programs

The programs in chemistry and biochemistry at the bachelor's degree level are planned to develop background in a specific science, to serve as preparation for graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry, and to provide a foundation for those students seeking careers in the chemical sciences, teaching, law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health‑related professions, and in industrial and governmental scientific occupations. The B.S. degree in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (American Chemical Society, Committee on Professional Training, 1155 Sixteenth St., NW, Washington, DC 20036, phone: 202-872-4589).

The B.S. degree in Biochemistry is certified by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB department/program accreditation sub-committee, 11200 Rockville Pike, Suite 302, Rockville MD 20852-3110, phone: 240-283-6600).

Transfer Students: A student who transfers to the University must take at least 16 units of upper division chemistry courses here. To receive credit towards the major for courses taken elsewhere in place of CHEM 371A , CHEM 371B  and/or CHEM 377A , CHEM 377B , consent of the Department Chair is required. Satisfactory performance on appropriate proficiency examinations may also be required.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers graduate study leading to research‑based master of science degrees in chemistry and biochemistry.

Applicants for the master of science degree programs should apply online both to the university and to the department. Links to the online application forms can be found on the department's web site ( - click on "Graduate Programs").

A limited number of teaching associate and graduate and research assistantships are available. Usually, these involve half-time work in the instructional program at the freshman and sophomore level or work in the laboratory. An applicant may apply for a teaching associate or graduate assistant position in the course of completing the online departmental application.

Concurrent and/or Summer Enrollment in Another College

Students who wish to take course work in a community or other college to meet curricular requirements while enrolled as undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics must petition the appropriate department for approval prior to enrolling in specific courses. This policy applies to concurrent enrollment or summer enrollment. University policy must also be complied with; see "Concurrent Enrollment" and "Transfer of Undergraduate Credit" in this catalog. Courses not receiving prior approval will not be accepted for credit by the Department.

Single Subject Chemistry Concentration

The Chemistry Concentration meets the subject matter competence requirement for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Chemistry. Consult with an adviser in the Department of Science Education early to plan a program.


Lower Division:

Take all of the following courses:

NOTE: BIOL 111, BIOL 111L, BIOL 212 , BIOL 212L , BIOL 213 , BIOL 213L  are required if courses were taken prior to catalog year 2010-11.

  • CHEM 251 - Quantitative Analysis  (4 units)
    Prerequisite: CHEM 111B  with a grade of "C" or better. Strongly recommended for pre-pharmacy students and students planning careers in clinical or analytical laboratory sciences. It is strongly recommended that CHEM 251  be taken within one calendar year of CHEM 111B  .
  • GEOL 102 - Planet Earth  (3 units)
    Prerequisites/Corequisites: A course that fulfills the A.1 GE requirement and three years of high school mathematics including algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra or the equivalent.
  • GEOL 104 - Planet Earth Lab  (1 units)
    Prerequisites/Corequisites: A course that fulfills the A.1 GE requirement and three years of high school mathematics including algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra or the equivalent. Prerequisite/Corequisite: GEOL 102 .
  • GEOL 160 - Introduction to Oceanography  (3 units)
    Prerequisites/Corequisites: A course that fulfills the A.1 GE requirement and three years of high school mathematics including algebra, geometry, and intermediate algebra or the equivalent.

Select one pair from the following:


Select one pair from the following:


Select one pair from the following:


Upper Division:

Take all of the following:

Take one of the following:


Take one of the following:

Single Subject Teaching Credential in Chemistry

In addition, prospective Chemistry teachers are required to complete 45 units of professional preparation in the Single Subject Credential Program, including student teaching. Professional preparation courses may be taken as early as the junior year. With careful planning, it is possible to complete many of the credential program courses, except for student teaching, as an undergraduate. Courses may also be started as a post-baccalaureate student. Refer to the Single Subject Teacher Education  section of this catalog or the Single Subject Credential Program website ( for a description of the professional preparation requirements, courses, and application procedures.

The Chemistry Subject Matter Program is being revised to meet new state standards. When the revised program has been approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the new course requirements will be in effect and supersede current requirements.

Honors in Biochemistry or Chemistry

Students majoring in the B.S. in Biochemistry, B.S. in Chemistry, or B.A. in Chemistry who would like an enriched academic program including an intensive research experience may be eligible to graduate with Honors in the Major through the University Honors Program. Students may complete General Honors through the University Honors Program as well; in such cases the General Honors thesis requirement is met through Honors in the Major (see University Honors in this catalog).

Requirements for Admission to Honors in the Major

The requirements for Honors in the Major also satisfies the requirements of a college-wide program, Honors in Biological Sciences, created with the support of a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. While Honors in the Major requires junior or senior standing, the college-wide program offers an enriched curriculum. Interested students should contact the Honors in the Major director or the Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center.

  1. Junior or senior standing with at least one year remaining before graduation.
  2. Declared major of B.S. in Biochemistry, B.S. in Chemistry, or B.A. in Chemistry.
  3. Submission of an application detailing interest in the program and willingness to commit to a year-long research experience.
  4. Letter of recommendation from a CSULB faculty member familiar with the student's work.
  5. Completion of CHEM 220A CHEM 220B  and one upper division chemistry lecture course. Students may apply during the semester in which they expect to complete these courses.
  6. GPA of at least 3.00 in all courses in the major and in all upper division courses in the major.

Requirements for Graduation with Honors in the Major

  1. GPA of at least 3.30 in all upper division courses in the major and in Honors courses.
  2. Completion of all requirements for the B.S. in Biochemistry, B.S. in Chemistry, or B.A. in Chemistry.
  3. Completion of one 500-level lecture course or 400/500 dual level course in chemistry (3 units).
  4. Completion of 3 units CHEM 496 - Undergraduate Directed Research .
  5. Completion of 3 units of CHEM 498H - Senior Thesis - Honors .
  6. Presentation of research results in a public forum. This requirement may be met by presentation at a scientific conference or at a local venue; consult the Honors in the Major advisor for additional information.

Substitutions to this program must be approved by the Honors in the Major Advisor.


    Undergraduate DegreesGraduate and Professional DegreesMinor


      Chemistry and Biochemistry