2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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  • Professors: Ron Ruminski and Al Schoffstall
  • Associate Professors: Dave Anderson (Chair), Janel Owens (Associate Chair), Kevin Tvrdy, and David Weiss
  • Assistant Professors: Andrew Klocko, James Kovacs, Amanda Morgenstern, and Crystal Vander Zanden
  • Senior Instructors: Dan Deon, Carlos Diaz, Terry Geiger, Niki Juhl, Kristi McCann, Tisha Mendiola Jessop, Elise Naughton, and Keith Oppenheim
  • Instructors: Linda Cummings, Beth Gabbard, Suman Lakkakula, Janak Paudyal, Kelsey Perry, and Ericka Rivera
  • Professor Attendant: Jerry Phillips
  • Assistant Professors Attendant: Barbara Gaddis and Deborah Sather
  • Professor Emeritus: Jim Eberhart
  • Instructors Emeriti: Cindy Applegate, John Balyeat, Chet Dymek, Barbara Gaddis, Wendy Haggern, and Mary Bethé Neely

Program Description

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs that meet the needs of students wishing to obtain an undergraduate degree in chemistry or biochemistry.

The programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees are intended for students who plan to choose chemistry or biochemistry as a profession, or for students wishing to pursue graduate work in those fields. The B.S. in Chemistry degree is one of some 600 in the United States that is certified by the ACS.

Students desiring a less comprehensive program in chemistry or biochemistry, such as premedical students, should elect a Bachelor of Arts degree. Judicious selection of additional courses permits the BA major to satisfy prerequisites for admission to graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry, or related fields.

The secondary education options are for students wishing to teach chemistry in high school. Please contact the College of Education for further information concerning the education requirements for these options.

In addition to its undergraduate degrees, the department also offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Sciences  (MSc) in Chemistry, as well as accelerated BA/MSc  and BS/MSc  programs.

Several chemistry courses are offered as a service to students majoring in other science fields and in social sciences and arts and humanities fields. The following courses, all of which have an optional lab component, are offered for non-science majors:

Not all chemistry courses are offered every year. Check the Course Search in your MyUCCS Portal for offerings available each semester.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge in the areas of biology, mathematics, physics, and technology to enable the student to manipulate experimental data and facilitate the understanding and derivation of fundamental relationships.
  • Learn principles and applications of general, organic, analytical, physical, biochemical, and inorganic areas of chemistry, and an integrated overview of chemistry.
  • Be able to compete effectively for a position in the workplace as a professional chemist or biochemist, for admission to graduate or professional schools, or for careers in other fields.
  • Be able to communicate effectively about topics of importance to chemists and biochemists.
  • For those students who take service courses in chemistry, to achieve the course objectives and fulfill the chemically related goals and requirements of their majors.
  • Chemistry and biochemistry majors meet with an advisor in the department to plan out their learning experiences.


Chemistry and biochemistry majors should consult regularly with their academic advisor and with departmental faculty advisors, and in particular with the department chair. Academic advising is a very important aspect of one’s education. Students need to plan their courses carefully since there are numerous and specific prerequisites for advanced courses that must be completed in an orderly sequence during the freshman through junior years. In addition, College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences requirements in the humanities and social sciences and Compass Curriculum requirements must be worked into the schedule. If students are not able to follow the curricula outlined in the Four-Year Plans for our degree programs, the possibility for scheduling conflicts increases, and the likelihood of finishing in four years decreases. Decisions on application to medical, dental, and graduate schools and on employment are also critical. Students should consult faculty advisors when making these decisions.

Additional Departmental Rules

Preparatory Chemistry

Students who have not taken chemistry in high school should take CHEM 1001 - Pre-chemistry  prior to attempting the General Chemistry sequence (CHEM 1401 /1411  ).


As part of the Department’s assessment protocol, students in many chemistry courses will be tested using standardized ACS subject exams.

Grade Requirements

Chemistry and biochemistry majors must achieve grades of “C” (2.00) or better in all chemistry courses required for the major, and in all required auxiliary courses (biology, physics, math, etc.).

Laboratory Fee

There is a $130 fee for each laboratory course. Research courses (CHEM 4904 /5904 ) are considered to be lab courses; lab fees are charged for these courses.

Chemistry Electives

For chemistry and biochemistry majors, chemistry electives must be chosen from 4000-level chemistry courses.

Honors Program

Opportunity is provided for qualified chemistry and biochemistry majors to participate in the Departmental Honors Program and graduate with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction. Students interested in this program should contact the department chair during their junior year. To be eligible, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a chemistry or biochemistry major with a major grade point average of at least 3.4.
  • Complete upper division research in chemistry or biochemistry. At least two semesters of CHEM 4904 - Research: Upper Division  with a single advisor and completion of   or CHEM 4921 - Biochemistry Capstone  satisfy this requirement.
  • Submit a written Senior Thesis and make an oral presentation based on this research (normally as part of CHEM 4911 or 4921). The written report will be due ten days before the presentation. One copy is to be submitted to your advisor and one copy to the department chair.

Undergraduate Research

All chemistry and biochemistry majors, and BS majors in particular, should consider electing CHEM 4904 - Research: Upper Division  at least once during their UCCS careers. Research provides a different kind of experience than traditional laboratory courses. Participants must do sufficient planning to carry out experiments. Regular communication with your research supervisor is a necessary component of the research experience.

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