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Chemistry

Chemistry

Bachelor of Science

Degree Type

Major, Minor, Secondary Licensure

Department

Natural & Environmental Sciences (NES) Department

Chemistry is the study of the principles that govern matter and the chemical transformations of matter. Students learn basic theories and gain practical experience in inorganic, organic, analytical and physical chemistry. Supporting courses provide a foundation in calculus and physics while coordinated lab work reinforces the concepts and ideas presented in lectures. Students learn to use state-of-the-art instruments and work with faculty on original research projects.

Program Overview

Chemistry

Synthesize new molecules and discover life-saving antibiotic compounds.

In the program, you’ll learn foundational theories in inorganic, organic, analytical and physical chemistry and gain practical experience in state-of-the-art labs using sophisticated technological systems. To customize your education, you’ll have the opportunity to take specialized courses in calculus and physics and apply your knowledge in coordinated lab work.

If you want to start building your resume, you can work as a lab assistant and help conduct original research projects. Through these unique opportunities, you’ll gain the dynamic knowledge you need to pursue a successful career in pharmaceuticals, forensic science and medicine.

Hands-on labs

Students participate in lab experiments that emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits is required including the 26-credit Chemistry Nucleus: 

Course List
Code Title Credits
Chemistry Nucleus
CHEM 111General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3
CHEM 112General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1)1
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3
CHEM 114General Chemistry Laboratory II1
CHEM 302Chemical Information Literacy and Communication3
CHEM 306Analytical Chemistry (with laboratory)4
CHEM 331Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 332Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 334Organic Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry Laboratory II1
CHEM 451Physical Chemistry I3
Total Credits26

And the following:

Course List
Code Title Credits
CHEM 406Instrumental Analysis (with laboratory)4
CHEM 452Physical Chemistry II3
CHEM 454Physical Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 461Advanced Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 494Research Problem in Chemistry2-4
Required supporting courses
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 252Calculus III4
PHYS 190
PHYS 185
General Physics I (GT-SC2)
and Laboratory Physics I (GT-SC1)
4
PHYS 191
PHYS 186
General Physics II (GT-SC2)
and Laboratory Physics II (GT-SC1)
4
Total Credits34-36
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1
ENG 102 Writing and Rhetoric I (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 140 College Algebra (GT-MA1) 3
Social Science GE 3
 Credits14
Spring
Arts & Humanities GE 3
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1
MATH 141 Precalculus (GT-MA1) 4
Social Science GE 3
 Credits14
Year Two
Fall
Arts & Humanities GE 3
ENG 103 Writing and Rhetoric II (GT-CO2) 3
CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
 Credits14
Spring
Arts & Humanities GE 3
CHEM 302 Chemical Information Literacy and Communication 3
CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 1
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
 Credits17
Year Three
Fall
CHEM 306 Analytical Chemistry (with laboratory) 4
CHEM 461 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3
PHYS 190 General Physics I (GT-SC2) 3
PHYS 185 Laboratory Physics I (GT-SC1) 1
Elective Elective 6
 Credits17
Spring
CHEM 406 Instrumental Analysis (with laboratory) 4
MATH 252 Calculus III 4
PHYS 191 General Physics II (GT-SC2) 3
PHYS 186 Laboratory Physics II (GT-SC1) 1
Elective Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
CHEM 451 Physical Chemistry I 3
CHEM 461 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3
Elective Elective 9
 Credits15
Spring
CHEM 452 Physical Chemistry II 3
CHEM 454 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 2
CHEM 494 Research Problem in Chemistry 2
Elective Elective 7
 Credits14
 Total Credits120
Fall (odd years) Spring (even years)
CHEM 100 Contemporary Chemistry CHEM 101 Intro to Inorganic Chemistry CHEM 111 General Chemistry I CHEM 112 General Chemistry Lab I CHEM 231 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry CHEM 234 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Lab CHEM 306 Analytical Chemistry w/Lab CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry Lab I CHEM 451 Physical Chemistry I CHEM 471 Biochemistry I CHEM 474 Biochemistry Lab CHEM 100 Contemporary Chemistry CHEM 101 Intro to Inorganic Chemistry CHEM 113 General Chemistry II CHEM 114 General Chemistry Lab II CHEM 231 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry CHEM 234 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Lab CHEM 302 Chemical Information Literacy and Communication CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry Lab II CHEM 452 Physical Chemistry II CHEM 454 Physical Chemistry Lab II CHEM 472 Biochemistry II
Fall (even years) Spring (odd years)
CHEM 100 Contemporary Chemistry CHEM 101 Intro to Inorganic Chemistry CHEM 111 General Chemistry I CHEM 112 General Chemistry Lab I CHEM 306 Analytical Chemistry w/Lab CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I CHEM 334 Organic Chemistry Lab I CHEM 451 Physical Chemistry I CHEM 461 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry CHEM 471 Biochemistry I CHEM 100 Contemporary Chemistry CHEM 101 Intro to Inorganic Chemistry CHEM 113 General Chemistry II CHEM 114 General Chemistry Lab II CHEM 231 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry CHEM 234 Intro to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Lab CHEM 302 Chemical Information Literacy and Communication CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry Lab II CHEM 406 Instrumental Analysis CHEM 472 Biochemistry II w/Lab
 

Spotlight

Chemistry

Ryan Barnhouse

Student

“Being an orientation leader and having that leadership position helped me branch out to try these other things. It gave me the confidence to express myself as a leader and learn what kind of leader I am. And then be able to use that leadership in other aspects.”

Chemistry

Jeshurun Small

Alumni

“I found that since the program is smaller, it allows for better interaction between the students and faculty.”

Chemistry

Ryan Belson

Alumni

“Western is the reason I got into graduate school; it helped build my confidence and knowledge in my field.”

Chemistry

Eric Loewen

Alumni

“It’s a wonderful thing about Western,” Eric Loewen says, “you learn early on that relationships make the difference.”

Chemistry

Dr. Sean Markey

Alumni

"From truck driver to neurosurgeon—thanks to Western and its nurturing professors."

Careers


Top Skills

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Trials
  • Leadership
  • Research
  • Soil Science



Career Pathways

  • Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemistry Teacher
  • Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Materials Scientist
  • Natural Sciences Manager

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Chemistry

Apply your education to the real-world.

Take your education outside of the classroom—build your professional network, gain practical experience and jump-start your career.

  • Chemistry Club: Members share their love of chemistry with the community in an annual demonstration that draws hundreds.
  • Healthcare Advisory Board: Dedicated to connecting students to meaningful shadowing and mentoring opportunities with representatives from ten different healthcare positions.
  • Lab Assistantships: Students often work as lab assistants after their first year.
  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Helps undergraduates do high-quality, original research in biology and related fields—including chemistry.

Chemistry solutions

Senior Patricia Wheeler Larsen works in the Chemistry Lab with Dr. Anne Ryter.

News & Research

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

Read More about Western Earns Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission
mountaineer STEM scholarship

Scholarship Paves Way for STEM Student Success

Read More about Scholarship Paves Way for STEM Student Success
Western’s Supplemental Instruction Program

Western’s Supplemental Instruction Program

Read More about Western’s Supplemental Instruction Program

Additional Resources

Using Vertere Chemical Database

Using Vertere Chemical Database General Notes: The database is a record of all the chemicals in Hurst Hall and other buildings. To view the database you need to be on a computer with the Vertere …

Learn More

Chemical and Biological Waste

Chemical Waste Procedures for Disposal of Chemical Wastes You must label all waste as to the contents and when generated as you produce it. As soon as possible, it should then be disposed of in the …

Learn More

Chemical Safety and Hygiene

Chemical Safety and Hygiene Chemical Hygiene This page is to help you with the following: MSDS sheets. It is your (and your students) responsibility to read and understand the Material Safety and Data …

Learn More

Thornton Biology Research Program

The Thornton Biology Research Program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work with faculty on funded, original research.

Learn More

Department Chairperson

Anne W. Ryter, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

Administrative Assistant

Lori Clement

NES Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.2015

rbingham@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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