Overview of the B.A. Degree
The B.A. degree with a major in chemistry is designed for the student who desires to obtain knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry and at the same time wishes to obtain substantial knowledge of a number of other fields of learning. The curriculum is based on a high school background which includes at least one and one-half years of algebra and one year of geometry. High school courses in chemistry and physics are very desirable but not required.
Many chemistry majors are preparing for medical school or for graduate study in chemistry and related fields. For those who are going to graduate school, the common body of knowledge they obtain in the B.A. degree program is the minimum prerequisite. This core of knowledge may be strengthened by taking additional chemistry courses as electives (see note below). For pre-medical students, much of the knowledge will be important in their future careers. Even more important, however, is the training in analytical thinking and problem solving, drawing conclusions from experimental observations, and digesting and understanding a body of scientific information.
There are a number of common College requirements for the B.A. degree, regardless of major, which are listed in the University of Kansas Undergraduate Catalog. The Chemistry Department specifies some of the courses that are to be used to fulfill the mathematics and science requirements. These courses should be taken at the earliest opportunity in order to gain the necessary background for advanced chemistry courses. In particular, a year of college physics and a year of college calculus, including differential and integral calculus, are required for the degree and before enrolling in physical chemistry.
The minimum chemistry requirement is 29 hours of course work, including ten hours of general chemistry and five hours each of organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. A course sequence which fulfills the major requirements is shown on the following page. The semesters in which these courses are offered are listed in the section entitled
It is recommended that B.A. degree students planning graduate work in chemistry or a closely related field (e.g., biochemistry, medicinal or pharmaceutical chemistry) take two semesters each of organic and physical chemistry (with labs), as well as one or two additional chemistry courses, as time allows.