William & Mary

Junior and Senior Years

Your decision to become a chemistry major opens the door to numerous opportunities which can enhance your career goals and future education. The purpose of this information is to make you aware of the various avenues and advantages available within the department for completion of your degree. An overview of topics most often asked as you prepare for your last two years of undergraduate chemistry are provided in the following sections.

Curricular options
The variety of offerings within the Department of Chemistry is such that students have the opportunity to become acquainted with many of the major areas of chemistry through the core curriculum, and can continue in diversification or become more focused on a particular area of chemistry from the advanced courses offered. By the time you begin the junior year, you should have completed the first two years of chemistry (General Chem I and II; Organic Chem I and II; and the associated labs: 103L, 206L, 353 and 354/356) as well as the Math 111,112 and 212 or 213 and Physics 101-102 prerequisites. The remaining chemistry core requirements for all chemistry majors are:

  1. Chemistry 301 and 302 (Physical Chemistry, 6 credits)
  2. Chemistry 309 (Instrumental Analysis, 3 credits)
  3. Chem 303 and 304 (Integrated Physical/Analytical Labs, 2 credits)
  4. Chemistry 320 (Introduction to Research, 1 credit).

Beyond the core curriculum you must take  9 additional credits of 400 level chemistry lecture courses 401, 402, 403, 404, 408, 411, 412, 414, 415, 417, 457, and 458.You may take as many advanced courses as you like, however keep in mind that a minimum of 72 course credits out of the 120 hour minimum required for graduation must come from other departments.

Course descriptions can be found in the undergraduate catalog.

The course and research options you select are a function of your interests and career goals. We strongly recommend that individuals who intend to continue in chemistry at the graduate level or immediately pursue employment take a broad range of advanced courses as well as independent research. Additional advanced course work and independent research are also regarded highly by medical school admission committees. Many students accepted into medical school have participated in senior research projects as well.

Getting a late start as a Chemistry major is entirely possible with several options available. Please consult the department chair for the most viable options for completion of your degree.

Many Chemistry majors choose to enhance their degrees with the American Chemical Society (ACS) certification which the department is authorized to award.

Qualified students may also be interested in the accelerated program leading to a joint M.S./B.S. degree.