Majoring in Chemistry

New Curriculum

Note that our major requirements changed in Fall 2017.

If you declared your major after August 2017, you will follow the new curriculum. If you declared your major before August 2017, you will follow the old curriculum. Talk to your major advisor if you have questions.

Our course numbering has also changed.

These files might help:

The Chemistry major leads to a B.S. degree in Chemistry. Our graduates

  • Go into careers involving product-oriented research
  • Get advanced degrees in chemistry or related disciplines - we have a high acceptance rate into graduate programs
  • Go to medical school
  • Use their technical and communication skills to go into other careers. Our alumni are consultants, government policy wonks, patent lawyers, science writers - the options are endless!

Your first introductory courses will introduce the general principles of chemistry. Intermediate courses elaborate on these principles in organic, physical, inorganic, and analytical chemistry. Your last two semesters serve as a capstone, involving both advanced coursework and research. The major requirements leave room for a variety of electives, which allows you to customize your degree.

We challenge our majors to take part in research throughout their time at W&M. Most chemistry students spend at least one summer doing paid supervised research. Many spend two, or even all three, undergraduate summers engaged with research. This is excellent preparation for practicing chemistry in industry as well as graduate school.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) monitors and accredits academic chemistry departments in the United States. Requirements for an ACS approved degree are slightly more stringent than our regular major requirements. An ACS approved degree in chemistry from William & Mary requires specialized coursework plus independent research.

Note that our major requirements changed in Fall 2017. These files might help: