This program is approved by the American Chemical Society. Upon completion, students who choose either the BS in Chemistry with no concentration or with the Analytical Chemistry concentration are certified to the society. Students that have a keen interest in sustainability should choose the Environmental Chemistry concentration. Students planning professional careers in chemistry should choose this degree.

Teacher Licensure

Students who wish to become teachers and plan to seek teacher licensure should consider the following options:

Interested students should attend an information session early in their undergraduate career. For more information, visit the Graduate School of Education's website.

Admissions

University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Undergraduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

To apply for this program, please complete the George Mason University Admissions Application.

Policies

Students must fulfill all Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, including the Mason Core.

CHEM 336 Physical Chemistry Lab I or CHEM 465 Biochemistry Lab will fulfill the writing intensive requirement for students majoring in chemistry.

Termination from the Major

To ensure the academic integrity of the Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate major program, students are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance.

No chemistry, math, or science course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Students who do not successfully complete such a course with a grade of C or better by the third attempt may be terminated from the major.

Students who have been terminated from the Chemistry major may not register for a chemistry course without the permission of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

A student may not declare a major in chemistry if the student has previously met the termination criteria for the major at any time, regardless of what the student’s major was at the time the courses were taken.

Banner Code: SC-BS-CHEM

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should refer to the Admissions & Policies tab for specific policies related to this program.

Students majoring in chemistry must complete the chemistry program requirements with a minimum GPA of 2.30 and present no more than two courses with a grade of 'D' (1.00) in CHEM coursework at graduation.

BS without Concentration

Students who do not select an optional concentration complete the curriculum requirements listed below.

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 212General Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CHEM 213General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)1
CHEM 214General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)1
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 314Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 318Organic Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis4
CHEM 331Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 332Physical Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Physical Chemistry Lab I 12
CHEM 337Physical Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 422Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 423Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis Laboratory2
CHEM 441Properties and Bonding of Inorganic Compounds3
CHEM 445Inorganic Preparations and Techniques2
CHEM 463General Biochemistry I4
Select 3 credits of chemistry electives 23
In Depth Electives
Select one from the following:3
Synthetic and Mechanistic Organic Chemistry
Aquatic Environmental Chemistry
Atmospheric Chemistry
Chemical Oceanography
General Biochemistry II
The Chemistry of Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions
Bioorganic Chemistry
Total Credits52

Mathematics Courses

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
Total Credits11

Physics Courses

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Total Credits8

Concentration in Environmental Chemistry (EVCH)

Students who choose this concentration will have a broad knowledge of chemistry and a firm foundation in the environmental sciences covering atmospheric, aquatic, and soil. The major prepares students to work in the public or private sector as environmental chemists as well as to pursue an advanced degree.

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 213General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)1
CHEM 212General Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CHEM 214General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)1
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 314Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 318Organic Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis4
CHEM 331Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 332Physical Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Physical Chemistry Lab I 12
CHEM 337Physical Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 422Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 423Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis Laboratory2
CHEM 427Aquatic Environmental Chemistry3
CHEM 438Atmospheric Chemistry3
CHEM 441Properties and Bonding of Inorganic Compounds3
or CHEM 446 Bioinorganic Chemistry
CHEM Elective (lecture or research course)3
Total Credits49

Physics Courses

Select one option:8
Option One:
University Physics I (Mason Core)
University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)
University Physics II (Mason Core)
University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)
Option Two:
College Physics I (Mason Core)
College Physics I Lab (Mason Core)
College Physics II (Mason Core)
College Physics II Lab (Mason Core)
Total Credits8

Mathematics Courses

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
or STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Total Credits11

Science Core Courses

GEOL 101Introductory Geology I (Mason Core)4
GEOL 306Soil Science3
EVPP 210Environmental Biology: Molecules and Cells4
or BIOL 213 Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)
Total Credits11

Supporting Science Electives 

Select two courses from the following: 16-8
Chemical Oceanography
Introduction to Oceanography
Introduction to Oceanography
Introduction to Oceanography
Environmental Science: Biological Diversity and Ecosystems
Principles of Environmental Toxicology
Environmental Geology
Hydrogeology
Biology of Microorganisms
and Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
Environmental Microbiology Essentials
and Environmental Microbiology Essentials Laboratory
Global Environmental Hazards
Total Credits6-8

The remaining credits are fulfilled by Mason Core requirements or general electives.

Concentration in Analytical Chemistry (ANAC)

The Analytical Chemistry concentration is designed to introduce and train students in modern aspects of analytical chemistry. Students who choose this program will be well prepared to run sophisticated analytical instruments in industry and research laboratories and to pursue an advanced degree specializing in analytical chemistry. 

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 213General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)1
CHEM 212General Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CHEM 214General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)1
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 314Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 318Organic Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis4
CHEM 331Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 332Physical Chemistry II3
CHEM 336Physical Chemistry Lab I 12
CHEM 337Physical Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 422Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 423Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis Laboratory2
CHEM 427Aquatic Environmental Chemistry3
or CHEM 355 Undergraduate Research
or CHEM 451 Special Projects in Chemistry
or CHEM 452 Special Projects in Chemistry
CHEM 463General Biochemistry I4
CHEM 441Properties and Bonding of Inorganic Compounds3
CHEM 465Biochemistry Lab2
or CHEM 445 Inorganic Preparations and Techniques
CHEM 424Principles of Chemical Separation3
or CHEM 425 Electroanalytical Chemistry
Total Credits52

Physics Courses

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Total Credits8

Mathematics Courses

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
Total Credits11

Supporting Science Electives 

Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to Bioengineering
Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)
Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering
Modern Instrumentation
Total Credits6

The remaining hours are used to fulfill the Mason Core requirements and general elective courses.

CDS 130 Computing for Scientists is required to fulfill the Mason Core IT requirement.

Concentration in Biochemistry (BC)

Students planning professional careers in biochemistry, the pharmaceutical industry, medicine, biotechnology, or related fields with a chemistry emphasis should choose this program instead of the Chemistry, BS without a concentration. This concentration provides students with a focus on biochemistry while retaining a strong chemistry foundation. Students are allowed to tailor the concentration to their interests with 9 credits of biology or chemistry elective credits.

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 211General Chemistry I (Mason Core)3
CHEM 213General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)1
CHEM 212General Chemistry II (Mason Core)3
CHEM 214General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)1
CHEM 313Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 314Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 315Organic Chemistry Lab I2
CHEM 318Organic Chemistry Lab II2
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis4
CHEM 331Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 336Physical Chemistry Lab I 12
CHEM 446Bioinorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 463General Biochemistry I4
CHEM 464General Biochemistry II3
CHEM 465Biochemistry Lab 12
Total Credits39

Mathematics Courses

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
Total Credits8

Physics Courses

Select one option:8
Option One:
College Physics I (Mason Core)
College Physics I Lab (Mason Core)
College Physics II (Mason Core)
College Physics II Lab (Mason Core)
Option Two:
University Physics I (Mason Core)
University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)
University Physics II (Mason Core)
University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)
Total Credits8

Biology Courses

BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
BIOL 305Biology of Microorganisms3
BIOL 306Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory1
Total Credits8

Approved Science Electives

Select 9 credits of approved science electives chosen from CHEM or BIOL courses numbered 302-499 19
Total Credits9

Mason Core and Elective Credits

In order to meet a minimum of 120 credits, this degree requires additional credits (specific credit counts by concentration are shown below), which may be applied toward any remaining Mason Core requirements (outlined below), Requirements for Bachelor's Degrees, and electives. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors to ensure that they fulfill all requirements.

  • Without concentration: 49 credits
  • Environmental concentration: 33-35 credits
  • Analytical concentration: 43 credits
  • Biochemistry concentration: 48 credits

Mason Core

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101)3
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology and Computing3
Exploration Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science7
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302)3
Writing-Intensive 13
Synthesis/Capstone 23
Total Credits40

Honors in the Major

Chemistry majors who have completed prerequisites for CHEM 455 Honors Research in Chemistry and CHEM 456 Honors Research in Chemistry and have maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.00 in mathematics and science courses are eligible to enter the departmental honors program. To graduate with honors in chemistry, a student is required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in mathematics and science courses and successfully complete the two semesters of CHEM 455 Honors Research in Chemistry and CHEM 456 Honors Research in Chemistry with a minimum GPA of 3.50.

In order to apply for Chemistry Honors, please complete the application and submit it to the undergraduate coordinator.

Chemistry, BA or BS/Curriculum and Instruction, Accelerated MEd (Secondary Education Chemistry concentration) 

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's option and obtain a BA or BS in Chemistry (degree without concentration) and an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction (concentration in secondary education chemistry) in an accelerated time frame after completion of 149 credits. See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program.

This accelerated option is offered jointly by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Graduate School of Education.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete the following courses in their senior year:

Senior
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
SEED 5403EDRD 6193
SEED 5733SEED 6733
 6 6
Total Credits 12

While undergraduate students, accelerated master's students are able to apply two of the courses listed above to both the bachelor's and master's degrees. These courses are considered advanced standing for the MEd. A minimum grade of B must be earned to be eligible to count as advanced standing. The other two courses are taken as reserve graduate credit and do not apply to the undergraduate degree. Early in their final undergraduate semester, students must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form to the CEHD Admissions Office and specify which of the four courses are to be designated as advanced standing and reserve graduate credit.

Chemistry, BS/Chemistry, Accelerated MS

Overview

This bachelor's/accelerated master's degree program allows academically strong undergraduates with a commitment to research to obtain both the Chemistry, BS and the Chemistry, MS degrees within an accelerated timeframe. Upon completion of this 144 credit program, students will be exceptionally well prepared for entry into a professional school or a PhD program in chemistry or a related discipline. Students are eligible to enter this program and enroll in graduate courses after successfully completing 90 undergraduate credits, inclusive of prerequisites, toward the Chemistry, BS degree. This flexibility makes it possible for students to complete graduate coursework during their final year. 

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Application Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in the Graduate Admission Policies section of this catalog. Application information for this accelerated master's program can be found here.

Successful applicants will have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00. Additionally, they will have completed 36 credits of CHEM courses with a GPA of at least 3.00.

Accelerated Option Requirements

At the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must submit a bachelor's/accelerated master's transition form (available from the Office of the University Registrar) to the College of Science's Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Students must begin their master's program in the semester immediately following conferral of the bachelor's degree.

Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher in graduate coursework and should consult with their faculty advisor to coordinate their academic goals within the chemistry and biochemistry concentrations.

Reserve Graduate Credit

While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program. Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree.

Bachelor's Degree (selected), Bioinformatics Management, Accelerated PSM

Overview

This degree option allows highly qualified George Mason University bachelor's students to earn a Bioinformatics Management, PSM degree in less time than if they had first graduated with a BS degree and then applied to the PSM program sequentially.

Admission and Processing Requirements

Students in the Biology, BS; Chemistry, BS; Computational and Data Sciences, BS; Neuroscience, BS; or Physics, BS with an overall GPA of at least 3.00 in their last 60 credits are welcome to apply to the Bioinformatics Management, PSM accelerated master's program. Applicants to this accelerated master's should have previously taken courses in molecular biology, computer science, calculus, physical chemistry, and statistics. Students with deficiencies in one or more of these areas may be required to take additional courses from the undergraduate curriculum.

The GRE requirement is waived for students accepted into this accelerated program.

By the beginning of the undergraduate student's senior year, they should submit a Graduate Application for Accelerated Master's Program form (obtained from the College of Science's Office of Academic and Student Affairs).

By at least the beginning of their senior year, students should seek out the Bioinformatics Management, PSM Program Director who will aid the student in choosing the appropriate graduate courses to take and help to prepare the student for graduate studies.

In their senior year, accelerated master's students must complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program Application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. In the semester specified on the application (around the completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree), students must submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form (found on the Office of the University Registrar website) and will subsequently be admitted into graduate status.

Reserve Graduate Credits

Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of appropriate graduate coursework may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.00 GPA in these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete an additional 25 credits to receive the master's degree. 

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form found on the Office of the University Registrar website (as noted above).

Students may take up to 6 additional approved graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree but will reduce the subsequent master's degree credits accordingly (e.g., with 6 credits counted towards undergraduate degree plus the maximum 6 reserve credits, the PSM could be completed with 19 post-bachelor's credits). The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with the permission of the School of Systems Biology.

Policies

For more detailed information on accelerated master's in general, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

For policies governing all graduate programs, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.