Overview of Bachelor Degree Programs
Our department offers both the
bachelor of science (BS) and bachelor of arts (BA) degrees in chemistry, a
bachelor of science degree in biochemistry (jointly with the Department of Biological Sciences), as well as a
concentration of study in chemistry in the BS track of the Environment Studies Program. The BS degree in
Chemistry at USC is accredited by the American Chemical Society, which means that this program meets all of
the guidelines established by this professional organization for chemical training. Graduates with a BS degree in
chemistry are well prepared to take a job as a professional chemist, or to continue their studies for an advanced
degree, usually the Ph.D., in chemistry or a related area. The BA degree
program is designed for students who
are interested in chemistry, but intend to pursue a career in another field such as medicine, dentistry, law or business. Because this curriculum is not as restrictive as
the requirements for the BS degree, students find it easier
to broaden the scope of their studies by either a double major or a major/minor combination. The BS
degree in biochemistry may appeal to students with broad interests in the sciences and/or a goal of research career in the biomedical field. Students in all three
programs are encouraged to participate in research projects with the chemistry faculty, typically during the junior and senior years.
An additional BS degree option is available through the Environmental Studies Program where students with a strong interest in both environmental issues and
chemistry may select the concentration in chemistry. This highly interdisciplinary program may lead to a career in the rapidly growing environmental field, or be used
as a pre-professional study by students with interests in the health sciences, law or business.
Features of our Bachelor degree programs
BS in Chemistry
Professional degree track, with focus on chemistry
Qualified for jobs as a professional chemist, or for graduate studies leading to Ph.D. in chemistry or related field.
BA in Chemistry
Reasonable opportunies for broadening
scope of studies to include major/minor combination
Could be used as background for further studies in health professions, law or business
BS in Environmental Studies,
Concentration in Chemistry
Highly interdisciplinary program that
offers breadth across several sciences, rather than depth
Entry point for career in
environmental field, or as background for further studies in
health professions, law or business
BS in Biochemistry
Professional degree track in
interdisciplinary program bridging chemistry and biological sciences
Qualified for jobs in biomedical
field or graduate study leading to PhD in a variety of life sciences programs
Minor Degree in Chemistry
A minor degree is available to students pursuing other majors who wish to strengthen their background in chemistry. This program is a particularly good supplement
to major programs of study in biology, biomedical engineering and chemical engineering.
Noteworthy Features of our Program
A world class faculty
Many of the faculty in our department have won national and international awards for their
contributions to chemistry. Of greatest note is the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1994 to
Professor George A. Olah of our department. Our undergraduate majors are encouraged to
participate in the research activities of our faculty.
Faculty Commitment to Teaching
Our faculty have been committed to excellence in undergraduate teaching for many years. We take great pride in the quality of our undergraduate programs.
Seven of the faculty have won university-wide awards for teaching.
Undergraduate chemistry majors receive advisement from our faculty from the time they enter USC until they graduate. Initially, these advisement sessions
focus on designing and following an academic plan. Later, attention switches to post graduation plans.
The Trojan Chemistry Club
A very active student-run undergraduate organization, the Trojan Chemistry Club, is available to interested students. The "Club" organizes student-faculty luncheons, hosts receptions for new students, and participates in on-campus events for visiting local high school students. The organization is a student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society.
Association of USC Chemists
This Alumni group recognizes the achievements of third year chemistry majors through cash awards. Local
alumni often are a source of information on job
The University of Southern California has a very extensive financial aid program. Both need-based and scholarship programs are available.
For information, contact the Financial Aid Office at (213) 740-1111.
For more information on undergraduate programs in chemistry contact contact Dr. Andrey Vilesov at email@example.com.