Information for First-Year Students

Chemistry (CHEM)

Department Chair: Professor Joe Chihade

Can I major in it? Yes, a major is offered. Learn more about the major. Carleton also offers a Biochemistry concentration (similar to a minor at other schools). Students interested in chemical engineering careers can also take advantage of Carleton’s Combined Plan in Engineering.

Topics explored: Chemistry provides the connection between molecular concepts and the complex systems found in nature. Chemistry courses stress the understanding of chemical principles, as well as the experimental basis of the science. See a complete list of Chemistry Courses offered.

How to get started: When choosing your first chemistry course, you should first decide if you want to eventually study chemistry at a more advanced level. Students who want to become a science major or prepare for medical school should start at either Chemistry 122: An Introduction to Chemistry (for students with little or no high school background), or either 123: Principles of Chemistry or 128: Principles of Environmental Chemistry (for students with good high school background but no AP or IB credit).

Prospective chemistry majors should begin their study of mathematics, physics, and chemistry in the first year.

For additional information, see our Frequently Asked Questions guide or contact one of our Student Departmental Advisers.