McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


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Chemistry is the study of all matter found in living structures, geological formations and human-created products. Chemists explore the molecular structure of matter in order to develop theories about how such structures work and to apply these theories to the development of products that range from pharmaceuticals to heat shields. The BS chemistry-ACS degree program is a rigorous program of study intended for students seeking careers as professional chemists, often with an advanced degree in chemistry. This degree program is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s), Research


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus


McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


415 Rieveschl
PO Box 210172
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0172
Anne Vonderheide
Phone: 513-556-9331

Student Success Factors

The UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) BS-ACS program in chemistry is well suited for students with a background and interest in science. Since the calculus and physics requirements for the BS-ACS program are more extensive than for the BS program, the BS-ACS program is most appropriate for students with strengths in both science and mathematics. The program provides for extensive laboratory work; therefore, the enjoyment of hands-on laboratory work is important. Chemistry majors also learn to observe critically and record what happens in the laboratory; they analyze data and apply chemical knowledge learned in the classroom to draw conclusions about their observations.

Career Possibilities

Graduates of this major are employed as: 

  • Chemists in the manufacturing industry and state, local or federal governments, including production, quality control and research
  • Chemistry teachers and professors
  • Industrial research and development scientists
  • Forensic scientists
  • Physicians and health care professionals

Many of the students in the BS-ACS program go on to graduate schools, primarily into doctoral programs. Others go to professional schools, including medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

This BS-ACS program is approved for certification by the American Chemical Society and is intended for students planning on graduate work in chemistry or related fields after completion of the degree.


A BS in chemistry with ACS certification provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of chemistry, and also advanced courses in specialized areas of chemistry, including analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. One year of undergraduate research is required in the BS-ACS degree program, satisfying the capstone requirement for this degree. This program is designed to be completed in four years by students who begin as freshmen; however, if a student selects an academic internship during the undergraduate years, this will extend the time to five years.


A&S offers flexible degree requirements allowing for multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below:

  • Foreign languages 
  • Biological sciences 
  • Mathematics 

Minor Details

Click here to declare the program online


Chemistry Minor


The minor is designed for students who want a strong background in chemistry to complement their major area of study. Students who are enrolled in pre-professional programs may also find a minor in chemistry to be helpful to their professional preparation. To obtain a minor in chemistry, a minimum of 26 credits must be successfully completed, with the following distribution:

  • General Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 1040-1041, 1040L-1041L (10 credits)  
  • Organic Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 2040-2041, 2040L – 2041L (10 credits)
  • At least six credits from any additional chemistry courses numbered 2050 or higher [except 2080, 4080, 5020, 5030 and 5080].


Certificate Program

There is no certificate program in chemistry for students currently enrolled in a major at the University of Cincinnati. Rather, the minor in chemistry described above is available. Students not currently enrolled in a major may earn a certificate in chemistry (but not a minor in chemistry) by completing the same set of requirements needed for the minor.


Individuals not yet enrolled as UC students may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.


Students interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry should see the undergraduate program director to plan a program.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

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CHEM-ACS (BS) Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    Fall (Year 1)
    • CHEM1040, General Chemistry I, NS, 4
    • CHEM1040L, General Chemistry Laboratory I, NS, 1
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • MATH1061, Calculus I, QR, 4
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Course, SS, 3
    Spring (Year 1)
    • CHEM1041L, General Chemistry Laboratory II, NS, 1
    • CHEM1041, General Chemistry II, NS, 4
    • MATH1062, Calculus II, QR, 4
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Course, SS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Freshman Seminar (if admitted freshman year), 3
    Summer (Year 1)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 2)
    • CHEM2040, Organic Chemistry I, 4
    • CHEM2040L, Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, 1
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • CHEM2080, Sophomore Seminar for Chemistry Majors, 1
    • PHYS2001, College Physics I (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    • PHYS2001L, College Physics Lab I (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 1
    • XXXXxxxx, Interdisciplinary Course, 3
    Spring (Year 2)
    • CHEM2041, Organic Chemistry II, 4
    • CHEM2041L, Organic ChemistryLaboratory II, 1
    • CHEM2050, Analytical Chemistry, 3
    • PHYS2002, College Physics II (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    • PHYS2002L, College Physics Lab II (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 1
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) or Fine Arts (FA) Course, HU, FA, 3
    Summer (Year 2)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 3)
    • CHEM3020, Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Kinetics, 3
    • CHEM3030, Instrumental Analysis, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Requirement, 5
    • HISTxxxx, HIST Course, HP, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Advanced Chemistry Courses or Electives, 3 - 5
    Spring (Year 3)
    • CHEM3021, Physical Chemistry II: Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy , 3
    • CHEM3030L, Instrumental Analysis Laboratory, 2
    • CHEM3040, Introduction to Biochemistry, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Requirement, 5
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspective (HP) Course, HP, 3
    Summer (Year 3)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 4)
    • CHEM3021L, Physical Chemistry Laboratory, 2
    • XXXXxxxx, Choose One In-depth Course Listed Below, 3
    • CHEM4020, Inorganic Chemistry, 3
    • CHEM5080, Senior Seminar for Chemistry Majors, 1
    • CHEM5030, Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, 1 - 6
    Spring (Year 4)
    • XXXXxxxx, Choose One Elective Lab Listed Below, 2
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Electives, 7
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) Course, HU, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Social & Ethical Issues (SE) or Technology & Innovation (TI) Course - may double count, SE, TI, 0 - 3
    • CHEM5030, Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, 1 - 6
    Summer (Year 4)
    • N/A
    Elective Laboratory Course
    • CHEM3045L, Characterization and Analysis of Biological Molecules, 2
    • CHEM3046L, Characterization and Analysis of Biomolecular Interactions, 2
    • CHEM4020L, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, 2
    In-depth Course
    • CHEM4040, Intermediate Biochemistry: Synthesizing the Molecules of Life, 3
    • CHEM4041, Intermediate Biochemistry: Transducing and Storing Energy in Biological Systems, 3
    • CHEM4054, Polymers and Soft Materials: An Introduction, 3

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies, and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

The BS-ACS program in chemistry is a rigorous course of study that prepares graduates to be successful in a wide range of careers. The BS-ACS degree is certified by the American Chemical Society. Important experiential opportunities are available to students in this program, including undergraduate research and academic internships. Undergraduate research is required, and many undergraduates co-author journal articles from the research they conduct in the department. The optional academic internship program in chemistry allows students in the program to have industrial lab experience along with their formal course of study.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.