Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers a program leading to the B.S. degree with a major in chemistry and a choice of four emphases, each of which requires courses in calculus, physics, and certain core courses in chemistry.

  • Emphases 1 (Chemistry) and 2 (Biochemistry) are intended for students planning to pursue advanced degrees in chemistry or biochemistry, or who are planning careers as professional chemists or biochemists. These emphases are certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Also, with the proper electives, both of these emphases are appropriate for students interested in forensic science.
  • Emphases 3 (Secondary Teaching) is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching at the junior and senior high school levels. See Educator Licensure ‐ Chemistry.
  • Emphasis 4 (Chemistry for Pre‐Professional Students) is designed for students intending to use training in chemistry as a preparation for professional school.

An honors program is available for outstanding students.

The department also offers a minor in chemistry as well as several courses which can be used by non‐majors toward fulfilling the science area requirement in the university's general education program.

Additional costs associated with the degree programs in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, over and above tuition, include laboratory fees for all lab sections. Students enrolled in 100‐ and 200‐level lab sections are assessed $32 per lab section enrolled; students enrolled in upper division lab sections are assessed $50 per lab section enrolled. Lab fees will appear on tuition statements from the Bursar's office.

Major Requirement Changes

The Department of Biological Sciences has implemented curriculum changes in the 2013–2014 undergraduate catalog that impact the major requirements for Biochemistry majors. BIOS 467 (Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes) has been revised to meet the needs of both graduate students and advanced undergraduates in Biology, and the new course is called BIOS 467 ‐ Advanced Molecular Biology. To meet the needs of our majors, Biological Sciences has also introduced a new course (BIOS 302 ‐ Molecular Biology), which will replace BIOS 467 as a degree requirement for Biochemistry majors.

Those of you who have had an advising appointment in the past year will have been informed of these changes by your departmental advisor. If you are a Biochemistry major and have not yet completed your course requirements in Biology, please make note of these changes. If you anticipate completing your degree requirements in the next academic year, we encourage you to contact the departmental office (Fararaday Hall 319; 815‐753‐1131) to schedule an advising appointment to verify that all requirements have been satisfied.

Chemistry Placement Examination Policy

Students planning to take CHEM 210 must take the Chemistry Placement Examination, so they may begin their study of chemistry at the appropriate level. See NIU Testing Services for additional information, including the current testing schedule.

Request Information

To request additional information about our undergraduate programs, please complete this form. If you wish to schedule an appointment for advising, you may contact the main office at (815) 753‐1131.