Undergraduate Program

Radiochemistry labChemistry is the field of science associated with atoms and molecules. It focuses on the behavior and properties of matter, the relationship of energy with the bond-forming and bond-breaking reactions that dictate chemical processes, and the creation of new substances. It is the primary field that deals with nanoscience and nanotechnology. It is often considered the central science, linking the physical sciences with engineering, medicine and life sciences. The subject of chemistry is typically broken into more focused disciplines, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, computational chemistry, biochemistry and materials chemistry. A degree in chemistry examines these topics to promote a fundamental understanding of the world and the application of this knowledge in solving technological problems.

Professional chemists apply their knowledge in many different areas ranging from environmental processes to the development of new materials and renewable energy. They work in academic environments, high-tech start-ups, and research and development laboratories associated with practically every advanced technological field including medicine, computing, energy, agriculture and biotechnology. For more information on potential careers in chemistry visit the American Chemical Society website – Careers in Chemistry.

The chemistry degree at Colorado School of Mines consists of a total of 133.5 credit hours and is founded in rigorous fundamental science, complemented by application of these principles to minerals, energy, materials or environmental fields. For example, specific BS curricular tracks emphasizing environmental chemistry or biochemistry are offered along with a more flexible track which can be tailored to optimize preparation consistent with students’ career goals. Those aspiring to enter PhD programs in chemistry are encouraged to include undergraduate research beyond the minimum required among their elective hours. Others interested in industrial chemistry may choose area of special interest courses in chemical engineering or metallurgy, for example. A significant number of students complete degrees in both chemistry and chemical engineering as an excellent preparation for industrial careers. Sustainability and the principles of green chemistry are valued throughout the curriculum and are the focus of many of the research areas.

The instructional and research laboratories located in the Chemistry and Geochemistry Department contain extensive instrumentation for gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, ion chromatography, supercritical-fluid chromatography, inductively-coupled-plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, field-flow fractionation, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (solids and liquids), infrared spectrophotometry, visible-ultraviolet spectrophotometry, microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry and thermogravimetric analysis.

A significant number of students complete degrees in both chemistry and chemical engineering as an excellent preparation for industrial careers. Sustainability and the principles of green chemistry are valued throughout the curriculum and are the focus of many of the research areas.

Degree Requirements

Chemistry Track Degree Requirements

Sophomore Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
MATH 213 Calculus III 4
PHGN 200 Physics II 4.5
DCGN 209 Introduction to Thermodynamics 3
CHGN 221 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHGN 223 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
PAGN 201 Physical Education III 0.5
TOTAL 16

Sophomore Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
SYGN 200 Human Systems 3
EBGN 201 Principles of Economics 3
CHGN 222 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHGN 224 Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
MATH 225 Differential Equations 3
CHGN 335 Instrumental Analysis 3
PAGN 202 Physical Education IV .5
TOTAL 16.5

Junior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 336 Analytical Chemistry 3
CHGN 337 Analytical Chemistry Lab 1
CHGN 341 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 351 Physical Chemistry I 4
CHGN 395 Introduction to Research 1
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective I 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 18

Junior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 353 Physical Chemistry II 4
CHGN 323 Qualitative Organic Analysis 2
CHGN 428 Biochemistry I 3
Technical Elective 3
Technical Elective 3
TOTAL 15

Junior Year, Summer Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 490 Synthesis and Characterization 6

Senior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 495 Research 3
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective II 3
Technical Elective 3
Technical Elective 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 15

Senior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 401 Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 495 Research 2
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective III 3
Technical Elective 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 14
Biochemistry Track Degree Requirements

Sophomore Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
MATH 213 Calculus III 4
PHGN 200 Physics II 4.5
DCGN 209 Introduction to Thermodynamics 3
CHGN 221 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHGN 223 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
PAGN 201 Physical Education III 0.5
TOTAL 16

Sophomore Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
SYGN 200 Human Systems 3
EBGN 201 Principles of Economics 3
CHGN 222 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHGN 224 Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
MATH 225 Differential Equations 3
CHGN 335 Instrumental Analysis 3
PAGN 202 Physical Education IV .5
TOTAL 16.5

Junior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 336 Analytical Chemistry 3
CHGN 337 Analytical Chemistry Lab 1
CHGN 341 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 351 Physical Chemistry I 4
CHGN 395 Introduction to Research 1
General Biology II 3
General Biology II Lab 1
TOTAL 16

Junior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 353 Physical Chemistry II 4
CHGN 323 Qualitative Organic Analysis 2
CHGN 428 Biochemistry I 3
General Biology II 3
General Biology II Lab 1
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective I 3
TOTAL 16

Junior Year, Summer Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 490 Synthesis and Characterization 6

Senior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 495 Research 3
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective II 3
Technical Elective 3
Technical Elective 3
CHGN 429 Biochemistry II 3
TOTAL 15

Senior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 401 Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 495 Research 2
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective III 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 14
Environmental Track Degree Requirements

Sophomore Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
MATH 213 Calculus III 4
PHGN 200 Physics II 4.5
DCGN 209 Introduction to Thermodynamics 3
CHGN 221 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHGN 223 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
PAGN 201 Physical Education III 0.5
TOTAL 16

Sophomore Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
SYGN 200 Human Systems 3
EBGN 201 Principles of Economics 3
CHGN 222 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHGN 224 Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
MATH 225 Differential Equations 3
CHGN 335 Instrumental Analysis 3
PAGN 202 Physical Education IV .5
TOTAL 16.5

Junior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 336 Analytical Chemistry 3
CHGN 337 Analytical Chemistry Lab 1
CHGN 341 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 351 Physical Chemistry I 4
CHGN 395 Introduction to Research 1
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective I 3
Environmental Elective 3
TOTAL 18

Junior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 353 Physical Chemistry II 4
CHGN 323 Qualitative Organic Analysis 2
CHGN 428 Biochemistry I 3
Environmental Elective 3
Technical Elective 3
TOTAL 15

Junior Year, Summer Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 490 Synthesis and Characterization 6

Senior Year, Fall Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 495 Research 3
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective II 3
Environmental Elective 3
Environmental Elective 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 15

Senior Year, Spring Semester

Course No. Title Hours
CHGN 401 Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHGN 495 Research 2
LAIS / EBGN H&SS GenEd Restricted Elective III 3
 CHGN 403 Environmental Chemistry 3
Free Elective 3
TOTAL 14