Undergraduate Majors Chemistry

Chemistry Major

Chemistry is the study of matter and its changes, and is typically divided into analytical, environmental, inorganic, materials, organic, and physical disciplines.

What makes Chemistry unique at UCR?



As a freshman, you will be able to take major's general chemistry, and have all your introductory chemistry classes with a class size of ~50, with a close interaction with the class professor.

In general, what are Chemistry professors investigating?

  • Understanding chemical and biochemical systems to cure diseases
  • Obtaining perfect energy efficiency in reactions
  • Determining the connection between chemistry and human aging
  • Creating mimics of natural enzymes with synthetic molecules
  • Exploring new sustainable catalysts for challenging bond formations
  • Determining enzyme mechanisms at the atomic level

Why Chemistry at UCR?


Many Chemistry majors are engaged in research, some as early as their freshman year. These students work side by side with faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students on exciting projects at the cutting edge of modern chemistry.

Did you know?

As a UCR Chemistry undergraduate student, maybe you can be a Nobel Laureate in the future too!

Chemistry research at UCR

  • Chemical recycling of plastic waste
  • Interdisciplinary research such as using physics to solve chemical problems such as molecular binding
  • Using mass spectrometry to determine protein structure and function
  • Creation of new catalysts
  • Using synthetic molecules to sense a wide array of biorelevant targets
  • Molecular imaging

What industries can I get into with a Chemistry degree?

  • A Chemistry degree prepares you for graduate work in chemistry, or for medical, dental, or pharmacy school
  • Chemists work in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food/beverage and biotech industries, among others
  • You can also work in the public sector, focusing on air and water quality, forensics, and drug analysis
  • Outside the laboratory in sales
  • Science writing
  • Teaching (high school, community college, 4-year university)
  • Patent law

What can I do with a Chemistry degree?

Undergraduate Majors Chemistry Undergraduate Students with Microscopes

Students go into graduate schools in Chemistry and Biochemistry, or medical, dental, pharmacy, or optometry schools. They have taken jobs in molecular-related industries, such as petrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotech, cosmetic chemistry and personal care science. Other possibilities include environmental sciences, such as air and water quality analysis or forensics. Non-laboratory professions include science writing, teaching (high school, community college, 4-year university), and patent law.

What you should know

Do you like working in a laboratory? Chemistry is a highly lab-driven major.

Undergraduate Majors Chemistry Student in Lab

Advice for success

Seek out faculty and show interest in laboratory research from an early age – the more time you have to dedicate to research during your undergraduate career, the more rewarding it will be.

Undergraduate Majors Chemistry Student in Lab Pouring

Consider this

The Chemistry Department offers B.S. degrees in: Chemistry, Chemistry and Chemical Physics, Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry, and Chemistry with Education Focus. All degrees in the chemistry department meet the requirements for certification by the American Chemical Society. The department also offers a B.A. degree, which meets the requirements for such areas as pre-medical, pre-dental or pre-pharmaceutical science and education.

Available Minor in Chemistry

Chemistry Minor

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