Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate Study

The URI Chemistry Department offers two undergraduate degrees: The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Chemistry and the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry. Both programs are identical in the first two years, so a student has flexibility in choosing a degree path.

The BA in Chemistry is designed to provide the student flexibility in the breadth of courses taken across the University while also providing a firm foundation. The BA in Chemistry is often taken by students who double major in chemistry and another area, such as biology or education. Pre-med students also find this an attractive route for preparing for medical school.

BS in Chemistry emphasizes breath of training in chemistry, and is highly recommended if students plan to seek an M.S. or Ph.D. in chemistry. The degree also is an excellent for those who plan to be employed in the chemical industry, or in related industries such as the pharmaceutical industry. The BS in Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society. The BS in Chemistry has two tracks: the traditional chemistry track and the forensic chemistry track. Both tracks emphasize depth in all of the traditional areas of chemistry. The forensic chemistry track includes an introduction into the field of forensic science, which features exposure to forensic scientists from around the country who give presentations at the weekly Forensic Science seminar.

Recommended High School Background: A strong mathematics background is essential. Most college chemistry majors have taken high school math at least through pre-calculus. High school classes in calculus and physics are also recommended.

Teaching Laboratories

All of the teaching laboratories offer undergraduate students of all levels state-of-the-art facilities. Introductory labs provide a contained and ventilated work space that is equipped with modern digital instrumentation, including thermometers, electrodes, and spectrometers. Students in organic labs all work in fume hoods connected to the building HVAC system. Further, each organic labs has it’s own modern instrumentation, including gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, and Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometers. Upper level chemistry majors work in a re-configurable lab that has mobile benches allowing for the most effective use of space for each experiment. Chemistry majors also use the latest of modern, research-quality instruments in the Teknor-Apex Lab, which includes two high field NMR spectrometers, an LC-MS, and a GC-MS with chemical ionization.

Click to take a brief video tour of the building and hear comments from students currently in the program.