When pursuing a chemistry major, the undergraduate student must meet all general and breadth requirements of their own college, along with the specific requirements for the chemistry major outlined below.
Required Chemistry Courses
A. General Chemistry
Chem 109 Advanced General Chemistry (5 credits)
OR Chem 109H Advanced General Chemistry Honors (5 credits)
OR Chem 1151 Chemical Principles I (5 credits) (Enrollment by invitation only.)
OR Chem 104 (5 credits) (Chem 103 is a prerequisite.)
Chem 109 or 115 are recommended for chemistry majors, but Chem 103 & 104 also fulfills this requirement.
B. Analytical Chemistry
Chem 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science (4 credits)
OR Chem 1161 Chemical Principles II (5 credits) (only open to students who took Chem 115)
C. Inorganic Chemistry
Chem 311 Chemistry Across the Periodic Table (4 credits)
D. Organic Chemistry
Chem 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
Chem 3442 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2 credits)
Chem 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
E. Physical Chemistry
Chem 561 Physical Chemistry I (3 credits) OR Chem 565 Biophysical Chemistry (4 credits)
[CBE 310 Chemical Process Thermodynamics (3 credits) may be taken in place of Chem 561]
Chem 562 Physical Chemistry II (3 credits)
Chem 5633 Physical Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit)
Chem 564 Physical Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit)
F. Additional coursework (5 credits)
Choose from any 500-600 level courses in chemistry or biochemistry that are not research courses. Options include Chem 505 Industrial Chemistry (3 cr), Chem 509 Senior Seminar (2 cr), Chem 511 Inorganic Chemistry (3 cr), Chem 524 Chemical Instrumentation (3 cr; 2 cr count for additional coursework), Chem 547 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 cr), Biochem 501 Introduction to Biochemistry (3 cr), and Biochem 507 & 508 General Biochemistry I & II (3 cr each). Additional courses that count include Chem 421 Polymeric Materials, CBE 440 Chemical Engineering Materials, CBE 540 Polymer Science & Technology, Civ Engr 500 Water Chemistry, and Civ Engr 501 Water Analysis – Intermediate. The extra credits associated with Chem 116 and Chem 565 also count towards the 5 credits.
G. Additional laboratory work (3 credits)
Choose from the following chemistry labs: Chem 346 Intermediate Organic Laboratory (1-2 cr; fall only), Chem 524 Chemical Instrumentation (3 cr; 1 cr counts for additional lab work; spring only), Chem 691 & 692 Senior Thesis, Chem 699 Directed Study, or BMOLCHEM 504 Human Biochemistry Lab (2 cr; spring & summer only).
For a complete list of courses that can count towards the additional course work and the additional laboratory work requirements, see the Electives for Chemistry Majors handout (pdf).
1 Enrollment in CHEM 115 Chemical Principles I and CHEM 116 Chemical Principles II is by invitation only. Entering first-year students are screened on the basis of high school record and placement scores, and additional information is sent to those who might be eligible.
2 CHEM 343 must be taken first, followed by CHEM 345. CHEM 344 may be taken concurrently with or after CHEM 345.
3 It is recommended that Chem 563 Physical Chemistry Laboratory I (1 credit) be taken concurrently with Chem 562 and that Chem 564 Physical Chemistry Laboratory II (1 credit) be taken after completion of Chem 562. Especially strong students needing to complete physical chemistry in two semesters may take Chem 563 concurrently with Chem 561 (or 565) and Chem 564 concurrently with Chem 562.
Math and Physics Requirements
Math 221 Calculus I (5 credits) and Math 222 Calculus II (4 credits) are required. Math 234 Calculus Functions of Several Variables (4 credits) and Math 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (3 credits) are highly recommended.
A year of calculus-based physics: Physics 207-208 General Physics I & II (5 credits each) are recommended. Physics 201-202 General Physics I & II (5 credits each) are also accepted. The physics courses include a three-hour laboratory.
Students in the College of Letters & Science (L&S) must fulfill either the Bachelor or Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) L&S degree requirements. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) or the College of Engineering can add chemistry as an additional major. These students do not need to satisfy the L&S specific requirements; rather they need to satisfy the requirements specific to their college. View the CALS degree requirements or the College of Engineering degree requirements in the UW-Madison Undergraduate Catalog for more details. Information on the chemistry major can also be found on the Undergraduate Catalog Chemistry page.
ACS Certified Bachelors Degree
Students graduating with the chemistry major already meet most of the requirements for ACS certification. You can obtain the certification by electing specific courses that satisfy both the requirements of the chemistry major and the ACS guidelines. Learn more about obtaining an ACS certified degree.