Major in Chemistry

Guide for Majors
Packet for Transfer Students - PDF
Independent Research Courses

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Arts


* NEW*  4+1 option for Accelerated MS in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)

Chemistry majors can double count 12 credits of MSE approved chemistry courses towards an MS degree in MSE. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to the 4+1 program, and students should plans to take MSE 601 (fall only) and MIE 611 or 697ABC (both spring only) in their senior year. Interested students should discuss the option with their academic advisor or contact MSE IDGP at For additional program information, including participating chemistry faculty, eligibility,  and degree requirements please visit MSE IDGP. Apply to the UMass Amherst Graduate School. Deadlines: January 1 for fall admission, and October 1 for spring.

Minor in Chemistry

The chemistry minor requires a minimum of 15 credits of passed chemistry (CHEM) courses numbered 200 or higher (only acceptable equivalents are Biochem 471 = Chem 471, Biochem 657 = Chem 657, and ChemEng 475 = Chem 475). The following DO NOT count towards a minor: 291A Sophomore Seminar, 388 Independent Research Project, 330 Junior Year Writing in Chemistry, 296, 396, or 496 Independent Research Study, or 499 Honors Thesis, or Journal Clubs. In the rare circumstance that CHEM 250 was taken in addition to CHEM 261/262; only CHEM 261/262 will be credited to the minor due to subject overlap. Students petitioning for certification of completion of the minor requirements should complete the Chemistry Minor Declaration form. This must be done during the semester in which the student expects to graduate.

Honors-Commonwealth College

The Chemistry Department offers several honors course options that fulfill requirements for Commonwealth College as well as Departmental Honors in Chemistry. One credit honors colloquia attached to specific lecture courses are frequently offered. Interested students should check with the Chemistry Undergraduate Program Office in advance to find out what colloquia (and their associated lecture courses) are being offered for an upcoming semester. The Department offers two (2) honors independent study (HIS) contract courses: CHEM 396H, Independent Study and CHEM496H, Independent Research. Both courses are open to Commonwealth College students only, range from 1 to 6 credits, and require Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) certification. Students must initiate these contract course options in the Chemistry Department.

Students should see the Chemistry Department Honors Coordinator Prof. Justin Fermann, ISB 341B, 5-2054, further information, advice and signature before registering. You should register for these courses through the Commonwealth Honors College. Departmental Honors in Chemistry requires four (4) honors courses, one at the 200-level or above and three at the 300-level or above. These include CHEM499Y and CHEM499T (or CHEM499P), along with two other honors courses. All three of these courses count toward the Commonwealth College eight (8) course requirement. Students are strongly advised to visit the Commonwealth College for additional information, extensive documentation for the above information and more, and appropriate forms.

iCons Program

The Integrated Concentration in Science Program (iCons) is a 20-credit undergraduate science program offered by the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, providing integrative science education in the concentration areas of Renewable Energy and Biomedicine/Biosystems. iCons does not replace a major, it enhances a major by giving students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams and apply their knowledge to existing problems of global significance. Past focal issues include the cholera epidemic in Haiti, endocrine disruptors, and developing biofuels from algae.

The iCons program is composed of three courses (one per year) and a yearlong research-based thesis project during senior year. The curriculum integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) expertise across disciplines and offers students collaborative learning experiences, discovery-based projects, leadership development, and multidisciplinary analytical skills in the context of real world problems. The final iCons course satisfies UMass Amherst’s new Integrative Experience (IE) general education requirement. Students choose a theme area before registering for the second-year courses, and are expected to join a lab by the spring semester of their Junior year. Most iCons courses fulfill other program or major requirements, including junior year writing, as indicated below (for details, see:

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement score of 4 or 5:
Students planning to major in Chemistry should take the two-term general chemistry sequence:
CHEM 121H/122H and should NOT accept AP credit for CHEM 111. Please contact the Undergraduate Program Director with questions.

Questions should be directed to the Undergraduate Program Manager, 341G Integrated Sciences Building (ISB).