Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
230 Physical Sciences Building
(831) 459-4125

Programs Offered

Chemistry B.A.

Chemistry B.S.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B.S.

Chemistry Minor

Chemistry M.S.

Chemistry Ph.D.

Other Programs of Interest

Science Education B.S.

Chemistry is central to modern science. Ultimately, most phenomena in biology, medicine, materials, engineering, geology, and the environmental sciences can be described in terms of the chemical and physical behavior of atoms and molecules. Because of the wide appeal and utility of chemistry, UC Santa Cruz offers comprehensive lower-division courses in introductory and organic chemistry, differing in emphasis and style, to meet diverse needs. Students should also note the numerous upper-division course offerings and select those most suitable to their academic interests. The curriculum in chemistry exposes the student to the principal areas of modern chemistry, including organic, inorganic, physical, materials, analytical, and biochemistry. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who plan to graduate with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree, as well as those who wish to pursue an advanced degree. The UCSC chemistry B.A. or B.S. graduate is well prepared to pursue a career in chemistry or related field.

Research in chemistry at UCSC is closely interwoven with graduate and undergraduate education. The chemistry and biochemistry research program is highly active at the graduate level, and faculty also encourage undergraduates to become involved in research. Research leads to academic credit in Senior Thesis (CHEM 195A,CHEM 195B, CHEM 195C) or Senior Research (CHEM 199). There are also opportunities for interdisciplinary research combining chemistry with a wide range of sciences, for example, biology, physics, geology, ocean sciences, microbiology and environmental toxicology. At UCSC, it is not uncommon for students to become co-authors of original work published in research journals.

Chemistry and biochemistry faculty and approximately 100 graduate students and 15-20 postdoctoral fellows are housed in the Physical Sciences Building near the Science and Engineering Library. The department maintains and constantly expands cutting-edge facilities that enable scientists to carry out their research such as the Chemical Screening Center, Macromolecular Structure Function Core Facility, Mass Spectrometry, NMR Facility, and X-Ray Facility.

The Science and Engineering Library has an excellent collection of current journals and reference works, as well as access to earlier volumes of all the major journals. Many of these are subscribed to online. Additional source material can be readily and rapidly obtained on interlibrary loan.