Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Advising Information

Degrees offered

The department offers two undergraduate degrees:

B.S. in Chemistry (BS CHEM PDF-quarters; BS CHEM PDF-Semesters)

B.S. in Biochemistry (BS BIOCHEM PDF-quarters;  BS BIOCHEM PDF-Semesters)

minor in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BINF PDF-quarters; BINF PDF-Semesters).

The Bachelor of Science degrees are designed for those who plan to obtain positions in scientific and industrial laboratories or attend graduate or professional schools. The BS degree in Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society.

A description of what knowledge, skills, and abilities students will have after graduating with a degree in chemistry or biochemistry (Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes).

**NOTE:  Starting Fall, 2018, Cal State LA has adopted new admissions criteria for certian majors, including BS Chemistry and BS Biochemistry.  The admissions criteria may be found here.  We have developed a handout about it:  Frequently Asked Questions about being a Pre-Chemistry or Pre-Biochemistry Major.

Resources for you

The Undergraduate Handbook is designed to include lots of information that is useful to our majors.

All students should use the online General Catalog and the online Schedule of classes or the Professional and Global Education (PAGE) website for all classes. Virtually all policies, procedures and requirements of the University are explained in the catalog. Study the catalog sections relating to General Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree, General Education requirements, and major requirements.  To see exactly what requirements you have or have not completed, you can look at your Campus Academic Advisement Report (CAAR): Here's how.

Orientation sessions are also given to new students - to freshmen and transfer students.  Here are powerpoints from some recent orientation sessions: Updated New Student Orientation;   2018 Transfer Student Orientation

Are you having difficulty mastering course content and skills?  Here is a page from the Undergraduate Handbook with some tips and advice for being successful in chemistry classes.

See your Advisors

Initially, all new chemistry and biochemistry majors are advised through an orientation or the NSS Advisement Center and Department Chair. Each student will be assigned to a faculty member who will, from then on, serve as that student's faculty advisor. This chart contains the advisor assignments. You will see the three different advisement resources (Faculty Advisors, Department Chair, and NSS Advisement Center Advisors) for different needs.  This table summarizes which advisor will help you with which need. Students should consult with their advisor at least once per year

Suggested Course Sequences for Chemistry and Biochemistry degree programs

Most courses in science and mathematics build directly on subject-matter presented in earlier courses. It is therefore essential to take classes in the proper sequence and observe all prerequisites listed in a course description. Prerequisites are established for solid academic reasons and are not designed simply to be roadblocks to a student's progress. On the contrary, prerequisites are designed to protect students by making sure that they do not take classes for which they are unprepared.  Also, because of the critical importance of mathematics in all of chemistry and physics, students should be sure to start taking mathematics courses at the earliest opportunity in their program.

Future Course Offerings

Some courses are offered every term, others are offered once per year, and still others are offered every other year.  This information is contained in the Course Offerings Schedule (PDF). If a course is offered, but not enough students enroll in it, it may be canceled.