Chemical Science


Chemical Science Overview

Chemistry is often known as "the central science" because of the key position it occupies in modern science and engineering. Most phenomena in the biological and earth sciences can be described in terms of the chemical and physical behavior of atoms and molecules, and chemical principles also underlie much progress in medicine and engineering. In addition, chemical systems are fascinating and often beautiful in their own right. Recent developments in the chemical sciences are increasingly directed toward the study of phenomena at the nanoscale, the size range intermediate between individual molecules and macroscopic matter. The ability to measure, understand, and control the properties of matter on these size scales allows us to draw conceptual and practical connections between the submicroscopic world of atoms and molecules and the macroscopic world with which we interact.

UC Merced offers an undergraduate major leading to a B.S. degree in the Chemical Sciences. All of our programs meet the requirements for approval by the American Chemical Society. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who plan to end their formal education with a bachelor's degree as well as those who wish to go on for an advanced degree. The UC Merced chemistry B.S. graduate is well prepared to pursue a career in chemistry or an allied field. We offer both a basic chemistry program and three emphasis tracks in biological chemistry, environmental chemistry, and materials chemistry, which allow students to pursue interdisciplinary areas within a degree program that is still focused on chemistry.

Areas of Research in Chemical Sciences         Careers

  • Chemical biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Theoretical and Physical chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


Bioengineering Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation, our graduates demonstrate:

  1. Central ideas underlying the principal subfields of chemistry — analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry — as well as the broader interdisciplinary subfields of biological, environmental and materials chemistry;
  2. Communication and Teamwork skills;
  3. Appreciation for the role of chemistry in the global society as well as the central role chemistry plays in other scientific disciplines such as biology, medicine, environmental science, and engineering sciences. They conduct themselves ethically and responsibly in science-related professions.

More Information

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