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Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Department Chair: Christopher R. Brazier

Department Office: Hall of Science (HSCI) 370

Telephone/FAX: (562) 985-4941/(562) 985-8557



Roger A. Acey (Emeritus), Stuart R. Berryhill (Emeritus), Deepali Bhandari, Christopher R. Brazier, Xianhui Bu, Paul T. Buonora, Andrea Chen, Shahab Derakhshan, Nancy Gandner, Thach Ho, Lijuan Li, Marco A. Lopez, Eric Marinez, Douglas D. McAbee, Stephen P. Mezyk, Kensaku Nakayama, Vasanthy Narayanaswami, Patrick Pierce, Michael Schramm, Jason Schwans, Gary Shankweiler, Young Shon, Katarzyna Slowinska, Krzysztof Slowinski, Eric Sorin, Enrico Tapavicza, Fangyuan Tian, Paul M. M. Weers

Administrative Support Coordinator: Irma Sanchez


  • Undergraduate: Douglas D. McAbee
  • Credential: James Kisiel, Tim Williamson
  • Graduate: Biochemistry: Paul M. M. Weers; Chemistry: Lijuan Li

Graduate Studies Committee: Lijuan Li, Katarzyna Slowinska, Christopher R. Brazier, Young Shon, Paul M. M. Weers

Honors in the Major: Douglas D. McAbee

Students desiring information should contact the undergraduate advisor.

Career Possibilities

Patent Agent • Chemist • Assayer • Water Purification Chemist • Chemical Lab Technician • Biochemist • Quality Control Coordinator • Pharmaceutical or Technical Sales Representative • Public Health Educator • Industrial Hygienist • Health Administrator • Teacher • Food /Drug Inspector • Materials Scientist • Medical Librarian • Environmental Scientist • Criminologist • Pharmacologist • Dentist • Physician • Geochemist • Chemical Oceanographer (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers three bachelor's degrees, the B.S. in Chemistry, the B.S. in Biochemistry, and the B.A. in Chemistry, and two master's degrees, the M.S. in Chemistry and the M.S. in Biochemistry. These programs combined serve over 600 majors. In addition, the Department offers a Minor in Chemistry.

Degree Programs

The programs in chemistry and biochemistry at the bachelor's degree level are planned to develop background in a specific science, to serve as preparation for graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry, and to provide a foundation for those students seeking careers in the chemical sciences, teaching, law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health-related professions, and in industrial and governmental scientific occupations. The B.S. degree in Chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society (American Chemical Society, Committee on Professional Training, 1155 Sixteenth St., NW, Washington, DC 20036, phone: 202-872-4589).

The B.S. degree in Biochemistry is certified by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB department/program accreditation sub-committee, 11200 Rockville Pike, Suite 302, Rockville MD 20852-3110, phone: 240-283-6600).

Transfer Students: A student who transfers to the University must take at least 16 units of upper division chemistry courses here. To receive credit towards the major for courses taken elsewhere in place of CHEM 371A,B and/or 377A,B, consent of the Department Chair is required. Satisfactory performance on appropriate proficiency examinations may also be required.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers graduate study leading to research-based master of science degrees in chemistry and biochemistry.

Applicants for the master of science degree programs should apply online both to the university and to the department. Links to the online application forms can be found on the department's web site ( - click on "Graduate Programs").

A limited number of teaching associate and graduate and research assistantships are available. Usually, these involve half-time work in the instructional program at the freshman and sophomore level or work in the laboratory. An applicant may apply for a teaching associate or graduate assistant position in the course of completing the online departmental application.

Academic Advising and Facilitated Enrollment into Classes

All entering students who declare a major in a degree program offered by this department need to contact the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' (CNSM) Academic Advising Center (HSCI 164) and participate in the College's Science Safari to Success (for first time freshmen) or EONS (Enrollment and Orientation in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics for transfer students) Program. These programs are held in June/July for those starting in the Fall Semester and in January for those starting in the Spring Semester. Department advisors will be available to provide an overview of the students' chosen baccalaureate degree program, to assist with academic advisement, to provide information on the many career opportunities available, and to aid students in enrolling in classes. Contact the CNSM Academic Advising Center, Jensen Student Access to Sciences and Mathematics Center (HSCI 164), or department office for additional information.

Concurrent and/or Summer Enrollment in Another College

Students who wish to take course work in a community or other college to meet curricular requirements while enrolled as undergraduates in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics must petition the appropriate department for approval prior to enrolling in specific courses. This policy applies to concurrent enrollment or summer enrollment. University policy must also be complied with; see "Concurrent Enrollment" and "Transfer of Undergraduate Credit" in this catalog. Courses not receiving prior approval will not be accepted for credit by the Department.

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