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Chemistry BS

(HEGIS: 19.05 CHEMISTRY-GEN-NO BIOCHEM, CIP: 40.0501 Chemistry, General)

Department of Chemistry

363 Natural Sciences Building
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-3000

Javid Rzayev

Troy Wood
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Advisor

Katie Stanton
Undergraduate Secretary

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Chemistry BS at UB?

The Department of Chemistry offers three undergraduate degrees. The three degree programs have courses in common at the freshman and sophomore levels, but differ in upper division curricula depending on career choices.

  • The Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry: intended for students who are primarily interested in careers as professional chemists or seek a deeper knowledge of chemistry in preparation for graduate school in chemistry or professional schools in other disciplines such as medicine.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry: for students who are interested in careers in other fields and need a flexible curriculum to allow for courses meeting requirements outside the chemistry degree, for example, medical school or double majors, although many of these students do pursue graduate degrees in chemistry.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Medicinal Chemistry: intended for students who are primarily interested in careers as professional medicinal chemists, such as in the pharmaceutical industry, or seek a broader knowledge of chemistry in combination with related technical courses in physiology, anatomy and other sciences in preparation for graduate school in chemistry or professional schools.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate acquisition of a broad set of chemical knowledge concerning the fundamentals in the four basic areas of the discipline (organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry).
  • Solve problems competently by identifying the essential parts of a problem and formulating a strategy for solving the problem. They will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret their results.
  • Understand the objective of their chemical experiments, properly carry out the experiments, and appropriately record and analyze the results.
  • Use standard laboratory equipment, modern instrumentation, and classical techniques to carry out experiments.
  • Know and follow the proper procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of chemicals.
  • Communicate the concepts and results of their laboratory experiments through effective writing skills.
  • Successfully pursue their career objectives in advanced education in professional and/or graduate schools, in a scientific career in government or industry, in a teaching career in the school systems, or in a related career following graduation.
  • Be able to use modern literature retrieval methods to obtain information about chemicals and chemistry topics.
  • Have a basic understanding of biological chemistry.
  • Have advanced laboratory skills in organic and inorganic synthesis and characterizational methods.
  • Have advanced knowledge of analytical chemistry.

The Learning Environment

The Chemistry program features a wide variety of class sizes, types, and delivery methods. Most general chemistry courses consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 360) presented by PhD level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 22 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. Organic chemistry courses in the second year consist of 3 hours of lecture per week (class sizes of ca. 275) presented by PhD level faculty, in addition to 1 hour of recitation and 3 hours of laboratory (class sizes of ca. 16 students) supervised by a graduate student teaching assistant. In the third and fourth year classes are generally restricted to chemistry majors. Lecture classes have enrollments of 100 to 16 and use a variety of delivery methods. Laboratory courses are low enrollment and are taught by Chemistry faculty with graduate student teaching assistants; these are heavily hands-on and with state-of-the-art instrumentation. The Department strongly encourages undergraduate research; this is conducted in the individual research groups of tenured or tenure-track faculty.

About Our Facilities

The Department of Chemistry is housed in the Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) on the North Campus. The Department occupies about 112,000 square feet of space, including 32,000 square feet for teaching laboratories and 54,000 square feet of research laboratory space. Also included are support services, such as instrumentation labs, electronic shop, stockrooms, and conference rooms.

The Chemistry Department Instrument Center maintains and operates a number of instruments that facilitate a variety of research. These include multiple mass spectrometers for analysis of ions in gas, solution and solid phases, including accurate mass confirmation. Liquid and gas chromatographs are coupled with mass spectrometry to enhance mixture analysis. Ionization techniques include electron impact, electrospray, chemical ionization and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization. Other techniques available include FTIR, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning spectrophotometry, and differential scanning calorimetry. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometers include a Varian Gemini 300, Varian 400, 500, 600 and 750MHz NMR for structure studies.

About Our Faculty

The staff of the Department of Chemistry includes 30 tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty (all PhD), 3 full-time lecturers, 84 teaching assistants (all graduate students), and 18 support staff. Faculty members deliver lecture courses and supervise teaching assistants who are responsible for oversight of laboratory courses.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Chemistry department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Research chemists make new substances to order, predicting beforehand what characteristics can be expected. They prepare small amounts of the substances, while other scientists test samples. A new pharmaceutical, for example, must be widely tested for effectiveness and for possibly dangerous side effects. Chemical engineers design equipment and develop process details for large-scale economic production and packaging. Processes are tested on a small scale in a pilot plant before full-scale production begins.

Various specializations are possible in chemistry. Environmental chemists study the chemistry of air, soil, and water pollution. Organic chemists specialize in carbon compounds. Biochemists study the chemical reactions (involving acids, proteins, steroids, and enzymes) that make life possible. Clinical chemists specialize in diagnostic tests, pharmaceutical chemists in drugs, and metallurgists in metals and alloys. Forensic chemists work with law enforcement to solve crimes.

Academic Advising

Students are advised to meet at least once every semester to discuss career goals and curriculum. Academic progress is evaluated at the end of each semester. Students should apply for admission to the department as early as possible in their academic career.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Dr. Troy Wood
Associate Professor

Scholarships and Financial Support

  • Alan Cutler Undergraduate Scholarship: The scholarship is given to support students in the Department of Chemistry based on financial need and academic success.
  • Albert Padwa Award: The Albert Padwa Award is intended to provide a stipend to an undergraduate student intern during a summer research project in the Department of Chemistry.
  • Ralph F. Theuer Scholarship Award: Presented annually to outstanding students pursuing a degree in chemistry or a graduate degree in science education.
  • William E. Townsend Scholarship: Presented annually to freshman chemistry majors, preferably from the Western New York area, with demonstrated financial need and possession of good personal characteristics in terms of attitude, personality, citizenship and leadership. The award may be presented to each awardee for up to four consecutive years, provided they remain a chemistry major in good standing with the university.
  • Peter T. Lansbury Undergraduate Research Award.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Feb 01, 2023 08:49:43