Do you like to work with your hands, create things or solve puzzles? If so, chemistry may be the major for you. Chemists study the structure and transformation of matter and create entirely new substances, such as pharmaceuticals, conducting polymers and synthetic fibers.

At North Central College, you can experience a chemistry curriculum approved by the American Chemical Society as you earn your bachelor's degree in either chemistry or biochemistry. All coursework in the major is taught by full-time Ph.D. faculty members and covers all the major areas of chemistry (analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical) with hands-on laboratory experience an important part of each course.

A strong commitment to education and research in the sciences has helped make North Central's chemistry department well equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation used for both teaching and research. More than $500,000 has been spent for equipment in recent years, including the 300 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer, Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS), High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer (FTIR), Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AA), Electrophoresis, Ultracentrifuge, Polarimeter, and Fluorimeter.

In addition, we also have a glovebox for working with air-sensitive compounds and molecular modeling stations to help you visualize molecules in three dimensions and compute their properties. You will have the opportunity to use these instruments and equipment in both your coursework and undergraduate research projects.


Curriculum for the B.A. Degree

Major Requirements

At least 29 credit hours in chemistry, including:

  • At least 22 credit hours at the 200-level or above;
  • One of CHM 405, CHM 410, CHM 420, CHM 425, or BCM 465;
  • One course (3 credit hour minimum) in physical chemistry and one course (3 credit hour minimum) in each of three of the remaining four areas of chemistry (analytical, biological, inorganic, organic);
  • Research seminar - CHM 475 *;

Note: CHM 397 and CHM 497 may not be counted toward the minimum credit hours or the area requirement.

Required support courses


  • MTH 141 - Integrated Calculus II: Calculus of Derivatives -or-
  • MTH 151 - Calculus I
  • MTH 152 - Calculus II


  • PHY 141 - Physics I
  • PHY 142 - Physics II
  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based) -or-
  • PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)


  • PHY 115 - College Physics I
  • PHY 116 - College Physics II

Licensure for Secondary Education in Science

Licensure for secondary education in science requires a degree in Biology, Chemistry or Physics as well as a supplemental major in Secondary Education. The B.A. degree in Biology or Chemistry is recommended for education students; in Physics, education students should choose the B.S. Teaching Track. A student will need over 120 total credit hours to complete this degree, although licensure requirements in anatomy, astronomy, and geology may be met by successful completion of an exam, reducing the total number of credit hours required.


Curriculum for the B.S. Degree

Major Requirements

At least 46.75 credit hours in chemistry, including:

Core Courses

Ten core courses covering the five areas of chemistry:

Analytical Chemistry

  • CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis
  • CHM 410 - Instrumental Analysis

Biological Chemistry

  • BCM 365 - Biochemistry

Inorganic Chemistry

  • CHM 205 - Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM 405 - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

  • CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II
  • CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

Physical Chemistry

  • CHM 340 - Thermodynamics
  • CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory, and Spectroscopy

Research Seminar

  • CHM 475 - Seminar*


*Chemistry majors must complete a research project by taking one of CHM 405, CHM 410, CHM 420, CHM 425, CHM 495 or BCM 465, or by participating in a non-credit research program (including off-campus programs). Each student presents the results of this research in the chemistry seminar course, CHM 475. CHM 475 is taken over three (usually nonconsecutive) terms. During the first two terms, the student participates as an observer and questioner and enrolls in CHM 475 for no credit. CHM 190 may be substituted for one of these. During the third term, the student gives the research presentation and enrolls in CHM 475 for one credit hour.

400-Level Chemistry Elective

At least three additional credit hours from the following:

  • CHM 420 - Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 425 - Organometallic Chemistry
  • CHM 430 - Special Topics
  • CHM 495 - Research
  • BCM 465 - Advanced Biochemistry

Required Support Courses

Introductory Physics

  • PHY 141 - Physics I
  • PHY 142 - Physics II
  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based) -or-
  • PHY 143C - Physics III (Calculus-Based)
  • Nine credit hours in physics in addition to CHM 340/PHY 340, at least two of which must be at the 200-level or higher


  • MTH 152 - Calculus II
  • MTH 153 - Calculus III


One of the following:

  • PSY 250 - Statistics
  • MTH 342 - Probability and Statistics II
  • BUS 241 - Business and Economic Statistics

Additional Requirement

One additional math or physics course from the following:

  • MTH 254 - Calculus IV
  • MTH 300 - Linear Algebra
  • PHY 210 - Electronics
  • PHY 244 - Physics IV
  • PHY 245 - Physics V: Quantum Physics
  • PHY 251 - Physics of Solids

How to Apply

International Applicants must submit:

  • North Central College online application or Coalition Application
  • Official secondary school transcripts that include at least 3 years of grades
  • Official university transcripts with course descriptions (transfer applicants only)
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, or ACT Scores (choose one)
  • Passport copy

*North Central notifies applicants of their admission decision and scholarship award within approximately two weeks of receiving a completed application.


Program taught in:
  • English

See 11 more programs offered by North Central College »

Last updated July 5, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Request Info
Jan 2020
4 years
40,040 USD
Undergraduate students' (full time) tuition fee. Additional fees may apply.
Request Info
Oct 1, 2019
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Application deadline
Start Date
Jan 2020
End Date
Application deadline
Oct 1, 2019
Application deadline
End Date

Jan 2020

Application deadline
Oct 1, 2019
End Date