Montana State University

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Major Options

Chemistry majors may choose to focus on one of the following options:

Student working.

Chemistry (Professional) Option
This option includes a core of chemistry courses including organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry and biochemistry. Supporting math and physics electives are also required. The chemistry option is designed to prepare students for careers in chemistry, biochemistry, or other related fields such as medicine, patent law, chemical business (and marketing) or science writing (see "Futures in Chemistry" for more options). Chemists are in high demand in industrial, government and academic laboratories. Students electing to take the chemistry option will be well prepared both for advanced graduate study (including medical school) and for immediate employment in the chemical industry (including the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries), government, or business.

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Biochemistry Option
This option includes a core of chemistry, biochemistry, and biology courses for the student interested in the molecular nature of biological materials and life processes. A choice of biological science electives will allow the students to prepare for careers in plant, animal, or microbial biochemistry or in medicine. Trained biochemical scientists are much in demand for research and teaching in universities and for research and development work in chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, medicinal laboratories, and in state and federal government. Students who complete the curriculum satisfactorily will be prepared to assume responsible, professional positions or undertake graduate level work in the life sciences, including medical school.

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Teaching Option
This option is designed to prepare prospective teachers of chemistry at the secondary level. It provides a thorough background in the basic fields of chemistry and an acquaintance with the more relevant aspects of chemistry in society, which are essential to the practicing teacher of chemistry.

Student working.

Chemistry/Biochemistry Minors (Non-teaching)
A minor in chemistry or biochemistry is offered for students with other majors who wish to receive formal acknowledgement for taking a core of intermediate-level chemistry and/or biochemistry courses. The minor is designed to strengthen the students' opportunities for admission to graduate school or for industrial employment.