At Simmons, Chemistry is all about hands-on preparation for the world of work and advanced study.

You'll build competence and confidence as a professional in our uniquely personalized program.

What makes our program so special?

You'll have access to all the resources and technology of a modern lab in the heart of Boston, and also your own reserved spot in one of our Chemistry labs.

Our faculty members are accomplished scientists and leaders in their fields, but they're also easily accessible mentors.

You'll have the individual attention of a small selective program along with access to all the labs and scientific industry of our bustling city. It's the best of both worlds.

Program Requirements

Major in Chemistry

First Year

  • CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry or CHEM 115 Advanced General Chemistry 
  • CHEM 216 Quantitative Analysis
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • MATH 121 Calculus II

Sophomore Year

  • CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II
  • PHYS 112 Fundamentals of Physics I
  • PHYS 113 Fundamentals of Physics II

Junior Year

  • CHEM 331 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • CHEM 332 Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Structure
  • MATH 220 Multivariable Calculus
  • 300-level elective in chemistry

Senior Year

  • CHEM 355 Independent Study with Thesis (eight semester hours)
  • CHEM 390 Chemistry Seminar (required; 1 credit)
  • 300-level elective in chemistry

300-level electives include:

  • CHEM 341 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 342 Mechanistic Toxicology
  • CHEM 343 Advanced Topics in Modern Chemistry
  • CHEM 345 Biochemistry
  • CHEM 346 Advanced Instrumental Laboratory
  • CHEM 347 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry

Facilities and Prerequisites

After declaring a major in chemistry, students select one of the individual laboratory study/bench spaces in S430, where they carry out much of the rest of their work in chemistry. Grants to Simmons have provided the department with instrumentation beyond the scope usually available at undergraduate colleges. Students considering a major in chemistry should take CHEM 113 and 114 during their first year. In some cases, students with little or no previous high school background may be advised to take CHEM 111 instead of 113. MATH 101 or 102 will be recommended by advisors for students in chemistry who may need to review basic mathematical concepts. By the middle of the junior year, students should have taken MATH 220 and PHYS 112 and 113.

Graduate School Preparation

The American Chemical Society (ACS) suggests a set of standards that it believes will prepare students for graduate study. To meet these standards, the student's program must include CHEM 248 (Junior year), CHEM 345 or CHEM 223 (Senior year), and two additional 300-level electives chosen from CHEM 341, CHEM 342, CHEM 343, or CHEM 347. Certification that the student's curricular program has met the ACS standards is not required for any career or graduate study; the standards are only a guide in planning a program that will make graduate study easier.

The required courses in chemistry normally completed by the end of the third year are CHEM 113, 114, 225, 226, 331, and 332. Concentrators are also required to take CHEM 355 (eight semester hours), to participate in departmental seminars, and to elect at least eight semester hours from among CHEM 327, 341, 342, 343, 345, 346, and 347.

Chemistry concentrators, after declaring their concentration, select one of the individual laboratory bench-study spaces in Science Center Room 430, where they carry out much of the rest of their work in chemistry. Grants to Simmons have provided the department with instrumentation beyond the scope of that usually available at undergraduate colleges.

Minor Requirements

A minor in chemistry consists of one introductory general Chemistry course (111 or 113); CHEM 112, one or two 200-level courses; and one or two 300-level courses. Minors can be designed to meet the special interested of a variety of students. An environmental interest would be met by CHEM 111 or 111 or 113, 112, 216, 227 and 341 or 342 sequence; math majors could elect CHEM 111 or 113, 112, 216, 332, and 343; biologists could easily obtain a chemistry minor by electing CHEM 111 or 113, 216, 224, 225, and 345. Students in majors constructed from the offerings of two departments (biochemistry, environmental sciences) do not obtain a minor in either department. No more than one course in the minor should be taken pass/fail.

Customize Your Program

You'll work with a faculty advisor to tailor your program to your interests and career goals. The Department of Chemistry offers many closely-related programs, such as biochemistry, chemistry management and environmental science. Simmons students have many opportunities to further customize with dual majors and complementary minors.

Certification for teaching chemistry at the middle school and secondary school levels is also possible by enrollment in the Department of Education.

Internships and Research

Hands-on research experience is a key part of a Simmons science education. Research opportunities are open to students as early as the freshman year. All students engage in a year-long senior Independent Learning project as part of their program.

In chemistry, Independent Learning means current research at Simmons or in one of the many other research laboratories in Boston. You'll work with a faculty advisor to plan and perform experimental work, and analyze and document your results. Then you'll write a senior thesis based on your research and defend the thesis in an oral exam. Our graduates report that this experience is invaluable preparation for job interviews and for graduate school.

Hands-on Experience with Modern Equipment
Simmons chemistry students begin using up-to-date laboratory instruments in the very first chemistry course and continue to build this hands-on experience throughout the curriculum. Simmons graduates are known for their ability to take on laboratory projects with a minimum of supervision. Computers are used extensively throughout the various chemistry-related programs.

Individual Student Chemistry Carrels
Each Simmons student who declares a chemistry-related major gets an individual laboratory carrel in our Independent Study Laboratory. Students are encouraged to do laboratory work in their carrels, where they can work individually or together, calling on Faculty for guidance as needed.

Easy Access to Faculty
Although the Simmons chemistry faculty are actively involved in research, we feel that research should not take us away from our students. Simmons students are actively involved in our research as part of their Independent Study work. We are always glad to meet with students outside of class individually or in small groups.

How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.