Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a chemistry major is right for me?

The first step is to take a few chemistry courses. Most first-year students will start with CHEM 150: Structure and Properties, while some advanced students will begin with CHEM 202 or CHEM 202z. If you succeed in these courses and enjoy the experience, a chemistry major is an excellent option. Take the opportunity to speak with your professor or any chemistry advisor about all the great opportunities available to chemistry majors at Emory and beyond. You should also take a look at our Chemistry Unbound Advising Grid to understand the many different ways that you can customize a chemistry major and how classes from other areas might be applied to the B.A. or B.S.

Back to top

What courses are required for the chemistry major?

You can view required courses for the B.S. and the B.A. on the Chemistry Unbound Advising Grid. If you started your chemistry major prior to Fall 2017, you should rely on this advising grid.

Back to top

What courses should I take if I am pre-health?

Pre-health students should take the core chemistry sequence starting with CHEM 150: Structure and Properties through CHEM 204: Macromolecules. CHEM 205 is required for majors and recommended for pre-health students who need additional chemistry courses.

Back to top

Do you offer different types of chemistry degrees?

Emory only offers the B.S. and the B.A. degree in chemistry. However, Chemistry Unbound makes it easy to tailor your major to your academic interests. Once you've completed the Chemistry Core (see advising grid) you can choose upper level courses on special topics. We also plan to roll out specific pathways for popular chemistry subject areas (Enviormental, Medicinal, Biochemistry...) For now, we encourage you to speak with an advisor to select courses that suit your interests and goals.

Back to top

Can I switch from a B.S. to a B.A. degree and vice versa?

Yes. When you apply for graduation, your advisor will check to see which requirements you have met and approve the appropriate degree. We do ask that students officially convert their degree designation if they know they will complete a different degree than initially selected.

Back to top

Is there a minimum G.P.A for graduation with a chemistry B.S. or B.A.?

You must graduate with a 2.0 in your major. It is not necessary to get a C in all of your major courses, as long as your final GPA is a 2.0. For your chemistry G.P.A. (not college G.P.A.), the department only counts the highest grade earned in a course if the course is repeated.

Back to top

How do I get involved with chemistry research?

The best way to begin your research experience is to spend time looking at our faculty websites to identify what most interests you. Research requires a significant time commitment, so you need to be passionate about your area in order for the experience to be rewarding for both you and your advisor. You should then approach the individual faculty member to inquire if they have positions available. When you introduce yourself it is best if you are able to tell them about yourself - why you are interested and what courses you have taken (or other experiences you have had) that you think prepare you to do research in their lab. Once you find research experiences that interest you, apply to officially start undergraduate research

Back to top

Can I receive chemistry research credit for research in a non-chemistry laboratory?

In exceptional circumstances, students conducting research in a laboratory in another department can apply to the Chemistry Department Undergraduate Committee to have their research count for chemistry credit. The research should be primarily chemistry based. Contact the Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Dr. James Kindt, for more information.

Back to top

I am not a chemistry major. Can I do undergraduate research in the department?

Due to the large number of chemistry majors with research interests and the relatively small size of our program, it will likely be difficult for you to find a position. If you go through the appropriate channels described above and find there are not suitable positions in chemistry, you should pursue research opportunities in your major field. 

Back to top

How do I apply for undergraduate awards?

All enrolled majors are considered for undergraduate awards each year (non-majors can win poster prizes and first year awards.) Make sure to declare your major as soon as you know your plans.

Back to top

Can I complete an Honors degree in chemistry?

B.S and B.A majors with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or greater are eligible to apply for the Honors degree. To graduate with Honors, students must take one graduate-level chemistry course (500-level or above) in addition to the normal degree requirements, complete a research project (including at least one semester registered for CHEM 499R), and write and defend an Honors Thesis based on this research (registered for CHEM 495WR).  

The student will defend their research thesis before a committee of at least three Emory faculty, two of whom must be members of the Emory chemistry faculty and one of whom must be a member of the Emory faculty from a different department. This committee is comprised of the student's research advisor and two other chemistry department faculty; or the student's research advisor, another chemistry dept. faculty, and one faculty member from outside the department. Upon completion, the committee may recommend Honors (cum laude), High Honors (magna cum laude), or Highest Honors (summa cum laude).

For more information, contact Dr. James Kindt and review the guidelines of the Emory College Honor Program.

Back to top

When do I need to decide if I want to pursue the Honors degree?

The sooner you can begin thinking about pursuing an Honors degree the better. Though rare, some students begin research as freshmen. Most students defend research they worked on for 2-3 years. It is important to produce a body of work that can produce adequate data and tell a compelling story. It is very difficult to complete and Honors project in less than 1.5 years.

Back to top

What is the timeline for an Honors degree?

3rd year Spring / Summer

Sign up by emailing Ethel Ellington with your name, student ID number, anticipated graduation date (Spring, Summer or Fall), anticipated degree, and the name of your research advisor in the Chemistry Department. 

If your primary research advisor is not a member of the chemistry faculty, you must also give the name of a member of the chemistry faculty who is familiar with your research and has agreed to serve as a member of your honors thesis committee.

4th Fall

Enroll in 499R to work on research for the thesis (required only for students who have not yet enrolled in 499R for credit) 

4th year Spring

Enroll in 495WR to finish research and write up thesis (you will need a permission number)

4th year

500 level or higher graduate course in chemistry (3 or more credits)
Attend scheduled meetings with ECAS Honors coordinators

Back to top

Can I apply AP or IB credit to chemistry courses?

Students with a 4 or 5 on the AP exam may opt out of CHEM 150: Structure and Properties. In this case, the preferred pathway is for students to complete CHEM 202z and CHEM 203z. This is an accelerated version of CHEM 202 and CHEM 203. Students who elect to skip CHEM 150 and then complete the standard 202/203 sequence will miss out on some organic chemistry material and be required to catch up. If your AP class was difficult for you or if you do not feel ready for CHEM 202z, we suggest taking CHEM 150 to increase your chances of success in your chemistry coursework.

Back to top

Where can I find information on Emory College Chemistry Preparation (ECCP)?

Back to top

How do I join ChEmory?

You can learn more about ChEmory, our award-winning undergradaute ACS club, including how to get involved on their website.

Back to top

I'm an undergraduate or high school student looking for a chemistry tutor. Who can I contact?

Please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator for a list of graduate students willing to tutor. Emory undergraduates should also consider taking avantage of Chem Mentor sessions!

Back to top