Chemistry occupies a key position in the modern sciences, influencing nearly every aspect of human enterprise, from agriculture, industry, and medicine to theoretical research on the origin and structure of the universe.

It forms not only a basis for understanding non-living material systems—its traditional domain—but biological systems and many psychological processes as well. Ultimately, most phenomena in biology, medicine, geology, and environmental sciences can be stated in terms of the chemical and physical behavior of atoms and molecules.

A major in chemistry not only serves students who intend to pursue a career in chemistry; it is also provides a sound foundation for related careers in such fields as medicine and environmental science, teaching, law, business, art conservation, and journalism.

About the Curriculum

The chemistry curriculum at Purchase is designed to introduce students to all of the principal areas of modern chemistry, including organic, inorganic, physical, biological, analytical, and environmental chemistry. A career in chemistry or a closely allied field demands that the individual evolve toward a self-teaching style of scholarly independence. The chemistry curriculum at Purchase provides a foundation from which this long-range educational goal can be achieved.

Freshmen are encouraged to consult members of the chemistry faculty, in addition to their freshman advisors, concerning questions about chemistry at Purchase, program planning, and careers in chemistry and related fields.

Chemistry Education

The chemistry program has a variety of chemistry and related courses tailored to prepare students who are interested in pursuing careers as high school chemistry teachers. Upon completion, the courses allow students to proceed for a “one year” master’s degree in education at one of the SUNY/CUNY campuses and subsequent certification.


To declare chemistry as a major, students are required to have passed General Chemistry I and II (or the equivalent courses for transfer students) with grades of C or higher. Other courses required for the chemistry major, including support courses but excluding the senior project, must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.

In addition to meeting General Education requirements, all chemistry majors must complete the following requirements (64 credits):

Chemistry Courses (46 credits)

A minimum cumulative 2.0 (C) GPA is required in all chemistry courses, excluding the senior project:

  • CHE 1550/General Chemistry I: 4 credits
  • CHE 1551/General Chemistry I Lab: 1 credit
  • CHE 1560/General Chemistry II: 4 credits
  • CHE 1561/General Chemistry II Lab: 1 credit
  • CHE 3150/Chemical Instrumentation and Analytical Methods: 5 credits
  • CHE 3310/Organic Chemistry I: 4 credits
  • CHE 3311/Organic Chemistry I Lab: 1 credit
  • CHE 3320/Organic Chemistry II: 4 credits
  • CHE 3321/Organic Chemistry II Lab: 1 credit
  • CHE 3510/Physical Chemistry I: 5 credits
  • A minimum of 4 credits of advanced chemistry electives, chosen from the following list:
    CHE 3520/Physical Chemistry II: 4 credits
    CHE 3740/Medicinal Chemistry: 3 credits
    CHE 3997/Independent Study: 1–3 credits
    CHE 4600/Bioorganic Mechanisms: 4 credits
    CHE 4610/Biochemistry: 4 credits
    CHE 4611/Biochemistry Lab: 2 credits
    CHE 4800/Special Topics in Chemistry: 3 credits
  • CHE 3890/Chemistry Junior Seminar: 2 credits
  • CHE 4880/Chemistry Senior Seminar I: 1 credit
  • CHE 4890/Chemistry Senior Seminar II: 1 credit
  • SPJ 4990/Senior Project I: 4 credits
  • SPJ 4991/Senior Project II: 4 credits

Support Courses (18 credits)

  • MAT 1500/Calculus I: 4 credits
  • MAT 1510/Calculus II: 4 credits
  • PHY 1510/Introductory Physics I: 4 credits
  • PHY 1511/Introductory Physics I Lab: 1 credit
  • PHY 1520/Introductory Physics II: 4 credits
  • PHY 1521/Introductory Physics II Lab: 1 credit

Minor requirements:

Students interested in the minor in chemistry must submit a completed Application for a Program of Minor Study to the Department Chair of Chemistry.

Academic Requirements for the Minor in Chemistry


  • CHE 1550 and 1551/General Chemistry I and Lab
  • CHE 1560 and 1561/General Chemistry II and Lab
  • CHE 3310 and 3311/Organic Chemistry I and Lab
  • CHE 3320 and 3321/Organic Chemistry II and Lab
  • And one upper-level elective in chemistry (minimum 3 credits)

Many biology majors at Purchase automatically qualify for a minor in chemistry. For additional information, refer to Chemistry Minor for Biology Majors.


  • Lecturer, Chemistry, Winter Session Instructor
    • BS, Chemistry and Mathematics, Bates College
    • MS, PhD, Organic Chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
  • Assistant Professor of Practice in Chemistry
    • Vordiplom, MS, PhD, Georg August University (Germany)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    • BA, Dartmouth College
    • MS, PhD, Yale University
  • Professor of Chemistry
    • BSc, PhD, University of Exeter (England)
  • Lecturer of Chemistry
    • BS, University of Washington
    • PhD, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  • Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry
    • BS, MS, University of Scranton
    • PhD, Pennsylvania State University