Department of Chemistry

Chemistry, the "central science," provides understanding of the material substances that make up our physical and biological world.

The Department of Chemistry offers two major programs leading to a B.S. degree in chemistry with concentrations in biochemistry and in chemistry, as well as several options for earning a minor in chemistry. In addition, the department offers a B.S. degree in natural science. Students who pursue a major or minor in chemistry can, in consultation with their academic advisors, successfully combine their chemistry interests with programs in art, biology, business, computer science, criminal justice or mathematics. The department also provides a broad spectrum of chemistry, physical science and physics courses that support general education graduation requirements and majors such as biology, nursing and education. The chemistry program prepares students for graduate programs in chemistry and for careers in:

On-campus laboratory facilities for student use include equipment for infrared, ultraviolet-visible, fluorescence and atomic absorption spectrophotometry mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, gas, ion, and high performance liquid chromatorgraphy, calorimeter and electrochemistry.

Saint Xavier students have the opportunity to participate in special topics chemistry courses offered jointly through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA). The department sponsors a chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates (ACSSA).

The chemistry major, in the context of a liberal arts education, prepares students to be lifelong learners and educated citizens. A major or minor in chemistry prepares students for roles as professional scientists. Students are expected to demonstrate a thorough understanding of scientific concepts and problem solving techniques and the ability to integrate and apply these in laboratory investigations, senior research presentations, and performance on nationally standardized American Chemical Society exams.


 B. Alappat, Chair; S. Buddha; A. Chakravorty; C. Chalokwu ; Sr. F. Crean; S. Groce, D. Mulhearn; J. Wiester

High School Prerequisites

Students wishing to major in chemistry should have completed high school chemistry, physics and high-level advanced mathematics courses.

Mathematics Competency Requirements for Chemistry Courses

Previous chemistry coursework and standardized test scores, such as ACT and SAT, are used to assist in placing students in college-level chemistry. Depending upon the student's chemistry and mathematics background and standardized test scores, the University Mathematics Placement Test may be required to determine placement. Science students may be required to complete CHEM 106 before taking CHEM 111. Nursing students may be required to complete CHEM 106 before taking CHEM 107.

Requirements for B.S. Degree Tracks in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemistry Track

The following courses are required for a B.S. degree in chemistry:

Biochemistry Track

The following courses are required for a B.S. degree in biochemistry:

Choose one course from among the following:

Requirements for a Chemistry Minor

The following courses are required:

Choose one of the following five options:

At least nine (9) credit hours of chemistry above the 100 level must be completed at Saint Xavier University in order to fulfill the minor requirement.

Requirements for B.S. Degree in Natural Science

The natural science major is designed for students seeking a broad exposure to biological, chemical and physical sciences. Course selection to meet specific educational goals is made in consultation with student's academic advisors. The minimum requirements for the natural science major outlined below allow some flexibility in the selection of science courses.
The following courses are required:


In addition to the above, 24 credit hours in chemistry, biology and/or physics at the 200-level or above are required. At least seven (7) of these 24 credit hours must be at the 300-level.

The student and advisor select a program of science studies that meets the above minimum requirements and satisfies student's educational objectives.

Pre-Professional Programs

Depending on their areas of concentration and professional objectives, students may, in consultation with their academic advisors, choose courses of study that may best meet their educational goals as pre-professional students in the following fields:


Although the minimum required coursework for admission to medical and veterinary schools within the United States includes two years of chemistry, one year of biology, one year of physics and a course in mathematics, the student with chemistry orientation is strongly encouraged to enroll in a program of study leading to a B.S. degree in chemistry or biochemistry.
Additionally, pre-med students, with the approval of their advisors, may choose to take courses that have the potential to enhance their chances of admission to medical schools and veterinary schools and that are important in pursuing a medical education.

Pharmacy Science

The pre-pharmacy program at Saint Xavier University is a two-year course of study designed to prepare students to enter pharmacy schools. Pre-pharmacy students will be assigned academic advisors to assist them in course selection and admission to area colleges of pharmacy.