Undergraduate Program Chemistry

PSU chemistry student working in a lab

Chemistry Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

As the central science, chemistry is foundational to understanding and improving the world in which we live. From diagnosing and treating disease, through solving the world’s energy crisis, to understanding the origins of life itself, chemistry majors gain an appreciation of the role of chemistry in the economy, in society, in the environment, and in medicine.

The PSU chemistry major is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in the physical sciences. The degree focuses on fundamental chemical and physical systems along with advanced coursework in the sub-disciplines of chemistry.

Degree Details

  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
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  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • m
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Chemistry Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

PSU's chemistry program is distinguished by the active incorporation of research discoveries into teaching programs and by the opportunity to pursue undergraduate research with leading faculty scientists, providing students with a world-class interdisciplinary education.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to our students' education; our diverse and knowledgeable faculty, graduate students, and staff are dedicated to helping students achieve their educational and career goals. The chemistry curriculum is defined by hands-on learning experiences in teaching and research laboratories and by innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including flipped classrooms, peer-led workshops, and available tutoring.

Portland State offers students a wide variety of options for pursuing a career in healthcare. Students can choose from one of 15 different specialization areas and receive expert advising and professional school preparation.

Portland State University's position in the heart of Oregon's economic and cultural center provides a dynamic and exciting environment in which to pursue science.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or minor in Chemistry?

Chemistry students are prepared for careers in professional health, STEM business and industry, STEM education and policy, scientific communication, research, and related fields.

Trained chemists may work with (or start their own) companies that apply scientific principles to develop and enhance products, tools, and technological advances in fields such as medicine (medical supplies or pharmaceuticals), basic chemical research, sports technology, and environmental, agricultural, and food science. They may also work in sales marketing, technical training and support, and public relations positions.

Chemists who enjoy working with people and encouraging them to learn about scientific principles and emerging issues find employment in schools, universities, museums, and other organizations. They may also work at universities or organizations to develop best practices for STEM education. Science policymakers and advisors directly develop STEM education policy or work with lawmakers to create legislation.

Chemists with excellent writing and communication skills can be employed by scientific journals, textbook publishers, online magazines and science blogs or print/media networks, or by universities, government labs or non-profit organizations, trade journals other entities in positions that require educating the public about relevant and emerging chemistry issues.

Research chemists conduct basic or applied research involving materials and polymer materials chemistry, as well as environmental, analytical, physical, and organic chemistry.

Featured Courses

  • CH 320 - Quantitative Analysis
  • CH 426 Instrumental Analysis
  • CH 4/536 Spectrometric Analysis
  • CH 411 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • CH 440 Physical Chemistry
  • CH 443 Numerical Data Analysis and Modeling in Chemistry


  • CH 4/590 Biochemical Structure and Function
  • CH 4/510 NMR Spectroscopy
  • CH 4/586 Environmental Chemistry
  • CH 487 Aquatic Chemistry


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The curriculum, faculty, library, and facilities of the Department of Chemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Graduating chemistry majors are eligible for certification to become members of the ACS after two years of professional service.