The Chemistry Department offers a flexible program of studies designed to prepare students for careers in private industry and government or for highly diverse graduate study. Students may direct their efforts into all the major areas of chemistry and into certain interdisciplinary areas. This is accomplished by choosing one of four rigorous tracks or options of study leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry: Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Chemical Sciences, and Molecular Modeling and Simulation. The Chemistry option is certified by the American Chemical Society.
The Chemistry option emphasizes the chemistry-physics interface. The curriculum of this option leads to the more traditional careers and graduate training in chemistry.
The Industrial Chemistry option is designed for those students who plan a career in the chemical industries and businesses and involves participation in the Cooperative Education Program (see below). Option courses have been chosen to provide some background in material sciences as well as industrial chemistry. Restricted elective packages create a flexible program which will meet a variety of career goals.
Emphasizes the chemistry in the context of biological systems. Prepares for entrance into health-related professional programs.
Note: The Molecular Modeling and Simultation option is under review to be discontinued.
In addition to the flexible options and programs within the Chemistry Department there are several other desirable and useful programs available to students. One program is the Cooperative Education Program which is a University-wide program administered by a faculty member of the Chemistry Department. This program combines classroom study with closely related work experience. Its basic purpose is to provide a means whereby a student can combine study at Cal Poly with work experience. This work experience is an integral part of the Industrial Chemistry option. Students may receive up to sixteen units of credit for approved work experience under the heading of Cooperative Education. All students performing Cooperative Education work assignments receive competitive salaries from the sponsoring company. More than one-half of all chemistry majors take part in Cooperative Education. Chemistry majors frequently coordinate their Cooperative Education assignments to fulfill their Senior Research course work requirement. A significant number of the companies involved in offering Cooperative Education work assignments are in the paint, coatings, adhesives, colorants and textiles industries. Many students upon graduation receive job offers from the company where they have done a Cooperative Education project.
All Chemistry majors are required to do a Senior Project. Dr. Michael Page is the Senior Project Coordinator. Visit his website for more information.