Chemistry and Biochemistry

Office: 216 Houghton Hall

(716) 673-3281

Thomas S. Janik, Chairperson



The goals of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are to prepare its majors for advanced study in chemistry, chemical engineering, related disciplines or professional programs; or careers in industrial, environmental, and governmental laboratories; or for careers in teaching. The department strongly believes in the value of rigorous course work combined with practical experience. Thus, students spend much of their time in the department participating in undergraduate research; this has led to an informal atmosphere with considerable student-faculty interaction. Often the results of such research are presented at conferences or published in chemistry journals. Paid internships with local industries are also available. The Chemistry Club is very active and includes in its activities an outreach program to local schools. Departmental honors and scholarships include the Kaminski, Moos, Keller, Thumm, Marletta, Costanza, Maytum, Supple, Borriello, and Dingledy awards. The department offers two tracks, each leading to a B.S. in Chemistry degree. Track I, the Standard Major, is often chosen by students having second majors or minors in related disciplines. Track II satisfies the curriculum requirements of the American Chemical Society (A.C.S.) and is recommended for students interested in graduate or professional schools. Each track requires the completion of a Core Program plus additional course work. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Biology jointly administer a major in Biochemistry. The department maintains a graduate program leading to a M.S. degree. A five-year program is available to outstanding students which is a combined B.S./M.S. program.

Grading Standards: A minimum C grade is necessary for all required chemistry courses counted toward the major or minor; a collective minimum 2.00 grade point average is necessary for all required mathematics/computer science, and physics courses.

Prerequisites/Co-requisites for Laboratory Courses: Laboratory and lecture courses are separately enrolled and graded. As a result, there are some general requirements for laboratory courses: (1) CHEM 126 or CHEM 130 is a prerequisite for any laboratory course at a higher level; (2) for all laboratory courses the corresponding lecture course is a pre- or co-requisite; (3) if a student drops or withdraws from a lecture course, he/she may be required to withdraw from the corresponding laboratory course.

Cooperative Engineering: The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry participates in the Cooperative Engineering program. For more information on the the Cooperative Engineering program, please consult the Cooperative Engineering section of the catalog.

B.S. degree in Geochemistry, an interdisciplinary program with the Geosciences department: For more information on the Geochemistry program, please consult the Geosciences section of the catalog.

Teacher Certification: Students wishing to teach chemistry in the secondary schools can obtain provisional certification by completing either of the tracks described below and the required courses in Professional Education. The procedure to be followed for admission to the professional sequence of courses is described in the Education section of the catalog.

Candidates in all education programs are required to demonstrate competence in a foreign language. This requirement must be satisfied in any one of the following ways:

  • Score of 85% or higher on New York State Regents Exam. Requirement is fulfilled.
  • Scores of 65% - 84% on High School NYS Regents Exam: Student needs to take an Elementary I level course or an Elementary II level course of a language or equivalent course(s) or successfully complete an equivalent SUNY Fredonia proficiency exam.
  • Scores below 65% on High School NYS Regents Exam or if student did not take a NYS Regents Exam: Student needs to take an Elementary I level course and an Elementary II level course of the same language or equivalent.

A.C.S. Approved Track: The curriculum for the A.C.S. Approved Track is reviewed annually by the A.C.S. Committee on Professional Training. if, because of this review, it becomes necessary to modify the curriculum requirements, revisions will be on file with both the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Such revisions would be in effect for students who had completed less than 60 credit hours at the time of the revision.

Other programs of interest: Prospective students who are interested in working with environmental science-related fields should check the Environmental Science program in the catalog. Students who have a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and are interested in becoming a high school Chemistry teacher might wish to examine the Adolescence Science Education Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Chemistry/Biochemistry (Chemistry Track) Honors Program

This program provides talented majors unique laboratory courses in addition to significant research experience that cumulates in a senior thesis and a presentation at an external conference. Our Honor Students will be recognized with a chemistry cord at graduation and the statement, Honors Chemistry Major (or Honors Biochemistry Major) on the student's transcript. This program is open to all Chemistry and Biochemistry (Chemical Track) majors who maintain a GPA of 3.3 and complete the research requirement of the program. Students are invited into the program in their sophomore year.