Skip to main content

MOLECULAR SYNTHESIS (CH36)

The Molecular Synthesis major offers a thorough training in all aspects of the molecular synthesis of organic, inorganic, and biological substances, along with a fundamental understanding of their structure and reactivity. This major provides an excellent preparation for employment in biotechnology, diagnostic, electronic, and pharmaceutical enterprises as well as for graduate programs in organic, bioorganic, and inorganic chemistry. Click here to read more about the Learning Objectives for the Molecular Synthesis Chemistry major.

Note: For students admitted Fall 2016 or earlier, please see the FAQ page for information regarding re-numbering of Organic Chemistry courses.

Lower-Division Requirements

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade:

  1. General Chemistry (CHEM 6A, 6B & 6C or 6AH, 6BH & 6CH)
  2. General Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 7L or 7LM)
  3. Physics (PHYS 2A, 2B & 2C or 2D)
  4. Physics Laboratory (PHYS 2BL, 2CL or 2DL) 
  5. Calculus (MATH 20A, 20B, 20C & 20D)
  6. Organic Chemistry (CHEM 40A, 40B & 40C or 40AH, 40BH & 40CH)
  7. Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 43A or 43AM)

Upper-Division Requirements

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade:

  1. Physical Chemistry (CHEM 126A & 126B recommended; CHEM 130, 131 & 132 acceptable)
  2. Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 120A & 120B)
  3. Biochemistry (CHEM 114A)
  4. Required Laboratory Courses (Must take all 5):  
    • Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 100A) 
    • Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM 143B) 
    • Physical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 105A)
    • Select 2 of the following: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 123), Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 143C), Molecular Design and Synthesis Laboratory (CHEM 143D)
  1. Synthetic Methods (CHEM 152)               
  2. Structural or Mechanistic Organic Chemistry (CHEM 154 or CHEM 156)
  3. Bioorganic or Bioinorganic Chemistry (CHEM 125 or CHEM 157)                             
  4. One additional course from the following:
    • Biochemical Energetics and Metabolism (CHEM 114B)
    • Biosynthesis of Macromolecules (CHEM 114C)
    • Synthesis of Complex Molecules (CHEM 155)
    • Introduction to Computational Chemistry  (CHEM185)
    • 4 units of CHEM 199 may be petitioned. See details here.
  • These are course changes for students who entered UCSD in Fall 2012 or later.  Students who entered UCSD prior to Fall 2012 will still need 3 quarters of CHEM 131, 132 and 133.

Additional Requirements

  • All courses for the major, lower-division and upper-division, must be taken for a letter grade.
    • This excludes Special Studies courses, like CHEM 199, which only allow P/NP grading option
  • To receive a Bachelor of Science from UC San Diego, all students must complete 48 or more units of upper-division course work within the major.
  • A minimum 2.0 major GPA is required for graduation.
  • No more than one (1) "D" grade is allowed in upper-division coursework
  • All Chemistry/Biochemistry majors are required to complete at least six (6) upper-division courses within the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

It is the students' responsibility to read and understand all policies listed here.

Example Academic Plan

IMPORTANT NOTES:
  • Courses listed above and on the long-term plan below only include major requirements. Speak with your college advisor for planning completion of general education and university requirements.
  • The quarter in which a course is offered is subject to change based on space and instructor availability.  Please check the department website (https://chemistry.ucsd.edu/ext/ugcourses.html?year=2019-2020) each academic year to see a projection of classes offered by quarter.
  • The best time to study abroad is fall quarter of Sophomore or Junior Year. Education Abroad Program deadlines for upcoming year vary by country. See EAP website. See the Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Advisor for assistance in planning to study abroad.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the 48 upper-division unit requirement for your major. Check your degree audit to ensure you will meet this requirement. Transfer students should be especially careful with checking for completion of this requirement.
  • Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year. It is your responsibility to know which prerequisites are needed for each course. https://www.ucsd.edu/catalog/courses/CHEM.html
  • Two chemistry lab electives are required among the following: CHEM 123, 143C or 143D. Lab spaces are limited, especially in CHEM 123. Make sure to enroll as soon as your first pass opens.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR
CHEM 6A CHEM 6B CHEM 6C
MATH 20A MATH 20B MATH 20C
CHEM 7LM or 7L
SOPHOMORE YEAR
CHEM 40A CHEM 40B CHEM 40C
MATH 20D CHEM 43AM or 43A PHYS 2C or 2D
PHYS 2A PHYS 2B PHYS 2BL, 2CL or 2DL
JUNIOR YEAR
CHEM 120A CHEM 120B CHEM 105A
CHEM 126A CHEM 126B Chemistry Elective
CHEM 100A CHEM 143B
SENIOR YEAR
CHEM 152 CHEM 154 or 156 CHEM 123 or 143C or 143D
CHEM 123 or 143C or 143D CHEM 114A* CHEM 125 or 157

*CHEM 114A can be taken in either Fall or Winter quarter of senior year. 

Molecular Synthesis Major 4-Year Plan (Printer Friendly PDF)