Majors and More

Chemistry, Physics, Geology and the Environment Programs

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Students major in chemistry to pursue industrial or graduate opportunities in medicine, environmental science, computational molecular modeling, forensics, plastics, chemistry, textiles, health sciences, materials science, energy production, biotechnology, chemical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, ceramics, environmental engineering, or toxicology. Chemists represent the largest group of industrial scientists in the United States; approximately 50% of all research and development positions in this country are filled by professionals with chemistry or chemical engineering backgrounds.

Students majoring in chemistry can select one of five degree tracks to tailor their curricula to meet their long-term professional objectives. The ACS chemistry degree track meets American Chemical Society (ACS) requirements for a professional certification in chemistry. The ASBMB Biochemistry track was the nation's first American Soceity for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)-Accredited program.
  The Health and Chemical Sciences degree track is designed for maximum flexibility to meet a broad array of student interests or needs. Because it allows students to count math and science elective courses toward the chemistry degree, it is ideal for students interested in health professions that do not require undergraduate research, as well as for double-majors and transfer students. 

The Pre-Engineering-Physics and Forensic Chemistry degree tracks prepare students for technical or management positions with government or industry.


Minor in Applied Physics

The minor in applied physics consists of 17 semester hours of PHYS:

  • PHYS 201 (4) General Physics I and
  • PHYS 202 (4) General Physics II
  • PHYS 211 (4) Physics with Calculus I and
  • PHYS 212 (4) Physics with Calculus II  

9 hours from

  • PHYS 301 (3) Modern Physics 
  • PHYS 315 (3) Circuit Analysis 
  • PHYS 350 (3) Thermodynamics 
  • PHYS 331 (3) Engineering Mechanics: Statics 
  • PHYS 321 (3) Materials Science OR PHYS 332 (3) Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics 

Students with majors in biology, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics may count physics courses required by the major (PHYS 211-212 or 201-202) toward the physics minor.

Minor in Chemistry

The minor in chemistry consists of 18 semester hours of CHEM ( excluding 104) to include at least 10 hours in courses numbered above 299. Chemistry courses required for other majors can also be counted for the chemistry minor.

Minor in Geology

The minor in geology consists of 18 semester hours in GEOL, including

  • GEOL 110 (3) Physical Geology 
  • GEOL 113 (1) Physical Geology Laboratory 

And at least 6 hours in GEOL courses numbered above 299 which can include GEOG (Geography) 305.

Minor in General Science

The minor in general science consists of at least 18 semester hours of coursework selected from BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, or PHYS, to include

  • PHYS 201 (4) General Physics I 
  • PHYS 202 (4) General Physics II OR
  • PHYS 211 (4) Physics with Calculus I 
  • PHYS 212 (4) Physics with Calculus II 

Courses included in a major may not be counted in the general science minor. At least 6 hours must be in courses numbered above 299.


Pre-Professional Programs

Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Pharmacy Programs

Students who wish to prepare for application to medical, dental, or pharmacy school should acquire a broad foundation in the natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and the social sciences. Chemistry is a popular major for such students since it allows them to complete the pre-professional requirements without taking a large number of courses outside the major. In addition, professional schools accept a higher percentage of chemistry applicants than most other majors. These schools generally require two semesters of each of the following courses: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics (preferably calculus), and English Composition and Literature. Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Genetics, and Microbiology are also strongly recommended. All of these courses can be used to fulfill requirements necessary for a major in chemistry.

Pre-Engineering Program

Engineering programs require students to complete fundamental math and science courses to include Calculus I, II, & III, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, General Chemistry I & II, Calculus-based Physics I & II,  computer science, and several engineering science courses during their first several years of college. The Pre-Engineering program at Winthrop provides an opportunity to take these courses in a setting characterized by small classes, individual faculty attention, and access to modern instrumentation. Former Winthrop students in this program have successfully transferred into engineering programs at Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina State.


View Other Pre-Professional Programs Visit the Department of Chemistry, Physics, Geology and the Environment Website  

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