Skip to Catalog 2022-2023 site navigationSkip to main content

Chemistry (B.S.)

Website: School of Theoretical and Applied Science



Current as of June 2022

About the Major

The study of chemistry provides an understanding of matter and how it undergoes physical and chemical transformations into the near-infinite forms it can take. Chemistry has a profound influence on our everyday lives. Chemical knowledge is central to our understanding of biological and environmental problems. Chemicals are added to food and water for health, preservation, and taste. Synthetic polymers are used in place of natural materials in furniture and clothing. Major modes of transportation use chemical reactions to produce energy needed for motion. The human body manufactures hormones and enzymes that regulate the living process. Medicine cabinets are stocked with drugs whose chemistry affects the state of body and mind. Chemistry is truly pervasive in all aspects of our lives.

The chemistry major at Ramapo, offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, gives its students an in-depth grasp of theoretical concepts as well as a variety of practical skills. In the first year, students enroll in General Chemistry which provides an introduction to modern chemical theory presented through the study of atomic and molecular structure. In the next three years, core courses in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, quantitative/instrumental analysis, physical chemistry and biochemistry contribute to a broad understanding of the structure and dynamics of atoms and molecules and their role in physical and chemical processes. A selection of chemistry electives, including Cooperative Education placements, independent research study, and a broad range of special topic electives, allow senior students to concentrate in specialty areas such as materials development and characterization, synthetic organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry,  biochemistry, and analytical/ environmental chemistry. Many courses are offered by other science major programs allowing students to plan a multidisciplinary program of study. Many of the scientific advances of this modern age occur in interdisciplinary areas such as biophysics, materials science, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, protein biotechnology, and environmental science, consequently mixing courses from different scientific fields is certainly advantageous and desirable.

Ramapo’s safety-conscious laboratories rely upon contemporary instrumentation, including infrared, ultraviolet-visible, fluorescence, laser, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, liquid and gas chromatographs (GC and HPLC), and atomic absorption instruments. Laboratory courses offer a hands-on approach and provide students with valuable experience in technical and analytical skills.

The program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). All Ramapo students graduating with a major in chemistry can be certified by the ACS if they have taken certain specified courses.

Job opportunities available to chemistry majors encompass a wide range of activities and institutions. Commercial industrial firms offer the largest number of positions for chemists, with additional opportunities in federal, state, and local government laboratories, research institutes, hospitals, and analytical laboratories. The variety of jobs includes laboratory work, sales, technical service, and administration in the areas of product development, research and production. A Bachelor’s degree in chemistry is also a valuable background for students wishing to pursue graduate work in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary work as well as in chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology.

The chemistry faculty is actively engaged in scientific research. Among their interests are such widely diverse areas as structure and dynamics of ultrathin organic and biopolymer films, biomaterials science, spectroscopy of biological macromolecules, medicinal chemistry, organometallic synthesis, catalysis, green chemistry, environmental chemistry, and computer simulations of experiments. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty- supervised research projects in the TAS Research Honors Program. These students agree to a two-semester commitment to pursue research projects with a faculty mentor and present their findings at a campus symposium and/or at external symposia. Chemistry majors may also work in Ramapo’s Cooperative Education program, where industrial work experience, for which students earn money and credit simultaneously, alternates with full-time or part-time study.

Ramapo has well-equipped and modern laboratories for chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and physics that are utilized in the major. There are opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty and for experiential learning through cooperative education in nearby industry.
The major in chemistry is offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science and leads to a

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1: Demonstrate a broad chemical knowledge base that stresses scientific reasoning and analytical problem solving.

Outcome 1:   Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry and its applications. This broadly-defined outcome has been broken down into four general sub-levels: The Law of Conservation of Mass and Atomic Theory, Theories of Structure and Bonding, Understanding Chemical Reactions, Spectroscopy and Methods of Chemical Investigation.

Goal 2:  Effectively communicate scientific information.

Outcome 1:  Write comprehensive laboratory reports that follow ACS guidelines for publishing journal articles and other academic papers.

Outcome 2: Demonstrate their ability to search for, comprehend and critically evaluate scientific literature through classroom presentations and reports.

Goal 3:  Demonstrate competency in the laboratory skills necessary to acquire, analyze and interpret experimental results.

Outcome 1:  Use laboratory techniques to perform complicated experimental procedures and have a working knowledge of modern instrumentation.

Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing II and Studies in the Arts and Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  5. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation. Visit the Cahill Career Center.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor

At least half of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the six courses (lecture and lab co-requisites count as one course) required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.