Are you interested in a career in medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy? Does the possibility of a career in pharmaceutical research or forensic science excite you?

ECU's chemistry BA degree is a flexible scientific degree that allows the student to pursue other collegiate interests while providing a solid foundation in chemistry. Compared to the BS majors, a BA chemistry student will be required to take less rigorous calculus and physics classes to fulfill their core curriculum. As an upper level student, you will take one-semester offerings in physical and inorganic chemistry. The BA allows for more time to undergo training in foreign languages, as well as pursue other courses that are not necessarily required, such as upper-level biology courses that may be helpful for medical school.

ECU Advantage

Our BA degree provides a solid chemistry foundation and also pairs well with numerous other majors (BS biology, for example). Many of our graduates have gone on to medical, dental, and pharmacy programs within the state or elsewhere. Majoring in a physical science like chemistry has been shown to provide higher entrance exam scores and higher acceptance rates into these types of schools.

You also will meet and get to know you professors, thanks to our engaged faculty and our active student-led chemistry club. The Department of Chemistry proudly supports the science and healthcare leaders of the future. This is evidenced by the long and steady track record our majors have of winning the Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award. The award recognizes academic achievement, service, and leadership qualities. Only five students per year are recognized with the Wright Award at University Commencement exercises.In the last 14 years, 14 Chemistry majors have won this prestigious award.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Allison Danell (591 Science and Technology Building; 252-328-9766; danella@ecu.edu)

The BA program provides a flexible major designed to provide the student with a broad education in chemistry appropriate for further study in a wide range of fields, such as business, medicine, pharmacy, and law as well as careers dependent on a basic knowledge in chemistry. The BA in chemistry, in conjunction with two semesters of laboratory-based biology courses, satisfies the course requirements for application to most US medical schools. It is different than the BS degree in the required chemistry, math, and physics courses. Any of the required major courses or cognates, however, may be replaced by courses that cover the same topics at a more advanced level. For example, CHEM 3950, CHEM 3960 may be taken instead of CHEM 3850. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the prerequisites for such courses have been met. If a student successfully completes a higher-level cognate course after bypassing the lower-level prerequisite course(s), he/she may use free electives to substitute for the prerequisite hours.All students are required to take a departmentally administered assessment examination before graduation. Scores from this examination will not be included in the calculation of GPA for academic standing. The performance on this exam will be noted on the student's transcript.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra or
  • MATH 2121 - Calculus for the Life Sciences I or
  • MATH 2171 - Calculus I

  • PHYS 1250 - General Physics I
  • PHYS 1251 - General Physics Laboratory I
  • PHYS 1260 - General Physics II
2. Demonstrated foreign language proficiency through level 2004 - 12 s.h.

(For information about the foreign language requirement see Special Requirements for the BA Degree and Placement Testing, Foreign Language.)

    3. Core - 30 s.h.
    • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
    • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I
    • CHEM 1160 - General Chemistry II
    • CHEM 1161 - General Chemistry Laboratory II
    • CHEM 2250 - Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis
    • CHEM 2251 - Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
    • CHEM 2750 - Organic Chemistry I
    • CHEM 2753 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
    • CHEM 2760 - Organic Chemistry II
    • CHEM 2763 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
    • CHEM 3450 - Elementary Inorganic Chemistry
    • CHEM 3451 - Elementary Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
    • CHEM 3850 - Introduction to Physical Chemistry
    • CHEM 3851 - Introduction to Physical Chemistry Laboratory
    4. Cognates - 7-14 s.h.

    Choose one of the following sequences:

    • MATH 2121 - Calculus for the Life Sciences I
    • MATH 2122 - Calculus for the Life Sciences II

    • MATH 1083 - Introduction to Functions or
    • MATH 1085 - Pre-Calculus Mathematics
    • and
    • MATH 2171 - Calculus I
    • MATH 2172 - Calculus II
    • space
    • PHYS 1261 - General Physics Laboratory II
    5. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.
      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Research Chemist or Biochemist
      • Educator, (K-12 or University)
      • Physician
      • Dentist
      • Pharmacist
      • Forensic Scientist
      • Physician Assistant
      • Optometrist

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.