Oct 20, 2021  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog


Professors: Blauch, Carroll, Hauser, E. Stevens, Striplin (Chair)
Associate Professors: Myers, N. Snyder
Assistant Professor: Anstey, Key
Visiting Assistant Professor: 

Introductory Chemistry Program

Students who have earned AP credit for Chemistry 115 may begin their study of chemistry with Chemistry 220, 240, or 250. Students with AP credit for both Chemistry 115 and Mathematics 111 or 112 may begin their study with Chemistry 260.  

Major Requirements (B.S. Degree)

The Chemistry curriculum offers, as new American Chemical Society policies recommend, a set of five foundation courses (200-level courses with labs) that cover the five divisions of chemistry–analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical–followed by a selection of five in-depth courses (300- and 400-level courses). Chemistry 115 or its AP equivalent is a prerequisite for all foundation courses. In-depth courses can fall within a single division (e.g. Analytical, Organic, Physical) or span multiple divisions (e.g. Environmental Chemistry).

Prospective chemistry majors should discuss their interest and course planning with a faculty member as soon as they begin considering the major. Physics and mathematics prerequisites are preferably taken in the first and second years. Requirements for the chemistry major are:

  • All five foundation courses:  220, 230, 240, 250, and 260
  • Five in-depth courses at the 300-level or higher
    • Two must have a laboratory
    • One must be a 400-level seminar
    • One independent research course (Chemistry 395, 396, 397, 496, 497, or 498) may count as a non-laboratory in-depth course
    • One science course taken outside the chemistry department may count as a non-laboratory in-depth course with prior approval  from the department chair
  • Supporting and prerequisite courses:  Chemistry 115 or AP equivalent; Mathematics 113, 140, or AP equivalent; Physics 220, 225, 230, or 235



Students primarily interested in biological chemistry are advised to take the following courses, which fully satisfy the requirements for a chemistry major:

  • All five foundation chemistry courses:  220, 230, 240, 250, and 260
  • Five in-depth courses at the 300-level or higher
    • Chemistry 330 and 430
    • Biology 201 or 208 (accepted in place of a non-laboratory in-depth chemistry course with prior approval  from the department chair)
    • Two additional in-depth electives, one of which must have a laboratory
  • Supporting and prerequisite courses:  Chemistry 115 or AP equivalent; Mathematics 113, 140, or AP equivalent; Physics 220, 225, 230, or 235

Honors Requirements

Graduation with Honors may be awarded to a chemistry major who meets the general College criteria (3.2 overall average and at least a 3.5 average in chemistry courses), fulfills the requirements for a chemistry degree, and demonstrates outstanding mastery of Chemistry 498-Thesis Research. Honors candidates are supervised by a faculty adviser and evaluated by a faculty committee from the chemistry department. It is expected that in addition to completing a written thesis, Honors candidates will present a colloquium near the end of the semester in which they are enrolled in Chemistry 498.  The department does not award high honors.

American Chemical Society Undergraduate Chemistry Program

Davidson College offers a chemistry degree that is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. Students who complete the basic major with five in-depth chemistry courses, including a research experience that covers at least one semester or summer, meet the requirements for an ACS-certified degree. Annual approval by the ACS ensures that Davidson’s Chemistry Department is operating within the commonly accepted standards and best practices among degree-granting institutions of higher learning.

Minor Requirements

*The Chemistry minor will no longer be offered after the Class of 2019.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021.

The chemistry minor is ideal for students who are pursuing a major in another field but also have a strong interest in the field of chemistry. To graduate with a chemistry minor, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of Chemistry 115 + any five courses at the 200-level or higher,
    • At least five courses counted toward the minor must be taken at Davidson
    • None of the six courses may be taken as a Pass/Fail;

The chemistry minor is a typical choice of pre-med students and biology majors as both require enough chemistry courses to make a minor an easy leap:

  • Pre-medical students are required to take at least four chemistry courses (115, 230, 250, and 220 or 240), leaving only two more courses necessary to achieve a minor;
  • Biology majors, especially those interested in genetics and molecular biology, take several chemistry courses. With just a few more courses (a total of six are required), a chemistry minor can be earned as well.

Chemistry Courses

Chemistry courses at the 100 level may be taken with no prerequisites. The 200-level courses provide an introduction to the five divisions of chemistry and have at least one chemistry prerequisite. Laboratory fees are charged in all 100- and 200-level courses. In-depth courses in the five divisions are designated with 300-level numbers, and all have 200-level prerequisites. Courses numbered in the 400’s are senior-level seminar/capstone courses and research experiences intended for chemistry majors.