Chemistry Overview

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry enjoys a solid reputation as a quality program with faculty who strive to be the best teachers and researchers on campus.

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the changes they undergo. It plays a key role in understanding the natural universe and in the scientific and technological revolution that has shaped modern society.


The program provides a strong foundation in the principles and practices of modern chemistry within the framework of a liberal arts education. The major is designed to give students both the theoretical bases of the discipline and extensive hands-on experience testing theories in the laboratory. We also offer courses that fulfill the physical sciences portion of the core curriculum requirements. These courses are designed to acquaint students majoring outside the natural sciences with the basic principles and methods of modern science and with the history and development of scientific thought. The American Chemical Society (ACS), a national organization that develops and administers guidelines defining high quality undergraduate programs, has approved USD’s chemistry curriculum. All chemistry majors earn an ACS-certified degree.