Jun 14, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2023-2024 
Rensselaer Catalog 2023-2024

Chemistry - Chemical Biology Track

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Chemical Biology refers to the application of Chemistry to biological problems. The “Chemical Biology” track to the B.S. in Chemistry is intended for students interested in this area or in careers in the medical field. Like the “Chemistry” track, it provides a sound background in Chemistry but also includes a solid core of Biology courses so that students completing it will not only have the chemical knowledge to understand the methods they are using, but also will have the knowledge of Biology necessary to understand the systems they intend to study.

A total of 128 credit hours are required for graduation. Eighteen of these are completely free electives. Students should select these in consultation with the advisor to give a balanced program totaling 128 credit hours. CHEM 4010  Inorganic Chemistry II is a recommended but not required elective. 

Undergraduate research is an integral part of the program. A minimum of 3 credits combined of undergraduate research (CHEM 2930 CHEM 2940 CHEM 2950 , and/or CHEM 4970 ) or a SURP/URP or internship position are required as prerequisites for CHEM 4950 

Students considering medical school should include a semester of General Psychology and a semester of Sociology among their HASS or elective courses.

Students with weak backgrounds in Biology should take BIOL 1010  and BIOL 1015  or BIOL 1016  in their first year, deferring a HASS course.

Courses can be taken out of sequence as long as prerequisites are followed.

First year



Second year

Third year

The Arch Summer Semester*

*For students who have applied for and been granted an exception, The Arch Summer Semester courses should be rescheduled with the help of the adviser, with some taken during the spring semester. For listing of the exception process go to: https://the-arch.rpi.edu/arch-planning-and-registration/arch-exception-process.

Fall* OR Spring

*If following the B.S. in Chemistry - Biology Track curriculum, students must select the Fall term as their “on-campus” semester.

Fourth year




  1. CHEM 1100  or CHEM 1110  may be substituted for CHEM 1120  by students transferring into Chemistry.
  2. ENGR 1600  may be substituted for CHEM 1220  by students transferring into Chemistry.
  3. A minimum of 3 elective credits combined should be used for undergraduate research (CHEM 2930 CHEM 2940 CHEM 2950 , and/or CHEM 4970 ) as prerequisites for CHEM 4950 .
  4. BIOL 4720  can be substituted for this course.


Students should work with their adviser to select the electives that best fit their needs. Students interested in medicine as a career should register with the pre-health committee and take the recommended courses before the senior year as preparation for the qualifying exams required for admission to medical school. In addition, two English courses and at least one semester of General Psychology and one semester of Sociology should be included among their HASS or elective courses.

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