Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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104 Chemistry Building
Box 41061, Lubbock, TX 79409-1061
T 806.742.3067 | F 806.742.1289


About the Program

This department supervises the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
  • Master of Science in Chemical Biology
  • Master of Science in Chemistry
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Students seeking graduate degrees may specialize in analytical, inorganic, organic, physical, or theoretical chemistry; chemical education; chemical physics; or biochemistry.


Undergraduate Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers four undergraduate degree programs in chemistry and biochemistry. The Bachelor of Science degree programs are most appropriate for students who plan to pursue a professional, research-based career in chemistry or biochemistry. The Bachelor of Arts options provide a strong undergraduate background in the central sciences of chemistry and biochemistry as preparation for other objectives, such as health-related professional schools, teaching, or sales. The undergraduate advisor provides career counseling and assists students in selecting courses and fulfilling degree requirements. The department offers honors-level courses to qualified students (admitted to the Honors College) in both general and organic chemistry. Highly motivated undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry majors are strongly encouraged to complete an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Undergraduate research students gain a working knowledge of research methods in a specialized area and familiarity with a wide range of instrumentation and techniques. The department has a very active chapter of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.

Students who have not completed the prerequisites for a course in which they have enrolled will not be allowed to continue and will be dropped from the course by the department.

Chemistry Curriculum. The undergraduate student may take courses leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. Either program offers a wide choice of minor subjects in Arts and Sciences or other colleges. Consult the undergraduate advisor prior to registration for a particular minor program.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. The B.S. in Chemistry degree prepares a student for graduate school or a career as a professional chemist. This degree program is technically oriented, requiring greater depth of mathematics, physics, and chemistry than does the Bachelor of Arts degree. This degree requires 120 credit hours and has a heavier chemistry requirement than the B.A. degree program. As a result, students have fewer elective courses to pursue other interests. Completion of the B.S. curriculum leads to automatic American Chemical Society certification of a student as the recipient of a professional degree.

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. The B.A. in Chemistry degree requires 120 credit hours for graduation and has a curriculum primarily designed for those interested in using an undergraduate major in chemistry as the background for a career in which extensive training in chemistry is either valuable or essential (e.g., medicine, dentistry, forensics, environmental protection, clinical and pharmacological chemistry, technical sales, and chemical patent law). Though a B.S. is generally preferred by employers, a B.A. may also provide a sufficient background in chemistry for employment as a chemist in a small laboratory or for entry into a graduate program leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in chemistry.

Biochemistry Curriculum. Both the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree programs in biochemistry have a common objective of providing general education and training in the chemical aspects of biological systems through a combination of coursework in biochemistry, chemistry, and biology.

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. The B.S. in Biochemistry degree requires 120 credit hours for graduation and will prepare an undergraduate student for graduate study in biochemistry and related disciplines, for entry into medical or dental school, or for employment in industrial or governmental laboratories in which graduate training is not required. A biology minor may be earned by completing one biology course in addition to those specifically required for the B.S. in Biochemistry degree (see the biological sciences undergraduate advisor for specific requirements). This additional biology course may be selected from the advanced electives needed to fulfill the bachelor's degree.

Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry. The B.A. in Biochemistry degree requires 120 credit hours for graduation and is primarily designed to prepare an undergraduate student for entry into medical school (admission requirements for Texas medical schools are satisfied) or other medically related professional schools. Graduates with a B.A. in Biochemistry are also qualified for industrial employment in areas in which a strong biochemistry background is an asset, such as technical sales or management. The B.A. degree provides sufficient background in biochemistry and chemistry for admission to a graduate program in biochemistry or biotechnology.

Residency Requirements. The department generally accepts transfer credits from other colleges and universities. However, to receive an undergraduate degree in either chemistry or biochemistry, at least 25 percent of the hours in the major must be taken at Texas Tech. For a chemistry minor, at least 6 hours of junior/senior level courses must be taken at Texas Tech.

Chemistry Minor. The chemistry minor consists of CHEM 1307, 1107, 1308, 1108 and 11 credit hours of chemistry courses at the 3000 level or higher (excluding CHEM 3000, 3101, 4010, and 4300). At least 6 credit hours of 3000- or 4000-level chemistry courses must be taken at Texas Tech (see residency requirements above). Two hours of laboratory coursework must be included in the 11-hour total.

Advanced Standing. The department will permit a student to receive credit for any courses in the curriculum if proficiency is demonstrated in that subject by examination. Examinations for CHEM 1305, 1306, 1307, and 1308 are given at Academic Testing Services prior to each semester. Previous registration for these examinations is not required for students entering Texas Tech for the first time. Students who are currently enrolled must apply to the Arts and Sciences Dean's Office for approval to take the examination. For all other courses, it is the student's responsibility to obtain approval from the dean's office and to petition the department chair for such examination(s) well before normal enrollment in the course. There is a fee for the CLEP test.

Teacher Education. Students seeking a teaching certificate are expected to earn a bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) with a major in either chemistry or biochemistry. Students also may satisfy the requirements for the teaching of high school chemistry by majoring in multidisciplinary science with an emphasis in chemistry. This major is administered by the College of Education. Those students in the College of Arts and Sciences who plan to become high school teachers should minor in secondary education. They will be required to take EDSE 4000 for their student teaching experience. The university has implemented a new teacher education program that includes a full year of student teaching (two semesters of the senior year) for new students. See a College of Education advisor to complete a certification plan.

Chemistry Placement Examination. Students wishing to enroll in either CHEM 1301 or 1307 must first take the Chemistry Placement Examination. Please consult for additional information. A sample placement exam with key may be found at this site. Previous registration for this examination is not required and there is no fee. Students are strongly encouraged to review high school level chemistry concepts and skills prior to attempting the examination.

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Graduate Program

Students seeking advanced degrees must take the diagnostic examination in their area of specialization and in two other non-specialty areas after arrival in early spring or fall. These examinations are based on the undergraduate curriculum and are also offered in late spring. Students who fail the diagnostic examination in their specialty area will be given a second and final opportunity to pass this examination. Those students whose academic background emphasizes biochemistry may opt for a series of three biological chemistry examinations rather than taking exams in two non-specialty areas.

Master's Program

A master's degree program includes a minimum of 19 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, 5 credit hours of research (CHEM 7000), and 6 hours of thesis (CHEM 6000).

Doctoral Program

A doctoral degree program includes a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, 36 credit hours of research (CHEM 7000), and 12 credit hours of dissertation (CHEM 8000).

A cumulative examination system is used as the written part of the qualifying examination for the doctoral degree, with cumulative examinations offered six times each year. A successful oral defense of the Ph.D. research and future work plan must be completed before the end of the second year. This constitutes the oral part of the qualifying exam.

Each student fulfilling the doctoral residence requirement in chemistry and biochemistry will normally enroll for 24 hours within a 12-month period. Ordinarily, this would be accomplished by taking 9 hours in two long semesters and 6 hours in the summer.


Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry


Course Descriptions

Chemistry (CHEM)


Alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.


Louisa J. Hope-Weeks,  Ph.D., Chairperson

Horn Professors: Hase, Knaff, Li, Nes
Piper Professor: Casadonte
Welch Chair: Hase
Professors: Birney, Gellene, Hope-Weeks, Korzeniewski, Mechref, Paré, Poirier, Quitevis
Associate Professors: Krempner, Mayer, Morales, Pappas, Shaw, Shi, Thompson, Weber, Whittlesey
Assistant Professors: Cozzolino, D'Auria, Gamez, Findlater,  Wylie
Research Professors: Aquino, Lischka
Instructors: Lee, Mason, Pool, Roberts
Adjunct Faculty: Conn, Perera
Joint Faculty: Horita, Ridley, Weeks

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