Applied Chemistry at UC Davis

Applied Chemistry

Major only

How we apply chemistry to our everyday lives is what sets apart applied chemistry from the study of pure chemistry. A mysterious package dusted with white powder, rodent hair and a small white fiber: these are clues that a chemist educated in applied chemistry can use to help identify potential dangers and their source. A farmer experiences dramatic crop losses after another farm 100 miles away shifts to a genetically modified crop; applied chemists step in to identify the source of the crop damage as a herbicide drift. Applied chemists analyze physical evidence and samples for clues to solve real-world problems like these.

Real World Outcomes

Environmental chemistry graduates with the bachelor's degree will be able to pursue advanced degrees in areas such as atmospheric chemistry, geochemistry, toxicology and environmental science. They will also have access to a range of scientific careers, including regulatory agencies, environmental consulting firms, and industries concerned with the environmental impacts and fates of their products. Graduates of the Forensic B.S. program will be able to pursue careers in private forensic labs as well as law enforcement and regulatory agencies at many levels, including police and sheriff’s departments, district attorney crime labs, and laboratories of federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, FDA and many others.


The Department of Chemistry offers two Bachelor of Science degree emphases under the heading of Applied Chemistry: Environmental Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry. The B.S. emphases in Applied Chemistry fall outside of the classical chemistry degree and instead draw on significant course material from areas relevant to their particular fields.