Chemistry at UC Davis



Major and minor

From the twitch of a muscle fiber to the silent explosion of a supernova, every happening in the universe is linked at an atomic level by the principles of chemistry. Chemists analyze substances, like testing environmental samples; create new substances, as in medical and product manufacturing; test theories using chemical analysis; and measure the properties of substances, like the strength of materials used in engineering.

At UC Davis, you have the flexibility to pursue an A.B. or B.S. degree in chemistry. Our A.B. degree is ideal if you plan to go into teaching or pursue a professional degree, while our general B.S. degree in chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society and provides you with more rigorous scientific preparation.

Other bachelor programs in chemistry offered at UC Davis allow you to undertake more focused studies, e.g. chemical physics, pharmaceutical chemistry and applied chemistry with an emphasis in either environmental or forensic chemistry.

Real World Outcomes

UC Davis chemistry graduates are currently working as forensic analysts in crime laboratories, pharmaceutical researchers, water quality control inspectors, university health and safety directors and as instructors at every educational level.


After completing required initial sequences in chemistry, physics and calculus, you will begin working with more advanced topics such as physical chemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry and analytical and laboratory methods. You may choose to specialize in an area such as chemical physics, forensic, environmental or pharmaceutical chemistry, or choose a more general course of study that will prepare you to enter a wide range of fields.