Chemistry is the natural science that explores properties and behavior of matter, specifically the elemental composition, structure and physical properties of substances and materials and the transformations that they undergo when reacting with other substances to form new and interesting compounds and materials. Chemistry is often referred to as the central science that provides the foundation for understanding phenomena, observations and processes in the life sciences, geology, ecology, material sciences, pharmacology and forensic and environmental sciences.

When studying chemistry, you will learn the theoretical foundation and basic experimental methods of organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry.


First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this:


College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

Total Credits: 15-16


Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Students with a Chemistry placement

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes
Chemistry course per placement   3 or 4 Chemistry (160)
Calculus-Based Math   4 Mathematics (640)

Students without a Chemistry placement

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes
Algebra-Based Math   3 Mathematics (640)


Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Introduction to Environmental Science 11:375:101 3 Environmental Sciences (375)
Introduction to Environmental Studies 01:381:101 3 Environmental Studies (381)
Nutrition & Health 11:709:255 3 Nutritional Sciences (709)
Introduction to Human Ecology 11:374:101 3 Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior (374)

The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Environmental Studies (381)

Geological Sciences (460) also known as Earth and Planetary Sciences

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (694)

Physics (750) - also known as Physics and Astronomy

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.


Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

  • Teaching Internship Program
    Introduces students in chemistry pedagogy and professionalism and ethics as it relates to being a mentor and instructor. Refines teaching-related skills such as critical thinking, team work, communicating, problem solving.

    We offer three different internships
    • Teaching internship in General Chemistry
    • Teaching Internship in Organic Chemistry
    • Internship in Teaching a Chemistry Lab

  • Industrial Internships
    Students have the opportunity to work in mostly NJ-based companies for credit, such as Colgate Palmolive, Spectrum Chemicals, Isolatek, Firmenich, Evonik, GlaxoSmithKline and gain insight into the working-mechanics of chemical, pharmaceutical and personal care industry and at the same time build an important relationship with a potential future employer.

  • Independent Studies, Senior Research and Honors Senior Research
    Students gain hands-on experience in chemical and biochemical research, learn cutting-edge laboratory techniques, contribute to original research, while being mentored by world-class faculty. Senior research experience is required for several major options and is seen as highly favorable by graduate schools and employers.

  • Study Abroad
    Rutgers-Jilin Chemistry Program: Rutgers students spend the summer at Jilin University in China. This exchange program involves a 6-week research experience, a Chinese language class and a seminar lecture series with Tang students.

CCB offers a Departmental Honors Program for seniors. Candidates are expected to do 3 credits per term of Honors Research (01:160:497/498), write an honors research thesis, make an oral presentation at the end of their senior year and maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 in courses required for the major. Students with grade-point averages greater than 3.6 and 3.8 will receive the designation High Honors and Highest Honors, respectively.

In addition, CCB offers several honors courses (Honors General Chemistry (01:160:163/164); Honors Organic Chemistry (01:160:315/316), that provide honors credits to students enrolled in the SAS Honors Program or the Honors College. Honors General Chemistry is intended for students with strong interest in chemistry and/or those considering majoring in a science requiring a strong chemistry background. Honors Organic Chemistry is recommended for students planning to pursue graduate work in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or medicine.


Recent and current graduates get accepted into graduate schools such as Stanford, Columbia, U Penn, Penn State, Univ. of Michigan, Rutgers, John Hopkins, NYU to pursue higher degrees in chemistry or a related area, apply to or attend medical schools, find employment in companies mostly in the NJ-NY-PA tri-state area, or transition into the 5-Year High School Teachers programs at Rutgers in order to pursue a career in K-12 education.