Chemical Biology

Undergraduate Program

Introduction to the Major

UC Berkeley offers two bachelor degrees in Chemistry: a Bachelor of Science (BS) through the College of Chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the College of Letters and Science. The College of Chemistry also offers a BS degree in Chemical Biology.

Students in both BS programs develop a strong foundation in experimental processes, instrumentation, and quantitative analysis; acquire a strong foundation in math and physics; and may also choose to pursue the Materials Chemistry concentration.

The BA program includes a greater number of humanities and social science courses than the BS degrees. Students who wish to pursue the BA degree should apply for admission to the College of Letters & Science.

Which Degree is Right for Me? 

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Biology are intended for students who are primarily interested in careers as professional chemists or wish a thorough grounding in chemistry in preparation for professional or graduate school in chemistry and related disciplines.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Chemistry is intended for students interested in careers in teaching, medicine, or other sciences in which a basic understanding of chemical processes is necessary. Students interested in subsequent graduate studies in chemistry will receive better preparation by pursuing the BS in Chemistry. 

Amplify Your Major

Having the opportunity to study chemistry at Cal is a wonderful educational experience….I am surrounded by a community of talented professors and classmates who really challenge you to think critically about today's scientific problems.
Jesus Aguilar

Four-Year Student Timeline

First Year

Explore Your Major

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Second Year

Explore Your Major

  • Complete lower division prerequisites and start planning your upper division courses.

  • Review college guidelines for study abroad.

Connect and Build Community

  • Join a professional organization related to your interests, such as Alpha Chi Sigma.

  • Explore the college’s centers and institutes.

  • Attend college seminars and events to learn about new research and meet guest speakers.

  • Get to know professors and graduate student instructors during office hours.

Discover Your Passions

  • Join a faculty research group.

  • Attend the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Fair in October.

  • Apply to a REU research program. Check Berkeley Lab and UCSF for more options.

  • Explore a career in education with CalTeach.

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Third Year

Explore Your Major

  • Focus on upper division requirements.

  • Review your degree progress with your staff advisor.

  • For the Chemistry BS, consider adding a concentration.

  • Ask the staff advisor about the college honors programs.

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Fourth Year

Explore Your Major

  • Do a degree check to ensure you are on track to graduate.

  • Complete any “bucket list” courses and finish remaining major, college, and campus requirements.

  • Complement your major with a certificate, course thread, or summer minor.

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

  • Apply for a Conference Travel Grant.

  • Teach your own DeCal course.

  • Keep pursuing your interests through a fellowship or gap year after graduation.

  • Present your research at the College of Chemistry poster session if you haven’t already.

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

What Can I Do With My Major?

Jobs and Employers

  • Analyst, BlackRock

  • Analytical Operations, Genentech

  • Associate, D.E. Shaw Research

  • Chemist, Argonne National Lab

  • Research Assoc., Latitude Pharm.

  • Chemist, Metal Surfaces Inc.

  • Lab Technician, Quest Diagnostics

  • Synthetic Chemist Intern, US DOE

  • Research Technician, Univ. of Chicago
  • Scientist, LogicInk Corporation

Graduate Programs

  • Analytical Chemistry, PhD

  • Atmospheric Sciences, PhD

  • Biochemistry, PhD

  • Biophysics, PhD

  • Chemical Physics, PhD

  • Chemistry, PhD

  • Inorganic Chemistry, PhD

  • Law, JD

  • Legal Studies, Masters

  • Materials Science, PhD

  • Medicine, DDS, MD

  • Neurobiology and Neurophysics, PhD

  • Nursing, Masters

  • Organic Chemistry, PhD

  • Pharmacology, PhD

  • Pharmacy, PharmD

  • Physical & Theoretical Chem., PhD

  • Toxicology, PhD

Examples gathered from the First Destination Survey of recent Berkeley graduates.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Cal Day

Come to Berkeley’s annual Open House in April for information sessions, campus tours, special talks, and more.

Golden Bear Orientation

Join your peers in the campus-wide UC Berkeley orientation program for all new students.


Attend department events with students, staff, and faculty. Visit for news and updates.


Chemistry undergraduate student services is located at 121 Gilman Hall and are available to assist with schedule planning, course enrollment, study abroad, and other academic matters. 

Faculty mentors are available to talk with you about career planning, research, internships, graduate school, and many other questions related to becoming a scientist.

How to Use this Map

Use this map to help plan and guide your experience at UC Berkeley, including academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities. Everyone’s Berkeley experience is different and activities in this map are suggestions. Always consult with your advisors whenever possible for new opportunities and updates.