Chemistry & Biochemistry

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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Natural and Social Sciences

Biological Science room 336 | (323) 343-2300 (fax-(323) 343-6490)

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|Advisement Information||Suggested Course Sequences| |2-Year Course Offerings| |Requirements for Entering Students| |Graduation Requirements| |Special Programs|



EPT English Placement Test

This test is required for all entering undergraduates, with some exceptions (see catalog) such as a score of 470 or higher on the SAT verbal test or 25 or higher on the ACT English test. Eligibility for Engl 095, 096, and 101 is determined by the results of the EPT, which students must take before they register for any courses. The exam is usually given once per quarter. For exam dates and registration information contact the University Testing Center (Library South 1040C)

ELM Entry Level Mathematics Exam

This test is required for all entering undergraduates, with some exceptions (see catalog), such as a score of 560 or better on the math section of the SAT, a score of 24 or higher on the ACT math test, a score of 25 or higher on the Enhanced ACT math test, or completion of a college math course that satisfies the GE math requirement. The exam is usually offered once per quarter - see Schedule of Classes for the dates. The ELM must be taken before registering for any courses and may be taken at another CSU campus if their exams' dates are more convenient. An ELM workbook is available in the campus bookstore for about $7.00. See Testing Center (Library South 1040C) for further details.

Chemistry Placement Exam

A passing score on this test is required to enroll in Chem 101. The content of the exam is roughly 1/3 quantitative chemistry, 1/3 descriptive chemistry and 1/3 math. The exam is offered on a daily basis, with examination times beginning on the hour throughout the day in the Testing Center (Library South 1040C). The exam takes 45 minutes, and is graded immediately afterward to make the score -available to the student. The exam may be taken only once per quarter.

Mathematics Proficiency Exams

A passing score on these exams is required for registration in Math 206 (or a grade of C or better in Math 102 and 103 within the previous year). There are exit exams for Math 102 and 103. Students must pass both exams to qualify for calculus. There is no time limit lFormerly Chem 362 Biomedical Nficroanalysis for these exams, each of which consist of 15 multiple choice questions. The exams can be taken on demand, but there is a limit on how many times the tests may be repeated during the quarter. For details contact Testing Center, Library South 1040C. These screening exams can be taken before the ELM, but both are required prior to enrolling in math courses.

All new students must take a 2 unit course, Introduction to Higher Education, NSS 101, for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors during their first or second quarters. Effective Fall '99, all transfer students must take a similar upper division course, Transition to CSULA for NSS Majors, NSS 301. their first quarter.


     The following information is provided to help students plan their overall degree program, including components in the major and outside the major.

WPE Writing Proficiency Exam

Consult the current schedule and catalog for information on the WPE. Students must pass Engl 101 and 102 (or equivalent, e.g., 190 that is no longer offered) with a grade of C or better before attempting the WPE. It is recommended that this exam be taken as soon as possible after Engl 102. A passing score on the WPE is a prerequisite for Chem 360. Also, students must pass the WPE prior to completion of 135 quarter units. Transfer students who have completed 135 quarter units upon entrance must pass the WPE during their first quarter in residence here. The exam takes 90 minutes and involves writing an essay in response to a short prompt. Dates and times are listed in schedule of classes. Registration is accomplished by enrolling in UNIV 400 using the same process as for all other courses. A fee (ca. $15.00) must be paid along with registration fees. Detailed information about the WPE is available at the Testing Office, Library South 1040C.

GE (General Education) requirements

Effective Fall Quarter, 1998, new GE requirements have been adopted by the University. For new non-transfer students, these requirements are outlined in the Schedule of Classes and have probably been sent to you with your acceptance materials. For transfer students who have not missed registration at their college or university more than one semester or two quarters, consult your Evaluation of Transfer Credit form, which lists the transfer courses for which credit has been given, the courses each student must take and the student's GE catalogue date (if this date is prior to F98, the student is under the old requirements). For both the old and new programs, remember that English 102 is also a University requirement. Students must fulfill those requirements described in their catalog of record (for transfer students, see the above evaluation form for catalog of record). Under the old GE requirements, the mathematics and natural science components of the lower division GE program are fulfilled by courses required in the chemistry and biochemistry majors, except that chemistry majors need to take a biological science course with lab to complete their GE science requirement. This situation is the same with the new requirements. Also, while science majors only require 8 units in section B, they must take 12 unit in both sections C and D, The most important difference in the new GE program is that the basic subjects section of the GE program (ENGL 101, SPCH 150, PHIL 250, and MATH 102) must be completed within the first 45 units that are counted towards the student's baccalaureate degree. Another difference in the new GE program is that students now have to take two diversity courses from anywhere within blocks B, C, D or their upper division theme. Also, as before, a C- grade is not acceptable for English 102 and the basic subjects GE Courses (a C- is acceptable for all other GE courses so long as the average of all GE courses is 2.000 or better).

Upper Division Theme

A 12 unit theme must be completed after reaching upper division standing (i.e., after 90 units). Before taking any upper division theme course a student must complete the basic subject's part of the lower division GE requirements as well as one course each of the blocks B, C, D and E. See the Schedule of Classes for a description. Transfer students who are certified by a community college for their lower division GE, should consider choosing an upper division theme that contains diversity courses in two different theme subdivisions.

Language requirement

One year of German is recommended for the B.S. degree in Chemistry (since German no longer is given at this campus, one year of French can be an alternate); one year of French or German is recommended for the B.S. degree in Biochemistry; there is no language requirement for the B.A. degree in Chemistry.

Upper Division Electives in the Major

It is important that these courses be selected jointly by the student and his/her advisor before the student enrolls in any elective course. Electives taken without the consent of the student's advisor may, in some cases, not be allowed on the student's degree program.
  Upper Division Biology Electives for Biochem Majors. Courses in Biology for which no credit is allowed toward a Biology degree are not allowable as electives. Courses from other departments may be substituted for biology courses only with the approval of the Instructional Affairs Committee in consultation with a biochemisLry faculty member. Specifically, it is strongly recommended that all biology electives be taken from the courses below and that at least one course be taken from each of the following two groups:
    Genetics - Biol 340 General Genetics, Biol 416 Molecular Genetics, Biol 417 Gene Manipulation.

Physiology and Development - Biol 424 General Embryology, Biol 430/431 Plant Physiology, Biol 433/434 Animal Physiology, Biol 436 Neurophysiology, Biol 437 Advanced Cell Physiology.
The above courses are recommended because they complement the courses in the biochemistry major well. Other Biology courses may also be of special interest to certain students, and should be discussed with their advisor. Those students who have finished Biochemistry (Chem 431ABC) may, at the discretion of the instructor, be able to take the upper division biology electives listed above without having completed all the normal prerequisites. For example, it may be possible to take Biol 417 without taking Biol 380 first. It should also be noted that for some students, Chem 438 Bioinorganic Chemistry, may be taken instead of one of the above Biology Electives. If this substitution is made, the other two Biology Electives must include a Genetics course and a Physiology course.
  Upper Division Electives for Chemistry Majors: Only 3 units of Chem 499 may be used to satisfy the elective requirement of either the B.A. or B.S. degree in chemistry. Courses with an "N" suffix, such as Chem 380N, may not be used as electives.

General Degree Requirements

The General Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree include such factors as an overall 2.000 GPA, a grade of (C-) or higher in all courses required for the major, a GPA of 2.000 in the major and in the upper division units in the major, a minimum of 45 units taken at Cal State LA, a minimum of 60 upper division units, and several other sl2ecific requirements. The catalog contains a complete description of these general graduation requirements, along with the general education and major requirements. All of these requirements should be carefully examined, since failure to meet any one of them will delay graduation. For example, a B.A. student may not qualify for graduation if that student has fewer than the 60 upper division units required by the University, even though that student has met all GE and major requirements.

Filing for graduation

At least a year before graduation students should complete and submit, through the department office, their Official Program form for their degree. These forms are available in the Department Office. The program, which should be determined in conjunction with the student's advisor, lists all courses for the major that have been taken or which remain to be taken (including specific electives). A Bachelor's Degree Worksheet must also be completed. This worksheet shows how other specific graduation requirements, such as the upper division theme, have been met. In addition, students must complete a Graduation Application form and pay the pplication fees to the Cashier's Office. The student should make an appointment with the principal undergraduate advisor to check the program and GE status on-line. Then the Graduation Application, Bachelor's Degree Worksheet and major program must be submitted together through the Chemistry & Biochemistry Office for graduation during the filing period stated in the Schedule of Classes. (Open windows for filing are usually about six months prior to the quarter of graduation)

      The process of filing for graduation should be done in close cooperation with the student's advisor. After the Official Program form has been filed, any changes must be submitted on a change of program form, through the advisor. When filing for graduation it is important to check that all degree requirements will be fulfilled by the proposed graduation date, including lower division GE requirements, the upper division GE theme, major requirements, and the general requirements for the bachelor's degree.

Dual Majors

A dual major is possible so long as both degrees are of the same type (e.g., both B. A. or both B. S.). In order to initiate a dual major, the student must inform both departments in writing and copy the registrar. Clearly all requirements of both majors must be satisfied, however, the University also requires that the student complete a course or courses in both majors during the quarter that he/she plans to graduate.

Credential Requirements

Students interested in fulfilling requirements for a teaching credential should see Dr. Paulson in P. S. 703.
Phil 250 is the critical thinking course that the department recommends for this requirement. It is OK, however, if a student has already taken one of the other critical thinking courses such as SPCH 176 or POLS 155.

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