This department offers 4 current majors: Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Chemistry, and Chemistry-Materials Science. These majors are complex subjects that require a strong background in math, physics, and biology. For any of these majors, you will be required to take a series of rigorous preparation courses to aid you in your understanding of the various chemical fields. The organization of the curriculum will allow you to begin taking chemistry courses, along with other preparation courses, during your first quarters at UCLA.
Note: The Undergraduate Office is currently working on a hybrid schedule. The most reliable method of communication is through email; please be sure to include your full name and UID, and allow for up to 2 business days to receive a response. Advising is by appointment only and can be set up by email or through MyUCLA under Academics – Appointments.
Please check this page for up-to-date advising options. Additional options may be rolled out in the future.
Concentrations and Computing Specialization
The 14 series is designed for life science majors. It covers general and organic chemistry, but in fewer (NOT easier) courses. The classes show how chemistry relates to biology and how it can be applied specifically for life science majors. The 20/30 series is geared for physical science and engineering majors, but it is the series that is equivalent to general and organic chemistry at most other schools. While physical science and engineering requires the 20 series, life science majors will accept either series for credit. Both series also count for credit toward professional health schools, but if the 14 series is used it must be taken as a whole at UCLA.
If students are unsure which major they would like to declare, they can start on one course, and then move to the other sequence. Please refer to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to determine which course to switch/take next.
If a student receives a 4 or a 5 on their AP Chemistry test, they can choose to pass out of Chemistry 20A and go directly to 20B. If a student wants to do this, the student can email our office (email@example.com) and we will override the prerequisite restriction for Chemistry 20B. Even with a high score, the computer will not automatically give exemption because medical schools do not recognize AP credit as part of their requirements; therefore pre-med students SHOULD take Chemistry 20A at UCLA. Students do not have the option of passing out of 14A and must continue in the 20 series if they elect to pass out of 20A. We do not recommend opting-out of 20A for students who intend to continue with chemistry courses to ensure that students have a strong foundation in their general chemistry knowledge.
Biochemistry majors are allowed to take 14A and 14B, but they are expected to take 20L (NOT 14BL) for the general chemistry lab. Biochemistry students should then transition to the 30 series for organic chemistry; they cannot take 14C and 14D.
Undergraduates can enroll in most graduate-level classes with permission from the instructor. If the computer lets the student enroll through MyUCLA, there is no restriction, but the student should contact the instructor to let them know he/she has enrolled in their course and is an undergraduate. If students cannot enroll through MyUCLA, they should contact the instructor and if permission is given, students should forward proof (an instructor’s e-mail giving permission to enroll in the course) to the Undergraduate Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive enrollment assistance.
Chemistry 17 is designed as a foundational introductory course for students who have either never taken Chemistry before or have not taken it for many years.
If you transfer in coursework that does not translate directly as a UCLA class, you may have to petition in order to get credit for it. For GE coursework and college requirements, you can petition at your college counseling unit (CAC, AAP, Honors, Athletics). For Chemistry classes, please email a syllabus of the course(s) you took at the other school(s) to the Undergraduate Office (email@example.com) and we will have its course content evaluated for credit by our professors. Whatever credit the professor determines you should receive will be reported to you in writing. All necessary changes to your DAR must go through your major department. To petition credit in other subjects, students must go to those specific departments.
You can take classes at other institutions but you must make sure that the courses are equivalent to the classes at UCLA by speaking to the Undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry department (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also check for equivalency by using transferology.com. Additionally, you should be aware that there are rules about taking classes elsewhere:
Students will not receive credit for coursework completed at another institution while simultaneously enrolled at UCLA as a regular session student (excludes summer school). This policy includes Extension classes.
Students may receive course credit for courses taken at other UC campuses, other four-year institutions and community colleges provided that the courses are deemed equivalent.
Students who have completed 105 units or more will not receive unit credit for classes taken at a community college, but the classes will still satisfy specific requirements (major, GE, etc) if they have been deemed equivalent.
35 of the last 45 units must be completed by each candidate for the Bachelor’s degree must be earned in residence in the College of Letters & Science on this campus.
A minimum of 24 upper division units must be completed in the major while in residence at UCLA. Note, some departments may ask for more than 24 upper division units in residence (example: Sociology requires 28 upper division units). There is NO College residence requirements for minors (beyond the 20 uniquely applied units), however, a few departments and Schools include residence requirements in the outline for their minors (examples: English and Accounting).
We are requiring students to take the Chemistry Diagnostic Exam for the current school year. Please complete the diagnostic test before enrolling into Chem 17, 20A, or 14A. You can find the exam here: https://ccle.ucla.edu/course/view/chemdiag
Contact the undergraduate office (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
Historically, these are classes where many students drop in the last few weeks of the course, which can be very difficult for professors and other students in the class. Many of the chemistry and biochemistry courses have recently been designated as impacted. Impacted courses may NOT be dropped after the second week of class (except under an extraordinary circumstance, and even then it must be approved by petition). The following courses in the department ARE impacted:
Chem 14BL, 14CL, 20L, 30A, 30AL, 30B, 30BL, 30C, 30CL, 110A, 114(H), 136, 144, 153A, 153B(H), 153C, 153L, 154, 174, 184, 185.
The best place to start is your Degree Progress/Audit Report, found on MyUCLA, which lets you see what requirements you still need to fulfill.
If you are a current major in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department and would like academic advising then you can make an appointment via MyUCLA by going to Academics-> Appointments -> Create an Appointment -> Select our department and an available time. If you are not a major in the department and would like advising then you should email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask your question or schedule an advising appointment. All advising is by appointment only. Make sure to include your UID with all inquiries.
For L&S requirements, including GEs, students should visit their college counselor in UCLA College Academic Counseling, Honors, AAP, or Athletics. If you want to find information on specific courses or course content, please stop by the Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Office atThe best place to start is your Degree Progress/Audit Report, found on MyUCLA, which lets you see what requirements you still need to fulfill. If you would like academic advising about Chemistry and Biochemistry courses or major classes, you should email email@example.com to ask your question or schedule an advising appointment. All advising is by appointment only. Make sure to include your UID.
For L&S requirements, including GEs, students should visit their college counselor in UCLA College Academic Counseling, Honors, AAP, or Athletics. If you want to find information on specific courses or course content. Please email by the Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to declare/change to be a Biochemistry, Chemistry, General Chemistry, or Chemistry-Materials Science major, you need to email email@example.com. You can speak to a counselor about your decision to change and fill out a petition to change majors. From there, your transcript will be evaluated for GPA (must be over 2.0), to see the grades in the major classes you have taken, and to make sure you can complete the major within your unit maximum at UCLA (typically 216 + AP units). They also check for holds and probation status on your records. If admitted, you will be notified by email.
The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department does not have a pre-major. If you switch to our department, you are fully a part of that major as soon as you are admitted.
There is no minor in Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Materials Science. However, we do offer a computing specialization for students that are majoring in Chemistry or Biochemistry.
If you have taken the prerequisites for the class at a different school, this will happen because MyUCLA has a difficult time recognizing courses that are not specifically UCLA coursework. If this happens or you are not allowed to enroll for another reason, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, student ID number, the course name, and the 9-digit course ID number, as well as an explanation of the error you are experiencing.
MyUCLA will not allow you to enroll in a class where you have not first met the pre-requisites. You will only be able to enroll through our office by forwarding email confirmation from the instructor that he/she knows you have not completed the pre-requisites and is still allowing you admission into the class to email@example.com, including your UID. Note that this does not mean that you will be guaranteed a spot in the course if it fills up before your enrollment pass. We do not recommend that students try to do this as it is difficult to do well in courses where one is not fully prepared. Additionally, professors rarely will waive pre-requisites simply because a student needs the class to graduate.
Our waitlists are fairly realistic, so most people who are waitlisted have a good chance of getting into the class. There is no guarantee, but if students want to know their chances, the only option would be to contact the professor of the course after the quarter has begun. In addition, students should check the status of the class regularly until classes start and be sure to attend class on the first day, even if they are not on the waiting list. Most of the time, it simply depends on how much physical room (chairs and workspace) there is in the class.
These classes are typically upper division lab classes (114, 136, 144, 154, 174, 184, 185) where enrollment priority is given to graduating seniors. Sign up for the waiting list and then show up to class on the first day. The professor will give enrollment spots to graduating seniors first and then fill up the remaining spots with others on the waitlist. Even if your name is on the waitlist, you must show up on the first day of classes or your spot will be given to someone else.
If you need to drop a class anytime up until Friday of the second week of school, you can do so over MyUCLA with no restrictions, notations, or fees. After the first 2 weeks, students must petition with their college counseling unit (CAC, AAP, Honors, Athletics) to drop impacted classes. Those are rarely approved except when students are facing extraordinary circumstances and have physical proof. Students have until Friday of the 4th week of classes to drop other classes with no notation, but after 2nd week, there is a fee charged. After 4th week, students need to get a petition from their counseling unit in order to drop any classes. If approved, students will pay a fee and a notation of the week the class was dropped will appear on the transcript. All fees are charged to students’ BAR accounts.
This is called a “withdrawal”. If students have an emergency situation (hospitalization, death in family, etc.) where they know they will not be able to finish up their classes or will not be able to catch up in their coursework, students have the option of dropping all of their classes for the quarter if they are in good academic standing. A student may withdraw at any time during the quarter PRIOR TO TAKING THE FINAL EXAMS. Withdrawals require all the student’s professors to sign a petition, which then must be approved by the College of Letters and Science (A-316 Murphy). The withdrawal is noted on the student’s transcript, although there is no indication of the courses in which he/she was enrolled. Withdrawing from a quarter can affect financial aid, athletics, and on-campus housing status, so students should check with these departments before dropping classes.
All professional schools are different, so students should check the requirements for each school individually to make sure they are taking the correct classes to qualify for admissions. However, there are some standard science requirements that students usually need (1 year of general chem., 1 year of organic chem., 1 year of biology, 1 year of physics, 1 year of math, 1 course in biochemistry). The requirements for the Biochemistry major do cover most science requirements for medical school (NOT statistics), but students should always double-check individually with each school they are applying to. Please refer to the Career Center Website and the College Academic Counseling Pre-Health Requirement sheet for more detailed information on pre-med requirements
General information about graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry and related fields is available in the Undergraduate Office. The Career Center also has a huge library of books about graduate schools and specific programs. For specific questions about graduate studies at UCLA, you can speak to a counselor in the Graduate Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Departmental Scholars Program (DSP) is designed for exceptionally promising undergraduate students. The program allows undergraduate students to earn their Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in chemistry or biochemistry simultaneously. Students can apply for DSP in the Fall of their senior year, and are expected to already be doing research in a lab when they apply. Students will continue to do research during the year of their Master’s program. For more information, contact the Chemistry/Biochemistry Graduate Office (email@example.com).
Cheating will result in disciplinary action taken against you by the Dean of Students Office. Cheating includes, but is not limited to: copying (or permitting copying) from notes or from another student’s exam; plagiarizing on laboratory reports or from scientific papers; altering an exam or lab report before resubmitting for a grade. Presenting false medical excuses for missing exams is also grounds for disciplinary action. The consequences of cheating include dismissal from the University.
At the end of each course, you will be given the opportunity to evaluate professors and teaching assistants. Those being evaluated take the comments seriously, so please provide honest evaluations that will help enhance their teaching and the course. If you need to make an immediate complaint and have already spoken with the instructor personally, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org.