First Majors. The name and contact information for your advisor in the major can be found on DukeHub. Advisor assignments for new majors are made just prior to the advising for registration period each semester. Returning majors usually keep their same advisor, but in some cases a change may need to be made, for example if an advisor is on leave, so you should confirm your major advisor each semester prior to registration.  If you do not find the name of an advisor on DukeHub, please email the DUS office (dus@chem.duke.edu) immediately so that an advisor can be assigned prior to the registration period. If you need advising before an advisor is assigned, please make an appointment with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Roy (chris.roy@duke.edu) or the Director of Undergraduate Studies Dr. MacPhail (richard.macphail@duke.edu).

Second Majors. Second majors should make appointments with the advisor appointed to them in their first major and must get cleared to register by that advisor. Those needing advising concerning chemistry as their second major should make an appointment with Dr. Roy (chris.roy@duke.edu) or Dr. MacPhail (richard.macphail@duke.edu).

Advising And Registration Schedule

October 23, 2017

Bookbags and course synopses become available on DukeHub today.

Advising appointments. If you have not already been contacted by your advisor concerning an advising appointment, make an appointment for advising by signing up on the sheet posted on your advisor's office door, or by contacting your advisor by e-mail. Advisors who use signup sheets should have them posted on their office door by 9 AM on October 23. Appointments will usually be available weekdays during the period October 25 through November 7. Whenever possible, a major has been assigned to his/her previous advisor. Please check on DukeHub to be sure you know who your advisor is and the location of their office. New majors have been assigned to advisors who had openings in their groups. If a major wishes to change advisors for the next registration and has a good reason to do so, they should consult with Dr. Roy (chris.roy@duke.edu) in Suite 1219, room 1222 FFSC.

October 25 - November 7

Advising. Print a hard copy of your bookbag for your advisor and take it with you to your advising appointment. Your advisor will review your department Work Sheet with you to ascertain progress in your chemistry degree program. At the conclusion of your advising session, your advisor will need to clear you for registration by checking the appropriate box in your DukeHub record. Be sure your advisor does this or you will not be able to register. If you have questions concerning university requirements listed on your Advisement Report in DukeHub, please contact the DUS group, as described below.

DUS Group Advising. Majors who have questions and/or who are having difficulty arranging an appointment with their regular advisor should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (richard.macphail@duke.edu) or Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies (chris.roy@duke.edu) to schedule an advising appointment. 

November 2 - 13

Registration. Register using DukeHub when your registration window opens or any time thereafter until the end of registration, November 13.

Information for Course Planning.

Degrees and Concentrations

BS Degree. A BS degree is particularly recommended (but not absolutely required) for majors who plan to go to graduate school in chemistry or a related area and/or who plan to pursue immediate employment in the chemical industry.

BS Degree certified by the American Chemical Society. A BS degree certified by the American Chemical Society is recommended (but not absolutely required) for majors who plan to go directly into the chemical industry, or plan to go to graduate school in chemistry, or those who plan to pursue a MD/Ph.D degree. Certification offers little advantage for those going to graduate schools in areas other than chemistry or those who plan to pursue a MD degree, but not a Ph.D.

AB Degree. An AB degree is recommended for all others including those who plan to attend medical school.  An AB degree might also be appropriate for a student who wishes to focus their chemistry studies more narrowly in a particular area of chemistry (for example organic synthesis or theoretical chemistry) since the AB degree provides more freedom to take advanced electives than does the BS degree. Any student considering such a path through the major should seek counseling and advice early on to make sure their program of study involves a coherent set of courses, and one that is appropriate for their post-Duke plans. 

Concentrations. A concentration in biochemistry, pharmacology, chemical biology, or environmental chemistry is not required and should be pursued out of interest or in preparation for a related graduate program. 

Upper Level Courses

Physical Chemistry

The physical chemistry lecture courses Chem 301 and 310 are offered during fall semester and are usually taken during the junior year, whereas Chem 302 and 311 are offered during the spring semester. The laboratory course Chem 301L associated with Chem 301 is offered in spring semester only, whereas the laboratory courses Chem 310L and Chem 311L are offered the same semester as the associated lecture courses, e.g. fall and spring semesters, respectively. Enrollment limits at registration for physical chemistry laboratory sections are set lower than capacities so that we can accommodate special circumstances. First preference for enrollment will be given to graduating seniors, followed by junior Chemistry majors. Contact Dr. MacPhail with questions concerning these labs.

Analytical Chemistry

The Chem 401 analytical chemistry lecture course is offered fall semester and is usually taken in the senior year, whereas Chem 401L, the laboratory course associated with Chem 401, is offered both fall and spring semesters. Enrollment limits at registration for the laboratory sections are set lower than capacities so that we can accommodate special circumstances such as early graduation or multiple lab courses in a semester. First preference for enrollment in Chem 401L will be given to graduating seniors, followed by junior Chemistry majors. Contact Dr. MacPhail with questions concerning this lab.

Advanced Courses

Chem 410, inorganic chemistry, is usually taken the spring semester of the senior year, although it can also be taken in spring of the junior year. Chem 420L, advanced laboratory techniques, is usually taken concurrently with Chem 410 in the spring semester of the senior year. The lab is listed in DukeHub as meeting two afternoons per week. Most weeks, however, it will be possible to complete the laboratory work in just one afternoon.

Chem 500 - 699 are graduate courses that are also open to advanced undergraduates and are usually taken in the senior year. These courses are listed in DukeHub and registration is through DukeHub.

Biochem 301 is offered fall, spring and summer session, Term I by the department of Biochemistry. Taking Biochem 301 in the summer is an excellent way to lighten a fall course load for those who might otherwise need to take both physical chemistry and biochemistry.

Pharm 350 has been offered fall semester only, while Pharm 360 has been offered in spring semester only. Enrollments tend to be limited. Majors having difficulty in enrolling in either course can also consider Pharm 533 and/or Pharm 554 as replacement courses, with the permission of the DUS.  Note that both Pharm 533 and Pharm 554 are usually only offered in fall semester.  Students intending to take Pharm 360 should note that it is often offered at the same time as Chem 302, so students who intend to take both should plan carefully.

Special Notes

For Majors pursuing a Concentration in Environmental Chemistry:

The list of Environment and Civil Engineering courses required to complete the environmental chemistry concentration has been updated to reflect changes in the course offerings in those departments. Please see the Handbook for Majors for the updated list of course requirements.  ​

For Majors pursuing a Concentration in Biological Chemistry:

CHEM 517 “Molecules in Life and Disease”, which is normally offered in the fall semester, will instead be offered in spring 2018 during the 2017-2018 academic year.  For chemical biology concentrators who wish to take a course in fall 2017 before taking CHEM 518 “Chemical Biology” in spring 2018, we suggest taking CHEM 511, which we will allow to substitute for CHEM 517 in the chemical biology course requirements.  ​

Research Independent Study

First semester:

Majors who wish to begin independent study this semester should start by finding a research director and confirming with them their willingness to sponsor your independent study.  ​When you have found and confirmed your research director, complete the independent study form. Bring it to suite 1219, room 1217 of FFSC and give it to the DUS assistant, Mrs. Rosenthal, or to Dr. Roy in FFSC 1222.

If your independent study is in the chemistry department, Dr. Roy can give you a permission number for the appropriate section of Chem 393. You can then register for independent study using DukeHub.

If your independent study is outside the chemistry department, Dr. Roy will need to approve that the project is sufficiently chemical/molecular oriented to count toward chemistry major requirements and requirements for Graduation with Distinction in Chemistry. When the project has been approved, you need to obtain a permission number in order to register as follows.

  • if your research director has an independent study section listed in DukeHub, you must obtain from your research director the course number, section number, and a permission number for his/her independent study. You can then register for independent study using DukeHub.
  • if your research director does not have an independent study section listed in DukeHub, your approved research will need to be sponsored by Dr. Roy. Mrs. Rosenthal or Dr. Roy will give you a permission number for Dr. Roy's section of Chem 393. You can then register for independent study using DukeHub. As your sponsor, Dr. Roy will take care of the necessary paper work involved with registration, monitoring your progress during the semester, and turning in your grade at the end of the semester. Your research director (or designee) will supervise all of your day-to-day research activities. To fulfill the requirement that your sponsor monitor your progress, you will need to send to Dr. Roy brief progress reports on dates that he will set. At the end of the semester, your research director will assign and transmit your grade to Dr. Roy, who will then report the grade to the registrar.

Chem 295, Introduction to Independent Study, 0.5 cc, is open to all majors, but is required for majors who are enrolling in their first semester of independent study and who intend to pursue graduation with distinction in chemistry, or who intend to pursue a BS degree that is certified by ACS. Majors may take Chem 295 for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or regular letter grades depending on their needs. Those taking it for letter grades will also earn 0.5 cc toward the writing requirement (W). The writing component will focus on writing a research proposal and on writing progress reports for the major's project. The course is recommended for all majors.

Continuing semesters:

Download the independent study form. If you wish to continue an approved independent study with the same research director, complete the independent study form by writing no changes from first semester. If you are changing research directors or changing to a project that differs significantly from the one that has been approved, fill out the form in detail and request approval for the changes. Bring the form to suite 1219, room 1217 of FFSC and give it to the DUS assistant, Mrs. Rosenthal.  If your research is in the department, the appropriate course would be Chem 394, 493, or 494.  If your research is outside of the department, then please follow the registration procedure described above for the first semester of independent study.

Final semester:

Chem 496, Graduation with Distinction in Chemistry, 0.5 cc, graded or S/U, is required for students pursuing graduation with distinction in chemistry. Includes preparation of the research thesis, preparation and presentation of a poster on the research topic, and oral defense of the research thesis. Although writing in the discipline credit is not given for this course, majors may request a full W credit for their independent study as follows.

Requesting Writing Credit (W) for Independent Study. Writing-in-the-Disipline credit, W, for the final report for research independent study, may be requested only once and that should be your final semester of independent study when you actually write your research thesis. The procedure for W-credit for Independent Study is available here, including a link to the appropriate form.  Fill out the form, have your research mentor and DUS sign it, and deliver and submit the completed form to the Committee on Courses, 011 Allen Building PRIOR to the end of Drop/Add.

Independent Study Poster Presentation. All students who are using their independent study research to satisfy their degree requirements must present their results at a Chemistry Department poster session, which is held each spring.  This is most often done in the spring of the senior year.