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Environmental Chemistry

Major in Environmental Chemistry

Note: The UBC Okanagan campus also offers a Major in Chemistry.

This program provides students with a core education in the four important areas of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, with specialization in environmental chemistry. Employment opportunities include positions with environmental consulting firms, environmental departments in industrial operations, analytical laboratories, and environmental regulatory agencies.

Students entering the Major in Environmental Chemistry program must complete Chemistry 11 (or equivalent) and Principles of Mathematics 12 or Pre-Calculus 12. Students are strongly advised to complete Chemistry 12.


First YearCredits
CHEM 111 or CHEM 121; and CHEM 113 or CHEM 1236
MATH 1003
One of MATH 101 or 1033
ENGL 1091, or two of ENGL 1121, 113, 1141, 150, 151, 153, 154, 155, 156, CORH 20326
PHYS 111 or 1123
PHYS 121 or 1223
BIOL 116, 125; or two of EESC 101, 111, 12136
Total Credits30


Second Year 
One of CHEM 201, 2103
CHEM 203, 2046
CHEM 2113
CHEM 2203
BIOL 116, 125; or two of EESC 101, 111, 12136
Arts elective43
Total Credits30


Third and Fourth Years 
CHEM 301, 3026
CHEM 3113
CHEM 3173
One of CHEM 330, 333, 4033
Two of CHEM 335, 336, 337, 3386
One of CHEM 412, 4343
CHEM 4613
EESC 3093
EESC 32353
EESC 42353
Two approved environmental electives4,66
Non-science electives49
Total Credits60
Minimum credits for degree120

1Credit will only be granted for one of ENGL 109, 112 OR 114.

2It is recommended students take CORH 203 to fulfill the English or Communications requirement.

3Students must complete BIOL 116, 125, and two of EESC 101, 111, 121. The order in which these pairs of courses are completed in first and second year is optional.

4At least 6 elective credits must be 300-level or higher. Students entering the B.Sc. in 2024 or later must complete at least 9 credits of non-science designated courses and 3 credits from INDG 100 or ENGL 114. Students who entered the B.Sc. prior to 2024 are required to complete 12 credits of non-science designated courses. These students are strongly encouraged to take INDG 100 or ENGL 114. 

5Students should be aware that these courses are generally offered only in alternate years, and plan their course selections accordingly.

6The environmental electives must be chosen from outside Chemistry, in consultation with a program advisor.

Students are encouraged to take courses offered in other disciplines that are relevant to the B.Sc. in Environmental Chemistry. Such courses often have prerequisites, so students should start planning their electives early in their degree program.

Environmental Chemistry Honours Program

The Honours in Environmental Chemistry is designed to provide an intensive program of study through coursework and research experience. Students who complete this program will have the ability to work independently and with a high level of competency. The course requirements are the same as in the Major in Environmental Chemistry program, except 6 credits of the elective component of the program must be in CHEM 449.

Admission Requirements

  • Fourth-year standing (minimum of 78 credits in the Environmental Chemistry Major).
  • Minimum grade average of 76% in all courses taken applicable to the Environmental Chemistry Major.
  • Enrolment in CHEM 449 with a research project and a research supervisor approved by the Chemistry Curriculum Committee.

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of the course requirements for the Major in Environmental Chemistry.
  • A minimum 76% graduating grade average (GGA).
  • CHEM 449 with a minimum grade of 76%. A written thesis, public poster presentation, and public thesis defence.


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