About the Department

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at CSUSB is comprised of twelve permanent full-time faculty, four full-time staff, and approximately 10-12 part-time temporary lecturers. Chemistry majors may choose from four degree programs: B.S. in Chemistry (ACS-certified option), B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Chemistry (Biochemistry option), and B.A. in Chemistry (Biochemistry option). In the 2014/2015 academic year, there were 338 chemistry majors and 38 graduated, 19 of which were biochemistry majors and 6 were ACS-certified.  The department also co-hosts an M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences program with the Department of Geological Sciences. 

The Department prides itself on the quality of the instruction it provides and the personal attention given to its students. Class sizes are deliberately kept to a moderate size, so students can better interact with the instructor. General chemistry lecture classes are capped at 96, while upper division classes are anywhere between 10-72 students.  Laboratory classes are typically 24 for general chemistry, and 16-20 or less for most upper division classes.  The upper division labs are mostly taught by permanent faculty, and the lower division laboratories are mostly taught by the part-time lecturers and a few teaching associates from the MSEES program.  Good advice is considered a key aspect to academic progress at CSUSB, and chemistry faculty advisors are available for consultation. Each student majoring in chemistry or biochemistry will be required to see an advisor at least once each year to ensure they are on track for graduation.

In addition to taking the usual complement of coursework, students may also carry out independent research projects in association with one of the faculty members. Results of such research are often reported at professional meetings such as the various American Chemical Society meetings, the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, or published in the chemical literature. A summary of the faculties' teaching and research areas can be found on their brief bio links from the Faculty & Staff page.

The department also has a student Chemistry Club. Typical activities include organizing community outreach programs, visits to local chemical companies, as well as promoting chemistry here on campus and offering free tutoring in the chemistry building. Visit the Chemistry Club web page for more information.

The Chemical Sciences building was built in 2005.  This facility has eight chemistry instructional laboratories, eleven project laboratories for faculty/student research, five instrumentation labs, a computer lab, and a stockroom suite with a satellite support lab.  Five modern classrooms of various size are in the building and almost all chemistry courses are taught there. 

The department's scientific equipment is listed here Major Equipment.  This equipment is used extensively by students in undergraduate classes, as well as by students and faculty involved in research.  Major instrumentation includes a JEOL 400 MHz NMR spectrometer, three FTIR spectrometers, four GC's, two GC/MS's, one fluorometer, multiple UV-Vis spectrometers, two HPLC's, two ion chromatographs, two atomic absorption spectrometers, a flow-injection analysis platform, DNA-protein concentrator, FPLC and a capillary electrophoresis unit, an automated fluorescence/absorbance microplate reader, and numerous small pieces of equipment.

The computer lab hosts a 14-workstation networked computer laboratory with software to support chemical calculation, communication, and molecular modeling throughout the curriculum. All chemistry majors have use of the facility for their coursework.

Our chemical stockroom under the direction of two full-time instructional support technicians, employs undergraduate assistants (work-study students) to support the approximately 50 laboratory sections per week in the department. The stockroom maintains a supply of glassware, equipment and chemicals to support the teaching laboratories.