American University of Beirut

Department of Chemistry

Chairperson:Patra, Digambara J.
Professors:Al-Ghoul, Mazen H.; Bouhadir, Kamal H.; El Rassy, Houssam T.; Ghaddar, Tarek H.; Ghauch, Antoine R.; Halaoui, Lara I.; Hasanayn, Faraj A.; Kaafarani, Bilal R.; Patra, Digambara J.; Sultan, Rabih F.
Associate Professors:Hmadeh, Mohamad A.; Karam, Pierre M.
Instructors:Abi Rafii, Randa A.; Deeb, Hana H.; Sadek, Samar A.​

BS in Chemistry

Mission Statement

The Chemistry Department provides liberal arts and professional education in chemistry. The undergraduate program at the department is dedicated to teaching, scholarship, research and creative endeavors. Through this program, the department delivers a strong theoretical course of study and practical training in the chemical sciences to assure the success of its students in graduate schools, professional schools and employment. Undergraduate students are able to explain the essential facts, principles and theories across the four major areas of chemistry, i.e. analytical, organic, inorganic and physical. In addition, they are strongly encouraged to be engaged in research in these aforementioned areas. The program also plays a central role in the education of students of other majors, including students of Medicine, Health Sciences, Engineering, and Agriculture.

Students accepted as chemistry majors must maintain an average of 2.3 or above in their first three terms in major courses in order to remain in the program. Students must complete the following minimum requirements: CHEM 201, CHEM 201L, CHEM 211, CHEM 212, CHEM 215, CHEM 216, CHEM 217, CHEM 218, CHEM 220, CHEM 225, CHEM 228, CHEM 229, and CHEM 230, at least two elective courses of the following five courses: CHEM 231, CHEM 232, CHEM 233, CHEM 234 and BIOL 220, in addition to MATH 201, MATH 202, and CMPS 209 or CMPS 201 or CMPS 203, PHYS 211 and PHYS 211L, 6 credits in the Societies and Individuals, and 12 credits in the Cultures and Histories. It is highly recommended that chemistry majors complete MATH 201 and MATH 202 before taking CHEM 217 and CHEM 218.

The 90-credit requirement for a BS degree in Chemistry is distributed as follows:

Degree Requirements

  • Major courses: 40 credits in Chemistry courses (33 credits as required courses, 6 credits as elective courses, and 1 credit as a seminar course)
  • Understanding the World courses: 4 credits of Physics
  • Quantitative Reasoning courses: 9 credits (6 credits in Math and 3 credits in CMPS)
  • University General Education requirements that include 6 credits in Understanding Communication - English, 3 credits in Understanding Communication - Arabic, 9 credits in Cultures and Histories , 3 credits in Human Values, and 6 credits in Societies and Individuals. At least one of the courses from Cultures and Histories or Human Values should be from the History of ideas: CHLA.
  • Elective courses: 10 credits in free electives
  • At least one course from your degree requirements (except Understanding Communication) should cover the theme of Social Inequalities (3 credits).

Freshman students who intend to major in chemistry should complete the following minimum requirements: CHEM 101, CHEM 101L, CHEM 102, CHEM 102L, MATH 101 and MATH 102, PHYS 101 and PHYS 101L.

Students who intend to minor in chemistry should complete the following requirements:

  • CHEM 201, one lab course from the following list (CHEM 201L, CHEM 203, CHEM 209 or CHEM 210) and a minimum of 12 credits from courses selected from at least three of the below four chemistry divisions:
    • Analytical: CHEM 215, CHEM 219, CHEM 234
    • Inorganic: CHEM 228, CHEM 229
    • Organic: CHEM 207, CHEM 208, CHEM 211, CHEM 212
    • Physical: CHEM 217, CHEM 218, PHYS 212, [CHEM 204 and MECH 310]
  • Typical choice of minors for different majors:
    • Biology: CHEM 201, CHEM 201L/210, CHEM 211, CHEM 212, CHEM 215, CHEM 228 (16/17 credits)
    • Physics: CHEM 201, CHEM 201L/209/210, PHYS 212, CHEM 215/217, CHEM 208/211/212/228 (16/17 credits)
    • Geology: CHEM 201, CHEM 201L/209, CHEM 208, CHEM 215, CHEM 228, CHEM 229 (16/17 credits)
    • Chemical Engineering: CHEM 201, CHEM 201L/209, CHEM 207, CHEM 219, CHEM (204 and MECH 310) (16/17 credits)
  • For a premedical chemistry student, the core premedical chemistry courses are: CHEM 101 + CHEM 101L (or equivalent), CHEM 201, CHEM 211, CHEM 212, and CHEM 225. The biology premedical courses are BIOL 101 (or equivalent) and BIOL 200 or BIOL 201. The physics requirements for a premedical chemistry student are PHYS 211 and PHYS 211L.
  • The premedical chemistry core courses for non-chemistry major premedical students are: CHEM 101 + CHEM 101L (or equivalent), CHEM 201, CHEM 210, CHEM 211, and CHEM 212.

Course Descriptions

37 Credits in Chemistry

Modes of Analysis Understanding Communication - English and Arabic (9) Cultures and Histories (9), Human Values (3) Societies and Individuals (6) Understanding the World (44-47), Quantitative Reasoning (9) Community-Engaged Learning (3)






Required Arabic course (3)

Required English courses: ENGL 203 (3), 204(3)

Required credits in the Cultures and Histories: 9 credits including History of Ideas and 3 credits Human Values Required (6)

Core: CHEM 201(3), 211(3), 212(3), 215(3), 217(3), 218(3), 228(3), 229(3)

Electives: CHEM 233(3), CHEM 234(3), BIOL 220(3)

Science courses (12): PHYS 211(3)

MATH 201(3), MATH 202(3), CMPS 209 or 201 or 203(3)

Required course (3)
Seminar (1)   CHEM 230(1) 




Computer Science (3):

CMPS 209 or 201 or 203(3)

Chemistry courses (9–15)

Core: CHEM 201L(1), CHEM 216(2), 220(3), 225(3)

Electives2: CHEM 231(3), 232(3)

Science courses (1): PHYS 211L



Project (0 or 3)

   CHEM 299(3)  

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