Undergraduate chemistry programs

There are six chemistry degree programs: Major, Honours, Medicinal Chemistry Major, Medicinal Chemistry Honours and Honours Co-op in Chemistry and Honours Co-op in Medicinal Chemistry. All of these programs have national accreditation under the Canadian Society for Chemistry. A Minor program is offered for students in other departments of the Faculty of Science and outside the Science Faculty who are interested in a coherent package of chemistry courses. Course details are available under the Bachelor of Science, chemistry option.

Students interested in pursuing graduate studies and performing research following their undergraduate degree are encouraged to pursue the Chemistry stream, while students interested in graduate studies or a career in a health-related field are encouraged to pursue the Medicinal Chemistry stream. Originally designed with a career in pharmacy in mind, the program has evolved to offer courses that will enhance a student’s experience as they prepare for any health-related career. However, the Medicinal Chemistry programs also provide all of the necessary preparation to follow a career in research, with several laboratory course options.

Undergraduate students in the Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry programs have several exciting opportunities available to them. Firstly, they are eligible for a co-op placement as soon as the summer following first-year. Our students have obtained local co-op placements, and positions as far away as Germany. The co-op programs are currently expanding and increasing numbers of students are enjoying these placements. Another option, unique to the department of chemistry at UNB, includes two independent research project courses. Students who express an interest in research, or who want to experience research in order to understand what it entails, and who meet the GPA requirements (minimum of 3.7 after first-year, or 3.0 after second and subsequent years) are able to take CHEM 2009, and then CHEM 3009. In these courses, they will spend a semester working closely with a research supervisor. These have become popular courses in both program streams.

UNB also offers 2 interdepartmental programs: Biology-Chemistry and Chemistry-Physics. Both programs are based on existing courses and are designed to meet the needs of students proceeding into an inter-disciplinary area or who wish to combine two areas of specialization. The programs are administered jointly by the two departments concerned and students are counseled in planning their programs by both departments.

Valid WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) certification is required for all students who wish to take CHEM laboratory courses. WHMIS certification workshops will be provided.

Students are encouraged to join the Undergraduate Chemistry Society. The society is active in academic matters, such as tutoring and UNB is hosting the annual ChemCon conference for undergraduate chemistry students in Atlantic Canada in May 2015. This is an exciting endeavor for both the undergraduate chemistry society and the members of the ChemCon executive. 


Students in science programs will take CHEM 1001 and CHEM 1006 in the Fall term, then CHEM 1012 and CHEM 1017 in the Winter term. CHEM 1001/1006/1012/1017 are required courses for the Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Biology, Biology-Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics programs. These CHEM courses are designed for students who have had a good high school chemistry course (Chemistry 122, 70% or better) and meet the other Bachelor of Science general admission requirements.

Students in non-science programs, including Engineering, Kinesiology, Forestry and Environmental Management may require introductory chemistry courses. Consult the appropriate program for courses requirements.

Students planning to take CHEM 1001 must possess some basic chemistry and math skills at the start of the course. Here is a list of review topics and a pre-CHEM 1001 Chemistry/Math self-test, to assess your skills. This self-test covers topics dealing with simple formulas, equations, stoichiometry and gas laws, solutions, as well as basic mathematical skills. The answers are found here.

Students who did not take high school chemistry or obtained a grade of less than 70% in Chemistry 122 can take CALS 4010 through the College of Extended Learning at UNB. This course is intended to be a university prep course and will be considered as a prerequisite for CHEM 1001.

Generally, course materials are available via Desire2Learn (for registered students) or on an instructor's individual web page. Consult the course instructor for details.