Learn Chemistry Alongside UC Berkeley Students

Each semester, you'll take a total of 12–15 academic units in either the computational chemistry or chemical biology track. You will also take a Chemistry Visiting Scholars Experiential course (1 unit) that highlights the program's enhancements. You may be able to take electives from the main campus if approved by the College of Chemistry and program adviser.

Additional units may be taken with the pre-approval of the College of Chemistry.

To earn the certificate*, you must:

  • Complete two semesters and earn the required academic units; students interested in completing one semester will only earn a transcript.
  • Successfully complete all course requirements with a grade of C– or better.
  • Achieve a final program Grade Point Average of 2.0 or higher based on all courses taken at the University of California.

Transfer Courses!

Earn units that can transfer to your home university.

Units earned in this program can be transferred back to your home university, or help prepare you for graduate and professional schools. Learn more about transfer credits.

What do the letters and numbers mean in a course title? How will this help me transfer units? Read about our course letters and numbers.

Prepare for Graduate School

When you take these courses, you are well-prepared to apply for a graduate program of your choice—including gaining an advantage in the application process to UC Berkeley's Master of Molecular Science and Software Engineering program.


Prerequisite: We recommend that you complete the Physical Chemistry course prior to enrolling in this program in order to obtain in-depth knowledge in Chemical Biology or Computational Chemistry. If you have not already completed this course, you will take this class during your first semester in Berkeley.

Note: Courses are subject to change; individual classes may not be available during both semesters.

Chemical Biology Track: Choose 2-3 Courses

This Chemical Biology track highlights organic chemistry, quantitative thermodynamics and kinetics, which are necessary to understand the logic of biological systems. This set of courses is perfect if you are interested in a career as a professional chemist, or in the biological sciences (biomedical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries).

Inorganic Chemistry in Living Systems

CHEM 103 (3 units)

Study the basic principles of metal ions and coordination chemistry and apply them to the study of biological systems.

Instrumental Methods in Analytical Chemistry

CHEM 105 (4 units)

Learn about the principles, instrumentation and analytical applications of atomic spectroscopies, mass spectrometry, separations, electrochemistry and micro-characterization. Join discussions on instrument design and capabilities, as well as real-world problem-solving with an emphasis on bioanalytical, environmental and forensic applications. Participate in hands-on laboratory work by using modern instrumentation, with an emphasis on independent projects that involve real-life samples and problem-solving.

General Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory

CHEM C110L (4 units)

Gain experimental techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. This course is designed to accompany the lectures in Molecular and Cell Biology 100B and 110.

Chemical Biology

CHEM 135 (3 units)

This introduction to biochemistry course is best suited for chemistry and chemical biology majors.

Biochemical Engineering Laboratory

CHEM C170L (3 units)

Gain laboratory techniques for the cultivation of microorganisms in batch and continuous reactions. Learn about enzymatic conversion processes and the recovery of biological products.

Chemical Biology I: Structure, Synthesis and Function of Biomolecules

CHEM C271A (1 unit)

Learn about the structure of proteins, nucleic acids and oligosaccharides from the perspective of organic chemistry. You will use modern methods for the synthesis and purification of these molecules.

Chemical Biology II: Enzyme Reaction Mechanisms

CHEM C271B (1 unit)

Focus on the principles of enzyme catalysis. Start with an introduction of the general concepts of enzyme catalysis. Then, study detailed examples that examine the chemistry behind the reactions and the three-dimensional structures that carry out the transformations.

Chemical Biology III: Contemporary Topics in Chemical Biology

CHEM C271C (1 unit)

Build on the principles learned in Chemical Biology I and II. Focus on case studies in which rigorous chemical approaches have been brought to bear on biological questions. Study potential subject areas such as signal transduction, photosynthesis, immunology, virology and cancer. For each topic, the appropriate bioanalytical techniques will be emphasized.

Chemistry Visiting Scholars Experiential

(1 unit)

Get additional support for your academic success and professional growth in the field of chemistry. You will have opportunities to network and connect with Berkeley leaders in STEM and at San Francisco Bay Area companies and research hubs/labs.

Computational Chemistry Track: Choose 2–3 Courses

Through the lens of chemistry, this track will train you in data science and computational science so that you have the tools to prepare for multidisciplinary research and study in the fields of molecular science, high-performance computing, software engineering and big data analytics.

Introduction to Computational Chemistry

CHEM 121 (3 units)

Learn how we use computers to solve modern problems in physical chemistry. Focus on methods of electronic structure theory to understand details of molecular structure and energetics. Then, study simulation methods that explore fluctuations and dynamics of complex systems that comprise many molecules. You will use MATLAB to implement these numerical approaches for illustrative problems. No prior programming experience is required.

Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy

CHEM 122 (3 units)

Learn about postulates and methods of quantum mechanics and group theory as they are applied to molecular structure and spectra.

Quantum Information Science and Technology

CHEM C191 (3 units)

This multidisciplinary course gives you an introduction to fundamental, conceptual aspects of quantum mechanics from a computational and informational theoretic perspective, as well as physical implementations and technological applications of quantum information science. Learn about basic sections of quantum algorithms, complexity and cryptography, as well as pertinent physical realizations from nanoscale science and engineering.

Introduction to Chemical Process Analysis

CHEM ENG 140 (4 units)

Learn about material and energy balances as applied to chemical process systems. To do such calculations, you will determine the thermodynamic properties needed. You also study sources of data and calculation procedures.

Computational Methods in Chemical Engineering

CHEM ENG 143 (4 units)

Learn about the methodologies used in setting up mathematical models of simple chemical processes and operations, and the numerical techniques used to simulate them. You also study the techniques to obtain physical properties of mixtures/solutions using equations of state. This is followed by simple processes such as vapor liquid equilibrium; separation operations such as distillation; heat transfer; and chemical reactions in ideal reactors such as stirred tank and plug flow. You then model and simulate real chemical process equipment and processes using many of the techniques learned earlier in the class.

Chemistry Visiting Scholars Experiential

(1 unit)

Get additional support for your academic success and professional growth in the field of chemistry. You will have opportunities to network and connect with Berkeley leaders in STEM and at San Francisco Bay Area companies and research hubs/labs.

General Chemistry Courses (Available for Both Tracks)

Physical Chemistry

CHEM 120A (3 units)

Study the kinetic, potential and total energy of particles and the forces between them. You also learn about the principles of quantum theory, including one-electron and many-electron atoms, and its applications to chemical bonding, intermolecular interactions and elementary spectroscopy.

Physical Chemistry (Statistical Mechanics)

CHEM 120B (3 units)

Study statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, equilibrium and applications to chemical systems, such as states of matter, solutions and solvation, chemical kinetics, molecular dynamics and molecular transport.

Physical Chemistry Laboratory

CHEM 125 (3 units)

Take part in experiments in thermodynamics, kinetics, molecular structure and general physical chemistry.

Research for Advanced Undergraduates

CHEM H194 (2-6 units)

Pursue original research under the direction of one of our staff members (pending faculty permission). You must have a minimum 3.4 GPA to be considered.

Special Topics

CHEM 195 (3 units)

Special topics will be offered from time to time. Past examples include photochemical air pollution and computers in chemistry.

Special Laboratory Study

CHEM 196 (2-6 units)

Available for advanced undergraduates, take advantage of special laboratory work under the direction of one of our staff members (pending faculty permission).

* Berkeley Global is a part of UC Berkeley Extension. Your transcript, certificate and all visa documents will be issued by UC Berkeley Extension.

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