The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department is committed to rigorous and innovative curriculum that focuses on developing problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, and provides high quality education in chemistry and biochemistry. We encourage students to carry out high-quality research and are dedicated to producing well-prepared, successful, and highly diverse graduates.
The department values teaching and research as equal and essential components of the education of our students and seeks to integrate research with teaching at every possible opportunity in the curriculum.
Undergraduate Degree Programs
The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers 5 undergraduate degrees. The department offers both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs to meet the diverse career interests of students.
Biochemistry is the study of chemical phenomena and processes in living organisms. The focus is on the different types of molecules and chemical reactions that make life possible. Students apply their knowledge of chemistry to understand biomolecules and how chemical reactions are controlled and enhanced in biological systems.
Chemistry is the study of matter, its components, and their reactions. Chemistry connects the properties and behavior of individual atoms and molecules to how substances and solutions react and change both physically and chemically on the macroscopic scale. Students learn how to synthesize, detect, and analyze different types of matter.
B.S. Chemistry, Materials Science option
Materials Science is the study of modern materials, including nanomaterials and surface phenomena. It is interdisciplinary and focused on synthesizing and characterizing new materials with specialized properties.
Learn more about the undergraduate degree programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Graduate Degree Programs
The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers 2 graduate degree programs.
M.S. Biochemistry & M.S. Chemistry
We offer a strong program with a substantial emphasis on novel research and defense of a thesis. Our M.S. Biochemistry and Chemistry graduates often go on to Ph.D. and professional programs, while others pursue careers in industrial settings or teaching.
Learn more about the graduate degree programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Our faculty members actively engage graduate and undergraduate students in their research programs, creating a community of students excited by science. Students get to apply the knowledge learned in classes to current scientific problems.
Faculty research programs are supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and many other scientific funding agencies.
Led by Prof. Stephen Mezyk, the RadKem lab's major research interests involve using physical and analytical techniques to study free radical reactions in environmental chemistry, nuclear chemistry and (to a small extent) biochemistry. The lab is concerned with the experimental study of kinetics, energetics, and mechanisms of short-lived (transient) species such as ions, excited species and radicals in the aqueous and the gas phases. The primary focus is to study ways to remediate polluted water.
Led by Prof. Vas Narayanaswami, the Vas Lab involves investigating the role of apolipoprotein E (apoE) and apoAI in cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. The lab studies their role in relation to cholesterol transport, cellular efflux and uptake in the vascular and central nervous system, and, at the neurovascular junction. The Vas Lab employs a combination of biochemical, biophysical and cell biological approaches to study these issues, especially under conditions of oxidative stress under physiological and pathological states.
SPOTLIGHT: Keck Energy and Materials Research Program
The Keck Energy and Materials Research Program (KEMP) provides an exciting, cutting-edge, and research-driven educational experience for undergraduate students in the high impact science of energy-related materials. As an interdisciplinary venture by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and the Physics and Astronomy Department, KEMP expands infrastructure critical for energy-related materials research opportunities involving multiple faculty and students engaged in collaborative research. Professors Bu, Derakhshan, Shon, Tavassol, and Tian are all part of KEMP.
Learn more about faculty research in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society
The CSULB Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) is an on-campus organization that helps undergraduates reach their educational and career goals in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry. They offers field trips, community services, and outreach opportunities for their members to gain hands-on experiences in the chemical sciences. This organization is supported by faculty advisors in the department.
Learn more about the resources available to students in Chemistry and Biochemistry.