1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math majors?

  1. Jan 9, 2012 #1
    Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math majors? At my university (UC Davis), they do. I'm wondering if it is the same at your university or at most universities. I'm wondering because I'm considering majoring in Chemistry (switching out of Engineering), but in my school Biochemistry majors take a course called "short calculus", which is less rigorous than the math Engineering and Math majors have to take. At my university, Chemistry majors have to take the harder Calculus too. Does that mean Biochemistry is an easier major than is Chemistry majors? I'm aiming for Pharmacy school.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2012 #2
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    At my old university (UNC) Chem majors have to take calc 1-3 and linear algebra. Does that mean that Biochem is an easier major? I doubt it, but I will let others on here advise on that.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2012 #3
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    I'd imagine that biochem is a lot tougher than calculus. I'd take calculus any day of the week over memorising lots of generic biochem mechanisms.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2012 #4
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    I can't say much for chemistry majors and their math, but for engineering, the type of math you take can differ significantly depending on the school and on the engineering sub-discipline. For instance, my school requires its aerospace engineers to take basic calculus, ODE's, and an in-depth vector calculus course, plus a course that splices in some extra fourier/laplace transform material. An electrical engineer, on the other hand, does not need to take vector calculus but must take discrete mathematics. The other school I applied to requires its aerospace engineers to take a mathematical methods course in addition to the basic calculus sequence and ODE's, but not an extra course for vector calculus. Plus some schools require linear algebra for all its engineers.

    But frankly, I'd think less in terms of what's harder/not harder and more in terms of what will impress a pharmacy school admissions board. I know nothing about pharmacy admissions criteria, so I'll refrain from comment.

    Edit: Biochem majors at my school must take the basic calculus sequence and an upper-level math or computer science course (which could be ODE's if they wanted). Chem majors have the same requirement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  6. Jan 9, 2012 #5
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    Also, I would think that a thorough understanding of the biochemical processes would be a valuable skill set for a pharmd.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2012 #6

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    I don't know if it's changed since then, but when I was a student, all science majors took the same calc I and II classes. Chem majors continued with multivariable calc along with the math and engineering students, but bio and biochem didn't (then again, math and engineering students didn't take any bio classes...must have been too hard for them :wink:), and then only physics and math majors had to continue on to diff eqs. That was at Rutgers and chem majors had to follow a curriculum accredited by the ACS...that was also a lot of years ago.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2012 #7
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    At my school all engineers take calculus I-IV. Not entirely sure about the other Engineer disciplines, but EE's here take a class regarding differentials and Laplace transformation, as well as a Numerical Methods and Statistics course.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2012 #8
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    At my university, yes. The calc 1-3 classes are the same and the diff EQ and linear algebra are recommended. Quantum chemistry is a required course and if you go into it without at least diff EQ you will struggle. You really need to be good with matrix manipulation to master it.
     
  10. Jan 10, 2012 #9
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    But also at my uni, biology majors and up (up meaning further away from math/physics based science) take "life sciences" calculus. It basically covers integration and differentiation up to many dimensions but never mentions things like sequences and series. I hate the term Biomedical sciences because BMS majors take Orgo and Biochem and usually Inorganic and a few med school prereq biology classes instead of the hard chem classes or the hard bio classes necessary for a degree. Then the Uni markets the degree as being qualified along side a BS Chem/Bio for laboratory work when the majority of these kids have a favorite line "Ugh, why do I need to learn this? They're going to tell me everything I need to know in med school...med school...med school...blah blah blah"

    /rant
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  11. Jan 25, 2012 #10
    Re: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math maj

    haha so funny but so true. I agree with you!
     
  12. May 28, 2013 #11
    Some of the same math...

    I have a B.S. in chemistry and I was required to take up through differential equations. The reason being is that differential equations are used in physical chemistry courses. Biochem majors also need to take these classes. I think the main difference in math requirements is that some schools have an American Chemical Society based curriculum (what the ACS recommends) and some do not. Another college I had considered only required Calculus I-III.
    My husband went to the same university for mechanical engineering, and he took the same calculus classes I did, but the other calculus-based classes were different, like statics and thermodynamics.
    My advice would be to look around at different colleges and see what their requirements are because, surprisingly, many schools vary with their requirements.
    I would not say that biochemistry is easier than chemistry, but I think if your goal is to go into pharmacy, biochemistry is a great chemical emphasis for you to pursue. Best of luck to you! :)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Do Chemistry majors have to take the same calculus as do Engineering and Math majors?
Loading...