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Program Chemistry


BSc undergraduate program

Chemistry relates to nearly every aspect of our lives. It lies at the heart of some of world’s most advanced industries, for example, those focusing on pharmaceuticals, sustainable energy development, or even the food and beverage industry. The transdisciplinary Bachelor degree in Chemistry offers modules that include courses in nanomolecular science, organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry; it also equips students with the relevant knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and industrial priorities. Over the course of the three-year study program, you will take extensive laboratory courses and conduct your own research projects during your third year of study. Undergraduate students are also strongly encouraged to engage in research projects with graduate students as early as their first or second semester at Jacobs University.

Program Structure and Content

Structure Chemistry
Year 1
Take 3 CHOICE Modules, at least one free selection
Organic Chemistry
We begin by reestablishing atomic structure, and the importance of Lewis dot structures, resonance, valence-shell electron-pair repulsion, and valence-bond theory to give meaning to a covalent bond. Hybridization is then introduced to allow an accurate and predictive accounting of molecular shape. This foundation permits the introduction of: functional groups, conformation, chirality, acidity and basicity, and the basics of equilibria, thermodynamic, and kinetic phenomena. With these concepts in hand, we develop organic reactivity by examining the mechanistic pathways (arrow pushing) and chemical principles behind substitution, elimination, and addition reactions. Common reagents and functional group transformations are then learned in the context of the importance of their order and type (retrosynthetic analysis and strategy) for brevity in synthesis.
Inorganic Chemistry and Environmental Systems
The bifunctional module “Chemistry and Environmental Systems” provides an introduction to (inorganic) chemistry and to the anthropogenic impact on the natural (near-)surface environment of Earth. Two introductory lecture courses (“Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry” (focus on the elements of the PSE, molecular compounds derived from them, redox reactions) and “Earth and Environmental Systems” (focus on Geodynamics, Petrography, Soil Science, Oceanography, Hydrogeology, Geomorphology, and anthropogenic impact on the (near-)surface environment) are complemented by an on-campus laboratory course (Inorganic Chemistry Lab) and an off-campus field-lab (excursion) to develop fundamental practical skills.
Year 2
Take 3 CORE Modules, at least 2 from study program
Chemical Biotechnology
This module provides insight into how biotechnology impacts chemical production. The replacement of both chemical catalysts by enzymes and cells and of fossil resources by renewable raw materials are two aspects which are increasingly pushed by the chemical industry in order to achieve a more sustainable production of bulk and fine chemicals, building blocks for chemical industry as well as food ingredients, bioplastics, and biofuels. Using a number of commercially successful examples as well as current R&D efforts of chemical industry, the students will be introduced into the advantages and practice of implementing cells or enzymes for the production of industrially relevant products.
Moreover, the module describes the utilization of biomass and biomass waste streams as feedstock for production of the above mentioned compounds. The concept of biorefinery is also discussed.
Physical and Analytical Chemistry
Teaching physical principles and measurements to understand the properties of matter. The course Physical Chemistry introduces fundamental themodynamical principles, intermolecular forces, electrochemistry as well as underlying physical principle of chemical kinetics. The students will apply the course content to experiments on osmotic pressure, electrochemistry and optical instrumentation. The analytical chemistry part will provide an overview over the physical principles of spectroscopic and separation methods and their application in quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Materials Chemistry
The module gives information about inorganic materials and polymers, and about organic materials and polymers. Coordination compounds as basis of inorganic materials will be discussed. Methods for structure elucidation of polymeric and solid materials will be presented. Basic reactions to form these materials will be given. Industrially important materials and their preparation will be discussed. Examples of non-covalent interactions as basis for supramolecular chemistry are shown, and sensors based on the different technologies will be discussed. An introduction into surface and colloid chemistry forms part of the module.
Year 3
Take CAREER Modules, choose between World and Campus Track
World Track
5th Semester:
Program-specific Internship / study abroad
6th Semester:
Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
Program-specific Specialization Module
Exemplary course offering
Bioorganic Chemistry
Organometallic Chemistry
Supramolecular Chemistry
Structure and Mechanism
Advanced Organic Synthesis
Biotechnology: from Science to Business
Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods
Medicinal Chemistry
Biophysical Chemistry
Structural Methods in Nanoscale Science
Campus Track
5th and 6th Semester
Program-specific Project / Thesis Module
Program-specific Specialization Module (please see World Track for exemplary course offering)
Additional CORE Module
For further information, please see the program website: