Carnegie Mellon University

The faculty members of the Department of Chemistry have approved the following as a statement of our learning outcomes for recipients of an undergraduate degree in chemistry.

Upon graduation recipients of the BS or BA degree in Chemistry will:

  • Have foundational knowledge/theory of chemistry.
  • Have a firm foundation in the quantitative and computational thinking that underlies chemistry, including use of modern computational tools.
  • Have a firm foundation in the theories and models that form the basis for reasoning about molecular systems.
  • Understand how the different subdisciplines of chemistry relate to and complement one another.
  • Be able to apply chemical reasoning across disciplines, such as biology, environmental science, materials science, nanotechnology, and engineering.


  • Understand that chemistry is fundamentally an experimental science, and be able to identify or create an appropriate model, formulate a hypothesis, choose an appropriate set of tools and techniques, and design an experiment that tests the hypothesis and analyze the results from that experiment drawing sound scientific conclusions from the results obtained
  • Be proficient in the use of both classical and modern tools for analysis of chemical systems
  • Be able to design and carry out synthesis of both organic and inorganic systems
  • Be able to use experience and knowledge gained through theoretical and practical design projects to conduct further research
  • Know and follow the proper procedures and regulations for safe handling and use of chemicals and chemical equipment


  • Be able to convey information, both orally and in writing, to a range of audience levels and for a variety of purposes.
  • Understand how scientific information is shared between peers in modern science, including responsible conduct for acknowledging prior and current contributions
  • Be able to locate, identify, understand and critically evaluate the chemical literature
  • Have developed the interpersonal skills to function cooperatively in a team setting

Society and ethics

  • Understand the opportunities and consequences of chemistry for the environment and society for both the short term and for long-term sustainability
  • Understand and apply ethics and values to all professional activities

Professional development

  • Have developed an understanding of career opportunities both within and outside of chemistry, including through contacts with faculty, the career center and alumni
  • Feel prepared to pursue a life and career that builds on their experiences at Carnegie Mellon to achieve their personal goals and to contribute positively to society