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BSc in Chemistry

A holistic, modern, and liberal education in Chemistry


Chemistry is the science of matter and the transformations it can undergo. It embraces everything in the material world around us — the environment we live in, our bodies, the food we consume, the chips in our computers, the energy that makes the world function, and the lifesaving drugs that prolong our lives.

The key features of the holistic, modern, and liberal education in chemistry provided by our programme are:

Teaching students to think like chemists

The courses in the chemistry major have been designed in such a way that they teach students to think like chemists. We recognise that chemistry is more than just the properties of chemicals and that an understanding of how chemistry works is more important than knowledge of the facts of chemistry.

The core themes of our programme intend to reflect the way a chemical scientist thinks in the laboratory.

  1. Structure and Analysis: What is a substance made of?
  2. Synthesis and Reactivity: How do I make it and how do I change it?
  3. Model Development: How do I explain its behaviour and properties?

The core foundational courses are organised along these themes and integrate topics from all the subdisciplines of chemistry including physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.

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Emphasising research, observation, and experimentation skills

Chemical knowledge is created using careful experimental observation. We, thus, incorporate a strong experimental (and computational) component in every course that will teach students the art and science of observation and manipulation of materials.

Students will work in laboratories equipped with advanced spectroscopic, analytical and synthetic equipment early in their coursework. They will also be exposed to computational skills applied in chemistry research.

The early exposure to research and experimentation in courses and the optional honours research project will equip students with the capacity to be self-directed learners and excel in any future career path they choose — inside or outside the scientific research world.

Embedding context for a chemistry student in the 21st Century

Concepts in all the core courses and several electives will be taught in the context of frontier research areas such as life and medicine, environmental issues, novel energy sources, and functional materials by design.

Chemistry, however, cannot be divorced from the environmental and social consequences of its applications. A perspective on the way science and technology move out of the laboratory and intersect with society and the effect of man-made chemicals on the world is a part of the courses students take in the major.

Enabling a wide range of future options

There is no implicit assumption in the curriculum that the majority of students will pursue higher education in chemistry after graduation. A significant amount of flexibility is available to students in the form of electives, interdisciplinary studies and minors after the first two years of core courses to enable a range of future options including careers outside the sciences.

Advanced electives and a cutting-edge honours research programme in well-equipped laboratories will give students technical skills for higher education and academic research or employment in sectors such as pharmaceutical industries, chemical manufacturers, forensic science labs, plastic industries, and agrochemical industries.

The option of taking a minor in different subjects in the undergraduate programme with different skill-based training, such as Education, Media and Journalism, Data and Democracy, Sports and Fitness, Climate Studies, and Arts will prepare interested students for careers outside research, industry and academia. These careers can involve applications of scientific and chemical reasoning skills such as research for environmental organisations, science policy and advocacy, science journalism and writing, intellectual property law, and higher education in non-science degrees.


Our degree encourages you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning a variety of subjects across disciplines.


You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your degree to build all the tools you need for your three years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and a workshop in creative expressions.


We provide active academic assistance and ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of the academic programme to fulfil your aspirations.


We ensure that no student has to drop out of university because of financial trouble or social disadvantage. We provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Living on campus

We believe that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom. In living together, you can meet and encounter diverse people from different social and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Our campus has a range of activities from discussion groups to sports and clubs for our students and faculty to interact with each other and build meaningful relationships over their years of study.

Know more about the Bengaluru campus, here.

Know more about Azim Premji University at Bhopal, here.

Visit this page to learn more about our 4‑year Undergraduate Programmes. 

Course structure

There are 9 core courses in the first 5 semesters in the chemistry major which lay out the conceptual foundations, perspective and basic skills required for a strong understanding of chemistry. Core courses in mathematics and computing acknowledge the need for interdisciplinary conceptual foundations and modern skill sets. 

The elective skills courses in the third year in advanced chemical synthesis or chemical biology are not mandatory but highly recommended for students who wish to pursue higher education in chemistry or allied sciences. 

From the third year, chemistry courses offered as electives permit the student to choose and study a few specialised and exciting areas in chemistry depending on their interest. Students can choose courses which are planned along an indicative track of a specialised sub-discipline of chemistry such as Theoretical Chemistry or Materials Science or Synthetic Chemistry or choose from a range of different sub-disciplines to get wider exposure.

The fourth year of the chemistry programme gives students the options to do advanced specialised electives and a research honours project. 

The research honours pathway is designed to give qualified students an opportunity to engage with chemistry research more intensively. Students in this pathway complete an honours project in their final year for 12 credits. Through the project, students receive rigorous training in posing scientific questions, conceptualising testable hypotheses, conducting experiments, and documenting their results in the form of presentations and a thesis.

Please visit this page to learn more about our four-year programme.

The credit load mentioned is indicative and will vary according to the choice of courses and flexible credits a student opts for. The minimum academic credits required for graduation is 160.

The Common Curriculum will introduce students to the study of the themes and areas that emphasise and build critical and analytical abilities, and sensibilities for dialogue, reflection and cooperative learning. The Common Curriculum has three sub-components organised as below:

Foundations: Build capacity for critical thinking, reasoning and communication.

Understanding India: India’s history, society and possible futures

Creative Expressions: Explore music, visual art, theatre, dance, martial arts, yoga, pottery, sport, and other creative areas.

Core Courses (All courses compulsory)

  1. Chemicals in the Community
  2. Introduction to Chemical Thinking- I & II
  3. Mathematics and Computing – I & II
  4. Structure-Property Relationships in Chemistry
  5. Principles of Reactivity
  6. Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  7. Chemical Analysis and Spectroscopy

Elective Courses

1. Restricted Choice Electives
a. Inorganic Synthesis
b. Organic Synthesis
c. Methods in Chemical Biology
d. Introduction to Physics

2. General Electives
a. Drugs and Us
b. Immunology
c. Environmental Chemistry
d. Nanotechnology: Structure, Function and Applications
e. Polymers
f. Green Chemistry
g. Global Air Pollution
h. Data and Computation

3. Advanced Electives
a. Quantum Chemistry
b. Advanced Chemical Synthesis
c. Inorganic Chemistry in Living Systems
d. Advanced Biochemistry
e. Stereochemistry
f. Advanced Spectroscopy
g. Computational Chemistry
h. Solids and Surfaces

Students must be prepared for the world of work at the end of the programme should they choose to enter it. We aim to provide the required skills and competencies for this through a Minor featuring courses in an Occupational or Interdisciplinary theme. These sets of courses are aimed to provide both conceptual understanding and skills and tools that will allow students to contribute through work and further study.

Students can opt for a minor in any one of the indicative areas listed below:

  • Education
  • Media and Journalism
  • Data and Democracy
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Climate Studies
  • Arts

The selection of these indicative areas is based on the availability of courses and our evaluation of the student’s interests and academic needs. For each cohort, a final list of available courses will be announced at the end of their second semester.

Students can craft their own educational experience by selecting courses in the following ways:

  • Students will have the option to take additional courses in their Disciplinary major
  • Interdisciplinary minor that will enable them for their further higher studies or career pathways.

These courses could also be selected to enhance and broaden their

  • Language skills and Quantitative reasoning capacities/​programming skills
  • Understanding of themes outside their Major subject