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Chemistry

Department Chair: Kate Graham 

Faculty: Anubendu Adhikary, Workalemahu Berhanu, Md Abul Fazal, Kate Graham, Henry Jakubowski, Brian Johnson, T. Nicholas Jones, Robert Kirkley, Edward McIntee, Anna McKenna, Alicia Peterson, Annette Raigoza, Chris Schaller, Carleen Schomer, OSB, Christen Strollo Gordon, Richard White

A degree in chemistry, in addition to being an excellent preparation for industrial employment, graduate study or secondary teaching, also prepares students to apply for further study in the areas of medicine, law, business administration, government service and agriculture science. To this end, the department offers a variety of introductory and advanced courses.

CHEM 125 is intended as an introductory chemistry course for all natural science majors.  It provides students with a comprehensive survey of chemical structure and ensuing chemical and physical properties that arise from structure.  CHEM 125, together with the separate lab course, CHEM 201, fulfills the Common Curriculum Natural Science requirement. Courses at the 200-300 level are intended for the students seeking a major degree in chemistry or biochemistry, or a minor degree in chemistry; they also serve as supporting courses for students majoring in biology, natural science, or nutrition science, and for pre-health profession students.

Starting in Spring 2014, students majoring in nutrition with a dietetics concentration will take CHEM 250.

The Chemistry major consists of one introductory course (4 credits), five foundation courses (4 credits each), four separate lab courses (0-1 credits each), one in-depth Integrated Lab Course (4 credits each), and a series of half-semester in-depth courses (2 credits each).

Assessment

Each year, the Chemistry Department assesses its overall program and its students in a number of ways. For example, several courses employ standardized final exams for which there are national norms. All chemistry majors are required to take a nationally-normed exam (CHEM XXX) in the spring of their senior year. In addition, senior majors are asked to complete an anonymous survey to probe the extent to which they believe the department meets its stated goals and objectives. Every 5-7 years, the department must be re-accredited by the American Chemical Society, and, at similar intervals, departmental alumni are polled to obtain their evaluation of the education they received in the department. All of this information is employed to improve our program and ensure that the educational opportunities we provide are the best possible. Based on our assessment program and new Common Curriculum requirements, we will continue to make changes in courses and requirements that will promote student learning.

Major

The Chemistry Department offers a single major in Chemistry with options for different concentrations and ACS certification.

  • For students enrolled in Fall 2011 and after, students can major in Chemistry without a specific concentration (any 3 half-semester in-depth courses required) or they can choose to take a concentration in Chemical Biology, Environmental Chemistry, or Industrial/Materials Chemistry (4 in-depth courses from specific list required).  Students with or without a concentration will be certified by the ACS if they take a total of six half-semester in-depth courses. 

In addition, an interdisciplinary biochemistry major is available (see Biochemistry major page).

Students who intend to pursue graduate work in chemistry and related fields, or those seeking immediate employment in chemical industry or government laboratories, should take sufficient courses to be certified by the ACS.  Students can choose a specific concentration (Chemical Biology, Environmental Chemistry, or Industrial/Materials Chemistry) that would prepare them for a study in graduate school or for a particular industry.  They could also choose no concentration but still be ACS-certified which will prepare them well for graduate school or industry. 

Students who have an interest in chemistry, but are not necessarily planning to continue their study of chemistry at the graduate level, could major in chemistry with or without a concentration (three in-depth courses) and without ACS certification. This option is recommended for those planning careers in any of the medical fields, secondary education, patent law, government service, environmental science, as well as management-level positions in the chemical industry. 

Concentrations will appear with the major on a student's transcript. The ACS certification will be noted below the major.

All majors must take the following chemistry courses:

  • Introductory Course:  CHEM 125;
  • Foundation 4 Credit Courses:  CHEM 250, 251, 252, 255 and 318
  • Foundation 0 or 1 Credit Lab Courses:  CHEM 201, 202, 203, and 205
  • In-depth Integrated Lab Course:  CHEM 305
  • CHEM 349, CHEM 360 or CHEM 398, CHEM XXX.

In addition, all majors must take the following support courses:

  • MATH 119, MATH 120; (MATH 124 or 239 recommended)
  • PHYS 105 or 191; PHYS 106 or 200.

Majors must take the following 300 level 2 credit in-depth courses depending on their choice of concentration and ACS Certification. 

No Concentration AND no ACS certification: Any 3 In-depth courses (CHEM 3XX,)

Chemical Biology Concentration AND no ACS certification: Chemical Biology (CHEM 347);   Three additional 2 credit in-depth classes taken from the following:  355 (Analysis of Biomolecules), 353 (Xeniobiotic Metabolism), 348A (Molecular Design-Organic), the following CHEM 3XX courses: 358 (Biomacromolecules), 352 (Signal Transduction and Neural Chemistry), and Medicinal Chemistry, and specified topic courses approved for the concentration (321-326); 361 (Insight into Mechanics) 363 (Structure Elucidation) and 364 (Medicinal Chemistry), and specified topic courses approved for the concentration (321-326); BIOL 318: Molecular Genetics  OR appropriate courses from other departments approved by the Chemistry Department may substitute for two credit in-depth course(s).  BIOL 121 and BIOL 221 are highly recommended for this concentration.

Environmental Chemistry AND no ACS certification: Climate and Habitat Change (CHEM 343); Three additional 2 credit in-depth classes taken from the following:  CH344A (Environmental Chemistry A: Atmosphere), 344B (Environmental Chemistry B: Soil and Water), 354 (Sustainable Energy), 357 (Separation Science), 361 (Insight into Mechanisms), 363 (Structure Elucidation), 348B (Molecular Design Inorganic) and specified topic courses approved for the concentration (321-326); Appropriate courses from other departments approved by the Chemistry Department may substitute for CHEM 3XX course(s).

Materials/Industrial Chemistry AND no ACS certification:  CHEM 345 (Industrial and Engineering Processes) and 346 (Nanomaterials); Two additional 2 credit in-depth classes taken from the following: 343 (Climate and Habitat Change), 355 (Analysis of Biomaterials), 348B (Molecular Design Inorganic),   357 (Separation Science), 362 (Polymers) and specified topic courses approved for the concentration (321-326).  Appropriate courses from other departments approved by the Chemistry Department may substitute for CHEM 3XX course(s).

ACS Certification:

Students taking any of the options above (no concentration or any of the concentrations) can be certified by the ACS if they take a total of six, 2 credit in-depth courses and 4 credits of CHEM 360 (laboratory research). 

Total Number of Credits for the Chemistry Major (including support courses):

No Concentration: 52-57 without ACS Certification; 60-65 with ACS Certification

Chemical Biology, Environmental Chemistry, or Materials/Industrial Chemistry Concentrations: 56-61 credits w/o ACS; 60-65 with ACS Certification

Minor (24-28 credits)

The minor is recommended for those students whose major interests are in other academic areas, which can be strengthened by a concentration in chemistry.

Required Courses:

CHEM 125, three of the foundation labs CHEM 201, 202, 203 and 205, and 20 credits from chemistry courses numbered 250 or higher..

Courses (CHEM)