The curriculum begins with a one-semester introduction to the field, followed by two semesters of organic chemistry. For the fourth semester, students choose between two courses, inorganic chemistry and materials or biological chemistry, depending upon their goals and interests. In the third year, students take physical chemistry, along with an integrated laboratory course that serves as an introduction to research. Upper-level courses for juniors and seniors are offered in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry. The cornerstone of the senior year is the senior thesis, whereby students conduct research under the direction of a faculty mentor.
For the Class of 2018, a concentration in chemistry consists of eight courses: 120 or 125; 190; 255; 265 or 270; 321 or 322; 371; one additional 300- or 400-level course; and 551. For the Class of 2019, a concentration in chemistry consists of nine courses: 120 or 125; 190; 255; 265 or 270; 321 or 322; 325; 371; one additional 300- or 400-level course; and 551. For the Class of 2020 and beyond, a concentration in chemistry consists of ten courses: 120 or 125; 190; 255; 265 or 270; 321 or 322; 325; 371; 3xx; one additional 300- or 400-level course; and 551. In addition, calculus through Math 116 and two semesters of physics (calculus-based physics recommended) are prerequisites for 321 and 322. Students who are considering a concentration in chemistry are strongly encouraged to enroll in 120 or 125 in their first semester.
We believe that our students need to be aware how historical contributions of underrepresented groups in science illuminate inequalities of opportunity to contribute to science and technology, that a diversity of perspectives are crucial to science when dealing with complex problems, that the impact of science is both local and global, and that science policy decisions are made in the real world in which biases might be hidden. Beginning with the Class of 2020 concentrators may satisfy the Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies requirement by completing 3XX in either their junior or senior year.
Students who plan to pursue graduate work or employment in chemistry or a related science are encouraged to satisfy the requirements for a degree certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). In order to qualify for an ACS certified degree, students must take both 265 and 270, in addition to satisfying all other concentration requirements. Students who plan to attend graduate school in chemistry or chemically related fields are advised to take both 321 and 322. We invite all interested students to attend the departmental seminar series, which is a required part of 371, 551 and 552. Departmental honors are determined on the basis of distinguished coursework in chemistry (normally a minimum GPA of 3.5) and in the Senior Thesis.
A minor in chemistry consists of five courses, at least one of which must be at the 300-level or above. Chem 298 may not be counted towards satisfying the requirements for the minor.
The minimum requirement in chemistry for preparation for medical school consists of 120 or 125; 190 and 255; and one additional course at the 200 level. Students who take Chem 270 as their additional 200-level course may also need to take Bio 346 to satisfy medical schools’ Biochemistry requirement.
120 F Principles of Chemistry.
Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer, Dawood.
125 F Principles of Chemistry: Fundamentals to Applications.
Intended for students with strong preparation in chemistry and high motivation, the course explores central principles in the context of current issues, including human health and the environment. Main topics include the unifying concepts in chemistry and their use to develop critical-thinking skills. A discovery-based lab component addresses analytical and chemical approaches to environmental chemistry and toxicology. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Two years of high school chemistry or equivalent required. Registration is open to first-year students only. Upperclassmen may enroll with instructor's consent. Maximum enrollment, 24. Van Wynsberghe.
190 S Organic Chemistry I.
Structure and bonding of organic compounds and their acid-base properties, stereochemistry, introduction to reactions and reaction mechanisms of carbon compounds and the relationship of reactivity and structure. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 120 or 125. Blum, Majireck and I Rosenstein.
255 F Organic Chemistry II.
Chemistry of conjugated alkenes and aromatic and carbonyl compounds, emphasizing mechanism and synthesis; introduction to carbohydrate and amino acid chemistry. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 190. Blum, Majireck and I Rosenstein.
265 S Inorganic Chemistry and Materials.
Topics in inorganic chemistry, including periodicity and descriptive chemistry of the elements, electrochemistry, transition metal coordination chemistry, and the structure and properties of solid state materials. Laboratories emphasize synthesis and characterization of inorganic coordination compounds, electrochemistry, and inorganic materials. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs. Prerequisite, 120 or 125. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer.
270 S Biological Chemistry.
A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs, however, this course might not also satisfy a Health Profession program’s requirement for a course in Biochemistry. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 190. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 270 and Biology 270.) Blum and S Rosenstein.
298 F,S Chemistry Research.
Independent work in the research laboratory under supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite, instructor’s signature. May be repeated for credit, but not counted toward concentration or minor requirements. Students may count up to one credit of chemistry research toward graduation. One-quarter, one-half or one credit per semester. No senior concentrators. The Department.
[320 S] Biophysical Chemistry.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of physical chemistry applied to biological systems. Topics include the spectroscopy, thermodynamics and kinetics of proteins and other biomolecules, and the use of this knowledge to explain the physical basis of biochemical properties. Prerequisite, 270 and Mathematics 116. Physics 105, 195 or 205 is recommended. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 320.)
321 F Physical Chemistry I.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics, the nature of the chemical bond, and applications of molecular quantum mechanics including spectroscopy and computational electronic structure methods. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 116, Physics 105, 195 or 205. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 321.) Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.
322 S Physical Chemistry II.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics include statistical and classical thermodynamics, prediction of the direction and extent of chemical reactions, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, catalysis, and reaction rate theory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 116, Physics 105, 195 or 205. The department recommends that students take 321 prior to 322. Three hours of lecture. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 322.) Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.
325 F,S Physical Methods for Chemical Analysis.
An integrated lecture-laboratory course in which students learn to design, build, and use instrumentation to study the physicochemical properties of atoms and molecules. Topics include the theory and practice of optical spectroscopy, thermochemical measurements of gases and condensed phases, and the measurement of reaction kinetics. Evaluations stress mastery of laboratory technique and communication of results with an emphasis on oral communication. Speaking-Intensive. One hour of lecture, three hours of laboratory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Speaking-Intensive.) Prerequisite, Must have taken or be concurrently enrolled in either Chem 321 or 322. Maximum enrollment, 12. Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.
360 F Organic Synthesis Toward Improved Human Health.
An investigation into the concepts of organic synthesis as applied to small molecule drug and probe development for the treatment and understanding of human disease. Emphasis will be placed on modern organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology research aimed toward the realization of personalized therapeutics. The process of developing an original research proposal will be a primary mechanism to reinforce the concepts of this course. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, Chem 255 (Chem 270 or Biology 346 strongly recommended.). Three hours of lecture. Maximum enrollment, 20. Majireck.
371 F,S Research Methods in Chemistry.
Development of research skills in chemistry through a semester-long intensive laboratory project. Emphasis on laboratory work focusing on advanced synthetic techniques and spectroscopic characterization. Scientific writing, oral presentation skills and use of the chemical literature are also stressed. Six hours of laboratory and one hour of class. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 265 or 270. Maximum enrollment, 12. The Department.
393 S Advanced Organic Chemistry I.
Spectroscopy and synthesis. Exploration of advanced techniques in spectroscopic identification of organic compounds, including mass spectrometry and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. Study of strategies for the synthesis of complex molecules with examples taken from the primary chemical literature. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite, 255. Offered in alternate years. I Rosenstein.
[412 S] Advanced Organic Chemistry II.
Physical Organic Chemistry. Study of structure and bonding in organic compounds, stereochemistry and conformational analysis, the mechanisms of organic reactions and free radical chemistry with an emphasis on the exploration of experimental methods for probing reaction mechanisms. Taught primarily through readings from the primary literature. Prerequisite, 255. Offered in alternate years. Next offered in Spring 2020.
423 S Advanced Inorganic Chemistry.
Introduction to the chemical applications of group theory, including molecular structure and spectroscopy. Structure, bonding and reaction mechanisms of coordination and organometallic compounds with readings in the primary literature. Prerequisite, 321 or 322. Offered in alternate years. Brewer.
551/552 F,S Senior Project.
An intensive research project carried out in association with a faculty member, culminating in a thesis. Prerequisite, 371. Attendance at weekly departmental seminars is required. Candidates for honors should elect both 551 and 552. The Department.