Ian Rosenstein, Chair
(315) 859-4730

Chemistry Department
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323


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.


A concentration in Chemistry may follow several tracks, depending on the goals of the student. A concentration in Chemistry requires the following courses: 120 or 125; 190, 255; one additional 200 level course; 321 or 322, 371; one additional course chosen from the 300 to 400 level offerings; and 551. The American Chemical Society (ACS) certified concentration is designed for students who plan to pursue graduate work in chemistry or a related science. Students should take the following courses to qualify for the ACS certification: 120 or 125; 190, 255; one additional 200 level course; 321, 322, 371; one additional course chosen from the 300 and 400 level offerings; and 551. Two semesters of calculus and two semesters of physics (calculus-based Physics 190 and 195 are preferred) are prerequisites for Chemistry 321 and 322.

Students who plan to attend graduate school in chemistry or a chemically related field are advised to take additional courses in chemistry, mathematics and computer science. We invite all interested students to attend the departmental seminar series, which is a part of 551 and 552. Departmental honors are determined on the basis of distinguished coursework in chemistry and in the Senior Thesis.


A minor in Chemistry consists of five courses, which must include 190, 255 and 321 or 322.


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.

Search the Hamilton College Course Catalog Database

2014-2015 COURSES

120F Principles of Chemistry.
Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer and Cotten.

125F 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 the use of those concepts to develop critical-thinking skills. A discovery-based lab component addresses analytical and chemical approaches to environmental chemistry. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Open to first-year students only. Maximum enrollment, 24. Van Wynsberghe.

190S 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. Majireck and Rosenstein.

255F 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. (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 190. Majireck and Rosenstein.

265S 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. Prerequisite, 120 or 125. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer.

270S 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. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 190. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 270 and Biology 270.) Cotten.

298F,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 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.

320S 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 114. Physics 105, 195 or 205 is recommended. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 320.) Cotten.

321F 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. Laboratory focuses on experiments that lead to the development of quantum mechanics, on molecular modeling and on spectroscopy. Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 114, Physics 105, 195 or 205. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 321.) Van Wynsberghe.

322S 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. Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 114, Physics 105, 195 or 205. The department recommends that students take 321 prior to 322. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 322.) Van Wynsberghe.

360F 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.

371F,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.) (Oral Presentations.) Prerequisite, 265 or 270. Maximum enrollment, 12. The Department.

[380F] Chemical Immunology and Immunopharmacology.
Study of immunological responses at the molecular level including an introduction to the mechanisms of immunity, methods and techniques to diagnose infections, and treatment of infections diseases with an emphasis on the design and synthesis of immunotherapeutics. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 255 (270 or Biology 346 strongly recommended). Maximum enrollment, 20.

393S 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. Prerequisite, 255. Rosenstein.

[412S] 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.

423S 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. Brewer.

[430S] Solid State Chemistry.
An advanced laboratory-based physical chemistry course on the design, synthesis and characterization of new and useful materials. Topics include chemical bonding theories, thermodynamics, lattice dynamics, crystallography, ceramics, metallurgy, and computational methods in the context of solid-state structures. Discussions of strategies for designing materials for technological uses lead to student-led design projects involving the synthesis and characterization of novel materials. Scientific writing, use of the chemical literature, teamwork and oral presentation skills also stressed. Prerequisite, 321 or 322, or Physics 290. Two hours of formal discussion and two hours of group project per week. Maximum enrollment, 12.

551-552F,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.