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Department Chair: Anna McKenna

Faculty: Robert Fulton, Kate Graham, David Huber, Henry Jakubowski, Brian Johnson, Nicholas Jones, Edward McIntee, Anna McKenna, Frank Rioux, Michael Ross, Chris Schaller, Carleen Schomer OSB, 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.

The 123-234 sequence is intended primarily for students majoring in chemistry or one of the other natural sciences and provides a thorough introduction to the fundamental principles of physical and inorganic chemistry. The courses beyond 234 are intended for the students seeking a major or a minor degree in chemistry; they also serve as supporting courses for students majoring in related fields.

Students majoring in allied health fields such as dietetics should take the class designated for dietetics majors. The 105 course does not meet the prerequisites for any other chemistry course.


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 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 feel the department meets its stated goals and objectives. Every five 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.


The Chemistry Department offers a chemistry concentration certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and a traditional concentration. In addition, an interdisciplinary biochemistry major is available (see page ).

ACS Concentration (63 credits)
This concentration is especially appropriate for those students intending to pursue graduate work in chemistry and related fields, and for those seeking immediate employment in chemical industry or government laboratories.

Required Courses:
CHEM 123, 234, 235, 236, 320, 333, 334, 335, 336, 341, and BCHM 321, plus two credits of laboratory research (351, 398); PHYS 191, 200; MATH 119, 120, and either 124 or 239. The Chemistry Comprehensive Exam is also required.

Traditional Concentration
(50 credits)
This concentration is intended for those who have a strong interest in chemistry, but are not necessarily planning to continue their study of chemistry at the graduate level. It 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.

Required Courses:
CHEM 123, 234, 235, 236, 320, 333 or 334, 335, one credit of research (350, 351, 398) and two additional courses selected from 333, 334, 336, 341, BCHM 321; MATH 119, 120; PHYS 191, 200 (preferred) or PHYS 105, 106. The Chemistry Comprehensive Exam is also required.

Special Requirements For All Concentrations:
Senior majors are required to give a seminar presentation on their laboratory or library research and to take a comprehensive exam in chemistry.

Minor (25 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 123, 234, 235, 236, 320, 335 and one of the following courses: 333, 334 or 336, or BCHEM 321.

Courses (CHEM)

105 Chemistry and Society. (4)
Fundamentals of chemistry are studied with the aim of gaining an understanding of the importance of chemistry for humanity and society. Topics of historical interest and current relevance are explored. Laboratory emphasis is on the principles of scientific inquiry, including the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Intended primarily for non-science majors. Fall and spring.

121 Skills in Chemistry. (2)
This course will help students develop the problem solving, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking and reading skills necessary for success in General Chemistry. Students will work in small groups in a Student-Centered Learning Environment that will provide support as they address some of the challenging concepts in general chemistry. The course content will be coordinated closely with the first half of CHEM 123 and will be scheduled to run parallel to it. The course is intended for first-year students who have been identified as likely benefiting from this experience.

123 General Chemistry I. (4)
Topics include fundamentals of atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonding, reactions and kinetic molecular theory of matter. Laboratory emphasis is on illustration of chemical principles, development of technique and gaining familiarity with chemical substances. Prerequisite: math proficiency. Fall.

234 General Chemistry II. (4)
Topics include thermochemistry, kinetics, oxidation-reduction reactions, chemical equilibria (especially solubilities and acid-base systems) and descriptive inorganic chemistry. Laboratory emphasis is on illustration of chemical principles, development of technique, quantitative measurement and data analysis. Prerequisite: 123. Spring.

235 Organic Chemistry I. (4)
A systematic study of organic molecules and functional groups. Topics include nomenclature, bonding, molecular structure and reactivity, reaction mechanisms and current spectroscopic techniques. Laboratory emphasis is on purification, identification and elementary synthesis. Prerequisite: 234. Fall.

236 Organic Chemistry II. (4)
Areas included are completion of the systematic study of organic functional groups, heterocyclic chemistry, natural products chemistry and multi-step organic synthesis. Laboratory emphasis is on multi-step synthesis and spectroscopic analysis. Prerequisite: 235. Spring.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

320 Chemical Literature. (1)
Introduction to searching and using chemical literature, including computer-based techniques. Prerequisite: 236. Yearly.

321-326 Topics in Chemistry. (1-4)
The Chemistry Department offers a series of topics courses, 321-326. These courses, offered for variable credit, cover the major areas in chemistry and are used to extend or supplement topics introduced in previous chemistry courses.
 321 Topics in Computational Chemistry. (1-4)
 322 Topics in Analytical Chemistry. (1-4)
 323 Topics in Biochemistry. (1-4)
 324 Topics in Inorganic Chemistry. (1-4)
 325 Topics in Organic Chemistry. (1-4)
 326 Topics in Physical Chemistry. (1-4)

333 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics. (4)
Topics include the principles of thermodynamics applied to chemical systems, kinetic molecular theory, and chemical kinetics. Laboratory emphasis is on chemical thermodynamics and kinetics, and computer refinement of data. Prerequisites: 236, 8 credits of physics, MATH 120. Fall.

334 Quantum Chemistry and Structure of Matter. (4)
Topics include quantum theory of atomic and molecular systems, atomic and molecular spectroscopy and statistical thermodynamics. Laboratory emphasis is on computer exercises and spectroscopy. Prerequisites: 236, 8 credits in physics, MATH 120. Spring.

335 Analytical Chemistry. (4)
A study of the theories and techniques of modern analytical chemistry. Emphasis is on the kinds of chemical problems that can be explored using quantitative methods of analysis. Problem solving and quantitative reasoning skills are used to: 1) design appropriate experiments, 2) acquire and analyze data and 3) assess errors. The laboratory focuses on the separation and analysis of multi-component systems. Prerequisite: 234. Fall.

336 Advanced Analytical Chemistry. (4)
Modern theory and techniques with emphasis on instrumentation. Topics include electrolysis, pulse polarography, spectrophotometry, flame techniques and chromatography. Laboratory emphasis is on polarographic methods, advanced spectrophotometric techniques, HPLC and GC, atomic absorption and computer interfacing to instruments. Prerequisites: 335, PHYS 105 or 191. Spring.

341 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. (4)
Topics include periodicity, advanced bonding theories (particularly as applied to inorganic systems), main group elements, solid state chemistry, coordination compounds, organometallic compounds and catalysis. Laboratory emphasis is on the synthesis, characterization and reactivity of inorganic compounds. Prerequisite: 333 or 334. Spring.

350 Library Research and Seminar. (1-2)
In-depth library research and reading primary sources on a single topic; emphasis of seminar is on comprehension and criticism. Prerequisite: 320.

351 Laboratory Research and Seminar. (1-4)
Independent laboratory research experience with emphasis on modern techniques and equipment. Seminar. Prerequisite: 320.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Chemistry." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.

Chemistry Comprehensive Exam. (0)
Required for graduation with a chemistry or biochemistry major. Spring.