Overview of the Chemistry Department

Students interested in chemistry and biochemistry will have a chance to study these fields in an integrated and modern way!

  • After an introductory course in chemical structure and properties, students will take foundational level courses that will show how chemical structure can be used to explain organic, inorganic and biochemical reactions, and how these chemicals and their reactions can be quantitated and modeled mathematically.
  • Students will take a series of labs, starting in their first semester of their first year, in which they learn important techinques and skills in separation, analysis, synthesis, and modeling of chemical and their reaction products.
  • You will do sophisticated instrumental analysis (NMR, IR, and UV/Vis spectroscopy, and MS) and chemical separations (low pressure chromatograhy, GC, HPLC) starting in your first year.
  • After foundation level courses and labs, you will take in-depth classes and a junior year integrated lab that will prepare you for senior year research.
  • You can chose to specialize within chemistry by choosing from three concentrations (chemical biology, environmental chemistry, and materials/industrial chemistry) as well as becoming certified by the American Chemical Society.

These choices will prepare you for many possibilities, including graduate level study in chemistry or biochemistry, as well as advanced education and careers in any of the medical fields, secondary education, patent law, government service, and environmental science.

Our Mission

The Chemistry Department at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University strives to provide an excellent education in chemistry within a liberal arts tradition for a variety of learners. We design our program to help students understand that chemistry is a way of thinking about how matter is constructed, organized, and functions. In accord with the Benedictine tradition of these two institutions, we build this chemical foundation in a context that helps students become scientifically responsible citizens, with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will allow them to be successful in scientific or non-scientific professions. We accomplish this by providing students with a variety of learning opportunities such as formal courses with integrated laboratories, hands-on experiences with modern instrumentation and computers, research projects and seminar programs. We carry out this mission in an atmosphere of support and encouragement for both students and staff.

Goals

Through a variety of learning opportunities, our students will develop:

  • a knowledge-base necessary to understand chemistry as a varied and central dimension of contemporary life
  • the technical and intellectual skills necessary to facilitate creative problem solving, and
  • The attitudes and values that foster a continuing discourse about science and its role in multicultural societies.