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See course descriptions for this department or program
Chair, Professor Julie Millard
Students in the Chemistry Department are provided a firm foundation in the fundamental principles of the discipline. The student major has access to a wide range of instruments for course work and research projects under supervision of a faculty that includes teaching specialists in analytical, environmental, inorganic, organic, physical chemistry, and biochemistry. Many students go on to graduate school in chemistry or biochemistry or to careers in medicine, dentistry, health-related fields, and industrial research. Other career choices in recent years have included patent law, chemical engineering, environmental studies, computer sciences, and molecular biology.
The department offers several programs: (1) the chemistry major, (2) the chemistry-ACS major (accredited by the American Chemical Society), (3) the chemistry-biochemistry major, (4) the chemistry major with a concentration in cell and molecular biology/biochemistry, (5) the chemistry-environmental sciences concentration, and (6) the chemistry minor. Of the majors, the ACS major is focused most sharply toward graduate work in chemistry. It should be noted that chemistry majors who intend to apply for admission to medical, dental, or veterinary schools must take a biology course with laboratory. For maximum flexibility, students are encouraged to take Chemistry 141 and 142 in their first year. All prospective majors should meet with the chair of the department as early as possible to plan their full chemistry programs.Students interested in teaching, private and public, are urged to read the “Education” section of the catalogue and to contact a member of the Education Program.
Requirements for the Major in Chemistry
Chemistry 141, 142, 241, 242, 331, 341, 342, 493, 494; Mathematics 121, 122 or 161, 162; Physics 141 or 143, 142.
Requirements for the Major in Chemistry-ACS
All courses required for the basic major, plus Chemistry 332, 367 (without laboratory), or 298, 411, 413, and three additional credit hours selected from 368 or any 400-level course. Up to three credits of senior-level research or independent study may be included in the three credits. Substitution of upper-level courses from other departments in the science division is often possible.
Requirements for the Major in Chemistry-Biochemistry
Chemistry 141, 142, 241, 242, 341, 367 (with laboratory), 368 (with laboratory), 493, 494; Mathematics 121, 122 or 161, 162; Physics 141 or 143, 142; Biology 163; one course from Biology 225, 232, 238, 274, 279 (with laboratory); and one course from Chemistry 331, 342, 378, 411. Biology courses above the 100 level and/or biochemistry courses used to fulfill a biology major cannot count toward the major in chemistry-biochemistry.
Requirements for the Major in Chemistry with a Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry
Chemistry 141, 142, 241, 242, 341, 367 (with laboratory), 368 (with laboratory), 378, 493, 494; Biology 163 and 279 (with laboratory); Mathematics 121, 122 or 161, 162; Physics 141 or 143, 142. Biochemistry 367, 368, 378, and Biology 279 cannot be double-counted toward both a biology major and the major in chemistry with a concentration in cell and molecular biology/biochemistry.
Requirements for the Concentration in Chemistry-Environmental Sciences
All courses required for the chemistry major; Chemistry 217 and 481 or 482; Economics 133, 231; Biology 163, 164 or Geology 141, 142.
Additional Requirements for All Majors in Chemistry Department
Each major must complete a chemistry-related independent study project equivalent to two (or preferably three) credit hours. This requirement may be satisfied through independent study, internship, or summer research, and forms the basis of the seminar presentation in Chemistry 494. An off-campus research experience must have prior approval of the chair of the Chemistry Department to satisfy this requirement.
The Seminar Program (Chemistry 493, 494) is an opportunity for students to interact with chemists from other schools. All chemistry majors are expected to attend the departmental seminar, and seniors are required to participate.The point scale for retention of the major applies to all required courses and all elected chemistry courses. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Honors Project in Chemistry
Majors in chemistry are encouraged to elect an honors research project with approval of a faculty sponsor in the department. Successful completion of the work of the honors research project, and of the major, will enable the student to graduate “With Honors in Chemistry.” Attention is also called to the Senior Scholars Program.
Requirements for the Minor in Chemistry
Chemistry 141, 142, 241, and at least 10 credit hours in three courses selected from the following: Chemistry 217, 242, 255, 298, 331, 332, 341, 342, 367, 368 411, 432, 434. Students are strongly advised to consult with a member of the chemistry faculty to select a logical grouping of courses for the minor. Chemistry/Biology 367, 368, and 378 cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for both a major and the chemistry minor.