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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 science, computer science, and molecular biology.

The department offers several programs: (1) the chemistry major, (2) the chemistry-biochemistry major, (3) the chemistry major with a concentration in cell and molecular biology/biochemistry, (4) the chemistry-environmental sciences concentration, and (5) the chemistry minor. Additionally, each type of chemistry major can earn accreditation by the American Chemical Society (ACS) with additional courses selected in consultation with the advisor and with approval of the chair. More information about ACS certification can be found on the Chemistry Department website. 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 (or Chemistry 145) in their first year.

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 and 142 (or 145), 241, 242, 331, 341, 342, 493 and 494; Mathematics 121 and 122, or 161 and 162; Physics 141 (or 143) and 145.

Requirements for the Major in Chemistry-Biochemistry

Chemistry 141 and 142 (or 145), 241, 242, 341, 367 (with laboratory), 368 (with laboratory), 493 and 494; Mathematics 121 and 122, or 161 and 162; Physics 141 (or 143) and 145; Biology 163; one course from Biology 225, 232 (with laboratory), 274 (with laboratory), 279 (with laboratory); and one course from Chemistry 331, 342, 378, 411, 444. 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 and 142 (or 145), 241, 242, 341, 367 (with laboratory), 368 (with laboratory), 378, 493, and 494; Biology 163 and 279 (with laboratory); Mathematics 121 and 122, or 161 and 162; Physics 141 (or 143) and 145. 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 Science

All courses required for the chemistry major; Chemistry 217, and 481 or 482; Economics 133, 231; Biology 163 and 164, or Geology 141 and 142.

Additional Requirements for All Majors in the 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 it forms the basis of the seminar presentations in Chemistry 493 and 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 senior chemistry majors are required to enroll in Chemistry 493 and 494. Junior chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to attend and may enroll in either Chemistry 493 or 494.

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. Honors research normally entails eight to 10 credits across the senior year. 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 and 142 (or 145), 241, and at least 10 credit hours in three or more courses selected from the following: Chemistry 217, 242, 255, 331, 332, 341, 342, 362, 367, 368, 378, 411, 413, 431, 432, 434, 444. Courses selected to fulfill the minor must include at least four courses in addition to courses taken to satisfy requirements for any major or other minor. Specifically, Chemistry/Biology 362, 367, 368, and 378 cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for both a major and the chemistry minor. Students are strongly advised to consult with a member of the chemistry faculty to select a logical grouping of courses for the minor.




Colby College reserves the right in its sole judgement to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, academic schedule, fees, deposits, or any other matters in this catalogue.