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Chemistry

Chemistry | Courses | Faculty

Degrees: Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Arts

Contact: George Richason
Office: 104C Lederle GRC
Phone: (413) 545-2292

Head of Department: Professor Craig T. Martin. Professors Auerbach, Dubin, Gierasch, Hixson, Jackson, Lahti, Maroney, Martin, Richason, Rotello, Stidham, Thayumanavan, Tyson; Associate Professors Barnes, Bianconi, Kaltashov, Metz, Thompson, Vachet, Venkataraman, Voigtman, Weis; Assistant Professors Chambers, Hardy, Holden, Knapp, Schnarr; Visiting Professor D’Alonzo; Senior Lecturers Adams, Botch, Fermann, Samal, Sommerfeld, Whelan; Lecturer Chen.

The Field

Chemistry occupies the central position among the sciences. Most phenomena in the biological and physical worlds which constitute our environment are ultimately explained in terms of the physical and chemical processes of molecules and atoms. The field, itself, is uncommonly broad, encompassing a number of sub-disciplines, among which are physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biological chemistry, and analytical chemistry. Working within these subdisciplines are chemists in such diverse areas as environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, neurochemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, and photobiology. A chemist may decide to specialize in one or more of the subdisciplines in order to pursue a particular interest.

Chemists can pursue their work on purely theoretical grounds, or on an experimental basis. An example of the former is the physical chemist who seeks a mathematical model of the chemistry of the combustion process. On the other hand, inorganic and organic chemists may seek ways to synthesize bioactive compounds to find new drugs to treat diseases. An analytical chemist may be involved in investigating new approaches to measuring the identities and amounts of drugs in body fluids. The mechanism of protein folding is a major concern to biological chemists. Often, in today’s laboratories, teams of various types of chemists are engaged with other scientists to find solutions to problems.

Chemists share a common core of knowledge and methodology, largely acquired during the first three years of undergraduate education. In the third and fourth years there is ample opportunity for the student to pursue appealing specialties within the subdisciplines.

Career opportunities for the B.A. or B.S. chemist are many and varied. The industry which does not require chemists is unusual. There are many opportunties for chemists in government positions at the local, state, and national levels. In addition, chemists are engaged in a large number of related fields, including medicine, dentistry, forensics, environmental science, art conservation, optometry, law, secondary school education, administration, technical sales, scientific journalism, and illustrative arts.

The Major

The student chooses either the B.A. or the B.S. curriculum and may select from a wide range of courses within each option. Both provide the opportunity for the pursuit of coursework in other academic areas, the B.A. more than the B.S. It is expected that, by the end of the first year, students, in consultation with a faculty adviser, will select the curriculum most suitable to their goals. A B.S. graduate whose program includes instrumental analysis, a full year of inorganic chemistry, and CHEM 490A or BIOCHEM 523, will be certified to the American Chemical Society.

Chemistry may be elected as the area of primary concentration in the Science major, an interdepartmental program administered by the Arts and Sciences Advising Services. The program of a student who wishes to major in Science/Chemistry must be approved by the Chemistry Department Chief Undergraduate Adviser. This major is acceptable for secondary school teaching.

The Minor

The Chemistry minor requires a minimum of 15 credits of chemistry courses numbered 200 or higher, exclusive of 291A Seminar, 388 B.S. Independent Research Project, 391A Writing in Chemistry, 496 Independent Study, and 499 Honors Thesis.

Students petitioning for certification of completion of the minor requirements should present evidence of same (transcript or grade reports) to the Chemistry Department Chief Undergraduate Adviser.

Bachelor of Science Curriculum
The B.S. curriculum requires the courses noted below. The upper-level chemistry requirements include an independent project following the guidelines of the Undergraduate Program Director, plus a minimum of eight credits of upper-level lecture and laboratory courses from those given on the B.S. curriculum list available from the department. Students who complete this curriculum will be certified by the American Chemical Society if their program includes CHEM 513 Instrumental Analysis, CHEM 546 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, and CHEM 490A or BIOCHEM 523.

PHYSICS 181, 182, 183 and 184 may be substituted for PHYSICS 151, 152, 153 and 154, a substitution encouraged for students interested in chemical physics. A student who elects the PHYSICS 181-184 sequence should take PHYSICS 181, 183 in the first semester of the freshman year.

Freshman
Fall
CHEM 121H General Chemistry
MATH 131 Calculus I

Spring

CHEM 122H General Chemistry
MATH 132 Calculus II
PHYSICS 151/153 General Physics I with lab

Sophomore
Fall
CHEM 265/267 Organic Chemistry I with lab or
MATH 233 Multivariate Calculus
PHYSICS 152/154 General Physics II with lab

Spring

CHEM 241 Introductory Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 242 Introductory Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry lab
CHEM 266/268 Organic Chemistry II with lab
CHEM 291A Undergraduate Seminar
PHYSICS 261 General Physics III

Junior
Fall
CHEM 391A Writing in Chemistry
CHEM 475 Physical Chemistry
CHEM 315 Quantitative Analysis

Spring
CHEM 476/477 Physical Chemistry with lab
Upper-level chemistry courses**

Senior
Independent project
Upper-level chemistry courses**
**A total of at least 8 credits of upper-level chemistry courses must be taken during the junior and senior years. The independent project is not included in this total.

Note: CHEM 388 must be taken for a B.S. degree.
CHEM 499Y and 499T may be substituted for CHEM 388.
CHEM 496 cannot be substituted for CHEM 388.

Bachelor of Arts Curriculum
The B.A. curriculum offers increased flexibility in the choice of electives. Where options exist, the option recommended is noted by an asterisk (*).

Freshman
Fall

CHEM 121H or 111 General Chemistry
MATH 127 or 131 Calculus I

Spring
CHEM 122H or 112 General Chemistry
MATH 128 or 132 Calculus II
PHYSICS 131/133 or 151/153 Introductory Physics I with lab

Sophomore
Fall
CHEM 265/267 Organic Chemistry I with lab
PHYSICS 132/134 or 152/154 Introductory Physics II with lab

Spring
CHEM 241 Introductory Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 242 Introductory Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 266/268 Organic Chemistry II with lab
CHEM 291A Undergraduate Seminar

Junior
Fall

CHEM 315 Quantitative Analysis (or CHEM 312 in Spring Semester)
CHEM 471 Elementary Physical Chemistry or CHEM 475 Physical Chemistry
CHEM 391A Writing in Chemistry

Spring
CHEM 312 Analytical Chemistry (or CHEM 315 in fall semester)
CHEM 476 if CHEM 475 taken previously
Electives**
**Nine credits of elective courses, a minimum of 3 credits from a Group A list provided by the Chemistry Department and a minimum of 3 credits from a Group B departmental list. Other electives not on this departmental list, by petition.

Senior
Fall and Spring

Electives**

Chemistry | Courses | Faculty