2017-2018 Catalog 
    Jun 18, 2018  
2017-2018 Catalog

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Professors E. Arnoys, M. Barbachyn (Brummel Chair in Organic Chemistry), L. Louters, M. Muyskens, K. Sinniah, D. Vander Griend (chair)
Associate Professors C. Anderson, D. Benson, C. Bruxvoort, H. Fynewever, C. Tatko
Assistant Professors R. Baker, B. Looyenga

The department offers courses and programs for students interested in a career as a chemist or biochemist, for those interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate education (e.g., graduate, medical, dental, or other professional training), and for those interested in teaching chemistry at the secondary level. A concentration in chemical engineering is offered through the Engineering Department. Students who are majoring in environmental science with a chemistry focus should consult the entry under environmental science for a description of this program.

Prerequisite to a program of concentration in chemistry or biochemistry is a minimum grade of C (2.0) in CHEM 104   or CHEM 105  ,  CHEM 201 , and CHEM 253  or CHEM 261 . The Natural World physical science core requirement may be met by CHEM 101 , CHEM 103 , CHEM 105  or CHEM 115 . For general college students the recommended core course is CHEM 101 .

All students majoring in the department, with the exception of those in a secondary education program, must complete a capstone course during the senior year. Normally this course will be IDIS 310 - Science in Society . Other options for the capstone course are possible but must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.

Our degree programs are designed to provide breadth of instruction in the foundations of chemistry while allowing flexibility for students to pursue, in depth, specific areas of interest at the advanced level. Students are encouraged to select elective courses, in consultation with an academic advisor that will prepare them well for future employment or education. For example, the following combinations of electives for various career tracks may be considered:

  • Forensics: Chemistry 253, 304, 323/324, 329, and 383, Biology 325
  • Synthesis: Chemistry 261/262, 317/318, 325, and 330
  • Materials: Chemistry 261/262, 317/318, 329, and 330, Mathematics 321, Physics 133/235
  • Environmental Chemistry: 261/262, 271, 329, Environmental Studies 210
  • Food Science: Chemistry 323/324 and 329, Biology 207 or 336, Statistics 143, Health 254
  • Pre-medicine: Chemistry 304, 323/324, Biology 321, 325, or 336
  • Chemical or Medical Technology: Chemistry 303, 383, and 329, Biology 325

Group Science Majors

A group major in science and mathematics meets the needs of some students, particularly those in professional programs. These majors are not normally appropriate for students who anticipate attending graduate school and cannot be taken by students in teacher education programs. Such group majors require twelve courses in the sciences and mathematics, ten of which must be from two departments with no fewer than four from either, with the remaining two courses chosen from a third department. At least two 300-level courses in one discipline must be included in the ten-course component of this group. The chairs of the three departments involved must approve each program of this type.

American Chemical Society Certification

Besides the standard majors in chemistry and biochemistry, the department offers versions of each major that are officially certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). These versions require two additional chemistry electives as well as providing a research experience that culminates in a formal report and presentation.

Honors program

The department sponsors an honors program to supplement the formal course offerings in the department’s degree programs, increase both the breadth and depth of the student’s knowledge of modern chemistry, and lead to an honors degree in chemistry or biochemistry upon graduation. The program offers guided study in chemistry through tutorials, independent research, and special honors courses such as CHEM 103/5H, CHEM 230H, CHEM 261H, and CHEM 395H.

The requirements for graduation with honors in chemistry or biochemistry are: (1) completion of a major in chemistry or biochemistry with at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, (2) six honors courses (18 hours minimum) overall: three honors courses must be outside of the major, only one may be a cognate. The other three honors courses must be within the major where one must be a research course (see next requirement) and only one may be a 100-level course. (3) completion of the equivalent of at least 4 semester hours of research (CHEM 395 /CHEM 397 ), the last of which must be designated an honors course, which requires a formal report (reviewed by a committee) and a presentation in the departmental seminar series.

Chemistry & Biochemistry Neuroscience Concentrations

The neuroscience concentration in chemistry or biochemistry seeks to provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of neuroscience, giving them a deep understanding of the chemical sciences and integrating this knowledge with subject areas as diverse as psychology, biology, physics, computer science, and philosophy. This training prepares students for graduate school in neuroscience and professional fields (e.g., medicine, dentistry, clinical psychology, veterinary medicine, physical therapy), as well as careers in biotechnology firms, government laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, education, law, and business.



    MajorMinorOther Programs


      Chemistry: General College Courses

      These introductory courses satisfy the Physical World core requirement. Non-science majors are encouraged to enroll in CHEM 101  or CHEM 115 . Science majors must enroll in CHEM 103  and CHEM 104 , or CHEM 105 . Students having a strong chemistry background are encouraged to enroll in CHEM 105 .

      Chemistry: Foundational Courses

      These courses provide foundational instruction in the sub-disciplines of chemistry.

      Chemistry: Advanced Courses

      These courses build on prerequisite foundational course work, integrating and investigating foundational concepts more thoroughly.

      Chemistry: Seminars, Capstone, and Research CoursesChemistry: Off-Campus Courses

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