Course Descriptions

Listed below are the courses that are routinely offered by the Department of Chemistry.  The Department strongly suggests that any student interested in the Allied Health Sciences (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, etc.) begin taking chemistry courses in fall of the freshman year.  Please meet with a chemistry faculty member to plan out your course schedule so that you can fit everything in!

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Courses Intended for Non-Science Majors

117: Drugs and the Body: From cocaine, marijuana, and meth to aspirin, caffeine, and alcohol, drugs (both legal and illegal) permeate today’s society. In this course, intended for non-science majors, students will learn about what drugs are, where they come from and how they are made through an integrated lecture and lab. In addition, students will learn about drug testing and what happens to a drug in the human body. Offered alternate years. Four hours.

125: Chemistry and Crime: From Sherlock Holmes to Today's Courtroom — In this course the student will acquire an understanding of the methods and techniques used in crime detection. Topics as diverse as microscopy, toxicology, serology, finger-printing, and document and voice examination, as well as arson and explosives investigation will be examined. Extensive use of case studies will be made emphasizing the role that the forensic scientist played in the detection and solution of the crime. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week. Four hours.

130: Environmental Chemistry - This course will provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the chemical processes that govern environmental phenomena including climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, air and water pollution, and non-hydrocarbon energy sources. Students will also investigate public policy surrounding these issues. The course is intended for non-science majors. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week. Offered alternate years. Four hours.

160: Chemistry of Winemaking- Students will become familiar with the various systems of classification of wine and develop an understanding of the grape plant, its variety, and taxonomy. The course will include detailed coverage of the production of wine from vine planting and vineyard care to harvesting, fermentation, bottling, aging, and shipping. In addition, students will learn the chemical mechanisms behind the fermentation of natural substances to produce ethanol, as well as the analytical instrumentation used in the quality control, verification, and identification of wines from around the world. The travel portion of the course will include tours of wineries, visits to departments of enology and viticulture at research universities, visits to wine laboratories, and hands-on experience in winemaking. Offered during January term. Four hours.

Courses for Science Majors and Pre-Health Profession Students

210: Introduction to College Chemistry- This course is an introduction to college-level chemistry intended for students with limited high school exposure to chemistry who are biology, chemistry or pre-med. Topics will include a review of the mathematics of chemistry, the history of chemistry, an introduction to the periodic table and the properties of elements, gas laws, manipulation of chemical equations, stoichiometric calculations, acid/base chemistry, and other topics. In the lab, students will be introduced to basic safety procedures in the chemistry laboratory and master the laboratory skills needed for more advanced chemistry courses. Prerequisite: instructor permission only. This course is not recommended for non-science majors. All students intending to enroll in chemistry must be pre-placed into the appropriate course in order to gain entrance into the appropriate course. Contact the department chair to arrange for placement. Four hours.

215: Principles of Chemistry- Principles of chemistry is for students who plan to take additional courses in chemistry. The course is an introduction to the chemist’s description and use of light and matter in the context of larger issues such as astronomy, the greenhouse effect, and fats in our diet. Specific topics include the interaction of light and matter (spectroscopy), the structure of the atom and the atomic structure of matter, chemical bonds and intermolecular forces, and chemical descriptions of color and solubility, solution phenomena, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, and kinetics. Prerequisite: CHEM 210 or placement into the course. All students intending to enroll in chemistry must be pre-placed into the appropriate course in order to gain entrance into the appropriate course. Contact the department chair to arrange for placement. Four hours.

220: Basic Inorganic Chemistry — This course presents the topics of nuclear chemistry, atomic structure, multi-electron atoms and bonding, periodicity, the chemistry of ionic compounds, generalized acid-base theories, kinetics, thermodynamics, and transition metal chemistry. All of these topics are presented in the context of both historical and contemporary applications. The laboratory includes experiments used in inorganic synthesis directly related to topics covered in lecture, including an introduction to molecular modeling, spectroscopic methods of characterization, and classical methods of analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 215 or permission of instructor. Four hours.

230: Quantitative Chemical Analysis — This course presents the theory and techniques necessary for quantitative analysis of chemical systems at equilibrium. Topics covered will include volumetric and gravimetric analysis, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, and chromatography. Laboratory investigations will involve wet chemical methods and introductory instrumental techniques to analyze quantitatively the components of complex mixtures. Statistical methods will be used to interpret the analytical results. Prerequisite: CHEM 215 or permission of instructor. Four hours.

251-252, 351-352 — Directed Study in Chemistry — These courses are designed for students wishing to work on a research project prior to the senior year. Interested students may select a project in consultation with a faculty member and work under his/her supervision. Permission of a chemistry faculty member is required. The student is required to spend at least three hours per week in the laboratory. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. One hour each.

261-262: Organic Chemistry — Fundamental facts, theories and nomenclature of organic compounds, and their reactions are discussed. Students study such topics as structural theory, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms, as applied to basic physical, chemical and spectroscopic properties of aliphatic, alicyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons, mono-, di-, and polyfunctional compounds, including some natural products and bio- molecules. Students will use molecular modeling soft- ware to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of molecular structures and reactivity. Most of the in- formation covered in this course is prerequisite to bio- chemistry, medicinal chemistry, other advanced chemistry and some biology courses. Prerequisite: CHEM 220 or 230. CHEM 261 is a prerequisite for CHEM 262. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab. Four hours each.

305 – Chemistry in Earth Systems – This course investigates environmental chemistry topics from an Earth systems science perspective, with an emphasis on the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. The first half of the course focuses on Earth system science: introducing box modelling, reservoirs, and element cycling (C, N, and S in particular). The second half of the course will survey topics that build on the first half, such as climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and types of pollution. While there is no laboratory component, the course will be activity-based, including environmental data analysis and modeling. This course serves as an upper-level elective for chemistry majors and an area of expertise course for EVST majors with either a chemistry or geology focus. Chemistry majors and EVST majors with a chemistry area of expertise should register for CHEM 305. EVST majors with a geology area of expertise should register for GEOL 305. Prerequisites: CHEM 220 or 230 and CHEM 261. Cross-listed with GEOL 305. Three hours.

Courses for Chemistry Majors/Minors

CHEM 251-252, CHEM 351-352: Directed Study in Chemistry — These courses are designed for students wishing to work on a research project prior to the senior year. Interested students may select a project in consultation with a faculty member and work under his/her supervision. Permission from a chemistry faculty member is required. The student is required to spend at least three hours per week in the laboratory. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Staff.

311: Introduction to Physical Chemistry — Application of the laws of physics to chemical phenomena will be examined. An attempt is made to provide a theoretical foundation for the study of the other disciplines of chemistry. Topics considered include chemical thermodynamics, including its application to thermochemistry, phase equilibria, and colligative properties; the kinetic theory of gases; chemical kinetics, including the treatment of rate data and the theory of rate processes; and an introduction to spectroscopy. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, MATH 132 or 142, and PHYS 151. Four hours.

312: Advanced Physical Chemistry — Application of the laws of physics to chemical phenomena will be examined. An attempt is made to provide a theoretical foundation for the study of the other disciplines of chemistry. Topics covered include statistical thermodynamics as applied to chemical systems; molecular symmetry and quantum theory as applied to the spectroscopy and structure of atoms and molecules; and advanced topics of interest. Prerequisites: CHEM 311 and PHYS 152. Three hours.

322: Instrumental Methods of Analysis — In this course the student will acquire an understanding of the fundamental principles upon which modern measuring devices are based and the type of information an instrument can contribute to a chemical analysis. Among the methods studied will be UV/VIS, fluorescence, IR, NMR, AA and mass spectroscopy. Prerequisites: CHEM 220 and MATH 132 or 142. Three hours.

335: Forensic Chemistry — This course consists of an overview of forensic chemistry and its application to criminal and civil cases. Topics covered will include the history of forensic science, statistical data analysis, instrumentation, drugs and pharmacology, chemical analysis of physical evidence, the chemistry of polymers, and analysis of plastic products. This course includes a laboratory portion where forensic techniques will be utilized, with an emphasis on real-life forensic cases. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, 230, and 262. Four hours.

340: Introduction to Laboratory Research — This course is designed to introduce chemistry students to the principles and techniques of chemistry research through class work, seminars and experimental work. Topics covered include chemical literature searching, laboratory report writing, research proposal writing, oral presentation, experimental design, and the principles of laboratory safety, scientific ethics, and scientific career options. Experimental projects will be drawn from a variety of applications of chemistry. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of the work done through performance in lab, analysis of data, and written and oral laboratory reports. Students will attend seminars by guest speakers that highlight chemistry in industry, law, medicine, forensics, and other areas. This course is a prerequisite to CHEM 495 and 496. This course should be taken concurrently with CHEM 262, preferably in the sophomore year. Prerequisite: CHEM 261. Three hours.

381-382 – Special Topics in Chemistry – These courses focus on areas of chemistry not specifically covered in the general curriculum and are designed to meet the needs of advanced students. Prerequisites vary according to offering. Three hours each.

400: Chemical Internship — This course is designed to introduce chemistry majors who express an interest in pursuing a career in chemistry to industrial and institutional research and development. Each student will spend 130 hours in an industrial or institutional scientific laboratory. Actual work performed will be determined by on-site supervisors. Prerequisite: departmental approval. Offered as needed. Enrollment is limited. Application required; see Internship Program. Three hours.

401: Advanced Experimental Chemistry — A student who wishes to work on a research project for eight hours per day, five days per week, for four weeks during the January term will have the opportunity to do so in this course. Daily logs, weekly reports, and a final report must be written to the satisfaction of a faculty supervisor. Prerequisite: departmental approval. Offered as needed during January term. Three hours.

CHEM 402: Medicinal Chemistry — This course is offered for those students who want to pursue a career in some area of the health-related sciences. It should be of interest to both chemistry and biology majors. Studies are made of the chemical structures of drugs and their direct influence on pharmacological activity. Many classifications of drugs are covered, and emphasis is placed on structures, mechanisms of action, and structure-activity relationships. Students are expected to obtain an understanding of the structural features of drugs which cause them to produce various types of biological responses. This basic understanding will support further studies in such fields as medicine, dentistry, biochemistry, or pharmaceutical chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 262. Introductory biology is helpful, but not required. Offered alternate years. Three hours.

403: Polymer and Material Science — This course provides an in-depth study of the chemistry behind polymeric materials. The course will focus on an ex- amination of various polymers and ceramics, including reaction mechanisms, structural variations, energy of formation, and methods of characterization. Students will learn to perform various statistical and kinetic calculations in relation to polymer formation. Students will also learn the chemical basis behind the physical properties of polymers and the engineering methods used to test such factors. Prerequisites: CHEM 262 and MATH 132 or 142. Recommended: CHEM 311-312. Three hours.

405: Advanced Inorganic Chemistry — This course offers chemistry majors an in-depth study of the fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry. Topics such as bonding, molecular geometry, and the chemical reactions of ionic, covalent, and metallic substances will be discussed. Concepts of acid-base chemistry (Bronsted-Lowry, Lewis, Drago, and Lux-Flood systems) will be examined. The student will study the synthesis, structure, properties, and periodic trends of the main group elements as well as the coordination chemistry and descriptive chemistry, bonding, spectroscopy, thermodynamics, kinetics, and structure of the compounds of the transition elements. Applications to organometallic chemistry and bioinorganic chemistry will be introduced. Prerequisites: CHEM 220 and 311 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years. Three hours.

406: Introduction to Organometallic Chemistry — A study of the basic principles of the organometallic chemistry of d-block elements. Topics include a survey of the properties and reactions of organometallic complexes and applications of organ transition metal compounds in catalysis, organic synthesis, bioinorganic chemistry, and medicinal chemistry. Lectures will be supplemented by discussions of current literature in the field. Prerequisites: CHEM 220 and 261. Three hours.

407 — Biochemistry I — An in-depth study of the chemistry of living systems. A major theme of the course will be the relationship between molecular structure, function, and regulation. Topics to be covered will include: structures of amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids; protein folding; enzymes, enzyme kinetics, and regulation; protein-ligand interactions; multivalent interactions. Prerequisite: CHEM 262. The laboratory portion of the course will focus on techniques in protein chemistry such as expression, purification, identification, manipulation, and enzyme kinetics. Introductory biology is helpful, but not required. Four hours.

408 — Biochemistry II — A continuation of the in-depth study of the chemistry of living systems. A major theme of the course will be the relationship between molecular structure, function, and regulation. Topics to be covered will include: degradative and synthetic metabolic pathways of various classes of molecules; synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins; expression of genetic information. The laboratory portion of the course will focus on techniques of nucleic acid manipulation and advanced protein techniques. Prerequisite: CHEM 407. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. Four hours.

495: Chemistry Capstone — Students participating in this course will select and carry out a research project covering an area of current chemical investigation. The project may be selected from the traditional areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, or biochemistry) or from an interface between these areas. An oral presentation and a final report must be given at the conclusion of the course. Nine hours of lab per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 340. Three hours.

496-498: Senior Project — The purpose of this sequence is to allow qualified students to carry out original experimental work. Considerable self-discipline, diligence, and ingenuity on the part of the student are necessary. Students may spend the entire period working on a research project of their own choice, upon approval and under the guidance of the departmental faculty, or on projects designed by and of interest to individual faculty members. In either case, students may be required to use techniques and apparatus which may not have been available to them in other courses. They will be expected to plan and carry out their work on their own initiative to the satisfaction of the faculty member directly involved and of the department. A written thesis and several oral presentations are required. The equivalent of nine hours of laboratory work per week, in addition to time required for library research and the- sis preparation, is expected of each student who enrolls in this sequence. The ultimate goal of this training is to impart to each student self-reliance and confidence concerning laboratory research. All qualified students who intend to pursue graduate work in chemistry are urged to enroll in this sequence. Prerequisites: CHEM 340 and departmental approval. Six hours.