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Course Descriptions

Note About Non-Major Courses

Chemistry courses numbered below 110 are intended for students majoring in humanities or social sciences. These courses will fulfill the General Education requirements. Chemistry 114 and 115 are also suitable toward fulfillment of GEC requirements. Students with credit in chemistry courses numbered 115 or higher (or the equivalent in transfer credit from another college or university) may not receive credit in courses numbered 100 through 109.

Course Descriptions

  • CHEM 102: Chemistry and the Environment
    Explore chemical phenomena in the world around you. Learn about the chemical cycles present throughout nature. Understand the chemistry behind current environmental issues such as air pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, and energy sources (fossil fuels, nuclear, renewable). The relevant scientific background will be developed as needed to explain these particular topics. Lectures, discussions, and demonstrations. Not applicable toward the major or minor.
  • CHEM 103: Our Chemical World
    This course is a descriptive examination of modern chemistry that will emphasize aspects important for students in the humanities and social sciences. Among the topics to be examined: the impact of science and technology on society; chemical change; nuclear chemistry; consumer chemistry; acids and bases; and plastics and polymers. Demonstrations and some experiments with group participation. Not applicable toward the major or minor.
  • CHEM 104: Chem of Health and Reproduction
    (Chemistry of Human Health and Reproduction.) This course focuses on biochemical processes related to human health and reproduction. It introduces concepts necessary to understand how the structure and function of naturally occurring small molecules and pharmaceuticals modulate biological processes - with an emphasis on human health and reproduction. Topics include introduction to organic chemical structures, chemical reactivity, structure and function of proteins, hormones, birth control, fertility treatments, and hormone replacement therapy. Additional topics may include anti-depressants, painkillers, and antibiotics. No prerequisites.
  • CHEM 105: The Chemistry of Art
    This course will explore fundamental principles of chemistry and the scientific method through the lens of art. The course will introduce concepts necessary for an understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum; the chemical and physical principles that help to explain color; the chemical composition and interactions of atoms and molecules as they apply to pigments, dyes, binders, glazes, paper, fabrics, and metals; as well as the chemical changes active in processes like fresco painting, etching and photography. Building on a fundamental understanding of chemical and physical principles at work in the materials used to create art, the course will culminate with an exploration of case studies in the use of technology for art conservation and/or the detection of forgeries. The course format will include lecture, some short laboratory exercises, and a field trip. No prerequisites.
  • CHEM 107: Developing World Thirst for Energy
    This course will introduce the concepts behind the ever-increasing global demand for energy. Through laboratory experiments, field trips, and discussions of current events, students will develop an understanding of the many issues related to meeting the world's energy needs. In particular, the dramatic economic growth in China and India raise additional issues about sustainable energy generation in the face of global imbalances in the carbon cycle.
    Cross-listed as: ASIA 107
  • CHEM 108: Environmental Chemistry
    A working knowledge of most environmental issues facing us in the twenty-first century requires an understanding of some key geochemical principles. This course introduces chemistry concepts and skills as they arise in the context of current environmental issues, including chemical cycles in nature, air pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, energy sources, water quality, and solid waste. Students will be asked to collect and interpret their own data, as well as to use simple models to explain environmental issues from a scientific perspective.
    Cross-listed as: ES 108
  • CHEM 109: Learning About the Physical World
    This course will examine selected topics in physical science such as the physical and chemical properties of matter, energy, motion of objects, waves and vibrations, components of the solar system and interactions of objects in the universe. This course is appropriate for students interested in strengthening their knowledge and confidence in investigating fundamental concepts and ideas in science. The course is designed with elementary education majors in mind to provide them with the necessary background for teaching science. Students will participate in lectures, discussions, projects, and laboratory activities. Two 80-minute class hours per week. Not applicable toward the chemistry major or minor.
    Cross-listed as: EDUC 109
  • CHEM 114: Foundations of Chemistry
    Foundations of Chemistry is designed to develop fundamental study skills along with a quantitative and conceptual understanding of chemistry. This course will emphasize stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, and solution chemistry principles. There is no laboratory component for this course and it does not count toward the chemistry major or minor. However, the course can serve as an entrance to the major or minor. The course is intended to be a skills-building and preparatory course for subsequent enrollment into Chemistry 115. Prerequisite: Completion of a science placement test to assess quantitative skills and, for non-first year students, permission of instructor.
  • CHEM 115: Chemistry I
    An introduction to and study of the fundamental concepts and principles of chemistry. Atomic and molecular structure, periodic relationships, chemical bonding, stoichiometry. Properties and theories of gases, liquids, and solids. Laboratory introduces quantitative measurements and computer applications. This course will meet admissions requirements for medical, dental, or pharmacy school. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Students must register for a lab. Prerequisite: Satisfactory score on the departmental placement test to assess quantitative skills or a passing grade in Chemistry 114. Please see Chemistry Department requirements page for details.
  • CHEM 116: Chemistry II
    Thermodynamics and kinetics; chemical equilibria; acids, bases, and buffers; coordination compounds; descriptive chemistry of metals and nonmetals. Laboratory is both quantitative and descriptive and uses much instrumentation. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 115.
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  • CHEM 220: Org Chemistry I
    Introduction to functional groups; nomenclature; resonance; inductive and steric effects; stereochemistry; carbonyl chemistry; nature of organic reactions. Laboratory focuses on microscale synthetic techniques, gas chromatography, and infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 116 or permission of the instructor. Students must also register for a lab.
  • CHEM 221: Org Chemistry II
    Addition, substitution, and elimination reactions; molecular rearrangements; aromaticity; carbohydrates and heterocyclic chemistry. Laboratory focuses on microscale organic synthesis, infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and GC/MS. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: C- or better in CHEM 220 or permission of the instructor.
  • CHEM 300: Biochemistry
    Introduction to biochemistry at the cellular and chemical levels. Emphasis on protein structure and function, enzymes, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism, carbohydrates, and other biological molecules. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 221 and BIOL 120, or permission of the instructor. Students must also register for a lab.
    Cross-listed as: BMB 300
  • CHEM 320: Physical Chemistry I
    Quantum mechanics and the nature of the chemical bond. Emphasis on understanding atomic orbitals, atomic and molecular energy, and the chemical bond. Applications of molecular quantum mechanics; spectroscopy and computational chemistry. Laboratory focuses on experiments that led to the development of quantum mechanics, molecular modeling, and spectroscopy. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 221, MATH 111 or MATH 116; prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 110 or PHYS 120. Students must also register for a lab.
    Cross-listed as: BMB 320
  • CHEM 321: Physical Chemistry II
    The course explores the energy, dynamic behavior, and properties of large groups of molecules. Content includes the behavior of non-ideal gases, the kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and reaction-rate theory. The laboratory focuses on kinetics and thermodynamics with a culminating independent project-based experience. Prerequisite: MATH 111 or MATH 116. Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 111 or PHYS 121.
    Cross-listed as: BMB 321
  • CHEM 340: Inorganic Chemistry
    Relationship among structure, properties, and chemical reactivity of elements from the entire periodic table. Molecular bonding theories, molecular symmetry and group theory, solid-state materials, transition-metal complexes, catalysts, and bioinorganic molecules. Laboratory work includes synthesis, spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and inert-atmosphere techniques. Two class meetings and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 321.
  • CHEM 410: Instrumental Analysis
    Theory and techniques of instrumentation used in modern chemical analysis. Optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, fluorescence, FT-IR, Raman), NMR, mass spectrometry, electroanalytical chemistry, and modern separation techniques (GC, HPLC, and electrophoresis). Laboratory experiments will include most modern instrumental methods and culminate in an independent project. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Satisfies the Senior Studies Requirement. Prerequisite (or corequisite with premission of the instructor): CHEM 320. Students must also register for a lab.
  • CHEM 430: Advanced Organic Chemistry
    Building on the concepts from Organic Chemistry I and II (CHEM 220 and 221), this course offers an extended treatment of the topics of organic chemistry. Stereochemistry, radical chemistry, pericyclic reactions and named reactions used in modern organic synthesis will be emphasized. Course notes will be supplemented by readings from the primary literature. Prerequisite: CHEM 221.
  • CHEM 493: Research Project
    Independent research guided by a faculty advisor. Research areas include organic synthesis; organometallic catalysis; enzyme inhibition; X-ray crystallography; computational chemistry; molecular modeling; solid state chemistry; and spectroscopic studies of air pollution.
  • CHEM 494: Senior Thesis
    An extensive, in-depth, independent research project with faculty guidance. Includes a formal written dissertation and oral presentation. Satisfies the Senior Studies Requirement.
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