Bachelors (BS) in Chemistry

Overview

The chemistry major offers a 55- or 56-semester-hour course of study. The major is designed for students who plan to enter a variety of careers, including teaching, chemical research, environmental chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, graduate school and medicine. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BS in chemistry will:

  • Understand the fundamental principles and applications in the major sub-disciplines of chemistry
  • Critically analyze a breadth of chemical problems and experimental results
  • Execute chemical experiments utilizing modern methods, instrumentation, computer applications, and the scientific method of investigation
  • Properly utilize chemical information systems
  • Communicate technical material effectively both orally and in writing
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Major Requirements

Core requirements

Complete the following:

This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: A math SAT score of at least 500 (test taken prior to March 2016) or a math SAT score of at least 530 (test taken March 2016 or later), or successful completion of MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics (or equivalent).
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I.
An introduction to the principles and techniques of quantitative chemical analysis. Subject matter includes volumetric and complexometric analysis; neutralization, precipitation, and oxidation-reduction titrations; solubility; statistical methods of data analysis; UV/Vis and atomic absorption spectroscopy; fluorescence spectroscopy; and chromatographic methods. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A survey of topics in inorganic chemistry, including atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic trends of structure, physical properties and reactivities of the elements, group theory as applied to molecular structure, and nonmetal and transition metal chemistry. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
An introduction to modern theoretical chemistry, emphasizing the fundamental physical principles of chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. The study of thermodynamics will apply mathematical models of energy relationships to the understanding of chemical equilibrium. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry; MATH 202 Calculus II; Corequisites: PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 212 General Physics with Calculus II.
An introduction to the quantum mechanical description of matter. Emphasis on the development of fundamental principles of quantum theory and applications to atomic and molecular structure and spectroscopy. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry; MATH 202 Calculus II; Corequisites: PHYS 202 General Physics II or PHYS 212 General Physics with Calculus II; MATH 301 Calculus III
An advanced, senior-level course that will focus on reading and searching the chemical literature for the purpose of designing an independent research project. One lecture per week. Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission.
An advanced, senior-level laboratory course integrating synthetic techniques, instrumental methods, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, spectroscopy and an original research project. The purpose is to build on and consolidate the student’s previous experiences in experiment design and execution, data acquisition and analysis, problem solution, and oral and written communication of results. Two laboratory sessions per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 461.

Complete the following:

The class is a study of limits limits of functions, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics or equivalent.
A study of differential and integral calculus for functions of one variable. Additional topics include polar coordinates, infinite series, and parametric equations. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
This course is an extension of MATH 201 and 202 Calculus I and II to functions of more than one variable. Topics include vectors, vector-valued functions, partial derivatives, and multiple integration. Prerequisite: MATH 202 Calculus II.

Choose one of the following sequences:

Sequence 1:
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 General Physics I.
Sequence 2:
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 211 General Physics with Calculus I.

Choose one of the following:

A systematic and theoretical study of the biochemical activities of living cells. Topics to be covered will include: the structure, properties, and molecular interactions of biomolecules, metabolic pathways, bioenergetics, and metabolism of biomolecules, and RNA, DNA, and protein synthesis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I and CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II.
An advanced study of organic reactions and structures including, reaction mechanisms, linear free energy relationships, isotope effects, pericyclic reactions, spectroscopy, and molecular modeling. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry II.

Philosophy: The opportunity to pursue a chemistry thesis is an honor. Consequently, the thesis option will be noted on a student's transcript. The thesis is designed to enhance a student's preparation for graduate or professional school. The heart of the thesis is original research conducted under the guidance of a chemistry faculty member.

Eligibility: The thesis option may be pursued by any chemistry major in good academic standing. Students wishing to pursue a thesis must:

  1. Consult with their research advisor about an acceptable research project.
  2. In writing, notify the chemistry thesis committee (composed of the chemistry department faculty) of their intention to conduct research. The thesis committee must receive notification by the end of the fall semester of the student's junior year.

After the beginning of the spring semester of a student's junior year, students must petition the department thesis committee for permission to pursue thesis research. Students who pursue the thesis option must:

  1. Enroll in at least 1 hour of Chemical Research (CHEM 465) each semester, beginning the spring semester of their junior year, through the spring semester of their senior year.
  2. Submit the first copy of a written thesis to the thesis committee by April 1 of their senior year. The final, edited copy is due to the thesis committee the last day of classes during the spring semester.
  3. Prepare a poster and give an oral presentation of their research.

In some cases, students may apply research conducted off campus to the CHEM 465 requirement. Students who participate in off-campus research programs may petition the thesis committee for special consideration of the thesis option. The thesis committee must receive the petition by the beginning of the fall semester of the student's senior year. The thesis committee may elect to substitute the off-campus experience for a portion of the CHEM 465 requirement.