Department of Chemistry

The department’s undergraduate programs are designed to meet the educational and research needs of students with a variety of interests in the chemical sciences. These include preparation for graduate education, for careers in research, teaching, industry, or regulatory agencies, and, as a premedical track, for professional training in medicine and related health fields. The majors are built upon a core of courses covering the principal areas of chemistry (chemical principles, analytical, organic, physical, inorganic, and biochemistry), as well as calculus and physics.

In addition to the chemistry major, the department also offers a chemistry major with specialization in biochemistry, and in the teaching of chemistry. For the BA in Chemistry, two options of the majors are offered—Option A and Option B. Option A not only qualifies students for certification by the American Chemical Society but also permits diversification through coupling to minors in other fields of science, mathematics, or computer science, and to the  Modular Medical Integrated Curriculum (MMEDIC) program. The Option B major, with its reduced set of course requirements and greater flexibility, may be attractive to students who wish to design programs with additional elective possibilities.

The BA program in the teaching of chemistry coordinates with the School of Education, and qualifies graduates for certification as high school teachers.

The faculty is actively engaged in research with undergraduates in coordination with the graduate program. Research at the frontier of the discipline is an essential component of the primary mission of the department: the education of its students both in the classroom and the laboratory. An advising system provides each undergraduate major with an advisor drawn from the faculty’s professorial ranks.

Prospective chemistry majors are strongly encouraged to consult with the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies early in their college careers.

Departmental Regulations

The student is charged actual cost for nonreturnable items and any breakage in laboratory courses. Approved safety glasses and lab coat must be worn in all laboratory courses. Students with prescription eyewear may wish to obtain prescription safety glasses.

For all sequenced courses in the Department of Chemistry, credit may be received for the first course in a sequence without taking the subsequent course. In all two-course sequences, the first course is prerequisite to the second except as indicated, and a failing grade in the first course precludes registration in the second. A grade of D in the first course of a sequence requires permission of the instructor to continue the sequence.

Students may receive credit for only one sequence in general chemistry (CAS CH 101, 102 or CH 109, 110 or CH 111, 112). The same applies to organic chemistry (CH 203, 204 or CH 211, 212 or CH 203, 214).

Chemistry majors who start in a particular track (CAS CH 111, 112 or CH 109, 110 or CH 101, 102, 201) must complete that track; the same is true for CH 211, 212 and CH 203, 214. Crossing between tracks is not allowed.

Students must receive a grade of at least C in all core, principal, and required related courses taken for all majors in chemistry.

Seniors and BA/MA students completing a two-semester sequence in undergraduate research or senior Honors in Chemistry research are required to present the results of their research at the Departmental Undergraduate Research Colloquium held at the end of the spring semester. All students engaged in undergraduate research are encouraged to participate in the departmental colloquium and specialized seminar series.

Honors in Chemistry

Honors in Chemistry is awarded to graduating seniors who have completed honors research (CH 401 and 402) in their senior year and successfully defended their honors thesis before a committee of three faculty. To be eligible for Honors I Chemistry, a student must also graduate with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA, and a 3.2 GPA in chemistry courses. Applications for Honors in Chemistry are due before the fall semester of the senior year.

Organizations

Sigma Xi

See Honor Societies.

Chemia

The student affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society, Chemia is open to all students interested in chemistry. It sponsors visiting lecturers, films, tours of scientific facilities, and social activities.

Scholarships

J. Philip Mason Memorial Scholarship

This award is given each year to one or more upper-level students in one of the chemistry programs. It recognizes academic excellence, a strong interest in chemistry, and a demonstrated commitment to achieve a high level of performance under difficult conditions.

Anne Gounaris Scholarship

This award is given to one or more deserving CAS students majoring in chemistry, with a preference for female students. It recognizes excellence and high motivation in the field of chemistry.

Laursen Summer Research Scholarship

This award is given in alternate years as a summer stipend to enable a rising junior or, preferably, a rising senior to remain on campus in the summer to do research.