2011-2012 Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Biochemistry

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  • Professors: James Eberhart, Ronald Ruminski, and Allen Schoffstall
  • Associate Professors: David Anderson (Chair) and David Weiss
  • Assistant Professors: Sonja Braun-Sand, Renee Henry, and Janel Owens
  • Professor Attendant Rank: Jerry Phillips
  • Professors Adjunct: Al Hagedorn and Gordon Kresheck
  • Senior Instructors: Cynthia Applegate, Chet Dymek and Mary Bethé Neely
  • Instructors: John Balyeat, Lisa Eagan, Brett Mayer, and Nicole Zwick 

Program Description


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs that meet the needs of most students wishing to obtain an undergraduate degree in the chemical sciences.

The programs leading to Bachelor of Science degrees are intended for students who plan to choose chemistry or biochemistry as a profession, or for students wishing to pursue graduate work in those fields. The B.S. in Chemistry degree is one of 600 in the United States that is certified by the ACS. Some B.S. graduates gain employment as chemists upon completion of their degree programs, while others go on to graduate studies.

Students desiring a less comprehensive program in chemistry or biochemistry, such as premedical students, should elect a Bachelor of Arts degree. Judicious selection of additional courses permits the B.A. major to satisfy prerequisites for admission to graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry, or related fields.

The teacher education options are for students wishing to teach in secondary education. Please contact the College of Education for further information concerning the education requirements for these options.

In addition to its undergraduate degrees, the department also offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Sciences  (M.Sc.) in Chemistry or Biochemistry, as well as dual B.A./M.Sc.  and B.S./M.Sc.  programs.

Several chemistry courses are offered as a service to students majoring in other science fields and in social sciences and arts and humanities fields.  CHEM 1000 Chemistry in the Modern World, CHEM 1300 CSI-Forensic Chemistry, and CHEM 1510 Environmental Science, all of which have an optional lab component, are offered for non-science majors.  CHEM 3010 Materials Science, CHEM 3410 Environmental Chemistry, and CHEM 3880 Forensic Chemistry are offered as elective courses for science majors.

Not all chemistry courses are offered every year. Check the Schedule of Courses for offerings available each semester.


Students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry should keep a copy of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Advising Brochure (obtainable from the departmental adminstrative assistant) that is in effect when they declare a major. This brochure will be referred to throughout a student’s career. Students are bound to the rules in effect when they first declare a major. This is important because the rules and course requirements may change somewhat from year to year. Chemistry and biochemistry majors should consult regularly with departmental faculty advisors, and in particular with the department chair, as outlined in the advising brochure. Academic advising is a very important aspect of one’s education. Students need to plan their courses carefully since there are numerous and specific prerequisites for advanced courses that must be completed in an orderly sequence during the freshman through junior years. In addition, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences requirements in the humanities and social sciences must be worked into the schedule. If students are not able to follow the curricula outlined in the Four-Year Plans for our degree programs, the possibility for scheduling conflicts increases, and the likelihood of finishing in four years decreases. Decisions on application to medical, dental, and graduate schools and on employment are also critical. Students should consult faculty advisors when making these decisions.

Additional Departmental Rules

Area Requirements: Natural Science

Students who complete a chemistry or biochemistry degree may count 10 semester hours of PES 1110, 1120, 1160, and 2160 as part of their natural science area requirement. Since PES 1110, 1120, 1160, and 2160 are not on the approved list of courses, students not completing a chemistry or biochemistry degree cannot count these courses toward their area requirement for a non-chemistry College of Letters, Arts and Sciences degree.

Chemistry Electives

For chemistry and biochemistry majors, chemistry electives must be chosen from upper division (3000-level and above) chemistry courses.


As part of the department’s assessment protocol, students in many chemistry courses will be tested using standardized ACS subject exams.

Preparatory Chemistry

Students who have not taken chemistry in high school should take CHEM 1150 Preparatory Chemistry, prior to attempting the General Chemistry sequence (CHEM 1030-1060).

Grade Requirements

Chemistry majors must achieve grades of C or better in all chemistry courses required for the major. Grades of C or higher are also required for all required biology, physics and math courses.

Laboratory Fee

There is a $50 fee for each laboratory course: one course, $50; two courses, $100; etc. The policy for fee refunds for dropping or withdrawing is described in the General Information section. Chemistry Research courses (CHEM 4990/5990) are considered to be lab courses. Lab fees are charged for these courses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire knowledge in the areas of biology, mathematics, physics, and technology to enable the student to manipulate experimental data and facilitate the understanding and derivation of fundamental relationships.
  • Learn principles and applications of general, organic, analytical, physical, biochemical, and inorganic areas of chemistry, and an integrated overview of chemistry.
  • Be able to compete effectively for a position in the workplace as a professional chemist or biochemist, for admission to graduate or professional schools, or for careers in other fields.
  • Be able to communicate effectively about topics of importance to chemists and biochemists.
  • For those students who take service courses in chemistry, to achieve the course objectives and fulfill the chemically related goals and requirements of their majors.
  • Chemistry and biochemistry majors meet with an advisor in the department to plan out their learning experiences.

Honors Program

In addition to the normal undergraduate curriculum in chemistry and biochemistry, the department offers interested and qualified undergraduates an opportunity to increase further the breadth and depth of their training through the Departmental Honors Program. Qualified students are invited to participate in honors sections of CHEM 1060 and CHEM 3380. To participate fully in the departmental honors program, students must also complete an honors research project and submit an honors thesis to the department. Students completing an honors thesis will automatically be considered for graduation with departmental honors. Prior to or during the first semester of the junior year, interested students should contact any chemistry ro biochemistry faculty member regarding the prospect of graduation with departmental honors. Graduation with departmental honors requires students to have achieved at least a 3.4 grade point average and to carry out a research project, which is to be reported in both written and verbal forms (CHEM 4960 Chemistry Seminar II).

Undergraduate Research

All chemistry and biochemistry majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in Chemistry Research - Undergraduate (CHEM 4990) and to become engaged in one or more research experiences. Many students start on their research in the sophomore year and definitely in the junior year. Apply by seeing the department chair or another department faculty member.

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