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Chemistry deals with phenomena that affect nearly every aspect of our lives and environment. A liberal arts education in this scientific and technological age should include some exposure to the theories, laws, applications, and potential of this science.

The chemistry curriculum is sufficiently flexible to allow students with career interests in areas such as the health professions, law, business, and education to design a major program suitable to their goals. Students interested in careers in chemistry or biochemistry will find chemistry electives that provide a strong background for work in graduate school, industry, or other positions requiring a strong foundation in chemistry. A major in biological chemistry has been developed in conjunction with the biology department, and is described in a separate section of the catalog. The department and its curriculum are approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), and an ACS-certified major is offered. More information on the chemistry department and the major is available on the website (

Major Requirements. The requirements for chemistry majors include core courses, elective courses, and senior research and seminar. Some courses have math and/or physics prerequisites. Students who major in chemistry may use no more than one of the following toward their General Education requirements: physics minor, General Education concentrations C006 (Applying Mathematical Methods) or C056 (Physics of the Large and Small). Students may not double major in chemistry and biological chemistry. 200-level core courses should be completed by the end of the junior year.

Core Courses.

One of the following:
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment/Lab.
FYS 398. The Chemistry of Color/Lab.

One of the following:
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity/Lab.
CH/ES 108B. Chemical Reactivity in Environmental Systems/Lab.

All of the following:
CHEM 212. Separation Science/Lab.
CHEM 215. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II/Lab.
CHEM 301. Quantum Chemistry.

One of the following:
CHEM 302. Statistical Thermodynamics.
CHEM 310. Biophysical Chemistry.

One of the following:
CHEM s37. Advanced Chemical Measurement Laboratory/Lab.
CHEM s42. Chemical Synthesis and Reactivity/Lab.

Elective Courses. Majors take two chemistry courses numbered 200 or above (s37 or s42 may be taken if not used to fulfill the core major requirements). When satisfying the elective requirements, two restrictions apply. First, one course may not serve as both a core course and an elective. Second, independent study courses (360 or s50) cannot be used to satisfy elective requirements.

Course selections depend upon the goals and interests of the student. All students preparing for graduate study should choose advanced courses in their specific area of interest.

Senior Research and Seminar. The written thesis required of all majors may be either a laboratory thesis or a library thesis. Students doing a laboratory thesis may register for CHEM 457, 458, or both, while students doing a library project may register for CHEM 457 or 458. Students pursuing honors register for both 457 and 458. The senior research and seminar courses include participation in the department's seminar program. Each major is required to deliver one presentation per semester of thesis credit during the senior year.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Advance Placement. Students receiving scores of four or five on the Chemistry AP examination, a grade of A or B on the A-level Chemistry examinations, or a grade of six or seven on the IB HL program examination may receive credit for CHEM 107 and/or 108. These credits may be used toward a major or minor in chemistry and may be used as a prerequisite for any course that requires CHEM 107 or 108. They may not be used as a prerequisite for medical school.

Minor. Students may complete a minor in chemistry by taking seven chemistry courses that include 107A, 107B, or FYS 398; 108A or 108B; and five upper-level chemistry courses or departmentally designated courses, at least one of which must be a 300-level course, s37, or s42. Independent study courses (360 or s50) cannot be used to satisfy minor requirements. Only departmentally designated cross-listed courses may be applied toward the minor.

Students majoring in biological chemistry or the chemistry track of environmental science may not minor in chemistry.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses counting toward the minor.

General Education. Students may satisfy the [W2] requirement by completing any three of the following courses: Chemistry 212, 215, 301, 310, 321, 325, 327, s37, or s42.