Academics

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

The B.S. degree in chemistry is an intensive and comprehensive undergraduate program as identified by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training (ACS-CPT). This program includes introductory and foundational course work in chemistry, in-depth course work in chemistry and a laboratory emphasis, including research experience that provides for the development of the professional skills needed to be an effective chemist.

Learning Objectives

  1. General Chemistry – foundational courses that are also identified as service courses required by other degree programs. Foundational courses cover topics including but not limited to states of matter, atomic structure, electron configurations, formulas, nomenclature, periodic properties of the elements, mole concepts, molecular/formula mass, empirical and molecular formulas, chemical bonding, molecular geometry, intermolecular and intramolecular forces, balancing equations, stoichiometry, solution chemistry and reactions, gas laws, chemical equilibrium, acid – base chemistry, oxidation-reduction reactions, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and electrochemistry. These topics make up the essential framework of all college level general chemistry courses for science and engineering majors. Outcome: Upon completion of these foundational courses, students will demonstrate an understanding of, and competence with the application of the topics listed above in their study of general chemistry.
  2. Organic Chemistry – foundational and in-depth courses that are also identified as service courses required by other degree programs. Separate laboratory courses for chemistry majors provide the hands-on in-depth experiences with synthesis, chemical separations, measurement of chemical properties, and use of modern instrumentation. Topics include but are not limited to, atomic and electronic structure of carbon as it applies to the chemistry of various types of organic compounds such as aliphatic and aromatic compounds, alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, amines, and carbohydrates among others. These studies include structures, nomenclatures, synthesis and reactions of each functional group, physical and chemical properties and applications of separation and purification as well as instrumental analytical techniques. These topics provide the foundational and some of the in-depth topics common to organic chemistry courses that are part of programs approved by the American Chemical Society. Outcome: Upon completion of these foundational and in-depth courses, students will demonstrate an understanding of, and competence with the application of the topics listed above in their study of organic chemistry.
  3. Biochemistry – foundational and in-depth courses that are also identified as service courses required by other degree programs. These courses include such topics as the structure and function of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, enzymes, cellular and specialized membranes, metabolism and metabolic (catabolic and anabolic) mechanisms, metabolic regulatory mechanisms, genetic mechanisms, transport mechanisms, intra-cellular communication mechanisms, inter-cellular and hormone communication mechanisms among others. Outcome: Upon completion of these foundational and in-depth courses, students will demonstrate an understanding of, and competence with the application of the topics listed above in their study of biochemistry.
  4. Analytical Chemistry – a lecture and laboratory experience providing foundational and in-depth course topics such as gravimetric, titrimetric, complexometric, potentiometric, colorometric, chromatographic and spectroscopic methods. These and other topics are presented with emphasis upon chemical calculations including computational data analysis and modeling, and equilibrium considerations to prepare graduates to perform in a modern chemical laboratory. Outcome: Upon completion of these foundational and in-depth courses, students will demonstrate an understanding of, and competence with the application of the topics listed above in their study of analytical chemistry.
  5. Instrumental Analysis – a lecture and laboratory experience providing in-depth course topics using traditional and modern instrumental theory and laboratory analytical techniques, including but not limited to spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, thermal analysis, computational data analysis, and modeling. Outcome: Upon completion of these in-depth courses, students will demonstrate an understanding of, and competence with the application of the topics listed above in their study of Instrumental Analysis.
  6. Seminar – a course to enhance chemical literature and communication skills.
  7. Research – an individual hands-on experience for each student, mentored by faculty. Outcome: Upon completion of a research project, students will have enhanced their critical thinking, their ability to work independently, and their understanding of state-of-the-art techniques and methods used in scientific research.

Summary Outcomes

Upon completion of these foundational and in-depth courses, students should have mastered the vocabulary, concepts, and skills required to be a professional chemist.

Career Possibilities

A B.S. degree in chemistry provides a wide variety of career opportunities in areas as diverse as the chemical industry, the petroleum industry, the food industry, pharmaceuticals, mining, environmental analysis, and cosmetics, as well as many others. It is also an excellent stepping stone for admission to graduate schools in chemistry and related sciences, as well as professional schools.

Related Academic Unit(s)

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