Chemistry Department

Descriptions of Chemistry Courses

 

The descriptions given here are intended to tell you more about the course than you would get in the undergraduate catalog. These descriptions will give you an idea of why you might need a course, what it could leads to, etc. Course contents may vary from year to year, professor to professor and are not intended to be rigorously stated here.


CHEM 1110/1120. General Chemistry.

(Four Credits Each) Prerequisite: High school chemistry or Chem 1010/1011. Corequisites: CHEM 1111/1121. Three hours lecture and one three hour laboratory. General Chemistry is a two semester course which introduces students to basic chemical principles. It must be taken in sequence, that is CHEM 1110 followed by CHEM 1120. In General Chemistry you'll discover there are certain themes and concepts that run through all of chemistry. Some of these concepts include the mole, chemical bonding, stoichiometric calculations and chemical equilibrium. You'll develop problem solving skills. (You'll need to work a lot of problems!) There is both a lecture and laboratory component of the course. The lab meets once a week and will give you some hands-on experience doing chemistry, for chemistry is really a dynamic subject. If your chemistry background is weak you should consider enrolling in CHEM 1010 before taking CHEM 1110.


CHEM 2230. Quantitative Analysis.

(Five Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 1120/1121. Corequisite: CHEM 2231. Chemistry 2230 is a five credit hour course including a double lab. Quant introduces students to gravimetric, volumetric, optical, and electrochemical analyses with examples from clinical chemistry, water pollution chemistry, occupational health and safety, and industrial chemistry. It takes time to develop analytical chemistry skills and therefore the quant lab is managed in an open format. Lab is open about five hours daily, allowing students to progress at different rates. Quant is the prerequisite for physical chemistry, instrumental analysis and detection of chemical pollutants. Offered each fall.

CHEM 3000. Careers in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

(One Credit) Prerequisite: CHEM 3010 or 2030. Communicating science, taking standardized tests, applying for graduate/professional school or a job, using library and online resources, and other professional skills. Capstone course. One hour of lecture. Offered each spring.


CHEM 3010. Organic Chemistry I.

(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 1110/1111, 1120/1121. Corequisite: CHEM 3011. Three hours lecture and one three hour laboratory. Organic chemistry is widely recognized as a challenging course. Learning reactions is like learning Chinese: it requires lots of time, determination, and strange symbols to get the message across! However, the hard work eventually pays off. Many standardized tests (MCAT, PCAT, VCAT) put a strong emphasis on reactions and concepts learned during the 3010, 3020 sequence. The first semester of a two semester course, 3010 begins by connecting the concepts of bonding and molecular orbitals learned in General Chemistry to compounds based on carbon and hydrogen (hydrocarbons). The characteristics of hydrocarbons and details of their nomenclature and structure are mastered. The simpler functional groups are introduced: halides, alcohols, alkenes, and alkynes. The characteristics and chemical reactions of these groups are discussed, and rules for their chemical behavior, including electron movement (mechanism) are covered in detail. The accompanying laboratory, which must be taken with the lecture, is intended to introduce the basic laboratory techniques of crystallization, distillation, extraction, chromatography, and use of the chemical literature necessary for chemical synthesis and characterization.


CHEM 3020. Organic Chemistry II.

(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 3010/3011. Corequisite: CHEM 3021. The semester begins with a discussion of aromaticity (an important kind of bonding) and the predictable chemical behavior of aromatic systems. Interpretation of spectral data (interaction of energy with molecules) is another major focus during the semester. The remaining major functional groups are then studied with emphasis on the large categories of carbonyl compounds and amines. The laboratory portion is intended to expose the student to the major classes of organic reactions and spectroscopic and chemical techniques for confirming the identity of reaction products. After completing the 3010, 3020 sequence, the student can look forward to the related topics of Biochemistry, Organic Spectroscopy, Polymers, or Advanced Synthetic Laboratory.


CHEM 3530. Principles of Biochemistry.

(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 2030/2031 or 3020/3021. Corequisite: CHEM 3531. Three hours lecture and one three hour laboratory. Properties, structure, and function of biomolecules. Properties, kinetics, mechanism of action, and regulation of enzymes. Intermediary metabolism and biosynthesis of proteins and nucleic acids.

CHEM 3880. Undergraduate Research II.
(One to four Credits) Pre- or co requisite: CHEM 2230 recommended, or permission of instructor. This class is one of the best ways to prepare you for work in graduate school, or as an industrial technician working with a supervisor on a research project. Many students find research to be the most fun aspect of being a chemistry major, one that also has a large impact on their careers. Before signing up for this class, select an advisor. Working together, you will devise a plan to solve a problem in an area of your interest/your advisor's expertise. As your independence in lab increases, you will be responsible for managing your own time (at least 3 hours per week per credit), discussing results and potential experiments with your advisor, and writing a scientific report about your work. The resulting paper may be sent to the ACS as part of our accreditation history.

 

CHEM 4000. Medicinal Chemistry.
(Three Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 3010/3020 and 3020/3021 or CHEM 2030/2031 with permission of instructor. Drug design and development including structural changes involved in making drug analogues. Drug interactin with macromolecular targets including receptors, enzymes, and DNA. Various classes of drugs and their mechanisms for the treatment of specific therapeutic states. Offered each spring semester.

CHEM 4100. Organic Spectroscopy.
(Three Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 3020/3021 . The structure, reactions, and spectroscopic properties of organic molecules. Detailed interpretations of UV, IR, NMR, and mass spectra are included. Offered spring semesters of odd-numbered years.

CHEM 4230. Instrumental Analysis.
(Four Credits) Prerequisite CHEM 2230/2231. Corequisite: CHEM 4231. Two hours lecture and two hours of laboratory. This is one of the few classes that directly prepares students for industrial jobs. Professional chemistry majors, and others who choose to take the class will learn both theory and laboratory techniques for ultraviolet/visible (UV), infrared (IR), mass (MS) and atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy; gas (GC) and liquid (HPLC) chromatography; and cyclic voltametry (CV) instrumental methods. Laboratory exercises are representative of practical problems encountered in analytical laboratories in industrial and government sectors. Be sure to allow yourself enough time in your schedule to master the subject areas, devote to acquiring data, and writing the substantial laboratory reports. Offered each spring semester.


CHEM 4330/4340. Physical Chemistry Fundamentals I and II.

(Four Credits each) Prerequisites: CHEM 1110/1111 & 1120/1121, CHEM 2230/2231, PHYS 2020/2021, and MATH 1910. Corequisites: 4331/4341. Three hours lecture and one three hour laboratory for each course. This sequence of physical chemistry unifies a student's background in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, however, instead of assuming an extensive background in calculus to develop the theories, the limited but additional calculus beyond MATH 1910 is taught as needed. The examples and emphasis are toward applications of biological interest. The laboratory emphasizes proper laboratory notebook preparation and uses computer spreadsheet and word processor programs for data analysis and report writing. CHEM 4340/1 offered each spring. Two sections of CHEM 4330/1 are offered in the fall and one is offered in the spring. One of the fall sections of CHEM 4330/1 is designed to lead into CHEM 4360 in the spring, while the other fall and the spring sections are designed to stand alone or lead into CHEM 4330/4331. Check with your adviser or an instructor to see which fall section is which; however ANY student will get the same course credit and fill the same major requirements with ANY section of CHEM 4330/4331.


CHEM 4360. In-Depth Physical Chemistry.

(Five Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 4330/4331; MATH 1920. Corequisite: CHEM 4361. A molecular approach to traditional physical chemistry. Concepts and theorems of classical thermodynamics are revisited on the basis of quantum and statistical mechanics applied to simple molecular models. The necessary mathematical apparatus will be discussed in sufficient detail, but only at the applied level. The laboratory session (CHEM 4361, zero credits) will provide hands-on experience with quantum-chemistry computational software to predict thermochemical and spectroscopic properties of molecules. Offered every spring semester. Three hours lecture (CHEM 4360) and two three-hour laboratories (CHEM 4361).


CHEM 4400. Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry Aq: Aqueous and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry.

(Three Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 1120/1121 or equivalent; CHEM 2230 or 4530, and CHEM 3010 recommended. The basic concepts and theories of inorganic chemistry and how these are used to predict and understand the physical and chemical properties of compounds of the elements. Inorganic compounds in the air, water, earth, and in the laboratory and in biochemistry, geochemistry, and industrial materials and processes. Recommended for students with interests in biochemistry, analytical, chemistry, environmental chemistry, materials science, or health-related fields. This course or CHEM 4410 is required for the Certified Chemistry major. Offered spring semesters of odd-numbered years.


CHEM 4410. Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry B: Structure, Bonding, Metallic, and Organometallic Chemistry.

(Three Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 3010; CHEM 3020 recommended; co-registration in CHEM CHEM 4360/4361 recommended. Atomic theory for chemical periodicity; symmetry and group theory; the crystal field theory for transition-metal complexes; molecular orbital theory; chemistry of metals, nonmetals, and organometallic compounds. Recommended for students with interests in organic chemistry, physical chemistry, or graduate work in inorganic chemistry. This course or CHEM 4400 is required for the certified Professional Chemistry major. Three hours lecture. Offered spring semesters of even-numbered years.

 

CHEM 4450. In-Depth Inorganic Chemistry Aq: Aqueous and Bio-Inorganic Chemistry.

(Three Credits) CHEM 2230, 3010, and 4410. In-depth study of concepts and theories of inorganic chemistry and how these are used to predict and understand the physical and chemical properties of compounds of the elements. Inorganic compounds in the air, water, earth, and in the laboratory, and in biochemistry, geochemistry, and industrial materials and processes. Not open to students who have taken or are taking CHEM 4400. Offered spring semesters of odd-numbered years.

 

CHEM 4460. In-Depth Inorganic Chemistry B: Structure, Bonding, Metallic, and Organometallic Chemistry.

(Three credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 3010 and CHEM 4400 required; CHEM 3020 recommended; co-registration in CHEM 4360/1 recommended. In-depth study of atomic theory for chemical periodicity; symmetry and group theory; molecular orbital theory; chemistry of metals, nonmetals, and organometallic compounds. Not open to students who have taken or are taking CHEM 4410. Offered spring semesters of even-numbered years.


CHEM 4500. Biochemistry I.

(Three Credits)Prerequisite: CHEM 3020/3021; not open to those who have had CHEM 3530/3531. Three hours lecture. Chemical properties of biological molecules such as amino acids, proteins, enzymes, and carbohydrates. Chemical basis of enzyme catalysis and reactions of carbohydrate metabolism. Offered each fall.


CHEM 4510. Biochemistry II.

(Three Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 4500. Three hours lecture. Structure and metabolism of lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, and nucleic acids at the molecular level. Emphasis is on the chemistry of metabolic reactions. Offered each spring.

 

CHEM 4520. Topics in Biochemistry.

(Three Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 3530 or 4510 or permission of instructor.                                                                                                                                                           Lectures, readings, and discussions of topics of current interest in biochemistry.                                                                                                                                                             Three hours lecture. Offered each spring.


CHEM 4530. Biochemical Techniques.

(Two Credits) Prerequisite/corequisite:
CHEM 4500 or consent of instructor. Laboratory in biochemical techniques with emphasis on protein purification, enzyme kinetics, carbohydrate and lipid analysis, and manipulation of DNA. One hour lecture and six hours laboratory per week. Offered each spring.


CHEM 4550.
Bioanalytical Chemistry.
(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 2030/2031 or 3020/3021. Corequisite: CHEM 4551 . Analysis and quantitative characterization of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Three hours lecture per week. Offered each fall.

 

CHEM 4600. Introduction to Environmental Chemistry.
(Three Credits.) 
Prerequisites: CHEM 1120 /CHEM 1121  and 8 hours of BIOL and/or CHEM beyond the freshman level. Introduces major environmental issues including climate change, water quality, air pollution, landfills, hazardous wastes, fossil fuels, and alternative energy. The quality of environment and the changes in the environment due to contamination explored. Three hours lecture.

 

 CHEM 4610. Environmental Chemistry.
(Three credits)  Prerequisites:  CHEM 1120 /CHEM 1121 , CHEM 2030 /CHEM 2031  or CHEM 3010 /CHEM 3011   and junior or senior standing. Fundamental chemical principles applied to the fate and behavior of environmental contaminants in soil-water environments. Important toxins explored and their movement and occurrence in ecosystems explained based on chemical and physical parameters. Topics will include pesticides, dioxin, mercury, and bioaccumulation. Three hours lecture.


CHEM 4630. Detection of Chemical Pollutants.
(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 2230/2231 and one semester of organic chemistry or consent of instructor. Three hours lecture and one three hour laboratory per week. This class will teach you how to use instrumental techniques using environmental samples. A variety of instruments are used, including an atomic absorption spectrometer and gas and liquid chromatographs. Both theoretical and practical aspects of analytical chemistry are covered in this course. Environmental science majors are required to take the course, and it is highly recommended for the non-ACS certified chemistry degree. Offered each spring.


CHEM 4700. Polymers, An Introduction.

(Three Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 3020/3021; Physical Chemistry is strongly suggested. This course is intended to be taken in the junior or senior year, and could be considered to be good preparation for graduate study, or an application of major chemical disciplines of organic and physical chemistry, and an introduction to current topics in materials science and engineering. Serious students who are interested in applied chemistry are encouraged to attend. Class time is split into three broad topics: synthesis and reactions of polymers, kinetics of polymer formation and spectroscopic characterization, and engineering of materials and their applications in everyday life. The class work involves problem-solving (homework) and writing/presentation options. The accompanying laboratory CHEM 4780 reinforces the concepts covered in class: classical polymer synthesis and kinetics, electronically interesting polymers, engineering of polymers, spectroscopy of polymers, thermal analysis, etc. Offered fall terms of odd-numbered years.


CHEM 4730. Advanced Physical Chemistry.

(Four Credits) Prerequisite: CHEM 4360/4361 or permission of instructor. Corequisite: CHEM 4731 . Introduction to the computational methods and commercial software that is in very wide use in basic and applied research. Emphasis is on the Hartree-Fock approximation to the Schrödinger equation and its various implementations, the basis sets in use for practical applications, survey of methods to go beyond the Hartee-Fock approximation, and methods to interpret the computations and relate them to experiment. Offered upon sufficient demand.


CHEM 4780 Polymer and Materials Chemistry Laboratory.

(Two Credits) Prerequisites: CHEM 3020; co-requisite: CHEM 4700; CHEM 4330/1 strongly recommended. Laboratory introduction to synthesis, kinetics, characterization, engineering, and application of polymers and other modern materials. Six hours of laboratory. Offered fall terms of odd-numbered years.

 

CHEM 4880. Research.
(Four Credits) Pre- or co requisite: CHEM 4360, or permission of advisor. This class is one of the best ways to prepare you for work in graduate school, or as an industrial technician working with a supervisor on a research project. Many students find research to be the most fun aspect of being a chemistry major, one that also has a large impact on their careers. Before signing up for this class, select an advisor. Working together, you will devise a plan to solve a problem in an area of your interest/your advisor's expertise. As your independence in lab increases, you will be responsible for managing your own time (at least 12 hours per week), discussing results and potential experiments with your advisor, and writing a scientific paper about your work. Normally students spend at least two semesters on a 4880 project. The resulting paper is sent to the ACS and is part of our accreditation history.


P
SCI 4080.
(Four Credits) Prerequisite: consent of instructor. This class is analogous to CHEM 4880, but a research report does not need to be sent to the ACS. Being able to discuss a research project with a potential employer is an excellent "selling point" on the job market. A formal written report must be submitted and approved by the instructor to receive credit for the course .