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The chemistry curriculum is designed for students with a wide variety of interests and needs and is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The curriculum is designed so that students earn a degree that has prepared them for immediate employment as a chemist or for admission to a graduate/professional school. For students who are planning graduate work in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or for those pursuing a career as a practicing industrial chemist, the ACS-certified major in chemistry is highly recommended. Students interested in this program should plan their programs with the department chair as early as possible. Students who are planning to enter medical or dental schools are advised to take the following courses in chemistry: 110, 280, 240, 241, 448.
The Chemistry Department currently offers majors at the B.A. and B.S. degree levels, and a minor in chemistry. The B.A. includes required courses in general, organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry, and one additional chemistry elective, along with cognates in math and physics. The B.S. includes the same core as the B.A., but with an additional required course in biochemistry, an additional chemistry elective, and two additional natural science courses. In order to be credited toward the minor or major, all departmental and cognate courses must be completed with a grade of C– or better. Credit/no credit options cannot be used for departmental or cognate courses. The chemistry department places a strong emphasis on faculty-student research and encourages all students to work with a professor. Opportunities to do so arise from paid summer internships or independent research and Honors projects.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN CHEMISTRY (B.A.)
disciplinary, 12 courses for the Standard track
(11 courses for the Accelerated track, if 190 is taken instead of 110 and 280)
CHEM 110 and 280 (or 190), 240, 241, 310, 318, 320, 425; one additional 300- or 400-level chemistry course, which may include CHEM 450, 490, or 495; MATH 131 Calculus II; PHYS 150 Introductory Physics I and PHYS 160 Introductory Physics II.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN CHEMISTRY (B.S.)
disciplinary, 16 courses for the Standard track
(15 courses for the Accelerated track, if 190 is taken instead of 110 and 280)
CHEM 110 and 280 (or 190), 240, 241, 310, 318, 320, 448, 425, two additional 300- or 400-level chemistry course, one of which may be CHEM 450, 490, or 495; two additional courses in the natural sciences (at least one of which must be at the 200-level or above; MATH 131 Calculus II; PHYS 150 Introductory Physics I; PHYS 160 Introductory Physics II.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR IN CHEMISTRY
disciplinary, 6 courses for the Standard track
(5 courses for the Accelerated track, if 190 is taken instead of 110 and 280)
CHEM 110 and 280 (or 190), 240; one additional chemistry course at the 200-level; two additional chemistry courses from the 300 or 400 level, only one of which may include CHEM 450, 490, or 495.
CHEM 110 Introductory General Chemistry This course presents a survey of chemical concepts in the context of understanding technology that impacts our lives. Fundamental chemistry is illustrated by applications to air pollution (including global warming and ozone depletion), water pollution, energy production, nutrition, and drug design. Laboratory exercises study water chemistry of Seneca Lake, local acid rain, analysis of food, and computer visualization of drug interactions in the body. Field trips include cruises on The William Scandling research vessel. No prerequisites. (Fall, offered annually)
CHEM 190 Accelerated General Chemistry This course is designed for first-year students with a strong high school background in chemistry, and serves as a one-semester replacement for the 110/280 sequence. The course will begin with a brief review of the material covered in high school chemistry and then move on to more advanced topics. Questions such as (1) whether a reaction will occur and at what rate, (2) does a reaction require heat or liberate heat? (3) To what extent will a reaction proceed? and (4) How fast does a reaction proceed? will be explored. In depth laboratory investigations will illustrate these quantitative principles with various types of reactions. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: strong performance in high school chemistry and a satisfactory score on the HWS chemistry placement exam, or instructor permission. (Fall, offered annually)
CHEM 240 Organic Chemistry I This course, normally taken following CHEM 110, is an introduction to the study of organic molecules, and includes structure, mechanism, reactions, synthesis, and practical methods for structure determination. The laboratory emphasizes learning modern techniques and the identification of compounds using spectroscopic methods. Prerequisite: CHEM 110 or 190 (Pelkey, Miller, offered every semester)
CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry II This course is a continuation of CHEM 240 with an increased emphasis on mechanism and synthetic strategies. The main focus of this course is carbonyl chemistry, which is the foundation for a great many biochemical processes including protein, DNA, RNA, and carbohydrate biosynthesis and metabolism. Other topics include conjugation, aromaticity, and pericyclic reactions. The laboratory incorporates new synthetic techniques and analytical instrumentation, and includes formal reports upon the structure determination of unknown compounds. Prerequisite: CHEM 240. (Miller, Pelkey, offered every semester)
CHEM 260 Environmental Chemistry This courses explores all aspects of the chemistry of the environment, but emphasizes human impact on the atmosphere. For example, the ozone hole, acid rain, and global climate change will be studied in detail. Aerosols, colloids, and the importance of surfaces will also be explored. Pollution in water and soil, especially when impacted by the chemistry of the atmosphere, is introduced. Throughout the course, chemical processes are explained emphasizing kinetic and equilibrium models. Prerequisite: CHEM 280 (or 190). (Offered occasionally)
CHEM 280 Intermediate General Chemistry A close look at qualitative and quantitative aspects of chemical reactivity. Questions concerning whether a reaction will occur and at what rate are explored. Does the reaction require heat or liberate heat? To what extent will the reaction proceed? Laboratory exercises illustrate these quantitative principles with various types of reactions. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 110. (Spring, offered annually)
CHEM 302 Forensic Science This course describes basic scientific concepts and technologies that are used in solving crimes. Students are introduced to a number of techniques such as mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, high performance liquid chromatography and electrophoresis. Descriptions of how these methods of analysis are used in many facets of forensic science such as drug analysis, toxicology, hair, fiber, and paint analyses, and fingerprinting are summarized. Students also spend a few weeks of this course putting theory into practice by conducting hands-on experiments in the laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 240 or permission of instructor. (de Denus, offered occasionally)
CHEM 304 Bonding with Food: The Chemistry of Food Preparation, Production, & Policy Chemistry is a fundamental component of home and restaurant food preparation, as cooking is ultimately a series of complex chemical reactions. Chemistry is also essential to the production of food, from the most basic ingredients to the most elaborate grocery store offerings. An understanding of how society produces food, and how these practices are both regulated and manipulated, can be informed by an appreciation of the chemistry that underlies these techniques. This course begins by providing a background in food-related chemistry based on the foundation laid during introductory and organic chemistry, then applies this knowledge to the understanding of food production and policy. Students will design and perform experiments using food, research and write about issues of food production and policy, and communicate their findings to each other and to the campus community. Prerequisites: CHEM 241 or permission of instructor. (Miller, offered occasionally)
CHEM 310 Quantitative Chemical Analysis The first part of the course investigates aqueous and nonaqueous solution equilibria including theory and application of acid-base, complexation, oxidation-reduction reactions, and potentiometric methods of analysis. The second part of the course includes an introduction to spectroscopy, analytical separations, and the application of statistics to the evaluation of analytical data. Laboratory work emphasizes proper quantitative technique. Normally taken in the junior year. Prerequisite: CHEM 280 (or 190). (Bowyer, offered annually)
CHEM 315 Bioanalytical Chemistry This course will examine modern analytical and instrumental techniques as applied to biological systems. Particular focus will be placed on methods that elucidate protein structure and function as well as characterization of nucleic acids. The scope of the course will include fundamental theory and practical applications of spectroscopic methods, electrophoresis, biosensors, centrifugation, immunochemical methods, and calorimetry. Prerequisite: CHEM 280 (or 190), or permission of the instructor. (K. Slade, offered occasionally)
CHEM 318 Inorganic Chemistry A systematic survey of the principal reactions and properties associated with various groups and periods in the periodic table. A generally qualitative approach to preparation and properties of various classes of inorganic compounds such as: acids and bases, oxidation and reduction systems, complex ions, amphoteric oxides, and ionic compounds, and the quantitative manipulations of these systems. Prerequisites: CHEM 280 (or 190). (de Denus, offered annually)
CHEM 320 Physical Chemistry I This course offers a fundamental and comprehensive introduction to kinetics and thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is one of the most powerful tools of science as it is a systematic method for understanding the flow of energy and heat between macroscopic bodies. Thermodynamics focuses on understanding systems at equilibrium and is concerned only with the initial and final state of a system. Kinetics, on the other hand, deals with the time dependence of the molecular system and how quickly or slowly the reaction proceeds. This course also provides a review of various mathematic tools that are widely used in chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 280 (or 190), MATH 131, and PHYS 160 or permission of instructor. (Newby, Fall, offered annually)
CHEM 322 Physical Chemistry II This course explores the realm of the electron, focusing on electron behavior at its most fundamental level. The course focuses on understanding quantum mechanics and how the interaction of radiation and matter gives rise to the spectroscopic instruments so crucially important in modern chemistry. Subjects discussed include wave mechanics, the harmonic oscillator and rigid rotator as models for vibration and rotation, chemical bonding and structure, approximation methods that allow quantum mechanics to be applied to large macromolecular systems, and various types of emission and adsorption spectroscopy. This course also reviews the mathematical tools necessary for understanding physical systems at the atomic and molecular level. Laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 280 (or 190), MATH 131, and PHYS 160 or permission of instructor. (Newby, Spring, offered most years)
CHEM 325 Physical Biochemistry This course will introduce students to the behavior of biological macromolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipid membranes, with an emphasis on their behavior within living cells. Topics will include models that relate the chemical sequence of the biomacromolecule to its three-dimensional structure, the physical properties of biomacromolecules, the application of physical techniques to the study of biological systems with an emphasis on spectrographic methods (including circular dichroism, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and Foster Resonance Energy Transfer) and the innovative technological applications that have been developed using biomolecules.
CHEM 425 Advanced Integrated Lab This course integrates techniques in analytical, inorganic, biochemical, and physical chemistry into project-oriented experiments. Such projects will involve synthesis, isolation, characterization, and analysis of inorganic and biomolecules. due to the advanced nature of many of these experiments, troubleshooting and problem-solving are required elements of this course. Effective use of primary literature and communication of results will also be major components of this course. Proficiency in statistical treatment of the data is also required. This course serves as the capstone laboratory experience for chemistry majors. Prerequisites: CHEM 190 or 280; CHEM 241; plus at least one of the following three courses as a prerequisite and a second of these three courses as at least a co-requisite: CHEM 318, CHEM 320, CHEM 448; or instructor permission. (Offered every semester)
CHEM 436 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry The descriptive chemistry of a wide variety of inorganic and organometallic compounds is unified with structure, bonding, and reaction mechanism concepts. Topics such as group theory, metal catalysis, ligand and molecular orbital theory, and bioinorganic chemistry are introduced. Laboratory work provides the opportunity to learn advanced techniques such as inert atmosphere synthesis, NMR, and electrochemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 318, and either 320 or 322, or permission of instructor. (de Denus, offered occasionally)
CHEM 437 Instrumental Analysis Analysis is an important part of any chemical investigation. This course examines the theory and practice of typical modern instrumental methods of analysis with emphasis on electrochemical, spectroscopic, and chromatographic techniques. Laboratory. Prerequisites: CHEM 310 and 320. (Bowyer, offered occasionally)
CHEM 447 Advanced Organic Chemistry This course offers an advanced treatment of a selected group of topics in organic chemistry which could include: asymmetric synthesis, synthetic organometallic chemistry, combinatorial chemistry, solid-phase chemistry, heterocycles, carbohydrate chemistry, pericyclic reactions/frontier molecular orbitals, advanced spectroscopy, and/or natural products total synthesis. The emphasis of the course is to further understanding of fundamental concepts in organic chemistry including mechanism, structure, and/or synthesis. Prerequisite: CHEM 241 (Pelkey, Miller, offered occasionally)
CHEM 448 Biochemistry I The first part of this course involves the study of the structure, function, and physical properties of biological macromolecules. These include proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, with particular emphasis on the kinetics and mechanisms of enzyme catalysis. The second part of the course deals with carbohydrate metabolic pathways, principles of bioenergetics, electron transport, and oxidative phosphorylation. Prerequisites: CHEM 280 (or 190) and 241, or permission of the instructor. (Craig, K. Slade, offered annually)
CHEM 449 Biochemistry II A continuation of CHEM 448, the first half of this course covers integrated intermediary metabolism of lipids, amino acids, and nucleic acids. The second half deals with chemical mechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Special topics such as muscle contraction, mechanisms of hormone action, recombinant DNA, and neurochemistry are discussed. Laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 448. (Craig, K. Slade, offered annually)
CHEM 450 Independent Study (Offered each semester)
CHEM 490 Industrial Internship The internship offers students the opportunity to work on research and development in industrial settings in the Finger Lakes region. Students may elect to take one to three credits in a term. An effort is made to match each student with an industry corresponding to his/her interest. Student work is supervised both by a faculty member and by an industrial supervisor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. (Offered each semester)
CHEM 495 Honors (Offered each semester)