Apr 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Interim Catalog 
2020-2021 Interim Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry, B.A.

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Member of the Division of Science


Elizabeth Trimmer


Andrew Graham
Heriberto Hernandez-Soto
Maisha Kamunde-Devonish
Erick Leggans 
Mark Levandoski
Leslie Lyons
Elaine Marzluff
Martin Minelli - Senior Faculty Status
T. Andrew Mobley
Kristi Peters
Lee Sharpe - Senior Faculty Status
Stephen Sieck
James Swartz - Senior Faculty Status
Diana Thatcher

Chemistry, as pure science, seeks to describe and make comprehensible the nature and transformations of matter. As applied science, it provides society with knowledge and tools to achieve its material purposes. By coupling creative thought with experimentation, the study of chemistry contributes to a liberal education.

The Department of Chemistry recommends that students considering chemistry as a major begin coursework as first-year students. The starting point for those with no more than a year of secondary school chemistry is CHM 129 . (For students with AP/IB credit, starting with CHM 210  may be appropriate.)

The department emphasizes laboratory investigation in its curriculum. Students have excellent facilities for independent projects and study, and majors get hands-on experience with modern instrumentation in several areas of chemistry. A variety of computers are used for data acquisition, simulation, and analysis in all courses. An active summer program provides further opportunities for intensive research.

A major in chemistry may lead to a career in chemical research or education. It also serves those who seek to enter the medical or engineering professions and those wishing to pursue graduate work in fields such as biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, geology, environmental science, nutrition, and materials science, or for others, as a focus for liberal education.

To complete the major, MAT 131  and MAT 133  and PHY 131  and PHY 132  are needed and should be taken as early as possible. Students contemplating graduate work in science should consider taking two additional semesters of mathematics (MAT 215  and MAT 220 ) as well as related coursework in biology and physics, depending on personal interests and goals. The department recommends the study of a foreign language, because chemistry is an international discipline. Note: CHM 100  does not count towards the major.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits

With permission, up to 4 of the minimum of 32 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department. 

Core Requirements: 24 credits

Advanced Electives: 8 credits

 Eight additional credits must be included from these courses:


To be considered for honors in chemistry, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must be selected by the chemistry faculty. The criteria used to decide which students have achieved sufficient distinction and academic excellence to qualify for honors in chemistry are both objective and subjective in nature. Honors signifies an underlying commitment to the discipline as evidenced by participation in departmental affairs and activities (such as serving as a mentor), attendance at co-curricular activities such as departmental seminars and poster presentations both on and off campus, and other indications of strong interest above and beyond normal classroom participation and achievement. The faculty believes that honors signifies both academic excellence and an unusually high commitment and dedication to the discipline. Graduating with honors in chemistry should not be regarded solely as the culmination of previous accomplishments, but rather an expectation of future accomplishments in the discipline in the years ahead.

American Chemical Society

American Chemical Society (ACS) Certification: The department’s program is approved by the ACS through its Committee on Professional Training and offers a certification program to students who meet requirements of both breadth and depth in their chemistry studies. The graduates who complete the following program meet the ACS certification standards:

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