Chemistry

Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

  • DOUGLAS P. JENSEN, chair
  • SHARON STRICKLAND, associate chair
  • MAHDOKHT BEHRAVAN
  • WILLIAM CASE
  • H. NEVAL ERTURK
  • JENNIFER HAWK
  • EDNA STEELE

Mission

The Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics strives to provide a rich and rigorous course of study in the natural sciences and an environment in which students explore scientific principles. The curricula are designed to enable majors to achieve employment in laboratories and secondary education, to pursue graduate degrees in biology, biochemistry, and chemistry, and to enter professional programs in medical fields.

Degrees and Programs Offered

The Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics offers majors in biology and chemistry with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The department also offers majors in biochemistry and medical technology with a Bachelor of Science degree. Students earning biology or chemistry majors may earn secondary teaching certification; students interested in this certification should discuss this with their advisors and the Department of Education as early as possible, as secondary certification requirements may not be identical to major requirements.

The department also offers minors in biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental studies. The Environmental Studies minor is described in the Interdisciplinary Minors section of this catalog. Many students with majors in the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics participate in pre-health curricula, which are described in the Career and Pre-Professional Programs section of this catalog. These programs are not part of the majors, and the majors are not required for them.

The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts.

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course. Capstone experience.
  • For more information see the GEP requirements in this catalog.

Chemistry Major with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree

Student Learning Outcomes:

Through completion of the Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, our graduates will:

  1. acquire an intermediate understanding of chemical principles that comprise the major sub-disciplines of the field (organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and biochemistry).
  2. develop laboratory skills and techniques
  3. engage in the scientific process through participation in faculty-sponsored research projects
  4. enhance oral and written communication skills appropriate for chemists

To earn a major or minor in chemistry a student must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all required chemistry coursework. Grades in cognate courses are not included in the GPA calculation. Elective credits beyond the required number may not be included in the calculation.

To receive the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry, students must receive a grade of C- or higher in every chemistry course required for the major, excluding cognate coursework.

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

CHM 106 : INTRODUCTION TO EXCEL FOR SCIENTISTS

This course is an introduction to using Microsoft Excel in scientific settings. Students will be introduced to the basic functions of Excel as well as analyze real data using various Excel functions. This course is open to everyone, but will be geared toward science majors. There are no prerequisites. This course is offered periodically.

Credits

1

CHM 110 : A SCIENTIST’S FOOD FOR THOUGHT

This course is intended for non-science majors and/or students who desire to learn more about the chemistry and science of food. Topics will include different types of food, the growth and production of food, cooking methods, the storage of food, fad diets, and the food needs of humans as they relate to “hot topics” that influence our current society and the future of our world.

Credits

3

CHM 117 : STUDY TRAVEL PROGRAM

A special program offering the student the opportunity to learn about chemical applications in the United States and in foreign countries. The student will incur additional costs.

Jan 2022 Hit the Road, Monterey Jack!  Have you ever wondered how cheese is made and why it tastes the way it does?  This non-lab, natural science GEP course will focus on the science of cheese making.  We will work our way through several cheese making methods starting with raw milk through the aging process. We will also introduce the molecules that are responsible for giving various cheeses their distinct flavors and learn why some cheeses pair with other foods better than others. In addition to learning the science behind various types of cheeses and how they are made, we will embark on an epic quest in France to taste cheeses and explore how they are made. 

Credits

3 - 4

CHM 125 : FIRST YEAR SEMINAR IN CHEMISTRY

First-Year Seminars (FYS) constitute a common and academically significant experience in a student’s first year at Converse University. All incoming first- year students are required to take a 3-credit hour FYS in the fall semester, choosing from a variety of discipline specific topics. Each FYS carries the corresponding departmental prefix, but with a common course number. Lecture format only. FYS in chemistry will explore modern topics in chemistry as determined by the instructor. Special emphasis is given to cultivating critical thinking, effective speaking and writing skills. Offered periodically.

Credits

3

CHM 150 : CHEMISTRY IN THE REAL WORLD

A laboratory course designed for non-science majors that provides an introduction to current innovations and research in chemistry. Specific topics will be selected by the instructor but could include forensics, medicine, food, environmental issues and nuclear chemistry. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab Fee. Offered alternate Fall Terms.

Credits

4

CHM 190 : GENERAL CHEMISTRY

This is the first course in an introductory four semester sequence intended for chemistry and biochemistry majors, minors and pre health students. The course lays the foundation for further coursework in chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, various chemical reactions, chemical bonding models, and an introduction to chemical thermodynamics and equilibrium. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab Fee. Offered every Fall Term

Credits

4

Prerequisites

High school Algebra or equivalent. Required for major and minor.

CHM 190H : GENERAL CHEMISTRY HONORS

This is the first course in an introductory four semester sequence intended for chemistry and biochemistry majors, minors and pre health students. The course lays the foundation for further coursework in chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, various chemical reactions, chemical bonding models, and an introduction to chemical thermodynamics and equilibrium. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab Fee. Offered every Fall Term

GEP Quantitative.

Credits

4

CHM 199H : FRESHMAN HONORS SEMINAR

A course for Nisbet Honors Program students who are interested in understanding some contemporary technological issues with the discipline of chemistry. The course provides the basic scientific knowledge necessary to understand these issues. The laboratory will introduce students to the scientific method and common laboratory techniques in chemistry. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab Fee. Offered periodically in rotation with seminars and other disciplines. Satisfies the FYS requirement for 1st year students.

Credits

4

CHM 203 : ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I

This is the second course in the four semester introductory chemistry sequence for majors, minors and pre health students. A systematic survey of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and alkyl halides. Study includes structure, functional groups, nomenclature, stereochemistry, reactions, reaction mechanisms, and spectroscopy (IR and NMR), with an emphasis on the connection between structure and reactivity. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered every Spring Term

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 190 with a grade of C- or higher.

CHM 204 : ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II

This is the third course in the four semester introductory chemistry sequence for majors, minors and pre health students. A systematic survey of aromatic compounds, alcohols, ethers, ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, carboxylic acid derivatives, and amines. Study includes structure, functional groups, nomenclature, stereochemistry, reactions, reaction mechanisms, and spectroscopy (IR and NMR), with an emphasis on the synthesis of organic compounds. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered every Fall Term.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 203 with a grade of C- or higher.

CHM 251 : QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

A study of the theoretical and practical aspects of the quantitative chemical analysis of samples, with emphasis on non- instrumental techniques. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered every Fall Term.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 190 with a grade of C- or higher

CHM 299H : INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS COURSE

A team-taught course open to Nisbet Honors Program participants and to others who meet Honors Program guidelines; course is taught by faculty from two different departments. All students registering for this course must register not only through the Honors Program but also with their adviser and the Registrar’s Office. Offered periodically.

Credits

3

CHM 306 : SPECTROSCOPIC IDENTIFICATION OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS PROGRAM: CHEMISTRY

The actual structure of an organic compound cannot be determined from its bulk properties but must be unraveled using indirect spectroscopic evidence. Interpretation of the data gathered from IR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry will be used to solve the structures of various organic compounds.

Major Elective. 
 

Credits

3

Prerequisites

Prerequisite: CHM 203, with a grade of C- or higher.

CHM 307 : JUNIOR SEMINAR

The first of two capstone courses for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Course is completed in the student’s junior year. Offered every Spring Term.

Credits

1

CHM 310 : INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

This is the fourth course in the four semester introductory chemistry sequence for majors, minors and pre health students. Study of the synthesis and behavior of inorganic substances. Topics include certain aspects of thermodynamics, transition metal chemistry, group theory, atomic and molecular bonding theories, and electrochemical processes as they pertain to inorganic compounds and materials. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab Fee. Offered every Spring Term.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 203 with a grade of C- or higher; MTH 110 or equivalent; 204 recommended

CHM 311 : ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY

A study of the chemical substances that are major causes of pollution in our environment and of the techniques used to detect their presence and/or prevent their release into the environment. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered periodically during the Jan term.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 251 with a grade of C- or higher

CHM 315 : PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I

This is the first course of a two part sequence that studies the underlying physical concepts important to chemistry. As an upper level course, it goes in depth to study the mathematical relationships and physical interpretations of those relationships. Topics include the properties of gases, thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered every Fall Term.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 310; PHY 241-242 or 251-252; MTH 120 and 210 with a grade of C- or higher in each prerequisite; Physics and Math requirements may be substituted with instructor approval.

CHM 316 : PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II

This is the second course in the two-part physical chemistry sequence. This course goes in depth to study the physical structure of atoms and molecules, bonding theory, quantum mechanics, modern computational methods, and spectroscopy. Lecture and laboratory format. Offered alternate Spring Terms.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 320 : CURRENT ADVANCES IN POLYMERS

This is a 2 credit, upper level, seminar type class designed for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors. This course will focus on reading and discussing primary literature articles around the topics of polymers and polymeric materials. Course material will start with a general introduction and history of polymeric science. The majority of the class will concentrate on current advances in the field over the last 10 years. Students will be expected to participate in weekly discussions, lead discussions, give formal presentations, and write literature reviews.

Credits

2

CHM 402 : ADVANCED ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

A course designed as a continuation of important theoretical concepts, reaction types, and reaction mechanisms of organic chemistry. Topics include molecular orbital theory, heterocyclic compounds, polymers, pericyclic reactions. Lecture only. Offered periodically during the Jan Term

Credits

3

Prerequisites

CHM 204 with a grade of C- or higher

CHM 404 : SPECIAL TOPICS

Advanced courses offered based on staff availability and student interest. Course will explore modern experimentation in chemistry at a level appropriate for junior-senior chemistry majors. Offered periodically.

Credits

1 - 4

CHM 407 : SENIOR SEMINAR

The second of two capstone courses for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Course is completed in the student’s senior year. Offered during Spring Term. Capstone. Writing Intensive.

Credits

2

CHM 410 : INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS

This course focuses on the principles, instrumentation, and applications of various instrumental methods of analytical chemistry. Some of the instruments covered include: UV-Visible, IR, and NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, gas and high pressure liquid chromatography, atomic emission and absorption spectroscopy, and electroanalytical methods. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee. Offered alternate Spring Terms.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 415 : BIOCHEMISTRY I

A study of the structure and function of biological molecules, with a major emphasis on proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. Important concepts will include bioenergetics, biological catalysis, and introductory metabolic pathways as interacting regulated systems. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee; Offered alternate Fall Terms.

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 204 with a grade of C- or higher or instructor approval; 251 recommended.

CHM 416 : BIOCHEMISTRY II

A continuation of Chemistry 415. Topics to include advanced metabolism, mechanisms of replication, transcription, translation, and signal transduction pathways. The laboratory portion of the course will involve team based research projects. Lecture and laboratory format. Lab fee; Offered alternate Spring Terms

Credits

4

Prerequisites

CHM 415 with a grade of C- or higher

CHM 480 : INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH

A laboratory research experience with a faculty member. Students are expected to complete a minimum of three laboratory hours of research during each week of the semester. Satisfies the research requirement for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Pass/fail grading.

Credits

1

CHM 482 : ADVANCED RESEARCH

Advanced laboratory research experience with a faculty member. Students will be expected to submit an abstract to a regional, state or national conference. May be repeated. A maximum of three credit hours can be applied as elective credit towards the major.

Credits

1 - 3

Prerequisites

Chm 480 or summer research experience.

CHM 497 : HONORS RESEARCH

This course is for qualified students pursuing honors in chemistry. Students perform independent research and write a thesis under the direction of a chemistry faculty member.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

CHM190 or its equivalent, senior class standing, approval by the department, and consent of the instructor.