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Chemistry

Chemistry majors explore, experiment, and learn about chemical properties through classroom instruction and laboratory analysis. At Westminster College the first two years introduce students to the four basic types of chemistry—analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical—so they can make informed decisions about summer internships, research projects, and career goals. Juniors participate in unique laboratory experiences where instead of a standard “cookbook” experiment, they investigate and discover individually and in teams, proposing solutions to chemical problems and presenting results. Along with this experimentation, students and faculty meet weekly in an engaging seminar series to socialize and discuss ideas and issues in the field. In seminar, students develop, practice, and polish professional skills in an environment that prepares them for real-world chemistry careers. Seniors conduct a Capstone experiment, playing off of previous investigations, and write a thesis, which they present regionally or nationally. This American Chemical Society-accredited course of study creates independent thinkers and collaborative researchers.

Requirements for the Major

Chemistry and Required Supporting Courses:

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry
CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 230 Chemical Analysis
CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 330 Elements of Physical Chemistry
CHE 335 Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHE 351, 352 Advanced Laboratory
CHE 380 Principles of Biochemistry
CHE 600 Senior Project OR CHE 660 All-College Honors Program
CHE 601 Chemistry Capstone I
CHE 602 Chemistry Capstone II
PHY 151 Principles of Physics I
PHY 152 Principles of Physics II

And one of the two following calculus sequences:

MTH 150 Calculus I AND MTH 152 Calculus II
MTH 152 Calculus II AND MTH 250 Calculus III

And ten semester hours from the following courses:

CHE 262 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 332 Physical Chemistry in Depth
CHE 340 Instrumental Analysis
CHE 375 Green Chemistry
CHE 382 Metabolic Biochemistry
CHE 385 Biochemistry Laboratory
CHE 391 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 590-594 Field Experience/Internship
CHE 610, 611 Advanced Topics
CHE 620-624 Independent Study
MTH 250 Calculus III
PHY 221 Electronics

Requirements for the Secondary Education Teacher Certification

Students seeking secondary education teacher certification in chemsitry or general science with a major in chemistry must take the following courses and complete all of the requirements for a minor in Secondary Education.

Chemistry and Required Supporting Courses:

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry
CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 230 Chemical Analysis
CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 330 Elements of Physical Chemistry
CHE 335 Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHE 351, 352 Advanced Laboratory
CHE 380 Principles of Biochemistry
CHE 600 Senior Project OR CHE 660 All-College Honors Program
CHE 601 Chemistry Capstone I
CHE 602 Chemistry Capstone II

And two one of the two following calculus sequences:

MTH 150 Calculus I AND MTH 152 Calculus II
MTH 152 Calculus II AND MTH 250 Calculus III

And ten semester hours from the following courses:

CHE 262 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 332 Physical Chemistry in Depth
CHE 340 Instrumental Analysis
CHE 375 Green Chemistry
CHE 382 Metabolic Biochemistry
CHE 385 Biochemistry Laboratory
CHE 391 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 590-594 Field Experience/Internship
CHE 610, 611 Advanced Topics
CHE 620-624 Independent Study
MTH 250 Calculus III
PHY 221 Electronics

Requirements for the Minor

Chemistry Courses:

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry
CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 230 Chemical Analysis
CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 330 Elements of Physical Chemistry*
CHE 380 Principles of Biochemistry

*Note: The following courses are prerequisites for CHE 330:

MTH 150 Calculus I
PHY 141 Foundations of Physics I OR PHY 151 Principles of Physics I
PHY 142 Foundations of Physics II OR PHY 152 Principles of Physics II

Course Descriptions

Chemistry Courses:

CHE 101 Our Chemical World (4 SH). An investigation of a number of areas of everyday life and some chemical factors that have significant effects on our lives. Chemistry interacts with other scientific, social, political and economic factors. Examples include our use of energy, pharmaceutical drugs, water, use of non-renewable resources, and waste disposal. The laboratory emphasizes investigation of systems, collection of data and observations, and devising logical explanations. (This course cannot be used as part of a chemistry major or minor. PreK-4 early childhood education/PreK-8special education majors may use this course to meet the physical science requirement.)

CHE 111 Foundations of Chemistry (4 SH). A study of the properties and the particulate nature of matter, the language of chemistry, the periodic table, atomic and molecular structure, and the energy changes that accompany chemical reactions. The laboratory program will involve investigation of chemical systems, analysis and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data, as well as communication of the results. CHE 111 is for students who have not had a previous course in chemistry or whose performance on a placement test has demonstrated the need for additional preparation in chemistry prior to taking CHE 117. (This course cannot be used as part of a chemistry major or minor. Offered) Fall Semester.

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry (4 SH). Acourse emphasizing stoichiometry, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear phenomena, and interactions of science and society. In the laboratory program students will investigate chemical systems, analyze observations and data, devise explanations, and communicate results. Prerequisites: High school chemistry and an acceptable score on a placement test or completion of CHE 111 or ES 160 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry (4 SH). A study of the energetics of the bonding and reactions of inorganic compounds. Emphasis is given to the periodicity of the chemical and physical properties of the elements. Major themes of the course include effective nuclear charge, lattice energy, charge density, acid/base theories, and the descriptive chemistry of all of the elements. The laboratory includes the investigation of the energetics of reactions, the synthesis and analysis of coordination compounds, qualitative chemistry, and the communication of results. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 230 Chemical Analysis (4 SH). A study of the theoretical foundation and skills necessary for the solution of problems encountered in the area of quantitative chemical analysis, including classical and modern methods. Emphasis is given to the evaluation and presentation of data, sampling, equilibrium dynamics of analytically important reactions, experimental design, volumetric techniques, absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, and analytical separations. Examples and laboratory exercises will include environmental air, soil and water systems. Prerequisites: CHE 117, and MTH 135, MTH 150 or BIO 206 (may be co-requisite) with grades of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters. (Also listed as ES 230.)

CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I (4 SH). An overview of organic chemistry. Organic molecules are compared by their functional group, focusing on nomenclature, physical properties, and the major chemical reactions used in synthesis and identification. Emphasis is also given to the areas of acidity, basicity, stereochemistry, aromaticity, and spectroscopy. Laboratory activities involve techniques for determination of physical and chemical properties, and methods of purification. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 262 Organic Chemistry II (4 SH). A study of organic reactivity. This course details organic molecules by reactivity and emphasizes the differences between organic reactions. Specifically, organic reactions will be surveyed by type of reaction keying on the movement of electrons, molecular orbitals, and energetics. Spectroscopy is employed to monitor structural changes. Laboratory activities also probe the reactivity of molecules and explore the relationship between structure and reactivity. Prerequisite: CHE 261 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Spring Semester.

CHE 330 Elements of Physical Chemistry (4 SH). A study of the macroscopic and microscopic behavior of matter. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics, the models of quantum mechanics, and the behavior of time-dependent processes. Prerequisite: CHE 117, MTH 150 and PHY 142 or PHY 152. Offered Fall Semester.

CHE 332 Physical Chemistry in Depth (4 SH) . An in-depth study of the macroscopic and micro- scopic behavior of matter. This course further develops the theoretical foundations and calculus- based derivations used in the study of quantum mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics. Prerequisite: CHE330 and MTH250. Offered Spring Semester, alternating years.

CHE 335 Physical Chemistry Laboratory (2 SH). The emphasis of this course is the demonstration of the fundamental principles of chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and quantum and statistical mechanics. Methods that will be used during this laboratory course include: calorimetry, electrochemistry, varieties of spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, and NMR), and computational chemistry molecular modeling. Prerequisite: CHE 230 and CHE 330. Offered Spring Semester.

CHE 340 Instrumental Analysis (4 SH). A study of modern instrumentation used in the investigation of chemical systems. The theory, design, and application of spectroscopic, electrochemical, and surface analysis techniques are discussed. Basic electronics and the relationship between signal and noise are also discussed. Prerequisites: CHE 230 and PHY 142 or 152. Offered Fall Semester, alternate years.

CHE 351, 352 Advanced Laboratory (2 SH each). A project-oriented, two-semester laboratory program that integrates methods and techniques normally taught as the laboratory experiences of various upper-level courses. Included are various forms of spectroscopy and chromatography, advanced synthetic techniques, and other methods. This course includes participation in the weekly seminar. Prerequisites: CHE 180, CHE 230 and CHE 261. Offered Fall and Spring semesters, respectively.

CHE 375 Green Chemistry (4 SH). Astudy of the principles, concepts, and applications of green chemistry. Particular attention will be given to industrial processes, catalysis, waste management, and renewable resources. Discussions will focus on the current literature ongreen chemistry. While the course does not include a laboratory, students will participate in a project that applies the principles of green chemistry to a laboratory experiment used in the chemistry curriculum. This project will serve as the culminating experience for the course. Prerequisites: CHE 230 and CHE 261.

CHE 380 Principles of Biochemistry (4 SH). A chemical study of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in a biological context. Emphasis is placed on the structure to function of these biological molecules and their context within organisms. Energy transductions and concepts of metabolism are also introduced. Prerequisite: CHE 261. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 382 Metabolic Biochemistry (4 SH). Acourse examining the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, and the flow of biological information in organisms in detail. Specific metabolic pathways and genetic informational flow in plants and animals will be addressed. Prerequisite: CHE 380. Offered Spring Semester, alternate years. Offered Spring Semester, alternate years.

CHE 385 Biochemistry Laboratory (2 SH). A chemical investigation of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in the laboratory. Emphasis is placed on purification and characterization of biological molecules utilizing contemporary instrumentation and techniques. Prerequisite: CHE 380. Offered Spring Semester.

CHE 590-594 Field Experience/Internship (1-4 SH). Prerequisites: CHE 117 and departmental approval.

CHE 600 Senior Project (2 SH). An independent senior project that integrates previously learned techniques in the investigation of a chemical problem. After conducting the project and completing data collection, the term ends with the preparation of the senior thesis. Prerequisite: CHE 352.

CHE 601 Chemistry Capstone I (2 SH). Activities and discussions centered on the transition of students to chemical professionals. This experience includes journal readings, exploration of careers and graduate and professional schools, field trips, summary papers and a service project. Additionally each student creates a portfolio of chemical accomplishments. Prerequisite: senior standing. Offered Fall Semester.

CHE 602 Chemistry Capstone II (2 SH). A discussion-centered course focusing on the development of science as a way of knowing; the role of chemistry in changing scientific paradigms; and the moral and ethical responsibilities of chemists. Students are also expected to articulate their thoughts through various short writing assignments. Additionally, students will take comprehensive chemistry examinations and participate in the weekly department seminar. Prerequisite: CHE 600 or CHE 620-624. Offered Spring Semester.

CHE 620-624 Independent Study (1-4 SH). Prerequisites: CHE 117 and departmental approval.

CHE660, 670, 680, 690 All-College Honors Program (1-4 SH). Prerequisites: honors status and departmental approval.

Supporting Courses:

MTH 150 Calculus I (4 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of differential calculus. Topics considered include functions, limits, continuous functions, differentiation and integration of functions with one real variable, applications of differentiation and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students will be introduced to some basic calculus proofs. This course is suggested for all students who expect to continue for any advanced degree including finance, law, and medicine.

MTH 152 Calculus II (4 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of integral calculus, including techniques and applications of integration. Other topics include infinite series and introductory topics from differential equations. Prerequisite: MTH 150.

MTH 250 Calculus III (4 SH). An introduction to the calculus of several variables. Topics include the geometry of three-dimensional space, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector calculus. Prerequisite: MTH 152.

PHY 141 Foundations of Physics I (4 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: a good background in high school mathematics including algebra and trigonometry. Offered Fall Semester.

PHY 142 Foundations of Physics II (4 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 141 or PHY 151. Offered Spring Semester.

PHY 151 Principles of Physics I (4 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some basic concepts of calculus may be introduced as needed. A laboratory is included. Co-requisite: MTH 150 or higher. Offered Fall Semester.

PHY 152 Principles of Physics II (4 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Calculus methods will be used. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 151; Co-requisite: MTH 152 or higher. Offered Spring Semester.

PHY 221 Electronics (4 SH). An introductory course covering basic principles and applications of electrical engineering. Topics covered include steady-state and transient analysis of electrical networks, frequency response, op-amps, diodes, and transistors. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 152. Offered on a rotating basis.

Research and Internship Opportunities

As a chemistry or biochemistry major, it is important to gain additional experience in the laboratory through independent research or internships. The following links provide ideas and opportunities for expanding your educational experience.

Outreach

Science in Motion
Science in Motion logo

A program that provides elementary, middle and high school students with laboratory experiences with modern instrumentation and offers their teachers professional development opportunities through workshops and mentoring links with college faculty.

Sustainability in Motion
Sustainability in Motion logo

This outreach progam, established in 2010, educates students of all ages about the benefits of sustainable technologies. Westminster College faculty and students are working together to establish laboratory activities and teacher workshops to promote sustainability.

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Chemistry

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Bachelor of Science


 

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