The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has two primary goals, which in practice are tightly interrelated. First, we seek to promote a level of scientific literacy and chemical understanding among all students taking courses in the department that will contribute to the University’s fundamental mission “to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society.” Second, we will provide a rigorous and comprehensive program in chemistry and biochemistry suitable for those students pursuing careers in science and technology. Our program is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
In its courses the department seeks to develop progressively skills in building qualitative and quantitative interpretation of chemical phenomena, in experimental analysis and design, and in written and oral communication of scientific ideas. Graduates of this program, grounded in a well developed molecular world view, are expected to explain the behavior of chemical and biological systems on the basis of physical models. The department is also deeply committed to sustaining a vigorous and diverse range of collaborative student-faculty research. A community of mutual support among students, faculty, and staff is a vital element in achieving our goals.
Majors are qualified for immediate employment in industry. Many attend graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, or related areas, or enter schools of medicine, dentistry, or engineering.