Courses

For the college’s course catalog, please visit the Courses section. For courses currently offered, please visit the Schedule of Classes.

Atoms and Molecules: Structure and Dynamics (CHEM-131)
This course is an introduction to the study of chemical phenomena using an "atoms-first" approach -- starting with atoms and building up to more complex molecules. Students will explore principles of atomic structure, molecular bonding and structure, electronic properties, intermolecular forces in all phases of matter, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics. Core concepts will be taught through active learning, and laboratory investigation will develop skills in foundational quantitative analysis (measurement, stoichiometry, error analysis) and spectroscopy. Cognitive skills in graphical and written presentation of chemistry developed in this course will be built on in subsequent courses. This course satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly.
Organic Structure and Reactivity (CHEM-132)
This course builds on the foundation of molecular structural and electronic properties developed in CHEM 131. Students will be introduced to chemical reactions of inorganic and organic compounds, including acid/base reactions, precipitation reactions and substitution and elimination reactions. In-depth analysis of reaction chemistry will encompass aspects of equilibrium, thermodynamics, and kinetics. The principles of conformation and stereochemistry of organic and inorganic molecules, and organic reaction mechanisms will be emphasized. Skills in presentation of scientific data, and experimental design and analysis will be developed and built on in subsequent courses. Prerequisite: CHEM 131. This course satisfies the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly.
Introductory Topics in Chemistry (CHEM-199)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Environmental Chemistry (CHEM-212)
A study of the chemistry of the atmosphere, natural water, and soils with a special focus on acid precipitation, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, urban and indoor air pollution, water and soil pollution, solid and hazardous waste disposal and risk assessment. Prerequisites 121-122 or 131-132. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. This course can be used to satisfy a minor in chemistry. Safety glasses required.
Intermediate Organic Chemistry (CHEM-251)
This course expands upon concepts in molecular structure and behavior presented in CHEM 131 and CHEM 132 and applies them to the systematic investigation of the reactivity of organic molecules. Students will explore the transformation and reaction chemistry of organic functional groups, including alcohols, aromatics, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, and their derivatives. Reactions are explored with an emphasis on the mechanism of reactivity, and in the context of organic synthesis with a focus on the art of retrosynthetic analysis for complex targets. Laboratory experiments are selected to introduce techniques for the synthesis, purification, and analysis of organic compounds discussed in class. Offered in the fall only. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. Safety glasses required. Prerequisite: CHEM 132.
Intermediate Biochemistry (CHEM-258)
A study of the major chemical processes and molecular species that characterize living organisms. Principles of molecular structure and chemical reactivity from CHEM 131, 132, and 251 will be developed in greater quantitative detail and applied to investigation of the molecular interactions that underlie cellular life. Primary emphasis will be placed on understanding the relationship between the structures of biological macromolecules (particularly proteins) and their functions. Laboratory work will consist of a series of multi-week experiments focused on the isolation and subsequent characterization of active biological macromolecules from living organisms. Offered in the spring only. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 251 and BIOL 150, or consent of instructor.
Intermediate Topics in Chemistry (CHEM-299)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Chemistry & Biochemistry Assessment I (CHEM-300)
A pass/fail course used to track all chemistry and biochemistry majors' completion of the required third-year departmental assessment exam. Earning the required S (pass) in this course entails completion of the assessment exam with a passing score as designated by the department.
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM-317)
This course in inorganic chemistry investigates the structural and bonding models of molecules using concepts of symmetry and molecular orbitals. Investigation of reactions and intermolecular forces is done in the context of inorganic substances. The classroom portion includes introduction to and an oral presentation on the primary literature of the discipline while the laboratory portion includes synthesis of molecules and measurement of their properties. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: CHEM 258, or consent of instructor.
Intermediate Analytical Chemistry (CHEM-331)
A course of quantitative analytical chemistry, based on principles of chemical equilibrium and thermodynamics. The laboratory includes exposure to a range of gravimetric and volumetric methods along with spectroscopic, chromatograhic, and electrochemical techniques for analysis. Three class periods and one laboratory period weekly. Offered fall semester only. Prerequisite: CHEM 258, or consent of instructor.
Intermediate Physical Chemistry (CHEM-343)
An examination of the physical properties of chemical systems from both macroscopic and microscopic points of view. Topics include thermodynamics, structure and bonding from a quantum mechanical point of view, an introduction to spectroscopy, and chemical kinetics. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. Offered spring semester only. Prerequisite: CHEM 258, MATH 124 and PHYS 121, or consent of instructor.
Directed Study (CHEM-361)
Laboratory (or library) research, in consultation with a member of the chemistry faculty. Offered to juniors and seniors. Prerequisites: Consent of faculty mentor. Hours arranged. Safety glasses required.
Directed Study (CHEM-362)
Laboratory (or library) research, in consultation with a member of the chemistry faculty. Offered to juniors and seniors. Prerequisites: Consent of faculty mentor. Hours arranged. Safety glasses required.
Independent Study (CHEM-363)
Independent Study (CHEM-364)
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (CHEM-399)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Chemistry % Biochemistry Assessment II (CHEM-400)
A pass/fail course used to track all chemistry and biochemistry majors' completion of the required senior interview. Earning the required S (pass) in this course entails completing the senior interview in good faith. Students who are not adequately prepared will be required to retake the interview.
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry: Modern Techniques (CHEM-421)
An in-depth exploration of modern techniques in biochemistry research. The focus will be on how the structure and function of biological macromolecules are investigated with a historical perspective of seminal studies leading to a detailed discussion of the most modern laboratory techniques ind instrumentation. Topics will vary, but may include DNA and protein crystallography, NMR, genomics, proteomics, radiotracers, microarrays, and other topics from the current scientific literature. Three class periods and one three-hour research/writing laboratory weekly. Prerequisite" CHEM 317 or CHEM 331 or CHEM 343 or consent of instructor.
Synthetic Organic Chemistry: Designing Molecules and Materials (CHEM-427)
This course will explore the art of modern organic synthesis. This includes learning the chemistry behind current organic techniques and reactions, as well as gaining an understanding of design strategies to achieve complex molecules and functional materials. Students will engage with the synthesis strategies of several key pharmaceutical targets and the motivations for their exploration (drugs design). This class will also explore the fundamental principles governing the properties of modern organic materials, from compostable plastics to flat screen TVs. In addition, throughout this course students will engage in the process of proposal writing, from idea development to finished proposal. Three class periods and one three-hour laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: CHEM 317 or CHEM 331 or CHEM 343 or consent of instructor.
Chemistry in 2D: Surface Chemistry and its applications (CHEM-446)
This course will explore the chemistry and physics behind monolayers and the interfacial phenomena that control the behavior of these single molecule thick films. We will connect what we know about 3D or bulk systems (such as the thermodynamics, intermolecular interactions, and phase behavior) to a 2D surface environment. This course thus reviews and builds on the topics presented in physical chemistry. Our discussion of monolayers and surfaces will also include common measurement techniques. The second part of this course will discuss modern applications of and the use of monolayers (and bilayers) as models to study topics in biophysics and materials science. The specific applications covered will vary with student interest. Three class periods and one three-hour laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: CHEM 343 or consent of instructor.
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry: Nucleic acids (CHEM-449)
An in-depth exploration of modern topics in the field of nucleic acids. A focus will be on macromolecular structure and intermolecular interactions between proteins and nucleic acids, and the effects of these on biological systems and scientific research. Topics will vary, but may include restriction enzymes, RNA silencing, RNA-directed prokaryotic immunity, riboswitches, and other topics from the current scientific literature. Three class periods and one three-hour laboratory weekly. Prerequisite: CHEM 317 or CHEM 331 or CHEM 343 or consent of instructor.
Senior Research (CHEM-451)
Laboratory research for qualified seniors working under faculty supervision. Students who wish to qualify for graduation with honors must first enroll in these courses. Prerequisite: Staff approval. Hours arranged. Safety glasses required.
Senior Research (CHEM-452)
Laboratory research for qualified seniors working under faculty supervision. Students who wish to qualify for graduation with honors must first enroll in these courses. Prerequisite: Staff approval. Hours arranged. Safety glasses required.