Course descriptions

Our courses

CHEM 111, 112 General Chemistry: Foundations I and II (with labs):  The introductory courses in chemistry.  Required for all chemistry, biochemistry, pre-medical, pre-dental, pharmacy, and paramedical students.  Recommended for all science majors.  Credit cannot be earned for both CHEM 111 and CHEM 117 or for both CHEM 112 and CHEM 118. Topics include atoms and molecules, subatomic particles, chemical bonding, solution chemistry, balancing equations, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, gases, intermolecular forces, phase diagrams, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry. CHEM 111 or CHEM 117 is a prerequisite for CHEM 112

CHEM 117, 118 General Chemistry:  Advanced Principles and Applications I and II (with labs):  The introductory courses in chemistry. Suitable for students with strong chemistry and math backgrounds.  Appropriate for all chemistry, biochemistry, pre-medical, pre-dental, pharmacy, and paramedical students. Credit cannot be earned for both CHEM 111 and CHEM 117 or CHEM 112 and CHEM 118  Topics covered include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, bonging, reactions, equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, solutions, and acid -base chemistry.  Particular emphasis will be placed on applications of fundamental chemical concepts.  CHEM 111 or CHEM 117 is a prerequisite for CHEM 118.

CHEM 221, 222 Organic Chemistry I and II (with labs): A study of the chemistry of the compounds of carbon. Fundamental concepts of chemical bonding are employed to develop chemical models and to correlate structure-property relationships within and among the various classes of carbon compounds.  221 is taught in Fall and Summer 1; 222 is taught in Spring and Summer 2. Prerequisite: CHEM 112 or CHEM 118 is a prerequisite for CHEM 221; CHEM 221 is a prerequisite for CHEM 222.  

CHEM 255 Quantitative Chemical Analysis:  A study of the theoretical principles and technical practices relating to quantitative measurements within chemical systems.  Topics include solution preparation, gravimetric and volumetric technique, data handling and analysis and use of chemical instrumentation.  Offered in Spring Semester. Prerequisite:  CHEM 221

CHEM 260 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry (with lab): A study of the elements and their compounds. The properties of these substances, spanning the entire periodic table, will be described and explained through the connections to chemical theories and concepts. The occurrence, isolation, uses, and compounds of elements will be explored. Biochemical and industrial applications will be considered. Lab experiments include a strong emphasis on quantitative techniques.  Offered in even-numbered Springs.  Prerequisite: CHEM 112 or CHEM 118

CHEM 270 Environmental Chemistry (with lab): This course focuses on the role chemistry plays within the environment (terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric), with a significant focus on the application of chemical principles. The analysis of real-world environmental samples by chemical instrumentation will also be presented within both the lecture and laboratory settings.  Prerequisite: CHEM 112 or CHEM 118 

CHEM 331, 332 Physical Chemistry I & II (with labs): The physical aspects of chemical phenomena, including the properties of solids, liquids, gases and solutions; thermodynamics; kinetics; electrochemistry; and elementary quantum theory. 331 is offered every Fall, 332 every Spring. Prerequisites: CHEM 222 with a C- or better, MATH 122, and two units of physics are prerequisites for CHEM 331; CHEM 331 is a prerequisite for CHEM 332.  

CHEM 340 Pharmaceutical Chemistry:   A study of the chemistry of pharmaceuticals, with emphasis on the molecular-level interactions between drugs and the body. Drug metabolism, drug-receptor interactions, and drug development are explored with case studies including cancer drugs, opiates, and antibiotics. Offered in odd-numbered Springs. Prerequisite: CHEM 222 with a C- or better.  

CHEM 341 Biochemistry I:  Structure and Function (with lab):  This course provides an overview of the structure and function of biological monomers and polymers, using examples from medicine.  Proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids are studied in detail with an emphasis on intermolecular interactions, kinetics, and thermodynamics.  Offered every Fall.  Prerequisite: Chem 222 with a C- or better.

CHEM 342 Biochemistry II:  Metabolism (with lab): This course provides and overview of the major metabolic pathways found in animals, plants, and prokaryotes, including connections to medicine and health.  The catabolism and anabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are studied in detail, along with oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis.  The laboratory consists of a semester-long project in which students modify, express, purify, and study a protein important to the metabolism of currently-used chemotherapeutics.  Offered in Spring Semester. Prerequisite: Chem 341.

CHEM 350 Instrumental Analysis (with lab): Regardless of their interests, all chemists rely on the use of equipment to characterize chemical phenomena.  In this course we will study how chemical systems can be monitored using instrumentation, the construction of instrumentation capable of such measurements, and the application of these tools to a variety of complex systems.  The laboratory is focused on providing students significant hands-on opportunities to operate chemical instrumentation independently. Offered in even-numbered Falls.  Prerequisite: CHEM 255 and CHEM 222 with a C- or better.

CHEM 420 Advanced Organic Chemistry: An in-depth study of selected topics in organic chemistry, with particular emphasis on physical organic chemistry.  Offered in even-numbered Springs  Prerequisite: CHEM 222 with a C- or better. 

CHEM 460 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry:  Advanced topics in inorganic chemistry with an emphasis on bonding and structure. Offered in odd-numbered Springs.  Prerequisite: CHEM 222 with a C- or better

Students can also earn academic credit for research and internships.  Contact the department chair, Dr. Catherine Sarisky ( for more information.