Department of Chemistry

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The chemistry department has created a legacy of developing a highly competent, confident and skilled work force, which outstandingly serves the chemical industry and academia. The program is designed to match the professional demand for highly skilled personnel in industry and provide specific training in core areas of chemistry as well as specialized expertise. The chemistry department is well equipped with a large number of modern instruments and includes a full-time instrument specialist who trains faculty and students. Upper-level chemistry majors are trained in the use of modern analytical instrumentation currently used in chemical and biochemical industrial laboratories. All chemistry courses and directed electives in physics and mathematics that constitute the chemistry program are carefully integrated to provide students with a strong foundation in the physical sciences.  View our chemistry program here.

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BS in Chemistry
  • BA in Chemistry
  • Minor in Chemistry
  • MS in Materials Chemistry

The chemistry program is designed to prepare students for challenging careers in science, technology, and related fields. Our faculty are available and eager to help students both with specific questions about chemistry and larger questions about career development. Most chemistry students are employed within three months of the completion of their degree. Upon graduation, students find employment in a wide variety of industries that require expertise in chemistry or they can continue study in graduate programs leading to an advanced degree in the physical sciences. Industries and areas in which our chemistry graduates gain employment include pharmaceuticals, health care products, electronic materials, hospitals, homeland security, law enforcement, environmental agencies, manufacturing plants, materials companies, and patent offices. They are also prepared for teaching careers at the middle school and high school level.

Chemistry - BS Mission Statement

Mission Statement (currently under review): to provide future scientists and professionals with rigorous training in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of all major disciplines in chemistry and with the intellectual tools to apply their training to solving real-world scientific problems and to be life-long learners in both academic and non-academic settings.

Chemistry - BS Goals

  1. Students gain broad conceptual knowledge and acquire laboratory and computational skills in all areas of chemistry.
  2. Students gain experience in data analysis and communicating scientific results with others.
  3. Students are prepared to be lifelong learners who keep up with advances in chemistry.

Chemistry - BS Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to analyze scientific data and communicate scientific results in oral and written form.
  2. Students will be able to assimilate new chemistry knowledge outside of the classroom, e.g. in a seminar setting.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to initiate a scientific investigation.
  4. Students will be able to prepare common chemical reagents and buffers.
  5. Students will be able to apply fundamental physical principles to solve problems related to thermochemistry and chemical kinetics.
  6. Students will be able to develop and execute strategies to identify and quantify compounds using spectroscopic and other analytical techniques.
  7. Students will be able to classify inorganic and organic compounds as well as common biomolecules and explain their chemical properties.
  8. Students will be able to understand the unique properties of macromolecules and supramolecular complexes.
  9. Students will be able to apply computational techniques to understanding chemical systems.
  10. Students will be able to apply the principles of quantum mechanics to understand chemical systems.

Chemistry - BA Mission Statement

Mission Statement (currently under review): to provide future scientists, professionals and educators with rigorous training in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of all major disciplines in chemistry and with the intellectual tools to apply their training to solving real-world scientific problems and to be life-long learners in both academic and non-academic settings.

Chemistry - BA Goals

  1. Students gain broad conceptual knowledge and acquire laboratory and computational skills in all areas of chemistry.
  2. Students gain experience in data analysis and communicating scientific results with others.
  3. Students are prepared to be lifelong learners who keep up with advances in chemistry.

Chemistry - BA Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to analyze scientific data and communicate scientific results in oral and written form.
  2. Students will be able to assimilate new chemistry knowledge outside of the classroom, e.g. in a seminar setting.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate an ability to initiate a scientific investigation.
  4. Students will be able to prepare common chemical reagents and buffers.
  5. Students will be able to apply fundamental physical principles to solve problems related to thermochemistry and chemical kinetics.
  6. Students will be able to identify and quantify compounds using spectroscopic and other analytical techniques.
  7. Students will be able to classify inorganic and organic compounds as well as common biomolecules and explain their chemical properties.
  8. Students will be able to understand the unique properties of macromolecules and supramolecular complexes.
  9. Students will be able to apply computational techniques to understanding chemical systems.

Materials Chemistry - MS Mission Statement

Mission Statement (currently under review): to train chemists to be highly competent, confident and skilled professionals serving in the chemical industry and in academia in order to match the professional demand for highly skilled chemists with specialized expertise, e.g. in materials chemistry.

Materials Chemistry - MS Goals

  1. Students understand how to use both analytical and synthetic techniques to characterize materials.
  2. Students understand the structure, properties and functions of materials.
  3. Students learn about different kinds of materials.
  4. Students understand how materials are made, how they function and how they degrade.
  5. Students can apply what they learn about materials.
  6. Students can communicate effectively.

Materials Chemistry - MS Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to understand how to use both analytical and synthetic techniques to characterize materials.
  2. Students will be able to understand how to use computational and theoretical techniques to characterize materials down to the atomic level.
  3. Students will be able to understand the relationship between materials' structure and functions.
  4. Students will be able to know physical and chemical properties typical of different types of materials.
  5. Students will be able to describe different classes of materials and distinguish between them.
  6. Students will learn how to synthesize different types of materials.
  7. Students will be able to understand the chemical mechanisms involving material synthesis, function and degradation.
  8. Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of how materials chemistry applies in specific contexts.
  9. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to materials research and development.
  10. Students will be able to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
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Department Spotlight

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Jason Codrington '17 used computational strategies to design nanomaterials that can harvest sunlight and direct its energy into molecules as part of a student research team. He plans to pursue his PhD in theoretical physical chemistry and computational biophysics.