Course Offerings | Chemistry

Division of Science and Mathematics

Keith Dunn (chair), Dell Jensen, Preston Miles, Jennifer Muzyka , Steven Pauls, Conrad Shiba, Joe Workman; students: Heidi Privett, Nathan Whitfield



Centre’s major program in chemistry is designed to meet the needs of three types of students: those who are preparing for graduate school in chemistry or a related field, those who are preparing for medical school or another health profession, and those who seek a strong analytical and technical background for employment in a variety of fields including pharmaceutical and other industries. Chemistry graduates pursue careers in engineering, health care, teaching, technical sales, law (environmental or patent), and industry (including food, paper, power).

The Chemistry Program seeks to provide students with an understanding of chemical principles that enable them to solve routine or unusual problems in the areas of analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. Students also gain basic laboratory skills and the ability to select and utilize appropriate instrumentation to solve specified investigative problems. Students are expected to demonstrate skill at analyzing and communicating scientific concepts and experimental results as well as designing and conducting original investigations in chemistry.

The Chemistry Program offers three degree options: (1) the basic chemistry major, (2) the major with American Chemical Society certification, and (3) the major with emphasis in biochemistry and the American Chemical Society certification. Possession of an ACS-certified degree means that upon graduation the student is immediately eligible for membership in the American Chemical Society. Those pursuing the ACS-certified degrees are strongly encouraged to carry out independent research under the direction of chemistry faculty (CHE 402).


Recommended Freshman-Sophomore Preparation

Students contemplating a major in chemistry should take CHE 131 and CHE 132 in the fall and spring terms, respectively, of the freshman year. CHE 241 and CHE 341 should be taken in the fall and spring terms, respectively, of the sophomore year. MAT 170 and MAT 171 should also be completed by the end of the sophomore year.


Requirements for the Major

CHE 131, 132, 241, 250, 341;
PHY 210, 230;
MAT 170, 171;
CHE 332, 361, 350, 362.

American Chemical Society certification with chemistry emphasis requirements
CHE 332, 350, 361, 362, plus two more CHE courses approved by the program.

American Chemical Society certification with biochemistry emphasis requirements
CHE 332, 350, 361, 362; BMB 310, 320, 315 or 325, plus one more approved advanced CHE or BMB course.


Requirements for the Minor

CHE 131, 132, 241, 250;
Two from CHE 341, 350, 361;
PHY 110 or 210.


Chemistry Courses

CHE 117 Chemistry and the Modern World (four credit hours)
A chemistry course for the student who intends to take only one term of college chemistry. Basic chemical principles are studied with a view to understanding the role which chemistry plays in everyday life. Both the methods of science and its applications are discussed. Laboratory work is required. Note: Not open to students who have taken CHE 131. Prerequisite: MAT 110 or basic skills in math.

CHE 131 Atomic and Molecular Structure (four credit hours)
An introduction to modern ideas of atomic and molecular structure. Topics studied include stoichiometry, gas laws, electronic and nuclear structure of the atom, chemical bonding and molecular structure, and periodic properties of the elements. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: MAT 110 or basic skills in math.

CHE 132 Principles of Chemical Reactions (four credit hours)
Topics studied include solutions, reaction rates, chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility equilibria, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 131.

CHE 241 Organic Chemistry-I (four credit hours)
The structure, nomenclature, stereochemistry, and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and alkyl halides are studied. The mechanistic pathways of reactions, methods of synthesis, and spectroscopic determination of structure are also discussed. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 132.

CHE 250 Quantitative Analysis
An introduction to the principles of chemical analysis. Techniques studied include gravimetric, volumetric, complexometric, spectrophotometric, and chromatographic analysis. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 132 and 241, PHY 110 or 210

CHE 332 Inorganic Chemistry (four credit hours)
A study of the chemistry of inorganic compounds, including the principles of covalent and ionic bonding, symmetry, periodic properties, metallic bonding, acid-base theories, coordination chemistry, inorganic reaction mechanisms, and selected topics in descriptive inorganic chemistry. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 341 and CHE 361.

CHE 341 Organic Chemistry-II (four credit hours)
A continuation of CHE 241, with emphasis on the chemistry of aromatic and carbonyl compounds. Polymer chemistry and the chemistry of biological molecules are also introduced. More complex synthetic methods and the use of the chemical literature are studied. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 241.

CHE 350 Instrumental Analysis (four credit hours)
An introduction to the principles and applications of the major instrumental analysis techniques. Topics include UV-Vis, IR, Raman, fluorescence, atomic absorption and emission, gas and liquid chromatography, NMR, electroanalytical techniques, mass spectrometry, and radiochemistry. Laboratory work is required. Prerequisite: CHE 250 and 361.

CHE 361 Physical Chemistry-I (four credit hours)
A study of chemical thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, phase rule, thermodynamics of electrolytic solutions, rate laws, reaction rate theory, factors affecting reaction rates, and catalysis. Prerequisite: CHE 132, MAT 171, and PHY 110 or 210. Laboratory work is required. (Also listed as CHP 361.)

CHE 362 Physical Chemistry-II (four credit hours)
A study of non-ideal solutions, transport properties of ionic solutions, the molecular approach to thermodynamics and the modern theories of molecular structure. Topics include the Boltzman distribution law, Raoult’s and Henry’s laws, statistical thermodynamics, diffusivity, viscosity, conductivity, the Schroedinger equation, molecular orbital theory and the use of this theory to predict physical and chemical properties of molecules. Prerequisite: CHE 361. Laboratory work is required. (Also listed as CHP 362.)

CHE 450 Physical Organic Chemistry
A study of the reactions of organic compounds and the mechanisms of these reactions. Experimental evidence is emphasized, enabling students to analyze data and propose mechanistic explanations. A variety of reactions are examined, including nucleophilic substitutions and pericyclic reactions. Students learn to interpret various types of experiments including: thermochemistry, kinetics, isotope effects, stereochemistry, and solvent affects. Prerequisite: CHE 341 and 361. Note: This course is taught in alternate years.

CHE 451 Advanced Organic Laboratory
Advanced methods of synthesis and purification of organic compounds and applications of physical methods to identify and characterize products. Prerequisite: CHE 341, 361. Note: This course is taught in alternate years.

CHE 452 Advanced Inorganic Laboratory
Advanced methods of synthesis and purification of inorganic compounds and applications of physical methods to identify and characterize products. Prerequisite: CHE 341 and 361; CHE 332 and 350 recommended. Note: This course is taught in alternate years.