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Courses

Our courses are designed to optimize the faculty's teaching efficiency while keeping the individual student's learning ability in mind. Our courses are specifically structured and timely delivered to enhance student learning, to promote immediate knowledge application and to further assist in retaining complex concepts. Each course is built upon the next, until the students progressively become more independent, resembling less of a chemistry student and more of a confident and mature chemical scientist.

CHEM 106 (4)
Chemistry by Inquiry
A hands-on, inquiry-based exploration of physical science with applications to chemistry and environmental science. Students will study topics including atomic theory, the nature of matter, chemical and physical change and energy sources using appropriate tools and equipment in order to understand fundamental concepts. Students will also gain experience in independent investigation and the development and implementation of their own hands-on exercises and experiments. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course. Six hours of lecture/lab. V8ab

CHEM 119 (3)
The Development of Modern Science
What is science and how did it arise? Why did the scientific revolution occur in the 17th century? Who were the key players, and what stimulated their technological inventiveness? How does scientific thinking differ from conventional human thought? We will explore possible answers to these questions. Students will be introduced to the individuals and concepts central to the development of modern science. Finally, the class will explore directions that science is taking today.  

CHEM 120 (3)
Chemistry for the Liberal Arts I
A topical approach to modern chemistry. Areas of emphasis include environmental chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, drugs and nutrition. Three hours of lecture and discussion. IIIQ, V8

CHEM 125 (1)
Chemistry for the Liberal Arts Laboratory I
An introduction to experimental chemistry to accompany CHEM 120, Chemistry for the Liberal Arts. The focus of the lab is to reinforce concepts in a hands-on way using labs that apply to everyday life (soaps, foods, breath, water quality, plastics, etc.). The lab is closely tied to the textbook for the class. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course. V8b

CHEM 131 (4)
General Chemistry
This course is an introduction to chemical principles and is open to students having appropriate backgrounds in science and mathematics. Areas of emphasis include chemical equations and reactions, stoichiometry, kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, solubility equilibria, electronic structure of atoms, periodic relationships, molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular forces, properties of solutions and an introduction to organic chemistry. Applications of modern chemistry are discussed whenever appropriate and are explored in the associated laboratory course, CHEM 141. Four hours of lecture and discussion. IIIQ, V8

CHEM 141 (1)
General Chemistry Laboratory
An introduction to experimental chemistry. Laboratory modules emphasize investigation of the chemistry in everyday life and introduce modern analytical techniques. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course. One three-hour laboratory. V8b

CHEM 202 (3)
The Biochemistry of Human Nutrition
A study of the biochemistry of human nutrition. Topics covered will include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, cholesterol, lipoproteins and fiber. Metabolism will be introduced as a chemical concept as well as an introduction to proteolytic and regulatory enzymes. Popular controversies in nutrition will also be explored, including food additives, vitamin and mineral supplementation and genetic engineering of foods. Offered alternate years. IIIW, V8

CHEM 216 (3)
Environmental Analytical Chemistry
An introduction to the principles of analytical chemistry stressing proper methods of obtaining and handling data. Topics include statistical error analysis, propagation of error, methods of data reduction, sampling techniques, sample preparation, method validation, sample interferences and complex equilibria. The course also explores classical analytical techniques and surveys methods using advanced instrumentation.  

CHEM 226 (1)
Environmental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
Students will gain practical experience analyzing samples from diverse matrices including sediment, air, soil and water. Students will also learn how to critically analyze data, conduct an error analysis and recommend improvements to an experimental procedure. Methods of analysis include gravimetric, titrimetric, UV/Vis spectrophotometry, fluorometry, AAS and HPLC. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course. One three-hour laboratory per week.  

CHEM 231 (4)
Organic Chemistry I
A study of the chief classes of carbon compounds including their syntheses and mechanisms of reaction. The methods for determining reaction mechanisms are studied in detail. V8a

CHEM 232 (4)
Organic Chemistry II
A continuation of CHEM 231.  

CHEM 233 (1)
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Experiments are designed to introduce students to the techniques of separation, purification and synthesis of organic compounds. Techniques for studying reaction mechanisms, spectroscopy and the use of literature of chemistry are also covered. A nominal laboratory fee may be required for this course. One three-hour laboratory. V8b

CHEM 234 (1)
Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
A continuation of CHEM 233. A nominal laboratory fee may be required for this course. One three-hour laboratory.  

CHEM 252 (4)
Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry
Topics include a detailed study of chemistry in the gas phase, thermochemistry and chemical thermodynamics, electrochemistry, an introduction to main-group inorganic chemistry, an introduction to transition metal complexes, metallurgy, industrial chemistry, and an introduction to nuclear chemistry. IIIQ, V8

CHEM 253 (1)
Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Experiments will feature applications of topics discussed in CHEM 252. A nominal laboratory fee may be required for this course. One three-hour laboratory per week. V8b

CHEM 261 (1)
Directed Study
The study of introductory level material by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.  

CHEM 315 (3)
Molecular Modeling
A study of computational methods on a variety of systems, including organic and inorganic compounds and biomolecules. Thermodynamic predictions of chemical reactions and molecular dynamic simulations of lipids and proteins are used to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical aspects of math, chemistry and biology. The course uses significant application of current software. Offered alternate years. Four hours of lecture/lab.

CHEM 321 (3)
Biochemistry I
A study of the relationship between structure and function in biomolecules including proteins and nucleic acids; methods of bioanalysis; prokaryotic DNA replication and the synthesis of proteins and RNA. CHEM 341, Intermediate Laboratory I, may be elected simultaneously with this course. Four hours of lecture.  

CHEM 322 (3)
Biochemistry II
A study of enzyme mechanics, kinetics, structures and functions; carbohydrate, amino acid, fatty acid and nucleotide degradation and biosynthesis; and the regulation of the major metabolic pathways. CHEM 342, Intermediate Laboratory II, may be elected simultaneously with this course.  

CHEM 331 (3)
Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechnics and Molecular Spectroscopy
This course is a study of the principles, generalizations and theories behind modern chemistry. The course includes an introduction to quantum mechanics and its application to chemistry including molecular structure, computational chemistry and molecular spectroscopy.  

CHEM 332 (3)
Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
A study of the principles, generalizations and theories behind modern chemistry. The laws of thermodynamics are discussed in detail and are applied in a variety of problems concerning chemical equilibrium. The tools and theories used to measure and interpret chemical kinetics are also studied.  

CHEM 341 (3)
Intermediate Laboratory I
An integrated, project-oriented laboratory. Laboratory work in physical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic, advanced organic chemistry and instrumental analysis is included. One hour of lecture and five hours of laboratory per week. IIIW

CHEM 342 (3)
Intermediate Laboratory II
An integrated, project-oriented laboratory. Laboratory work in physical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic, advanced organic chemistry and instrumental analysis is included. One hour of lecture and five hours of laboratory per week. IIIO

CHEM 361 (1)
Special Study
The study of an intermediate level topic by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course.  

CHEM 377 (1)
Internship

CHEM 431 (3)
Instrumental Analysis
An intensive survey of instrumentation and techniques for quantitative and qualitative analysis of organic and inorganic samples. Emphasis is placed on the theory and instrumental design for the three main areas of modern instrumental analysis: electroanalytical chemistry, spectrochemical methods and chromatography. Students will also improve their critical thinking skills and gain an understanding of the analytical approach to problem solving. Offered alternate years.  

CHEM 432 (3)
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Areas of emphasis include modern theories of the bonding and structure of inorganic molecules, acid-base chemistry, chemistry in aqueous and non-aqueous solvents, coordination chemistry of the transition metal ions and an introduction to organometallic chemistry and to the inorganic chemistry of biological systems. Offered alternate years.  

CHEM 441 (1)
Advanced Laboratory
An integrated, project-oriented laboratory. The emphasis will be on completing more extensive laboratory investigations than in CHEM 341 and CHEM 342, and on doing background literture research on the projects. Both oral and written presentation of results are required. One three-hour laboratory per week.  

CHEM 450 (3)
Advanced Organic Chemistry
A theoretical study of selected topics of current research in both synthesis and mechanisms of reactions. Three hours of lecture. Offered alternate years. IIIO

CHEM 451 (3)
Senior Research
An independent research project selected and carried out in consultation with a faculty sponsor. Required of senior majors in chemistry. Bachelor of Science candidates will conduct a laboratory investigation; Bachelor of Arts candidates may elect a library project. A written report and an oral presentation are required. IIIO, III

CHEM 461 (1)
Independent Study
Pursuit of an upper-level research project determined in advance by the student in consultation with a faculty member who will act as the sponsor. A nominal lab fee may be required for this course.  

CHEM 470 (3)
Junior Honors Research

CHEM 472 (3)
Senior Honors Thesis

CHEM 502 (1)
Chem/Inq:Art & Science
Through an intensive inquiry-based process involving hands-on investigation and discussion, in-service teachers will increase their content knowledge and ability to apply inquiry-based methods of teaching science as related to the Virginia SOLs for grades 3-8. Topics include light and color, states and properties of matter, mixtures and solutions, fundamental spectroscopy, simple chemical reactions and the history of the intersections of art and science. Case studies involving scientific methods to solve mysteries in art will also be included.