Chemistry

  • Maria Craig, Nadine Gergel-Hackett, Peter Ruiz-Haas

    Mary Baldwin College offers majors in Chemistry (BA) and Biochemistry (BS) and a minor in Chemistry. Both independent and profoundly collaborative, chemistry is central science and a major or minor in Chemistry or Biochemistry prepares students for rewarding careers in industry, academia, and the public sector (government). These majors also provide a strong background for pursuing advanced work in medicine, business, and law. Students receive personalized attention and real laboratory experience on meaningful research projects.

  • Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

    33–34 semester hours

    CHEM 121 General Chemistry I (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 122 General  Chemistry II (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry II (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 311 Analytical Chemistry (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 321 Physical Chemistry (3 s.h.)
    CHEM 400 Senior Research (2 s.h.)
    CHEM 401 Senior Research (2 s.h.)

    Two of the following 4 courses:

    CHEM 230 Environmental Chemistry (3 s.h.)
    CHEM/PHYS 260 Introduction to Materials Science (3 s.h.)*
    CHEM 324 Biochemistry I ( 3 s.h.)+
    CHEM 325 Biochemistry II (4 s.h.)

    Additional courses required as prerequisites for completion of the above include:
    PHYS 201
    PHYS 202
    MATH 211
    MATH 212

    +BIOL 111 and BIOL 222 are prerequisites for CHEM 324

    *Note that CHEM/PHYS 260 cannot count towards both the Chemistry BA and the Physics Minor

     Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

    52–53 semester hours

    CHEM 121 General Chemistry I (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 122 General Chemistry II (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry II (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 311 Analytical Chemistry (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 321 Physical Chemistry (3 s.h.)
    CHEM 324 Biochemistry I (3 s.h.)
    CHEM 325 Biochemistry II (4 s.h.)
    CHEM 400 Senior Research I  (2 s.h.)
    CHEM 401 Senior Research II (2 s.h.)
    BIOL 111 Principles of Biology (4 s.h.)
    BIOL 222 Genetics (4 s.h.)
    BIOL 224 Cell Biology (4 s.h.)

    Three additional semester hours in biology, to be chosen from BIOL 255, 327, or 328

    Three additional semester hours in mathematics at the 200-level or above or PSYC 250

    Additional courses required as prerequisites for completion of the above include:

    PHYS 201
    PHYS 202
    MATH 211
    MATH 212

    Requirements for the Minor in Chemistry

    22 semester hours
    CHEM 121
    CHEM 122
    CHEM 221
    CHEM 311
    Six additional semester hours at the 200-level or above

  • Civic Engagement Opportunities

    Courses throughout the physical science curriculum discuss the relevance of scientific principles to public policy and social issues. Students lend their growing expertise to projects that examine exposure to lead and other heavy metals as well as the quality of local water. Students are encouraged, particularly through the local chapter of the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, to engage local schools and organizations such as the Girl Scouts in hands-on experience with science and tutoring.

  • 100 Exploring the Physical World (3 s.h.) (N)
    For course description, see PHYS 100 in the Physics listing.

    101 Forensic Chemistry (3 s.h.) (N)
    This course, intended for non-science majors, will examine selected topics in forensic science. Most of the analysis needed in forensic examinations requires the use of chemical analysis and we will learn about the tools and theories that are used in solving crimes. Topics may include toxicology, fingerprint analysis, fiber identification, blood typing and analysis, drug identification, and DNA profiling.

    120 Nutrition for Health, Fitness and Sport (3 s.h.) (N)
    The study of nutrients and their effect on health, development, and performance. Topics include metabolism of nutrients, the relationship between energy intake and expenditure, metabolic disorders, nutrition and disease and supplements. Students will be able to evaluate their own energy intake and assess its effectiveness with their daily energy expenditure. Cross listed as BIOL 120.

    121 General Chemistry I (4 s.h.) (N)
    The first of a two-course survey of the principles of chemistry appropriate for science majors. Topics include stoichiometry, the main classes of reactions, atomic and molecular structure, thermochemistry, and phase behavior. The associated lab elaborates on the material discussed in class and introduces laboratory techniques including the use of modern instrumentation. Algebra and high school chemistry are strongly recommended as background. Fall. Lab fee.

    122 General Chemistry II (4 s.h.)
    A continuation of General Chemistry I. Topics include ionic equilibria, chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, materials chemistry, the chemistry of main group elements and an introduction to biochemistry. The associated lab elaborates on the material discussed in class and introduces laboratory techniques and the use of modern chemical instrumentation. *Prerequisite: CHEM 121. Spring. Lab fee.

    145 Freshwater Chemistry and Biology (4 s.h) (N)
    Field and lab course. Local streams will be studied as part of a long term project linking their chemistry with land use and seasonal changes, and monitoring of plant and animal communities. The emphasis will be on the collection and analysis of water quality data. May Term. Cross-listed as BIOL 145.

    221 Organic Chemistry I (4 s.h.)
    A survey of organic chemistry, using the functional group approach, emphasizing the properties, stereochemistry, preparative methods, and reaction mechanisms of the following principal classes of organic compounds: alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers, and epoxides. In the associated lab, students develop competence in organic synthetic work, product purification, and analysis of their products using modern spectroscopic instrumentation. *Prerequisite: CHEM 122. Fall.

    222 Organic Chemistry II (4 s.h.) (R)
    This course continues the survey of organic chemistry started in CHEM 221 using a similar approach, and covering alkenes, alkynes, radicals, and aromatic and carbonyl compounds. Mass spectrometry, and IR and NMR spectroscopy, are covered in detail. The lecture and associated lab cover a broad spectrum of modern methods of organic synthesis and characterization. Student work is individualized and the design and execution of experiments is stressed. The course exposes the students to a wide variety of laboratory techniques and develops their judgment in choosing experimental methods. *Prerequisite: CHEM 221. Spring.

    230 Environmental Chemistry (3 s.h.) (W)
    An introduction to the study of the environment and modern environmental problems in terms of chemical structures and reactions. Chemical principles of equilibrium, kinetics, and thermodynamics are used to help understand our changing environment. Topics include toxicological chemistry, aquatic chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and green chemistry. *Prerequisite: CHEM 122. Alternate years.

    260 Introduction to Materials Science (3 s.h.) (R)
    For course description, see PHYS in the Physics listing.

    270 Undergraduate Research (1–3 s.h.)
    Students do original research in accordance with ability and background under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Students are expected to devote 4 hours per week to the project for every credit hour. A written report will be submitted to the department each semester of enrollment. Cannot be used to meet elective course requirements for a major or minor in chemistry. May be repeated for credit. Total research credit to be used toward an undergraduate degree not to exceed 6 hours. *Prerequisites: CHEM 122, consent of instructor and submission of a research contract to the department.

    311 Analytical Chemistry (4 s.h.) (W)
    Principles, techniques, and instruments used in quantitative chemical analysis. Principles of chemical equilibria, spectrophotometry, electrochemistry, and chromatography. Applications to gravimetric, titrimetric, spectrophotometric, chromatographic, and electrochemical analyses. *Prerequisite: CHEM 122. Alternate Years.

    321 Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics, Statistical Thermodynamics, and Kinetics (3 s.h.)
    Physical chemistry is the branch of chemistry that establishes and develops the theoretical foundations of chemistry. This course begins with an essentially macroscopic perspective then describes the approach used to connect molecular properties to macroscopic phenomena. Cross listed as PHYS 321. *Prerequisites: CHEM 122, MATH 212, PHYS 202. Alternate years.

    324 Biochemistry I (3 s.h.)
    Studies of the major classes of biomolecules — proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids — provide a structural and functional basis for the understanding of metabolism, energy production, and transfer of genetic information. Recommended background: BIOL 224 and CHEM 222. *Prerequisite: CHEM 221 and BIOL 222 or permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    325 Biochemistry II (4 s.h.)
    A continuation of the topics introduced in CHEM 324. The associated lab introduces students to techniques of protein purification, enzyme assays, and kinetics. Recommended background: BIOL 224 and CHEM 222. *Prerequisites: CHEM 324 or permission of instructor. Alternate years.

    370 Undergraduate Research (1–3 s.h.)
    Students do original research in accordance with ability and background under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Students are expected to devote 4 hours per week to the project for every credit hour. A written report will be submitted to the department each semester of enrollment. Cannot be used to meet elective course requirements for a major or minor in chemistry. May be repeated for credit. Total research credit to be used toward an undergraduate degree not to exceed 6 hours. *Prerequisites: CHEM 121, 122, 221, 222, consent of instructor and submission of a research contract to the department.

    400, 401 Senior Research (2 s.h. each) (O, M: both 400 and 401)
    Seminar and independent research leading to the completion of a thesis required of majors in the senior year. The student, under supervision of staff members, experiences research as it is carried out in practical situations and presents findings orally and in writing. Satisfactory completion of the research project and the oral defense of the thesis fulfill the senior requirement for chemistry majors.