Getting Hands-On Experience


St. Mary's chemistry and biochemistry majors were busy this summer participating in research and medical internships on campus and around the country.  Ashton Engdahl (above) spent her summer developing a green synthesis of functionalized pyrroles on campus with a paid research internship through our campus SMURF program.

Awards Aplenty in New Orleans

A generous contribution from the John J. Leidy Foundation allowed eight St. Mary's students to attend the 245th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans where they presented posters describing their research.  Josh Olexa ('13) explains his poster to a judge, and former American Chemical Society president, in the Speak Simply Contest where students were judged on their ability to explain their research. St. Mary's was well represented, as Josh and Greg Triegger ('13) were both awarded for their posters.

Chemistry Program: Course Descriptions

CHEM 101. Contemporary Chemistry with Laboratory (4E)

Basic concepts of chemistry will be introduced, followed by studies of their relationships to one or more selected topics (life processes, the environment, consumer products, etc.). This course is intended for students not anticipating further study in chemistry.

Lecture and laboratory. This course satisfies the general education requirement in science with lab. Students majoring in Biochemistry, Biology or Chemistry need to take CHEM103 and/or CHEM 106. To see if you need to take CHEM103, please take the "Chemistry Placement Exam" on BlackBoard.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the general education requirement in mathematics.

CHEM 103. General Chemistry I (4F)

The fundamental principles and concepts of chemistry including atomic structure, stoichiometry, gaseous and liquid states, and solution chemistry.

Lecture and recitation.

Prerequisite: A working knowledge of elementary algebra.

CHEM 106. General Chemistry II (4S)

The fundamental principles and concepts of chemistry including thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, and a brief introduction to organic chemistry.

Lecture and Laboratory. This course satisfies the general education requirement for science with laboratory.

Prerequisite: CHEM 103 with a grade of C or better, or satisfactory completion of the Chemistry Placement Exam.

CHEM 305. Quantitative Analysis (4F)

An introduction to gravimetric, volumetric, electrochemical, spectroscopic, and related statistical methods of analysis.

Lecture and Laboratory.

Prerequisites: CHEM 106 with a grade of C- or better.   

Chem 306. Instrumental Analysis (4S)

Theory and practice of a number of modern techniques of chemical analysis including chromatography, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and computer interfacing. Laboratory work is designed to familiarize the student with the use of various instruments used in chemical analysis including infrared, ultraviolet visible, atomic absorption, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, and gas-liquid and high performance liquid chromatographs.

Lecture and Laboratory

Prerequisites: CHEM 305 and CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better.

CHEM 311, 312. Organic Chemistry I, II (4F, 4S)

A systematic survey of the compounds of carbon. Nomenclature, basic reaction mechanisms, stereochemistry, structure elucidation, and other fundamentals of the field will be pursued.

Lecture and Laboratory (4-5 hours per week).

Prerequisites: Completion of CHEM 106 with grades of C- or better. Completion of CHEM 311 with a grade of C- or better is required for CHEM 312.

CHEM 325.  Introduction to Chemical Literature (1)

This course will provide an introduction to the literature of chemistry. Students will learn methods of retrieving information from traditional primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, and they will also learn to use computerized databases in retrieving information.

Prerequisites:  CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better or consent of the instructor.

CHEM 405. Inorganic Chemistry (4S)

Inorganic chemistry is the study of the principles of structure and bonding, chemical reactivity, and periodic relationships of inorganic, organometallic, and bioinorganic systems.

Lecture and Laboratory

Prerequisites: CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better.

CHEM 420. Biochemistry I (4F)

The chemistry of biological systems with emphasis on the relationship of molecular structure to biological function.

Lecture and Laboratory

Prerequisites: CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better. 

CHEM 425. Biochemistry II (4S)

A continuation of the material covered in CHEM 420 with an emphasis on metabolic processes.

Lecture only

This course is cross-listed as BIOL 425. Students may receive credit for either course but not both.

Prerequisites: CHEM 420 with a grade of C or better.


CHEM 426. Advanced Biochemistry Lab (3S)

A laboratory-based class focusing on advanced biochemistry analytical and instrumental techniques.

Prerequisite: CHEM 420 with a grade of C- or better. Corequisite: CHEM 425.

Not open to students who have received credit for CHEM 422.

CHEM 451, 452. Physical Chemistry I, II (4F, 4S)

Quantum mechanics; atomic and molecular structure; chemical bonding; chemical thermodynamics with applications to phase equilibria, solution equilibria and electrochemistry; kinetic theory, reaction rates and statistical thermodynamics; the gaseous, liquid, and solid states.

Lecture and Laboratory.

Credit is allowed for CHEM 451 without registration for CHEM 452.

Prerequisites: CHEM 106, PHYS 131, and MATH 152, or consent of the instructor. CHEM 451 is a prerequisite for CHEM 452.

CHEM 480. Topics in Chemistry (2-4)

A thorough investigation of a specialized area of chemistry. Topics will be selected by the faculty according to student interest.

Course may be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.

Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor.

CHEM 494. St. Mary's Project (1-8E)

The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work in chemistry. The student initiates the project, identifies an area of chemistry to be explored, and proposes a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. The project should include a reflection on the social context, the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which it is a contribution. It must be shared with the College community through posters, presentations, or other means. The project may be within chemistry, across disciplines, or in a cross-disciplinary study area. The project is supervised by a chemistry faculty mentor. Prerequisite: Approval of faculty mentor and department chair of the student's major(s). Consult faculty mentor for project guidelines. The course is repeatable for up to a total of eight semester-hours.

CHEM 398, 498. Off-campus Internship (8-16E)

A variety of off-campus learning opportunities can be arranged through the director of internships and study abroad. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the academic adviser and department chair. Credit/No credit grading.  

CHEM 199, 299, 399, 499. Independent Study (1-4E)

This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a chemistry faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration.