A major in Chemistry is achieved by completion of the following requirements, in addition to the General Education and electives required for a degree:
Required Core Courses
CHM 101 (or waiver), CHM 131 or 134, 221, 222, 311, and 345; two (2) course credits chosen from: CHM 361, 362, 451, or 452 (one of which must be CHM 361 or 362); and four (4) advanced-laboratory courses (CHM 370, 371, 470 and 471—1/2-credit each)
Required Capstone Course/Experience
An approved research experience. To satisfy this requirement, and in consultation with the Academic Adviser, courses can be for credit or not for credit. Some possibilities are CHM 398/498, a Short Term research course, or an approved summer research project.
Required Collateral Courses
MAT 115 (or waiver), 125 (or waiver), 135 (or waiver), and 225 (or waiver), as well as PHY 217 and 218 (or PHY 315 and 316)
Exploring the Major
Students considering a major in Chemistry should enroll in CHM 131 or 134 after having completed or waived the MAT 012 and CHM 101 prerequisites, which may be taken concurrently with permission of instructor. Students who wish to waive CHM 101 will take a standardized chemistry examination over high-school chemistry content. Students who perform at an appropriate level will be waived from the CHM 101 course and will be allowed to move directly into CHM 131 or CHM 134. The focus of the test is on concepts and not quantitative skills. Students may only take the waiver test one time; however, students who wish to move up to CHM 131 or 134 in the Fall Term from CHM 101 once they start the course will be allowed to do so in consultation with the instructor of the course. Similarly, students in CHM 131 or 134 who find the pace too fast will be allowed to move back to CHM 101. The goal is to provide flexibility and help each student find the appropriate starting point for their chemistry career. Also see foreign-language recommendation in “Other Considerations and Recommendations,” to follow.
Admission to the Major
While there are no strict requirements for admission to the major at this time, the Department prefers that students satisfactorily complete a minimum of two CHM courses, plus waiver or completion of CHM 101, before declaring this major.
Course Sequencing Considerations (in order to complete degree requirements within eight terms)
If not waived, concurrent enrollment in CHM 101 and MAT 012 is suggested for students who plan to take CHM 131 (offered in Fall and Spring terms) or CHM 134 (offered in Fall Term), because they are prerequisites for those two courses. The remaining courses that should be completed in sequence during the first two years are CHM 221, 222, and 311. All required collateral courses should be completed by the beginning of the junior year (other than PHY 217 and 218, which may be taken during the junior year).
Proficiency Requirements for Retention in and Completion of the Major
The laboratory component of the major requires that all students maintain a portfolio that will be reviewed as part of the advanced laboratory sequence. Each portfolio must demonstrate proficiencies in a range of chemistry subdisciplines (i.e., biochemistry, physical, inorganic, organic, and analytical), as well as proficiency in a variety of instrumental methods (i.e., FTIR, UV/Visible, NMR, GC, HPLC, AA, and electrochemistry). Students are required to give at least two presentations related to their research efforts. One presentation must be on campus and one must be off campus. Off campus venues include, but are not limited to, meetings of the American Chemical Society, the Kentucky Academy of Sciences, or the National Council of Undergraduate Research. In addition, all students must pass a departmental proficiency exam, administered in CHM 471, in order to graduate.
Other Considerations and Recommendations
Students who plan to attend graduate school in any area related to chemistry should take both CHM 361 and 362. Students with strong mathematics backgrounds are encouraged to take the calculus-based physics sequence, PHY 315/316, in place of PHY 217/218. Students who do not already speak a second language are encouraged (but not required) to study at least one year of a foreign language to fulfill the Berea College perspective requirement.