Oct 31, 2020  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


The Chemistry Department seeks to offer a versatile academic program that will prepare students for a variety of options upon graduation: employment in industry, graduate work in chemistry or related fields, entry into professional schools such as medicine or dentistry, or teaching at the K-12 level. Using a balance of theoretical and experimental work, the curriculum attempts to provide students with a solid understanding of fundamental concepts, the ability to reason through unfamiliar problems, the tools to investigate a topic in depth and the communication skills that are needed to share information with others.

The department recognizes that since chemistry is a discipline whose primary focus is the underlying substances of the universe, it is important both independently and in relation to other fields of study. For these reasons the department strives to connect the curriculum to other disciplines and real-world examples whenever possible, and to routinely offer courses to meet the needs of students who are not science majors.


Valerie A. Burke, PhD, Associate Professor, Chair
Kenneth J. Brown, PhD, Professor
Steven J. Bachofer, PhD, Professor
Joel D. Burley, PhD, Professor
John S. Correia, PhD, Professor Emeritus
Zuleikha Kurji, PhD, Assistant Professor
Mark Lingwood, PhD, Associate Professor
Karen M. Ruff, PhD, Assistant Professor
Michelle L. Shulman, PhD, Associate Professor
Jeffrey A. Sigman, PhD, Professor

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes for the Chemistry Department are organized into five general categories:

  • TOOLS for learning
  • FUNDAMENTAL knowledge and conceptual understanding
  • SOCIETAL AWARENESS and concerns

Preparation for Success

Students planning a major in chemistry should present credits for one year of chemistry, one year of physics, and four years of mathematics, and should have at least a B average in these subjects. Students with a good high school record but lacking credit in any of these subjects should remedy any deficiencies in summer school. Students planning a science major should be particularly alert to the language proficiency requirement (see Program of Study) and the math diagnostic prerequisite for entrance into CHEM 008 .

Major Requirements

The Chemistry Department offers several options for the student interested in chemistry:

  1. The bachelor of science (B.S.) chemistry major provides a solid foundation for students pursuing careers in technically intensive fields or graduate study. It is particularly appropriate for students with strong mathematical skills.
  2. The chemistry major with an environmental concentration (B.S.) is designed for students with an interest in applying chemistry to the study of environmental systems and issues.
  3. The bachelor of arts (B.A.) chemistry major provides students the flexibility to undertake a minor, prepare for a single-subject teaching credential, or complete courses for medical or professional school. It can also prepare students for employment with a number of firms in the scientific and medical arenas.
  4. The biochemistry major (B.S., offered jointly with the Biology Department ; see Biochemistry major for more information).

A suggested four-year program of study for any major in chemistry or biochemistry is available from any Chemistry Department faculty member.

Prerequisite Grade

Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course, unless noted otherwise in the course description.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceMinor


      Chemistry - Lower DivisionChemistry - Upper Division