Apr 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 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.


Steven J. Bachofer, PhD, Professor

Valerie A. Burke, PhD, Associate Professor

Joel D. Burley, PhD, Professor

Amy Chu, PhD, Assistant Professor

Zuleikha Kurji, PhD, Associate Professor

Mark D. Lingwood, PhD, Professor, Chair

Karen M. Ruff, PhD, Associate Professor

Jeffrey A. Sigman, PhD, Professor

Elizabeth Valentin, PhD, Assistant Professor

Kenneth J. Brown, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Learning Outcomes

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

  • USE molecular theory to precisely explain experimental observations and predict future experimental results.
  • USE physical principles to understand chemical effects and interactions.
  • DEVELOP critical thinking skills to solve problems.
  • UTILIZE the scientific literature to access data, find experimental procedures, and understand current theory.
  • DEMONSTRATE qualitative and quantitative laboratory skills.
  • DOCUMENT scientific information and experimental work.
  • REPORT experimental results with graphical representations and meaningful interpretations.
  • DEMONSTRATE safe and responsible lab practices.

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, environmental track, (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 ScienceBachelor of ArtsMinor


      Chemistry - Lower DivisionChemistry - Upper Division