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Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics Department

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Chemistry and Biochemistry Curricula

In order to provide a versatile set of programs for students while maintaining the high quality of the Marist Chemistry experience, we offer four degree options. The B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Chemistry-Biochemistry curricula accommodate those students seeking certification from the American Chemical Society (ACS) as they prepare for careers as professional scientists in the chemical, pharmaceutical, or molecular industries, or as health-care practitioners. These curricula are recommended for those anticipating graduate-level (M.S. or Ph.D.) study in chemistry, biochemistry, or biomedical sciences. The more flexible B.A. in Chemistry and B.A. in Biochemistry curricula are designed to have significant numbers of free electives, allowing students to pursue personal and professional interests in other areas, such as business, education, and computer science. The B.A. in Chemistry degree is especially well suited for those seeking provisional certification to teach chemistry in secondary schools in New York State or for marketing and sales positions in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The B.A. in Biochemistry degree, with proper choice of electives, may be used as preparation for students seeking a career in the health professions.

Chemistry Course Descriptions

  • CHEM111 and 115 General Chemistry I and lab: Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry (3 +1 credits): An introduction to the fundamental theories of inorganic chemistry including the structure of atoms, electronic structure, bonding, reactions in aqueous media, gas behavior, intermolecular forces, and properties of solutions. The laboratory course demonstrates the lecture material and emphasizes laboratory technique, data treatment, and report writing.
  • CHEM112 and 116 General Chemistry II and lab: Introduction to Physical Chemistry (3 +1 credits): An introduction to the principles of physical chemistry beginning with chemical thermodynamics and working through reaction rates, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The lecture and laboratory components of this course are designed to complement each other. Lecture presents background theory while laboratory emphasizes application of theoretical concepts to hands-on discovery.
  • CHEM 203 Computational Chemistry: A survey of modern methods to model chemistry on computers. This course starts with some basic Computer Science (operating systems and programing), then moves on to discuss which computational methods are appropriate for different chemical systems and why. Along the way, this course explores the ways in which computers have changed, and continue to change, the way we see chemistry.
  • CHEM 211-212 Organic Chemistry I-II (3 credits each): This is a two-semester introductory course in organic chemistry. CHEM 211-212 is designed to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the structures, properties, and reactions of organic molecules. The topics of stereochemistry, stability, spectroscopic analysis, reaction mechanisms, and multistep synthesis are emphasized throughout the course.
  • CHEM 215-216 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I-II (1 credit each): This is a two-semester laboratory course designed to accompany the year-long organic chemistry lecture course (CHEM 211-212) that provides students with hands-on experience. Students will learn a variety of important organic chemistry laboratory techniques in the context of purification and purity assessment, and these techniques are integrated into future labs of increasing complexity. Students will carry out selected reactions studied in lecture, with an emphasis on the purification and characterization of products. Scientific writing is emphasized throughout.
  • CHEM 355 Analytical Chemistry (4 credits): An introduction to the theory and application of analytical chemistry. The course will introduce concepts of sampling, sample preparation, classical and instrumental methods of analysis, statistical analysis of data, and communication skills. The theory of analytical methods will apply and extend general chemistry knowledge while instrumental methods and concepts will be introduced. The laboratory component will focus on good laboratory techniques, achievement of good accuracy and precision, correct procedure for maintaining a notebook, data analysis, and communication of results.
  • CHEM 361 Thermodynamics and Kinetics (3 credits): Treatment of the laws of thermodynamics and the thermodynamic state functions. Application of thermodynamic principles to chemical systems. Methods of analysis and interpretation of chemical kinetic data, and a study of reaction mechanisms and elementary kinetic theories. Some special topics like computational reaction dynamics, surface properties of materials, etc.
  • CHEM 362 Quantum and Statistical Mechanics (3 credits): A treatment of the postulates of wave mechanics and their application to simple systems. Wave mechanical studies of atomic and molecular structures, spectra, and photochemical processes. An examination of the transition from wave mechanics to classical mechanics through statistical methods.
  • CHEM 365 Experimental Physical Chemistry (1 credit): Application of the theoretical ideas presented in CHEM 361 in the laboratory. This half-semester course focuses on experimental determination of physical properties such as heat capacity and reaction rates. Emphasis on written and oral presentation of ideas.
  • CHEM 366 Experimental Physical Chemistry (1 credit): Application of the theoretical ideas presented in CHEM 362 in the laboratory. This half-semester course focuses on spectroscopic and computational determination of quantum mechanical properties of small molecules. Emphasis on written and oral presentation of ideas.
  • CHEM 376 Research Methods in Chemistry I (4 credits): This course serves as a formal introduction to the tools of chemical research and is aimed at students in the spring semester of their junior year. The material will cover the correct procedure for maintaining a laboratory notebook, experimental design, statistical treatment of results, methods for performing literature searches, critical review of literature, as well as various scientific writing and communication skills. The course also includes a project component which will serve as the basis for many of the assignments. The project must include a significant analytical chemistry component or the agreement of a faculty member to act as an advisor.
  • CHEM 420 Biochemistry I (3 credits): A study of the structure and function of molecules of biological significance, intermediary metabolism, the role of enzymes, and of the biochemistry storage, replication, and transmission of genetic information.
  • CHEM 421 Biochemistry II (3 credits): Continued consideration of metabolism and the biochemistry of genetic information. Discussion of selected topics, including mechanisms of membrane transport, hormone action, and neurotransmission.
  • CHEM 423 Biochemistry I Lab (1 credit): A laboratory course designed to expose students to basic biochemical techniques. Topics include the analysis of amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids, as well as enzyme assay, protein purification, and electrophoresis.
  • CHEM 424 Biochemistry II Lab (1 credit): A laboratory course, continued from CHEM 423, designed to expose students to basic biochemical techniques. Topics include cellular metabolism, proton transport, nucleic acid composition and manipulation, advanced aspects of protein purification, and characterization and application of on-line biochemistry resources.
  • CHEM 430 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits): An advanced treatment of special topics in inorganic and transition metal chemistry.
  • CHEM 431 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Lab (2 credits): This laboratory course will provide experience with the synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds, as well as the study of how organometallic compounds can be used in organic synthesis. In the process, a variety of advanced laboratory techniques will be explored and hands-on experience with modern instrumentation will be obtained.
  • CHEM 440 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credits): This course is designed to give students in-depth experience with a variety of selected topics in organic chemistry, building off a solid foundation gained in CHEM 211-212. The focus will be on organic synthesis (modern methodology, multistep synthesis, and retrosynthetic analysis), reaction mechanisms, and structure determination by spectroscopic methods.
  • CHEM 475 Research Methods in Chemistry II (2 credits): During this course the student will perform independent research under the direction of faculty mentor(s). The preliminary proposal will be prepared and approved in CHEM 376. Part of the preparation will be an agreement with a faculty member to serve as mentor, a plan to obtain equipment and supplies, and a reasonable timetable for completion of work.
  • CHEM 476 Research Methods in Chemistry III (1 credit): During this course the student will write a paper and orally present the results from the independent research performed in CHEM 475. Each student will present the paper at Marist with the other course participants, and subject to available funds, will also be expected to present either a talk or a poster at an external undergraduate research forum.


For additional information including other course requirements, recommended program sequence, pre-requisites, and requirements for ACS Certification please refer to the catalog.