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Course Catalog

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Knowledge of the chemical world is important for any educated person because chemical concepts and issues affect so many aspects of our personal lives and society. Coursework in chemistry naturally prepares one to understand the physical and living worlds; it also prepares one to make scientifically-informed contributions to many other fields and to society. Areas such as molecular biology, environmental law and policy, bioethics, patent law, medicine and education are examples of fields where chemical knowledge is needed. Both biochemistry and chemistry majors pursue graduate studies in chemistry, biochemistry or medicine upon graduation. Other career paths available to these majors include employment in fields such as the pharmaceutical industry, law, environmental monitoring and technical sales/management. The chemistry faculty encourages students to participate in collaborative research during the school year, Winter Term and summers. Such research is an important facet of a student's education. Students may also choose to pursue an internship at a national laboratory or in an industrial or medical setting at some point in their training. All chemistry students may participate in the activities of the award-winning Chemistry Club. The Women in Science group also sponsors speakers and activities of interest to chemistry students. Majors and minors are offered in chemistry and biochemistry. No chemistry course may be taken pass/fail.


Requirements for a major

Biochemistry

Total courses required Nine and one-quarter
Core courses CHEM 120, CHEM 130, CHEM 170, CHEM 240, CHEM 260, CHEM 310, CHEM 343, CHEM 440
Other required courses Two courses selected from: CHEM 342, BIO 250, BIO 314, BIO 320, BIO 325, BIO 335, BIO 361, BIO 382, BIO 415
Number 300 and 400 level courses At least 3.0 courses
Senior requirement and capstone experience Satisfactory performance on the Biochemistry Comprehensive Examination and satisfactory attendance at departmental seminars during the junior and senior years are required.
Additional information With the approval of their advisor, students may apply CHEM 335, CHEM 354, CHEM 364, BIO 390 or BIO 490 toward the "other required courses" (such courses should have a biochemical emphasis). With the approval of their advisor, students may apply up to 0.5 course of research (CHEM 395, CHEM 405, and BIO 490).
Writing in the Major

Scientists write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Sometimes the writing is formal, such as an article or poster conveying the results of a research project to an audience of knowledgeable peers. Other times the writing is informal, used to facilitate the research process when the audience is limited to the author and his or her research partners. This could be in the form of brief research reports, or sharing laboratory notebooks. At other times, scientists write for a general audience of intellectually curious non-scientists. Just as the practice of science requires careful design of experiments, and precise and accurate measurements, a scientist must have command of the written word in a manner appropriate for diverse purposes and audiences.

Writing instruction in the department parallels the vertical nature of our curriculum, in which upper-level courses build on concepts learned in introductory courses, to build and reinforce skills in writing across a student¿s four years. Students in our introductory courses learn to maintain a laboratory notebook and to report the results of their laboratory work in a journal article format. Writing instruction at this level is carefully structured to give attention to different purposes and audiences. Particular attention is given to the design of tables, graphs, and figures that summarize results and illustrate ideas, and to the effective use of such devices in clearly communicating information and supporting the written narrative. As students progress through the curriculum, their laboratory work becomes more independent, open-ended, and complex, and their written reports become correspondingly more demanding and require greater sophistication. At all levels, the department¿s focus is on carefully organizing and presenting information, constructing meaning from complex data, and effectively communicating the results of scientific experiments.

The writing requirement for majors in chemistry and biochemistry consists of keeping a portfolio of writings from several key courses in the major and presenting them with a written reflection. The purpose of the written reflection is two-fold. First, it is intended to allow the student to critique the development of his or her own writing and analyze its evolution in relation to coursework at DePauw. Second, it is intended to provide the student with the opportunity to project how his or her writing needs to grow going forward.

Majors submit a portfolio in the fall semester of their senior year. The centerpiece of the portfolio is a written reflection focusing on the student¿s understanding of his or her development as a writer within the major and how the student used instructor and peer feedback to improve her or his writing. The student will support arguments about how her or his writing has improved by referring to writing samples and peer or instructor feedback from throughout the first three years at DePauw; these writing samples will include:

  • Two lab reports from CHEM 240 or 260. One of these should focus on a particular section of the lab report, for example the introduction or results section.
  • Material from an upper-level course, typically chosen from Chem 343, 440, 450, 460 and/or an analytical report from a research experience (Chem 395, 405 or summer research).
  • A single-author piece that demonstrates an ability to effectively communicate science to an educated but non-technical audience. This could be from a course or specifically written for the portfolio.

Portfolios are due on the second Friday of November of the senior year. Any student whose portfolio does not demonstrate competence will be notified by the first day of the second semester and will have to complete an additional writing component of the senior comprehensive exam to demonstrate writing competence in the major.

Chemistry

Total courses required Nine and one-quarter
Core courses CHEM 120, CHEM 130, CHEM 170, CHEM 240, CHEM 260
Other required courses Chemistry majors must also complete advanced courses in three categories as follows:
  • Chemical Reactivity (1.5 courses chosen from CHEM 320, CHEM 331, CHEM 332, CHEM 335; at least one class must include lab);
  • Chemical Analysis (CHEM 450 plus one course chosen from CHEM 351, CHEM 352, CHEM 353, CHEM 354);
  • Theoretical and Computational Chemistry (CHEM 460 plus one course chosen from CHEM 361, CHEM 362, CHEM 363, CHEM 364).
Number 300 and 400 level courses Four and one-half
Senior requirement and capstone experience The senior requirement consists of satisfactory performance on the Chemistry Comprehensive Examination and satisfactory attendance at departmental seminars during the junior and senior years.
Writing in the Major See Writing in the Major for Biochemistry.

Requirements for a minor

Biochemistry

Total courses required Five and one-quarter

NOTE: Chemistry majors may not earn a minor in Biochemistry.

Core courses CHEM 120, CHEM 170, CHEM 240, and CHEM 260.
Other required courses One course chosen from: CHEM 310, CHEM 343 or CHEM 440 and one course from BIO 314, BIO 315, BIO 320, BIO 325, BIO 335, BIO 361 or BIO 415.

300 and 400 level courses: 2.

Number 300 and 400 level courses 2

Chemistry

Total courses required Five and one-quarter

Note: Biochemistry majors may not earn a minor in Chemistry.

Core courses CHEM 170
Other required courses
Number 300 and 400 level courses One

Courses in Chemistry and Biochemistry

CHEM 100

Medicinal Plants for Poets

This course examines the concepts needed to understand medicinal plants from a broad scientific and cultural perspective. In addition to developing basic chemical concepts (emphasizing bonding and structure, and their effects on chemical behavior), the course will draw on areas such as pharmacology in order to build a complete picture of how medicinal plants function. Issues such as the cultural origins of medicinal plant knowledge, the nature of scientific methods/scientific truth and the changing role of medicinal plants in society will also be examined. The laboratory will consist of experiments and activities designed to illustrate and elaborate on ideas discussed in lecture. No prerequisites. Not open to students with credit for any college chemistry course. May not be counted toward a major in chemistry. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics None. Not open to students with credit for any college chemistry course. May not be counted toward a major in chemistry. 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 120

Structure and Properties of Organic Molecules

This course introduces the basics of chemical bonding, structure and behavior in the context of organic molecules. Emphasis is placed on the nature of bonding, how chemists determine structure, the three-dimensional aspects of structure and how molecular structure determines chemical behavior. Lab activities are designed to reinforce class topics while introducing common organic lab techniques, such as liquid-liquid extraction, NMR, IR, GC/MS, and molecular modeling. Prerequisite: high school chemistry or CHEM 100. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics High school chemistry or CHEM 100 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 130

Structure and Properties of Inorganic Compounds

An introduction to structure, bonding, properties and simple reactions of inorganic compounds. Topics covered include basic quantum theory, bonding theories, molecular and solid state structure and periodic properties of the elements and their compounds. Application of these topics to biological, environmental and geological systems will be stressed. The lab will focus on the synthesis, structure, properties, and reactivity of inorganic substances, including simple ionic substances and coordination complexes. Characterization using infrared and visible spectroscopy is also introduced. Prerequisite: high school chemistry or CHEM 100. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics High school chemistry or CHEM 100 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 156

Advanced Placement in General Chemistry

Advanced placement credit for entering first-year students.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

CHEM 170

Stoichiometric Calculations

A review of the quantitative treatment of chemistry and chemical reactions. Topics include ways to express the absolute and relative amount of chemicals (grams, moles and concentration), balancing chemical reactions, mole-to-mole relationships, limiting reagents and theoretical yields. The course is composed of a series of self-paced modules. There are no class meetings. Prerequisite: high school chemistry or CHEM 100. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
High school chemistry or CHEM 100 1/4 course, class only

CHEM 197

First-year Seminar: Green Chemistry

A seminar focused on a theme related to the study of chemistry. Open only to first-year students. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course, class and lab

CHEM 240

Structure and Function of Biomolecules

An introduction to the molecules of living organisms. Topics will include the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. The lab will emphasize characterization of biomolecules using common biochemical techniques. Physical and computer models will be utilized in both class and lab. Prerequisite: CHEM 120. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics CHEM 120 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 260

Thermodynamics, Equilibrium and Kinetics

A rigorous introduction to the theoretical principles governing the favorability of reactions, extent of reactions and rate of reactions. The application of these topics to environmental chemistry, geochemistry and/or biochemistry is also considered. Laboratory work is designed to reinforce class topics while stressing the importance of making careful quantitative measurements and the careful design of experiments. Prerequisite: CHEM 170, and CHEM 120 or CHEM 130. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics CHEM 170, and CHEM 120 or CHEM 130 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 310

Enzyme Mechanisms

An introduction to organic mechanisms as they occur in metabolic processes. The course begins with a rigorous study of organic mechanisms commonly seen in biological systems, and progresses to the mechanisms behind the transformations of lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids and nucleotides in metabolic pathways. Examples from the primary literature will be considered in detail. May not be counted as an elective for the chemistry major. Prerequisite: Chem 240. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 240 1 course

CHEM 320

Organic Mechanisms and Synthesis

This course focuses on the concept of reaction mechanisms, surveys a variety of reactions, and introduces the principles of organic synthetic design and strategy. Laboratory introduces fundamental methods of synthesis and purification, and makes heavy use of instrumentation to verify structure and purity. May not be counted as an elective for the biochemistry major. Prerequisite: CHEM 120 and 170. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 120 and CHEM 170 1 course, class and lab

CHEM 331

Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms

This course offers a more in-depth look at the range of inorganic reactions. Basics of structure, bonding and properties are used to rationalize reactions ranging from simple precipitation, redox, and acid-base reaction to significantly more involved organometallic reaction mechanisms. Topics vary from year to year but other possible topics include inorganic catalytic cycles, inner and outer sphere redox chemistry, dissociative and associative mechanisms in coordination chemistry, and major bioinorganic reaction mechanisms. Frequently examples are chosen from the most recent primary chemical literature. Prerequisite: CHEM 120, 130 and 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 120, CHEM 130 and CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 332

Inorganic Synthesis

A laboratory course focusing on advanced synthesis techniques, such as air sensitive handling, sublimation and solid-state synthesis. Use of the chemical literature will be integrated into the course. Prerequisite: CHEM 120, 130, and 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 120, CHEM 130 and CHEM 260 1/2 course, 1 hour class and lab

CHEM 335

Topics in Chemical Reactivity

Selected topics in inorganic and organic chemical reactivity are offered. May be repeated for credit (with a different topic). Prerequisite: varies with topic. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Varies according to the topic offered. 1/2 course, class or lab

CHEM 342

Topics in Biochemistry

Selected topics in biochemistry are offered. May be repeated for credit (with a different topic). Prerequisite: varies with topic. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Varies according to the topic offered. 1/2 course, class or lab

CHEM 343

Advanced Biochemistry

A detailed examination of the function, bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms of enzymes in the context of intermediate metabolism.Focuses on chemical transformation, regulation and integration at the level of cells and organs. The project-oriented laboratory focuses on advanced techniques such as methods of isolation and those needed to analyze structure and function of biomolecules. Prerequisites: BIO 315, CHEM 240 and CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
BIO 315, CHEM 240, CHEM 260 1 course

CHEM 351

Chemometrics

An introduction to the mathematical handling of chemical data, including the statistical analysis of data, linear regression, standardization strategies, sampling, optimization and ruggedness testing. Prerequisite: CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 352

Analytical Equilibria

This course provides a more detailed examination of equilibrium chemistry and its application to gravimetry, titrimetry and analytical separations, including solvent extractions and chromatography. Prerequisite: CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 353

Instrumental Methods of Analysis

A detailed examination of spectroscopic, electrochemical and flow injection methods of analysis. The application of kinetic methods of analysis is also considered. Prerequisite: CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 354

Topics in Chemical Analysis

Selected topics in chemical analysis are offered. May be repeated for credit (with a different topic). Prerequisite: varies with topic. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Varies according to the topic offered. 1/2 course, class or lab

CHEM 361

Chemical Kinetics

A careful study of the key methods for the kinetic analysis of chemical systems. In addition to reviewing basic methodologies, such as the method of initial rates and simple integrated rate equations, considerable attention is given to more complicated kinetic mechanisms. Consecutive, competing, oscillating and explosive reactions are covered. Prerequisite: MATH 152, PHYS 130 and CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MATH 152, PHYS 130 and CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 362

Chemical Thermodynamics

This course will look at the fundamental principles of thermodynamics and how those principles govern the behavior of chemical systems. Emphasis will be given to applications in biochemical systems. Prerequisite: MATH 152, PHYS 130, and CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MATH 152, PHYS 130 and CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 363

Quantum Mechanics in Chemistry

This course examines the core quantum mechanical models, including the particle in a box, harmonic oscillator, rigid rotor, and hydrogen atom. Emphasis is placed on the power and limits of each model in explaining molecular vibrations, rotations and electronic motions. Approximation methods are discussed to extend the models to a larger number of physical systems. Prerequisite: MATH 152, PHYS 130 and CHEM 260. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
MATH 152, PHYS 130 and CHEM 260 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 364

Topics in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

Selected topics in theoretical and computational chemistry are offered. May be repeated for credit (with a different topic). Prerequisite: varies with topic. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Varies according to the topic offered. 1/2 course, class only

CHEM 395

Independent Study

Directed independent study. Participation by arrangement with a faculty member. An oral presentation and written report are required. May be repeated; however, only one-half course total from CHEM 395 and 405 may be counted toward the chemistry or biochemistry major. Consult with research supervisor to determine credit. Permission of instructor required.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1/4-1/2-1 course, laboratory only

CHEM 400

Teaching of Chemistry

For students preparing to teach in secondary schools. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Not applicable toward the major. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Permission of instructor. Not applicable toward the major. 1/2 course

CHEM 405

Thesis

Completion of a research project and the preparation of a written thesis and oral presentation. Participation by arrangement with a faculty member. For students finishing a research project and writing a thesis. May not be repeated. Course grade will be assigned by the joint chemistry faculty. Only one-half course total of CHEM 395 and 405 may be counted toward the chemistry or biochemistry major. Prerequisite: Four credits in chemistry and permission of instructor.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Four credits in chemistry and permission of instructor 1/4 course, includes laboratory

CHEM 440

Biophysical Chemistry

This course will examine the physical and chemical behavior of biomolecules from a quantitative perspective emphasizing applications and problem solving. Approximately half the course will focus on understanding biochemical reactions, structures and reactivity from a thermodynamic and kinetic perspective. The other half of the course will consider selected topics from biochemical applications of spectroscopy, crystallography and separations science. Prerequisites: CHEM 130, 240, 260; MATH 151; PHYS 120. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 130, 240, 260; MATH 151; PHYS 120 1 course

CHEM 450

Method Development

Three laboratory hours and one hour recitation. A project-based laboratory course focusing on the development of analytical methods. Prerequisite: CHEM 351, CHEM 352 or CHEM 353. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 351, CHEM 352 or CHEM 353 1/2 course, 1 hour class and lab

CHEM 460

Theory and Experiment

Three laboratory hours and one hour recitation. This project based laboratory will develop skills in asking fundamental questions about chemical behavior, deciding which theories can be used to explain that behavior, and then designing and implementing experiments to answer these questions. Prerequisite: CHEM 361 or CHEM 362 or CHEM 363. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
CHEM 361 or CHEM 362 or CHEM 363 1/2 course, 1 hour class and lab