Chemistry @ Colgate

Academic Program



Concentration Program in Chemistry
Minor Concentration Program in Chemistry
Concentration Program in Biochemistry
Honors and High Honors in Chemistry
Honors in Biochemistry
Awards
Advanced Placement & Transfer Credit
Summer Research Opportunities
Course Descriptions



Concentration in chemistry or biochemistry is suitable for students who wish to prepare for careers in the chemical profession or in the related fields of life, health or earth sciences. Many graduates pursue further study in graduate departments of biochemistry, chemistry, chemical physics, pharmacology, and professional schools of medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine.


Concentration Program in Chemistry

Concentration Program in Chemistry consists of the following requirements:

a. Courses: Credit for General Chemistry 101, 102; Organic Chemistry 263, 264; Physical Chemistry 333, 334; Instrumental Methods 371; Advanced Chemistry Laboratory 482; and at least two courses to be selected from 353, 356, 404, 411, and 462. Only one term of biochemistry (353 or 356) may be counted towards the courses required for concentration. CHEM 111, a one-term course designed for the well-prepared student, may be substituted for CHEM 101-102. Independent Studies (291, 391, 491) normally may not be substituted for one of the courses listed above, but if it can be demonstrated that such a course provides sufficient breadth at the advanced level, the department will consider a petition for substitution. The department will also consider a petition for substitution of an appropriate upper-level course in a closely related discipline, such as PHYS 371.

A GPA of at least 2.0 is required in the chemistry courses chosen to meet concentration requirements.

b. Laboratory: Laboratory work in the junior and senior years will consist of CHEM 334 and 371, usually taken during the junior year, and completion of one year of the Advanced Chemistry Laboratory, CHEM 482, usually in the senior year. The latter consists of one or more projects, designed by the student in collaboration with a faculty member, involving a variety of laboratory experiences. During the senior year, each student must give an oral presentation at the weekly seminar.

It is strongly recommended that concentrators in chemistry or biochemistry have a full-time research experience before they graduate. Students are encouraged to participate in the chemistry department's active summer research program, or to take advantage of the numerous summer research programs now available across the country.

c. Additional requirements: Prerequisites for concentration also include MATH 111, 112 and either PHYS 111, 112 or 120, 121; the latter is recommended for those who plan to do graduate work in chemistry. Junior and senior concentrators are expected to attend a weekly seminar series at which students, staff and guests present topics from the current literature and their own research.

Students wishing to meet the certification requirements of the American Chemical Society are required to take Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 411.

Computers are used throughout the chemistry curriculum for data collection and analysis, computation, modeling and writing. Ownership of a personal computer is desirable, although science-dedicated computer resources are available. Students intending to purchase computers are urged to consult the chemistry department about a system compatible with equipment used in the department.

In cooperation with the Department of Education, a program leading to teacher certification is available to chemistry concentrators on both the graduate (MAT) and undergraduate levels.

Those who wish to concentrate in chemistry normally take CHEM 101, 102 (or 111) and MATH 111, 112 in the first year. The usual sophomore courses are CHEM 263, 264 and PHYS 120, 121 (or PHYS 111, 112). Juniors take CHEM 333, 334, and 371, and seniors take CHEM 482 plus two or more chemistry or biochemistry electives. To meet the laboratory requirements of CHEM 334, 371, and 482 (normally eight hours per week), junior and senior concentrators are expected to reserve either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday afternoons for that purpose. In accordance with state requirements, safety glasses meeting federal specifications must be worn in all laboratories.

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Minor Concentration Program in Chemistry

Minor Concentration Program in Chemistry consists of: CHEM 101, 102 (or 111), 263, 264, 333, and one other chemistry course at the 300400 level. The stated prerequisites for these courses must be met. A GPA of at least 2.0 is required in the chemistry courses chosen to meet minor concentration requirements.

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Concentration Program in Biochemistry

Concentration Program in Biochemistry consists of the following requirements:

a. Courses: Credit for General Chemistry 101, 102; Organic Chemistry 263, 264; Physical Chemistry 333, 334; Biochemistry 353, 356; Instrumental Methods 371; Advanced Chemistry Laboratory 482, and Molecular Biology (BIOL 450). CHEM 111 may be substituted for CHEM 101-102. Normally, Independent Studies (291, 391, or 491) or an upper-level course in another discipline may not be substituted for one of the courses listed above, but if it can be demonstrated that such a course provides sufficient breadth at the advanced level, the department will consider a petition for substitution.

A GPA of at least 2.0 is required in the chemistry and biology courses chosen to meet concentration requirements.

b. Laboratory: Laboratory requirements are the same as for concentration in chemistry.

c. Additional requirements: Prerequisites for concentration also include MATH 111, 112, and either PHYS 111, 112, or 120, 121; the latter is recommended for those who plan to do graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry. Junior and senior concentrators are expected to attend a weekly seminar series at which students, staff and guests present topics from the current literature and their own research.

d. Recommendations: Other highly recommended courses, depending on student interests, are Cellular Biology (BIOL 302), and Introduction to Recombinant DNA Techniques (BIOL 321). Cellular Biology is normally a prerequisite for Molecular Biology (BIOL 450).

Those who wish to concentrate in biochemistry will take CHEM 101, 102 (or 111), and MATH 111, 112 in the first year. The usual sophomore courses are CHEM 263, 264, and PHYS 120, 121. Juniors take BIOL 302 and CHEM 333, 334, and 371. The senior courses are BIOL 450 and CHEM 353, 356. In order to meet the laboratory requirements of CHEM 334, 371, and 482 (normally eight hours per week), junior and senior concentrators will be expected to reserve either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday afternoons for that purpose.

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Honors and High Honors in Chemistry

Honors and High Honors in Chemistry may be awarded to concentrators who accumulate overall GPAs of at least 3.0 and GPAs of at least 3.0 in all chemistry, mathematics, physics and computer science courses (excluding COSC 100), complete approved honors projects, and present the results of their projects in both written and oral form to the department. The decision to award honors, high honors or neither is based upon the quality of the honors project, its presentation and other evidence of distinction.

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Honors in Biochemistry

Honors in Biochemistry may be awarded on the same basis as honors in chemistry, except that a student must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA and a GPA of at least 3.0 in all chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics courses taken.

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Awards

Through the generosity of professional organizations, alumni and faculty, the department annually awards more than $1,500 in prizes to undergraduates. The most significant of these are awarded by the department as follows:

The Haskell-Schiff Memorial Prize: given to that member of the first-year class who seems to show the most promise for a career in physical chemistry.

Lawrence Chemical Prizes: established in honor of G.O. Lawrence of Buenos Aires by Dr. Joseph Frank McGregory, professor of chemistry 1883-1929, and awarded for excellence in chemistry.

Edwin Foster Kingsbury Prizes in Chemistry: awarded annually to those students whose performance is judged by the department to be the most outstanding during the year of the award

Roy Burnett Smith Prize in Chemistry: honors the late Professor Roy B. Smith, a member of the Department of Chemistry 1983-1940. Made possible by a fund provided by the Alpha Nu Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, together with contributions from interested alumni, the award is made annually at the discretion of the department to a student concentrating in chemistry.

McGregory Fellowship in Chemistry of $1,000: established by a bequest of Dr. Joseph Frank McGregory, professor of chemistry 1883-1929, and awarded annually to a member of the graduating class or to an alumnus of not more than two years' standing, who shall be considered most worthy.

The Thurner Prize of $100: established by Professor Emeritus Joseph J. Thurner to encourage research by chemistry students and awarded annually for the best honors thesis written by a senior concentrator in chemistry or biochemistry.

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Advanced Placement and Transfer Credit

Advanced placement credit is given to entering students with scores of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement exam; exceptionally well-prepared students from other pre-matriculation programs should consult with the department chair regarding transfer credit and/or advanced standing.

Transfer students will generally receive credit for satisfactorily completed chemistry courses taken at other colleges that correspond to courses at Colgate. Such transfer credits will be considered individually, and students are encouraged to bring information about the courses (syllabi, catalog statements, lab notebooks, textbooks, etc.) to the department chair for consideration. Such arrangements should be made well before beginning classes at Colgate.

Matriculated Colgate students may receive credit for chemistry courses taken at other colleges, either during a term away from Colgate or during the summer. To receive Colgate credit, summer chemistry courses must meet criteria established by the department and receive prior approval of the department chair. These criteria include the length of the course and the number of class and laboratory meetings. Final approval of transfer credit is contingent upon satisfactory performance on a competency examination to be administered by the department preceding the fall term. Students considering a summer chemistry course must obtain a copy of the department criteria from the department office. This must be done before the summer course is taken.

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Summer Research Opportunities

The Department of Chemistry offers a rich summer research program in all fields of chemistry and in biochemistry. A large number of research assistantships are awarded each summer. Students receive stipends, and campus housing is available at a reduced rate. Awards are made on a competitive basis to students who have completed at least one year of study. Typical summer research appointments are for ten full weeks, but other terms are possible by prior arrangement. Summer research students may elect to join an ongoing research group or may design individual projects in consultation with one or more faculty members. Students should contact the department chair or a faculty mentor for details before the application deadline.

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