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Department of

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Course Descriptions


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CHEM 101 Chemistry and Society (3)

A course designed for the non-science major that focuses on the major ideas of modern chemistry and the role that chemistry plays in a technological society. The evolution of our understanding of atomic and molecular structure and chemical reactivity will be examined as examples of the scientific method and the very human nature of the scientific endeavor. The role of modern chemistry in both the creation and the solution of societal problems will also receive considerable attention. The problems examined, which may vary in different sections, include: the energy crisis, air and water pollution, global warming, nutrition and food additives, household chemicals, pesticides and agrochemicals, and nuclear power. Two lectures weekly. Every semester.

CHEM 103 DNA Science and Technology (3)

A course designed for the non-science major that covers basic physical science concepts and how they apply to the discovery and study of DNA as the genetic material, the simplicity of the three-dimensional structure of DNA and the many implications to be drawn from this structure. It explores the concepts involved in recombinant DNA technology and its applications to the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, forensics, gene therapy and AIDS research. Two lectures weekly. Every semester.

CHEM 105 Physical Science for K-8 Teachers (3)

A laboratory/lecture/discussion class designed to lead students toward an understanding of selected topics in chemistry and physics. The course topics are selected to satisfy the physical science specifications of the science content standards for California Public Schools (K-12). Enrollment is limited to liberal studies majors. Two two-hour laboratory sessions per week. Fall semester. This course is cross-listed with PHYS 105.

CHEM 111 Chemistry and Society with Laboratory (3)

A course designed for the non-science major that focuses on the major ideas of modern chemistry and the role that chemistry plays in a technological society. The lecture content is similar to that in CHEM 101 (above); however, this course includes a laboratory that will satisfy the general education requirement for a laboratory course in the natural sciences. Two lectures and one laboratory/discussion weekly. Spring semester.

CHEM 151-152 General Chemistry (3-3)

A two semester lecture course which introduces the fundamental principles of modern chemistry. These principles, which include atomic and molecular structure, periodicity, reactivity, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, bonding, acid-base chemistry, redox chemistry, and states of matter, will be used in and expanded upon in more advanced courses. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisites: Eligibility for Math 115 or higher, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 151L-152L Every semester.

CHEM 152H Honors General Chemistry (3)

An honors course which parallels CHEM 152. The topics are covered in greater depth than in CHEM 152, and additional applications of chemistry are included. Three lectures weekly. Spring semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 151, 151L and consent of instructor, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 152

CHEM 151L-152L General Chemistry Laboratory (1-1)

A laboratory course which introduces the concepts and techniques of experimental chemistry. CHEM 151L has one laboratory period that meets biweekly. CHEM 152L has one laboratory period that meets every week. Pre-requisites: completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 151-152. Every year.

CHEM 220 Analytical Chemistry (3)

An introduction to the principles and practices of analytical chemistry with an emphasis on quantitative methods. Classical methods such as titrimetric and volumetric analyses as well as basic instrumental methods involving spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and chromatography will be performed. Some experiments will be of the project type. One laboratory and one lecture weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 152, 152L. Every semester.

CHEM 301-302 Organic Chemistry (3-3)

A two-semester introduction to basic organic chemistry. The relationship of structure and bonding in organic compounds to reactivity will be emphasized. Reactions will be discussed from mechanistic and synthetic perspectives. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 152, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 301L-302L. Every year.

CHEM 301L-302L Organic Chemistry Laboratory (1-1)

This course is designed to follow the material presented in Chem 301, 302. Microscale experimental techniques will be emphasized. Experiments include: recrystallization, distillation, extraction, chromatography, spectroscopy, kinetics, multi-step syntheses, and structure determination. One laboratory period weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 151L-152L, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 301-302.

CHEM 311 Physical Chemistry (3)

This course covers modern physical chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, and spectroscopy. Three lectures weekly. Fall semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 152, MATH 151, and PHYS 270, completion of or concurrent enrollment in PHYS 271 or consent of instructor.

CHEM 312 Physical Chemistry (3)

This course focuses on the classical principles of thermodynamics, kinetics, and statistical mechanics. Three lectures weekly. Spring semester. Prerequisite: CHEM 311 or consent of instructor.

CHEM 314 Biophysical Chemistry (3)

This course will apply the principles of thermodynamics, equilibria and kinetics toward biological systems including proteins, nucleic acids and membranes. These principles will be applied toward the design and evaluation of inhibitors and drugs. Three lectures weekly. Spring semester. Prerequisites: BIOL 225, PHYS 270, and MATH 151, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 331.

CHEM 331 Biochemistry (3)

The structure, function, and metabolism of biomolecules. Structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and important accessory molecules (cofactors and metal ions) are covered, as well as enzyme kinetics and mechanism, thermodynamics, metabolism, and the regulation of metabolism. Three lectures weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 302, 302L. Every semester.

CHEM 335 Biochemistry Laboratory (3)

An advanced laboratory course that focuses on techniques for the preparation and quantitative analysis of proteins and other biomolecules. Experiments will include preparation of buffers, production and purification of proteins, and analysis of protein structure and function. Two laboratory periods weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 331. Every semester.

CHEM 355 Environmental Chemistry (3)

A survey of the natural environment from a chemist’s point of view and the evaluation of chemicals from an environmental point of view. This course is concerned with the chemistry of air, water, soil and the biosphere in both pristine and polluted states. Pollution prevention and mitigation schemes are considered. Lab experiments include local fieldwork. Two 3-hour laboratory periods weekly. Prerequisites: CHEM 152,152L. (may not be offered every year)

CHEM 396W Research Methods (3)

Introduction to the principles, methods, and communication of chemical and biochemical research. Lab work includes general and advanced techniques with considerable hands-on use of modern instruments, proper record-keeping, data management, and consideration of laboratory safety. Techniques for searching the chemical literature, peer review and research ethics are included. This course fulfills the upper-division writing requirement. Students will write and edit a report in a format suitable for journal publication. One lecture and eight hours of laboratory research weekly. Prerequisite: approval by department chair; may be taken Fall or Spring of Junior year or Fall of Senior year. Every semester.

CHEM 421 Organic / Physical Experimental Chemistry (3)

An advanced laboratory course with experiments and projects that integrate principles and methods in analytical, organic, and physical chemistry, with considerable emphasis on instrumental methods. Two laboratory periods weekly. Fall semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, 302, 302L, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 311.

CHEM 423 Inorganic / Physical Experimental Chemistry (3)

An advanced laboratory course which integrates techniques and concepts from inorganic and physical chemistry plus, to a lesser extent, analytical chemistry. A wide variety of classical and modern methods of experimental chemistry, including both wet chemical and instrumental methods, will be used in experiments which show the interrelationships between these three areas of chemistry. Two laboratory periods weekly. Spring semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, 302, 302L, 311 and 440.

CHEM 425 Instrumental Analysis (3)

A survey of contemporary instrumental methods of chemical analysis, with emphasis on spectroscopic, electrochemical, and separation techniques. The theory, design, and operation of specific instruments will be discussed. Experiments and projects utilizing FTIR, NMR, GC– and LC–MS, HPLC, voltammetry, absorption, emission and fluorescence will be selected. Two laboratory periods weekly. Fall semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, 302, 302L, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 311.

CHEM 427 Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory (3)

An advanced laboratory course in which spectroscopic techniques are applied to biological problems in order to extract thermodynamic, kinetic and structural information. This information will then be correlated to function of the biomolecule. The techniques to be explored may include UV-Vis, CD, FTIR, NMR, MS, fluorescence spectroscopy and the computational methods necessary for data analysis. The fundamental principles and special considerations of their application to enzymes, proteins, DNA and other biomolecules will be presented in lecture and carried out in the laboratory. Two laboratory periods weekly. Spring semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 220, 302, 302L, completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 331. CHEM 335 is strongly recommended.

CHEM 440 Inorganic Chemistry (3)

The principles of inorganic chemistry, such as atomic and molecular structure, bonding, acid-base theory, and crystal field theory, are examined. Utilizing these principles, the chemistry of the elements of the periodic table is discussed, including the kinetics and mechanisms of reactions. The various fields within inorganic chemistry, including solid-state, coordination and organometallic chemistry are introduced. Three lectures weekly. Fall semester. Prerequisites: CHEM 302; completion of or concurrent registration in CHEM 311.

CHEM 489 Major Field Test in Chemistry (0)

As a part of the department’s assessment program, each graduating senior is required to take the major field test in chemistry. A student who fails to take the major field test may be restricted from graduating. Every year.

CHEM 494 Special Topics in Chemistry / Biochemistry (3-4)

Rotating in-depth courses focused on various chemical and biochemical topics based primarily on the expertise of faculty. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. Prerequisite: varied (at least yearly).

CHEM 496 Undergraduate Research (1-3)

Collaborative student-faculty research in the research laboratory of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The course is taught on a pass/fail basis only. Prerequisite: Approval by department chair.

496H Honors Undergraduate Research (1-3)

Collaborative student-faculty research in the research laboratory of a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The course is taught on a pass/fail basis only. Prerequisite: Approval by department chair, membership in the Honors Program.