Chemistry
Offered by the Chemistry department.

The mission of the Chemistry Program at Wheaton College is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to understand our chemical world and investigate its complexities. We are committed to fostering students’ creativity and to preparing them for meaningful careers in the Chemical Sciences. Students grow, learn, and discover through research collaborations with faculty members. Wheaton’s small classes and hands-on teaching style are uniquely suited to helping students emerge as responsible scientists.

The Department of Chemistry offers a Chemistry major which is accredited by the American Chemical Society.

Major Requirements

Chemistry major worksheet

CHEM 153 Chemical Principles
CHEM 232 Aqueous Equilibria
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 261 Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 332 Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 355 Chemical Thermodynamics
CHEM 356 Quantum Chemistry
CHEM 400 Seminar

One from

CHEM 361 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 362 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 321 Chemistry of Natural Waters

Additional courses

PHYS 170 Introductory Physics I
PHYS 171 Introductory Physics II
MATH 101 Calculus I
MATH 104 Calculus II

Students desiring American Chemical Society Certification must take all of the classes listed above and CHEM 305 Biochemistry.

Students who take CHEM 305 may substitute BIO 316 for CHEM 361, CHEM 362, CHEM 303 or CHEM 321.

Combined majors with other departments such as biology, physics, political science or art can be arranged.

Minor requirements

Chemistry minor worksheet

Any five chemistry courses including one at the 300 level. Only two courses can be at the 100 level.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 099 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 103 – Chemistry and Your Environment

    Fundamental chemical principles and chemical aspects of air and water pollution as well as energy production and resources. For the non-science major who desires an introduction to chemistry with applications to environmental problems. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. No prior knowledge of chemistry required.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 104 – The Chemistry of Life

    Fundamental principles of organic chemistry leading up to a discussion of biologically relevant molecules. Topics covered include amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and pharmaceuticals, along with some discussion of the biological effects of each. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 105 – Earth, Wind and Fire: Science of the Earth System

    For non-science majors interested in the physical world around us. With fundamentals of geology and chemistry, we examine the dynamic Earth system where wind, rain, rivers, ice, rocks, plants and animals interact with humans to shape and transform global system. Topics include plate-tectonics, climate, water and soil resources and alternative energy. Laboratories and field trips are included.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 109 – Edible Chemicals

    For the non-science major who is interested in the chemical basis of food and cooking. The focus is on the chemical constituents of food, and their structures, functional properties and interactions. The laboratory component examines chemical characteristics of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and micronutrients. Genetically modified foods are discussed, with attention to their potential and their problems. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 135 – Introductory Medical Chemistry

    Introductory Medical Chemistry is a course designed for students interested in pursuing topics related to health professions and not restricted to science majors. Fundamental concepts derived from general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry will be examined in the context of the design, synthesis, and development of pharmaceutical agents. The course is open to students with a substantive background in science as well as those with minimal study but may be interested in the medical field.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 145 – Art, Color and Chemistry

    The scientific basis of art media including the chemical basis for color, molecular interactions and reactions involved in the creation of works of art and methods for dating and authenticating works of art. Two 2.5 hour integrated lab/lecture meetings per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 153 – Chemical Principles

    Basic concepts: atomic structure, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gas laws, quantum theory, electron configurations, periodic relationships, chemical bonding and structure. Designed for science majors. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 198 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 199 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 232 – Aqueous Equilibria

    This course explores properties of solutions, redox chemistry, and energy of reactions. It investigates chemical equilibrium and its application to quantitative analysis using neutralization and complexometric titrations. Accuracy and precision of laboratory measurements and statistical methods for assessing the uncertainty of results are the focus of the laboratory experience. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 253 – Organic Chemistry I

    Introduction to the chemistry of carbon compounds, including structure and bonding, acid-base properties and stereochemistry. The chemistry of alkanes, alkenes and alkyl halides will be used to introduce the theory of reaction mechanisms, methods of synthesis and spectroscopy. The laboratory will focus on fundamental techniques for the isolation, purification and characterization of organic compounds. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 254 – Organic Chemistry II

    A continuation of Organic Chemistry I. The focus of the course is on the chemistry of alcohols, aromatics and carbonyl compounds including functional group transformations and multistep synthesis. The laboratory will consist primarily of organic reactions and analysis of products using MS, NMR and IR spectroscopy. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 261 – Inorganic Chemistry

    Inorganic chemistry deals with most of the known elements. This course will begin by looking at atomic structure and the crystalline solid state. It will then focus on molecular orbitals and symmetry including point groups. Finally, application of the concept of acids and bases to inorganic chemistry will lead naturally to the study of coordination compounds including structure, bonding and spectroscopy. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 298 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 299 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 303 – Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry

    An overview of major biogeochemical pathways and basic principles of atmospheric and aquatic chemistry, highlighting human perturbation of natural cycles. Investigation of significant environmental problems, including air and water pollution, ozone depletion, global warming and hazardous wastes, with an emphasis on reading scientific literature and writing science papers. Three hours lecture per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 305 – Biochemistry

    See Bio 305 for course description.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 321 – Chemistry of Natural Waters

    This course will focus on the practical uses of water, soil, mineral and bedrock chemistry to further our understanding of the processes that impact surface, ground and ocean waters. We will use the fundamentals of acid-base and redox chemistry to better understand the natural system with an eye to assessing the impact of anthropogenic influences. We will examine aquatic chemistry, chemical cycles between land, ocean and atmosphere, as well as soil formation, weathering and hydrology in both the lab and the field.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 332 – Instrumental Analysis

    Theory and application of electrochemistry and separation techniques to the solution of chemical problems. Reading and interpreting research literature are also emphasized. Laboratory will focus on analysis of samples using modern instrumentation. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 355 – Chemical Thermodynamics

    This course explores the properties of matter in the gas and liquid phases, electrolytic and nonelectrolytic solutions, chemical equilibria, and chemical kinetics. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week. Students must complete Math 104, Calculus II, before taking this course. (Previously Physical Chemistry I).

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 356 – Quantum Chemistry

    This course covers quantum mechanics and spectroscopy. Solutions to the Schrödinger equation for the particle-in-a-box, the harmonic oscillator, the rigid rotor, and the hydrogen atom models are provided. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week. Students must complete Math 104, Calculus II, before taking this course. (Previously Physical Chemistry II).

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 361 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

    Transition metal chemistry including structure, bonding and reactions will be covered along with organometallics. Applications of metal complexes in catalysis and other fields will also be considered. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 362 – Advanced Organic Chemistry

    Structure and reactivity of organic compounds including reaction mechanisms and synthetic methods. Discussion of primary journal reports of recent synthetic accomplishments. A common theme throughout the course is carbon-carbon bond-forming reactions. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory per week.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 398 – Experimental Course

    From time to time, departments design a new course to be offered either on a one-time basis or an experimental basis before deciding whether to make it a regular part of the curriculum. Refer to the course schedule for current listings.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 399 – Independent Study

    An opportunity to do independent work in a particular area not included in the regular courses.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 400 – Seminar

    Capstone course in chemistry uses research literature, writing assignments, and presentations to integrate chemical knowledge and skills from previous coursework in the major.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 405 – Senior Seminar in Biochemistry

    Selected topics from contemporary biochemistry, including protein structure and function, nucleic acid damage and repair. The course focuses on reading and interpretation of primary literature in biochemistry and serves as the capstone for the biochemistry major.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 499 – Independent Research

    Research under the direction of individual department members for two semesters. A thesis is required.

  • Chemistry

    CHEM 500 – Individual Research

    Research under the direction of individual department members for two semester course credits. A thesis is required. A B+ average in the chemistry major is required.

Jani Benoit

Professor of Chemistry

M. Thandi Buthelezi

Associate Professor of Chemistry; Chair, Department of Chemistry

Beth F. Cockcroft

Lab Instructor in Chemistry, Department Assistant

P. Christopher Ellis

Lab Instructor

Matthew J. Evans

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Geology

Hilary Magruder Gaudet

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Christopher Kalberg

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Christopher Kotyk

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Juliet Kotyk

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Nancy Lane

Teaching Associate in Chemistry

Elita Pastra-Landis

Professor of Chemistry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emeritus Faculty

Herbert Richard Ellison
hellison@wheatoncollege.edu

Myrna Pearson
mpearson@wheatoncollege.edu