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Courses

Course descriptions listed on this page for the Department of Chemistry are from the 2018-2019 College Catalog. For more information on the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters, please log in to the course schedule through STAR.

 

Chemistry 141 - Environmental Chemistry
Every third year
Investigates the chemistry of the Earth’s environment through systematic studies of our atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere and the exchange and interplay between them. The primary focus of the course will be environmental change taking place today including those that threaten plant and animal habitats and pose hazards to human health. Understanding of our environment and current threats to it will be gained through a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and problem sets. One unit.

Chemistry 181 - Atoms and Molecules
Fall
This introductory general chemistry course leads students to explore in-depth the scientific method through the formulation and testing of hypotheses in the laboratory. Laboratory experiments lead students to discover basic principles, i.e., stoichiometric relationships, electronic configuration and molecular structure. Lectures will explain and expand upon laboratory results. This is first course in the Discovery Chemistry Core sequence for science majors and students interested in health professions. The lecture portion of this course meets four hours per week. One two-hour “discovery” laboratory session per week is included. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 221 - Organic Chemistry 1
Spring
A study of organic compounds organized around functional groups, modern structural theory and reaction mechanisms. The chemistry of aliphatic hydrocarbons, alkenes, alkynes, dienes, alkyl halides, alcohols and ethers is introduced. Substitution, addition and elimination mechanisms are studied in detail. Emphasis is placed on stereochemistry. The lecture portion meets four hours per week. One two-hour “discovery” laboratory session per week is included. Students learn various techniques of separation, purification, and spectroscopic analysis of organic compounds in the laboratory. There is an emphasis on one-step synthetic conversions that introduce the reactions to be studied in the lecture course. Prerequisite: Chemistry 181. (It is recommended that students with a grade below C in Chemistry 181 do not continue with Chemistry 221). One and one-half units.

Chemistry 222 - Organic Chemistry 2
Fall
A continuation of Chemistry 221. Aromatic compounds, alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, amines, carboxylic acids and their derivatives are studied. Aromatic substitution, acyl transfer and carbonyl condensation reactions are developed. The mechanistic implications and synthetic applications of these organic reactions are evaluated. One four-hour “discovery” laboratory session per week is included. Microscale synthetic techniques and identification (chemical and spectroscopic) of organic compounds are included. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221. (It is recommended that students with a grade of C- or below in Chemistry 221 do not continue in Chemistry 222.) One and one-half units.

Chemistry 231 - Equilibrium and Reactivity
Spring
Focuses on studying and understanding the role equilibrium, thermodynamics and kinetics play in chemical systems. Specific topics include phase and chemical equilibria, colligative properties of solutions, acid/base equilibria, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, thermodynamics including enthalpy, entropy and free energy, and gas laws. Laboratory focused, this general chemistry course also introduces students to modern analytical instrumentation while developing critical wet chemical analytical techniques. One four-hour “discovery” laboratory session per week is included. Prerequisites: Chemistry 181 and one semester of college calculus. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 289 - Advanced Organic Chemistry
Spring
Focuses on the application of the electron pushing formalism for manipulating Lewis structure representations of organic molecules. The course is organized around the four fundamental reaction types (polar, pericyclic, free radical, and transition metal-mediated) with an emphasis on mechanistic rationalization of complex organic transformations. Prerequisite: Chemistry 222. One unit.

Chemistry 300 - Instrumental Chemistry and Analytical Methods
Annually
The application of instrumentation to chemical research and analysis has had a dramatic impact on the field of chemistry. This course provides an in-depth look inside modern chemical instrumentation, such as molecular UV-Vis, IR, and fluorescence spectroscopy, atomic absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemistry, gas and liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry. One four-hour laboratory session per week is included. Laboratory work provides hands-on experience with instrumental design, quantitative analytical methods, and experimental method development. Prerequisite: Chemistry 231; Prerequisites or co-requisites: Chemistry 222 and Physics 111 or Physics 115. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 301 - Biochemistry
Fall
A detailed study of the chemistry of biological molecules, with a focus on the structure of biological macromolecules and the chemical mechanism of biochemical transformations. Topics may include the structure and synthesis of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids, enzymatic catalysis, biological thermodynamics, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, the citric acid cycle, fatty acid oxidation, oxidative phosphorylation, and metabolic regulation. A strong background in thermodynamics and organic chemistry is highly recommended. This course may serve as a prerequisite for Biology 302. Students may not count both Biology 301 and Chemistry 301 for credit. Prerequisites: Chemistry 222 and 231. One unit.

Chemistry 304 - Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Every third year
Covers a selection of modern synthetic methods and reagents used in organic chemistry. Topics presented include oxidation/reduction, organometallic reactions, functional group interconversions, protecting group strategies, enolate additions and pericyclic reactions with a focus on asymmetric synthesis. The course will build upon the individual methods discussed to ultimately demonstrate their combined use in the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Prerequisite: Chemistry 289. One unit.

Chemistry 305 - Mechanistic Organic Chemistry
Every third year
There are critical and, at times, subtle factors that influence organic reactions. These factors will be illustrated through specific case studies. The case studies will demonstrate how experimental data is used to develop mechanistic knowledge about a reaction. The course will aim to develop skills for thinking critically and logically about the mechanism of organic reactions. Prerequisite: Chemistry 289. One unit.

Chemistry 309 - Spectroscopy
Every third year
This course focuses on chemical structure identification through the interpretation of spectroscopic data with a concentration on organic molecules, Mass, Vibrational (IR and Raman), and Magnetic Resonance (NMR and EPR) spectra are analyzed. There is an emphasis on NMR spectroscopy (including an introduction to modern multipulse techniques) to elucidate molecular structure. The course is conducted with a problem-solving approach and student participation is expected. Prerequisite: Chemistry 222. One unit.

Chemistry 317 - Nanotechnology
Every third year
Introduces students to nanometer scale material and devices. Materials in this size regime often possess unusual properties that have application in molecular electronics, medical diagnostics and devices, molecular motors, and self-assembly and surface chemistry. Students will read a variety of books and scientific articles from peer reviewed journals. Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of study where projects often require collaborations between chemists, physicists, biologists and engineers. Students other than chemistry majors who have completed the prerequisites are encouraged to enroll to broaden both their own perspective and that of the class. Prerequisites: Chemistry 222 and 231. One unit.

Chemistry 322 - Applications of Analytical Chemistry
Every third year
This course will focus on various applications found in the field of analytical chemistry. This course will build on instrumentation learned in Chemistry 300, and go beyond the instruments used in typical labs. Primary literature will guide our discussion of various techniques and applications. Understanding of the details of these advanced instrumental techniques and applications will be gained through a combination of reading, lectures, discussions, and an independent lab experience. This course will meet two days per week. Some weeks (about six during the semester), a 3-hour lab will be held. Prerequisite: Chemistry 300. One unit.

Chemistry 335 - Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
Annually
The course is a study of the basic concepts, principles and methods of modern physical chemistry. Physical chemistry asks “how?” and/or “why?” things happen as they do. Here, the emphasis will be on developing a deeper understanding of the microscopic properties that govern chemical phenomena. The topics covered may include quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, spectroscopy, group theory, and computational chemistry. One four-hour laboratory session per week is included. In the lab you will learn techniques and analyses related to physical chemistry and will develop your scientific writing skills. Prerequisites: Chemistry 231 and Mathematics 134 or 136 or 241; Prerequisites or co-requisites: Chemistry 222 and Physics 111 or Physics 115. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 336 - Chemical Thermodynamics
Annually
This course is a study of the basic concepts, principles and methods of classical physical chemistry. Physical chemistry asks “how?” and/or “why?” things happen as they do. Here, the emphasis will be on developing a deeper understanding of the macroscopic properties that govern chemical phenomena. The topics covered may include thermodynamics, chemical and phase equilibria, kinetics, reaction dynamics, complex solution behavior and surface thermodynamics. Prerequisites: Chemistry 231 and Mathematics 134 or 136 or 241; Prerequisites or co-requisites: Chemistry 222 and Physics 111 or 115. One unit.

Chemistry 351 - Inorganic Chemistry
Spring
Group theory and modern theories of bonding are used to discuss structural and dynamic features of inorganic compounds. The structure and bonding of transition metal coordination compounds are related to various reaction mechanisms. The principal structural and mechanistic features of transition metal organometallic chemistry are studied with emphasis on catalysis of organic reactions. The role of inorganic chemistry in biological systems is also explored. Prerequisites: Chemistry 222 and 231. One unit.

Chemistry 352 - Inorganic Chemistry Lab
Spring
This advanced laboratory course is designed to introduce students to the synthetic and characterization methods of modern inorganic chemistry. Students synthesize and purify compounds by a variety of techniques. Compounds are characterized using modern instrumentation. The course emphasizes synthetic techniques and analysis of compounds using various spectroscopic techniques; learning is reinforced by report writing. Prerequisite or co-requisite: Chemistry 351. One-quarter unit.

Chemistry 361 - Biophysical Chemistry
Every third year
This course aims to develop an understanding of the chemical interactions that govern the structure and function of biological molecules. A thorough discussion of the spectroscopic techniques used in modern research for analyzing such molecules will be incorporated. In addition, the course covers topics in protein folding and mis-folding (as associated with disease), focusing in particular on the thermodynamic and kinetic processes involved. Time will be spent reading and discussing primary literature with an emphasis on interpreting the results obtained by others. Prerequisite or co-requisite: Chemistry 300. One unit.

Chemistry 371 - Molecular Pharmacology
Every third year
Molecular Pharmacology is an upper-level exploration of the molecular basis of drug action. This course will build upon the fundamentals of organic structure and reactivity to investigate the sources of pharmacological agents and their interactions with biological macromolecules that are relevant to disease. Subjects will include the fundamentals of drug action and development, protein and DNA structure, the chemical transformations involved in drug metabolism and advances in drug delivery. Specific major topics include antibiotics, HIV and cancer. The class will focus primarily on the original literature with each participant actively engaging in frequent presentations on chosen or assigned topics. Prerequisites: Chemistry 231 and 289. One unit.

Chemistry 381 - Bioinorganic Chemistry
Every third year
This course is organized around the important biological proteins, enzymes and other biological systems that utilize metal ions. An important goal is to explain their functional/positional importance based on the chemistry at the metal center(s). Topics include bioinorganic systems such as photosynthesis, hemoglobin/myoglobin and other iron proteins, copper proteins, and the biochemistry of zinc. Current research efforts in the field are discussed to demonstrate the dynamic nature of the subject. Prerequisite or co-requisite: Chemistry 351. One unit.

Chemistry 389 - Introduction to Research
Fall, spring
Involves a commitment to join a research group. Specific activities will be established with the individual research advisor but may include: attendance of group meetings, working on a lab or computer project with other group members, and/or reading/discussing literature related to group research. The course is by permission only. It is taken as an overload and receives no grade. It may be taken more than once. Interested students are invited to apply early in the fall or spring of the second, third or fourth year. The candidate’s academic record will be reviewed to determine if the student could reasonably benefit from such a program. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 or 231. No units.

Chemistry 390 - Independent Research
Fall, spring
Involves an original and individual experimental investigation with associated literature study in one of the fields of chemistry under the supervision of a member of the faculty. The culmination of all research projects will be a report. The course is by permission only. Interested students are invited to apply before the registration period in the spring of the second or third year or the fall of the third or fourth year. The candidate’s academic record will be reviewed to determine if the student could reasonably benefit form such a program. This course does not count toward the minimum number of chemistry courses required of the major. Prerequisites: Chemistry 222 and 231 or prior research experience at Holy Cross. One unit.

Chemistry 405, 406 - General Research 1 and 2
Fall, spring
Involves an original and individual experimental and/or computational investigation with associated literature study in one of the fields of chemistry under the supervision of a member of the faculty. The culmination of all research projects will be a report, as well as an oral presentation to be given during the spring semester. Students will be required to attend the weekly department seminar program (fall and spring). Chemistry 405 is the first course of the consecutive two-semester research experience and carries no course credit; it is taken as an overload, on an “in-progress” basis. A grade will be given upon completion of Chemistry 406, which carries one and one-half units. Satisfactory completion of Chemistry 405 is a prerequisite for Chemistry 406. Each course is by permission only. Interested students are invited to apply before the registration period in the spring of the second or third year. Application in the first year requires nomination by a faculty member. Taking Chemistry 405 in the spring semester requires approval of the Department Chair. The candidate’s academic record will be reviewed to determine if the student could reasonably benefit from such a program. Prerequisites: Chemistry 222 and 231 or prior research experience at Holy Cross. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 407, 408 - General Research 3 and 4
Fall, spring
This program builds on the experiences gained in Chemistry 405 and 406. The second year of research provides the opportunity for further in-depth investigations. The culmination of all research projects will be a report and oral presentation to the chemistry faculty during the spring semester. Students will be required to attend the weekly departmental seminars program (fall and spring). Chemistry 407 is the first course of this consecutive two-semester research experience and carries no course credit; it is taken as an overload, on an “in-progress” basis. A grade will be given upon completion of Chemistry 408, which carries one and one-half units. Chemistry 408 cannot be counted toward the required minimum number of chemistry courses. Satisfactory completion of Chemistry 407 is a prerequisite for Chemistry 408. Both Chemistry 407 and 408 are by permission only. Interested students normally apply before the registration period in the spring of the third year. The candidate’s academic record to date, with particular attention given to performance in Chemistry 405 and 406, will be reviewed to determine if the student could reasonably benefit from such a program. Prerequisites: Chemistry 405 and 406. One and one-half units.

Chemistry 410 - Advanced Research
Fall, spring
This program builds on the experiences gained in prior research courses, providing the opportunity for further in-depth investigations. The culmination of all research projects will be a written report and a presentation to the chemistry faculty. Students will be required to attend the weekly departmental seminars program. This course is by permission only. Interested students normally apply to the department before the relevant registration period. The candidates academic record to date, with particular attention give to performance in prior research courses, will be reviewed to determine if the student could reasonably benefit from such a program. Prerequisites: Chemistry 390, 405/406 or 407/408. One and one-quarter units.