The academic catalog is currently being updated for the 2021-22 year. View the Catalog Archive to access the 2020-21 catalog as well as catalogs from previous years.
Olga Michels (department head)
The program of instruction offered by the chemistry department is approved by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.
Required for a major:
Plan 1: CHEM 201 (or 151 and 152); CHEM 202, 241, 242, 361, 365, and 490; 4 credits in CHEM 301 or 372; 2 credits in CHEM 344 or 345; 2 credits in CHEM 362 or 363; and 2 credits in CHEM 349, 366, or 379. One year of calculus (MATH 151 and 152) and one year of physics (PHYS 151 and 152, or PHYS 181 and 182). Writing requirement completed with CHEM 365.
Plan 2 (ACS Certified): CHEM 201 (or 151 and 152); CHEM 202, 241, 242, 301, 344, 345, 361, 362, 363, 365, 372 and 490; 2 credits in CHEM 302 or 373; and 4 credits in two of CHEM 349, 366, or 379. One year of calculus (MATH 151 and 152) and one year of physics (PHYS 151 and 152, or PHYS 181 and 182). Writing requirement completed with CHEM 365.
Plan 3 (Biochemistry Emphasis): CHEM 201 (or 151 and 152); CHEM 202, 241, 242, 301, 302, 349, 361, 365, and 490; and 2 credits in CHEM 344, 345, 362, 363, 366, 372, 373, or 379; BIO 151, 152, and 201; and 4 credits in BIO 243, 261, 356, 359, 363, or 364. One year of calculus (MATH 151 and 152) and one year of physics (PHYS 151 and 152, or PHYS 181 and 182). Writing requirement completed with CHEM 365.
Required for a minor: CHEM 201 (or 151 and 152), CHEM 202 and 241, and 4 credits in chemistry courses numbered above 300.
Preparation for professional/graduate study: Students who need a full year of general chemistry for professional school must take either CHEM 151 and 152 or CHEM 201 and 202. Students considering going on to a graduate program in chemistry should consider taking additional courses beyond those listed above in Plan 1. Students interested in teaching should see the education department for secondary education minor requirements.
View program learning goals for an explanation of learning outcomes in Chemistry.
A study of the environment with emphasis on the relationship between technology and our surroundings. Laboratory work may include field studies in the surrounding area. The course is designed for non-science students with little or no science background. (Students who earn credit for CHEM 114 may not earn credit for CHEM 116).
A one-semester general chemistry class for students who require or wish to take just one semester of college chemistry with a laboratory component. Topics will be chosen from the Chemical Principles sequence (Chemistry 151-152) and laboratories will introduce students to basic chemistry lab skills and techniques. This course is not intended for students going on in chemistry or biology. Algebra skills are assumed. (Students who earn credit for CHEM 141 may not earn credit for CHEM 114, 116, 151 or 152).
General course with laboratory intended primarily for students concentrating in the science area. Algebra skills are assumed. (Students who earn credit for CHEM 151 may not earn credit for CHEM 114, 116, or 141).
General course intended primarily for students concentrating in the science area. Algebra skills are assumed.
A faster paced introduction to Chemistry than CHEM 151 and 152. Material from both CHEM 151 and 152 will be included, but basic chemical knowledge and competence in algebra will be assumed. Lab will emphasize an introduction to several instruments and to data-handling with spreadsheets. Prerequisite: a good high school chemistry course and testing into at least MATH 151 on mathematics placement test. In order to have a full year of chemistry as required by many professional schools students must take CHEM 202 in addition to this course. (Students who earn credit for 201 may not earn credit for CHEM 114 or 116).
An introduction to quantitative analysis with laboratory. The course provides a detailed examination of equilibrium chemistry and its application to gravimetry and titrimetry. The theory and practice of chromatographic separations and spectroscopic detection are introduced.
The first of a two-course sequence that examines the structure and reactivity of compounds containing carbon. Topics include bonding, nomenclature, conformations, stereochemistry, and organic acid/base chemistry. An introduction to reaction mechanism and reaction pathways is achieved through the study of the reactivity of aliphatic hydrocarbons. Spectroscopic identification of organic molecules by IR and NMR spectroscopy is also examined in detail. Three lectures per week, one three-hour lab a week.
The second of a two-course sequence that examines the structure and reactivity of compounds containing carbon. Topics include the reactivity of aromatic hydrocarbons and molecules containing the carbonyl functional group; parallels between the behavior of these compounds and biomolecules are illustrated. Emphasis is placed on reaction mechanisms and the design of multi-step organic syntheses. Three lectures per week, one three-hour lab per week.
An introduction to the chemistry of the four major classes of biological molecules:proteins, sugars, lipids, and nucleic acids. The relationship between the functional roles of these molecules and their structure and reactivity will be examined using the chemical principles mastered in the prerequisite courses of general chemistry and two semesters of organic chemistry. This course will fulfill the one-semester biochemistry prerequisite of typical health professional programs.
Biophysical Chemistry covers the physical chemistry of biological macromolecules and the experimental techniques used to study them. The course will build on prerequisite topics in thermodynamics and kinetics; and apply these principles to the stabilities and interactions of biomolecular structures. Topics covered will include: the hydrodynamics of macromolecules and protein folding; mass spectrometry and proteomics; membrane dynamics and hormone-receptor binding; imaging; and DNA-protein interactions. The course is designed for students of life sciences, but is open to those interested in related fields.
A detailed look at the instrumentation and applications of optical spectroscopy associated with chemical analyses. Topics will include molecular and atomic absorption, fluorescence, NMR, and IR spectrometries, as well as selected advanced spectroscopic techniques.
A detailed look at methods of separation and electroanalytical techniques including GC, HPLC, MS, SFC, potentiometry. amperometry, and voltammetry.
A laboratory introduction to the isolation and analysis of biological molecules. Techniques employed will include cell culture, protein purification, use of fluorescent tags, and immunochemical methods of analysis.
An introduction to the area of chemistry involving the rates at which chemical reactions occur. Topics will include classical kinetics, kinetics of fast reactions, and enzyme kinetics.
This course is an introduction to the topics in physical chemistry, including classical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, atomic and molecular structure and energetics, and quantum mechanics
A study of thermodynamics of systems in equilibrium and of change from a statistical perspective, kinetic-molecular theory of gases, and theories of reactions rates.
In this course, quantum mechanical models will be applied to study chemical structures using specreoscopy, approximation methods, and computational chemistry.
A laboratory introduction to various types of spectroscopy and separation techniques and how they are used in the chemistry laboratory. Techniques will include UV/VIS, IR, fluorescence, and NMR spectroscopy, and liquid and gas phase chromatography.
A laboratory introduction to the study of the energetics and rates of chemical reactions.
An introduction to polymer science that examines the synthesis, characterization, and properties of macromolecules. Emphasis is placed upon mechanisms of polymerization, the stereochemistry of monomer enchainment, the determination of molar mass distributions, and the thermal properties of bulk polymers. Offered alternate years.
A course including molecular and solid-state bonding and structure, molecular symmetry, and coordination and organometallic chemistry.
An examination of the synthesis and characterization of solids, especially those with crystalline structures. Emphasis is placed upon the electrochemical, magnetic, optical, and conductive properties of these materials, as well as their applications in batteries, semiconductors, superconductors, and light-emitting devices. Materials of interest include zeolites, metal-organic frameworks, and nanotubes. Offered alternate years.
An advanced course in organic chemistry that further develops an understanding of the mechanisms and stereochemistry of organic reactions. Particular attention is paid to the identity and fate of reactive intermediates, as well as the use of frontier molecular orbital theory to predict the structure of reaction products. Reactions of interest include photochemical reactions, electrocyclic reactions, cycloadditions, cycloreversions, and sigmatropic reactions.
A laboratory introduction to the synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds. Syntheses will include coordination and organometallic compounds of both historical and contemporary interest. Techniques will include inert atmosphere manipulations. Offered alternate years.
An introduction to the use of symmetry for qualitative predictions of energy levels, molecular orbitals, and spectra of molecules. Offered alternate years.
Each student will write a research paper reporting the results and significance of the project completed to satisfy the Chemistry 490L requirement. In addition, the seminar meets weekly for lectures and discussions led by students, faculty, and visiting scholars. Students who have not completed the prerequisites before the fall semester of their senior year must complete the prerequisites and register for this course in January.
A semester-long laboratory experience in which students work as a group (minimum of 6 hours per week) on a project defined by the chemistry faculty. This course requirement for majors may be waived for students who have an approved summer research experience in chemistry or a related area, or who have done research in chemistry or a related area at Luther for the equivalent of 2 semester hours. This course is grade credit/no credit.