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morrissey college of arts and sciences

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Undergraduate Program Description

The Chemistry Department offers a comprehensive curriculum to students in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences who wish to acquire a knowledge of chemistry. The Chemistry Department is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Committee on Professional Training. By electing to supplement the degree requirements for the chemistry major with a year of independent research under the direction of a faculty member, the student qualifies for degree certification by the ACS.

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Major Requirements

The major in chemistry consists of ten 1-semester courses as follows: Two semesters of general chemistry with laboratory (CHEM1109–1110 and CHEM1111–1112 or CHEM1117–1118 and CHEM1119–1120), two semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory (CHEM2231–2232 and CHEM2233–2234 or CHEM2241–2242 and CHEM2243 and CHEM2234), one semester of analytical chemistry with laboratory (CHEM3351 and CHEM3353), one semester of inorganic chemistry with laboratory (CHEM3322 and CHEM3324), two semesters of physical chemistry (CHEM4475–4476), one semester of advanced methods with laboratory (CHEM5552 and CHEM5554), and one semester of biochemistry (CHEM4465). In addition, the following are required: Two semesters of physics with laboratory (PHYS2200–2201 or PHYS2100–2101 and PHYS2050–2051), and two or three semesters of calculus (MATH1102–1103 or MATH1105, and MATH2202 or MATH2203).

The preceding fulfills the Boston College requirements for a B.S. degree in chemistry. For this degree to be certified by the American Chemical Society, two additional chemistry laboratory electives are required, usually CHEM4491–4492 Introduction to Undergraduate Research I and II or CHEM5591–5592 Undergraduate Chemical Research I and II.

The recommended sequence for the Chemistry major is as follows:

First Year

CHEM1109–1110 General Chemistry with Laboratory or CHEM1117–1118 Honors Modern Chemistry with Laboratory; two semesters of Physics with Laboratory (PHYS2200–2201 or PHYS2100–2101 with PHYS2050–2051); Calculus (MATH1102–1103 or MATH1105); Core courses.

Second Year

CHEM2231–2232 Organic Chemistry or CHEM2241–2242 Honors Organic Chemistry with Laboratory; CHEM3351 Analytical Chemistry with Laboratory; CHEM3322 Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry with Laboratory; MATH2202 or 2203 Multivariable Calculus; elective or Core courses.

Third Year

CHEM4475–4476 Physical Chemistry; CHEM5552 Advanced Methods in Chemistry I with CHEM5554 Advanced Methods in Chemistry Laboratory I; elective or Core courses.

Fourth Year

CHEM4465 Introduction to Biochemistry; elective or Core courses.

The ten 1-semester chemistry courses that comprise the chemistry major amount to 37 credits. The five non-chemistry courses amount to 17 or 22 credits, depending on the selection chosen for Calculus.

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Information for First Year Majors

Students who intend to be Chemistry or Biochemistry majors must enroll in CHEM1109 General Chemistry and CHEM1111 General Chemistry Laboratory, or CHEM1117 Honors Modern Chemistry and CHEM1119 Honors Modern Chemistry Laboratory. The choice of chemistry or biochemistry as a major requires that certain courses in other disciplines be taken as soon as possible.

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Minor Requirements

The minor in chemistry consists of six courses. Two semesters of general chemistry (CHEM1109–1110 or CHEM1117–1118, with associated laboratories) are required as the introductory courses for the minor. Four additional chemistry courses are chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and approved by the Director of the departmental minor, Professor Lynne O'Connell (Merkert 111, 617-552-3626). Normally, two of the four additional courses would be Organic Chemistry I and II, but other selections might be better choices, depending on the student's objective in attaining the minor. In accordance with MCAS policy, a student must have at least 15 credits in the minor program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor.

The following courses for non-science majors cannot be used to complete the minor: CHEM1102, CHEM1105, CHEM1106, CHEM1701 or CHEM1163. The following research courses cannot be used to complete the minor: CHEM4491–4492 or CHEM5591–5592.

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Information for Study Abroad

Before going abroad, Chemistry majors must have completed the following prerequisites: General Chemistry, CHEM1109–1110 or CHEM1117–1118 and lab; Organic Chemistry, CHEM2231–2232 or CHEM2241–2242 and lab; Analytical Chemistry, CHEM3351 and lab; Inorganic Chemistry, CHEM3322 and lab; Calculus, MATH1102–1103 and MATH2202 or 2203; Physics, PHYS2200–2201 or PHYS2100–2101 and lab. Exceptions must be approved by the department.

In order for a course studied abroad to count for major credit, prior department approval is required for each course. Students must meet with the department study abroad advisor for course approval, advisement, and planning.

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Fulfilling the Natural Science Core Requirement

The requirement of two courses in natural science may be fulfilled by any of the following courses: CHEM1102 Intersection of Science and Painting, CHEM1105 Chemistry and Society I, CHEM1106 Chemistry and Society II, CHEM1701 Living in the Material World, CHEM1109 General Chemistry I with lab, or CHEM1110 General Chemistry II with lab. The courses specifically intended for students who are not science majors are CHEM1102, CHEM1103, CHEM1104, CHEM1105, CHEM1106, and CHEM1701.

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Biochemistry Major

Refer to the Biochemistry section for a description of this interdisciplinary major.

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