Chemistry

Students may complete a major or minor in Chemistry. Within the major, students may complete a minor in computational methods or education. Concentrations in biological chemistry, environmental studies or geochemistry may be completed within the major. Students may complete an M.A. in the combined A.B./M.A. program.

Faculty

Sharon Burgmayer, W. Alton Jones Professor of Chemistry
Michelle Francl, Professor of Chemistry and Clowes Fund in Science and Public Policy
Jonas I. Goldsmith, Associate Professor of Chemistry (on leave semesters I and II)
Yan Kung, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Krynn Lukacs, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Bill Malachowski, Chair and Professor of Chemistry
Maryellen Nerz-Stormes, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
Silvia L. Porello, Lecturer
Jason Schmink, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Susan A. White, Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry Program Requirements and Opportunities

The Chemistry major is offered with several different options:

  • American Chemical Society Certified A.B., recommended for graduate school
  • Chemistry major, A.B. Only
  • Chemistry minor
  • Chemistry major with concentration in biochemistry
  • Chemistry major with concentration in geochemistry

For all degree options, merit level work is expected in every chemistry, math, biology, geology, and physics course.

See also: More Information About Majors/ Concentrations: www.brynmawr.edu/chemistry/documents/MajorRequirements.pdf

FAQ About the Chemistry Major: www.brynmawr.edu/chemistry/undergraduate/FAQ.html

ACS Certified A.B. Major Requirements

A student may qualify for a major in chemistry by completing a total of 13 units in chemistry with the distribution:

  • Chem 103, 104
  • Chem 211, 212
  • Chem 221, 222
  • Chem 231
  • Chem 242
  • Chem 251, 252
  • Chem 398, 399
  • two other Chem 3xx

Other required courses: Math 101, 102, 201; Physics 121/122 (preferred) or 101/102. Students who plan to do graduate work in chemistry should also consider taking Physics 201.

Students majoring in Chemistry satisfy the disciplinary writing requirement by satisfactorily completing Chem 251 and 252, which are writing attentive courses.

Major, A.B. only

A non-ACS certified major requires all of the above coursework except Chem 398, 399.

Timetables for Meeting Major Requirements

Students may follow various schedules to meet their major requirements. However, a fairly typical one is:

  • freshman year: Chem 103 and 104, Math 101 and 102
  • sophomore year: Chem 211 and 212, Math 201, Physics 121/122 or 101/102
  • junior year: Chem 221, 222, 231, 242, 251, 252
  • senior year: two or more Chem 3xx

In particular note that

  • Math 201 must be completed before taking Chem 221, a required junior-year course. Math 201 is offered at Bryn Mawr only in the fall, but an equivalent course is offered at Haverford in the spring term.
  • Every effort should be made to complete the two semesters of college physics by the end of the sophomore year.
    • The required 300x courses all have prerequisites that generally include Chem 212 and/or Chem 222.

Students who wish to deviate from the usual schedule should consult with the major adviser as early as possible to devise an alternative.

Honors

The requirements for departmental honors are:

  • Complete one of the major plans.
  • Maintain a chemistry GPA of 3.7 or better.
  • Complete Chem 398 and 399 with a grade of 3.3 or better each semester.
  • Participate in research oral/poster presentations.
  • Write an acceptable thesis, and meet all department deadlines for submission of the thesis.
  • Complete an additional unit of Chem 3xx (for a total of three 300-level chemistry units). With department approval, one unit of 300-level work in certain fields may be substituted.

Minor

A student may qualify for a minor in chemistry by completing a total of 7.0 units in chemistry with the distribution:

  • Chem 103, 104
  • Chem 211, 212
  • Chem 221* or 222*
  • Chem 231 or 242**
  • Chem 251 or 252

*Pre-/co-requisites: Math 201, Physics 121/122 or 101/102
**Biol 375 may be substituted for Chem 242

Other required courses: Math 101, 102

At least two of the six courses must be taken at Bryn Mawr.

Major with Concentration in Biochemistry

  • Chem 103, 104
  • Chem 211, 212
  • Chem 221*, 222*, 231 or 242** (choose 3 of 4)
  • Chem 251, 252
  • Chem 345
  • Chem 3xx
  • Biol 201
  • Biol 376***

*Pre-/Corequisites: Math 201, Physics 121/122 or 101/102
**Biol 375 may be substituted for Chem 242
***Chem 242 satisfies the prerequisite for this course

Other required courses: Math 101, 102

Equivalent biology courses at Haverford may be substituted.

Major with Concentration in Geochemistry

  • Chem 103, 104
  • Chem 211, 212
  • Chem 221*, 222*, 231 or 242** (choose 3 of 4)
  • Chem 251, 252
  • Chem 322 or 332
  • Chem 3xx
  • Geol 101
  • Geol 202
  • Geol 302, 305, 350 (choose 2 of 3; Geol 350 requires Geology major adviser approval)

*Pre-/co-requisites: Math 201, Physics 121/122 or 101/102
**Bio 375 may be substituted for Chem 242

Other required courses: Math 101, 102

The Chemistry Major can also be combined with any of the Minors offered in the College. In particular, the Minors in Environmental Studies, Education and Computational Science offer attractive combinations with a Chemistry Major for future career paths that require competency in those allied fields. Detailed information about these Minors can be found in the appropriate section of the catalog. Students may double major in Chemistry and Biology, but are not permitted to double major in Biology and Biochemistry or Chemistry and Biochemistry.

A.B./M.A. Program

  • Chemistry major A.B. requirements
  • four units of 5xx*
  • two units of 7xx
  • M.A. thesis
  • written final exam

*two units may be 3xx

3-2 Program in Engineering and Applied Science

The 3-2 Program in Engineering and Applied Science is offered in cooperation with the California Institute of Technology and awards both an A.B. at Bryn Mawr and a B.S. at Cal Tech. For more information, see page 51.

4+1 Program in Engineering at UPenn

The University of Pennsylvania 4+1 engineering program allows students to earn an A.B. at Bryn Mawr and an M.S. in Engineering (M.S.E) at UPenn. Students apply between the beginning of the sophomore year and end of the junior year. For more information, see page 51.

COURSES

CHEM B100 The Stuff of Art
An introduction to chemistry through fine arts, this course emphasizes the close relationship of the fine arts, especially painting, to the development of chemistry and its practice. The historical role of the material in the arts, in alchemy and in the developing science of chemistry, will be discussed, as well as the synergy between these areas. Relevant principles of chemistry will be illustrated through the handling, synthesis and/or transformations of the material. This course does not count towards chemistry major requirements, and is not suitable for premedical programs. Lecture 90 minutes, laboratory three hours a week. Enrollment limited to 20.
Crosslisting(s): HART-B100
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B101 Focus: Chemistry Fundamentals
This is a half semester Focus course. For students with little background in Chemistry. Prepares students for Chemistry 103 by covering problem-solving techniques, mathematics needed for chemistry, atoms, molecules, chemical structures, chemical reactions and solutions. Depending on interest, there may be a topical focus such as drugs and doses, food and energy, or the environment. The course may include Individual student conferences and electronic resources. Offered in the second half of the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment is based on performance on a placement test or permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: Quantitative Methods (QM) requirement met or concurrent enrollment in a Quantitative Methods course.
Approach: Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)
Units: 0.5
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B103 General Chemistry I
Sections usually have a maximum of 50 students. Topics include aqueous solutions and solubility; the electronic structure of atoms and molecules; chemical reactions and energy; intermolecular forces. Examples discussed in lecture and laboratory workshop include environmental sciences, material sciences and biological chemistry. Lecture three hours and Chemistry workshop three hours a week. The laboratory workshop period will be used for traditional chemical experimentation or related problem solving. The course may include individual conferences, evening problem or peer-led instruction sessions. Prerequisites: Quantitative Readiness required or permission of the instructor.
Approach: Quantitative Methods (QM); Quantitative Readiness Required (QR); Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Lukacs,K., Francl,M.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B104 General Chemistry II
A continuation of CHEM B103. Topics include chemical reactions; introduction to thermodynamics and chemical equilibria; acid-base chemistry; electrochemistry; chemical kinetics. Lecture three hours, recitation one hour and laboratory three hours a week. May include individual conferences, evening problem or peer-led instruction sessions. Prerequisite: CHEM B103 with a grade of at least 2.0 or chemistry department placement or permission of the instructor.
Approach: Quantitative Methods (QM); Quantitative Readiness Required (QR); Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Lukacs,K., Francl,M., White,S.
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B206 The Science of Renewable Energy
In this course the chemistry and physics of renewable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal and others, will be explored. Methodologies for energy storage will also be discussed. Quantitative tools will be developed to enable students to make effective and accurate comparisons between various types of energy generation processes. Prerequisites: Completion of CHEM 103 and CHEM 104 with merit grades in both, or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Environmental Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B211 Organic Chemistry I
An introduction to the basic concepts of organic chemistry, including acid-base principles; functional groups; alkane and cycloalkane structures; alkene reactions; alkynes; dienes and aromatic structures; substitution and elimination reactions; alcohol reactivity; and radical reactions. The laboratory course introduces basic operations in the organic chemistry lab, spectroscopy, and reactions discussed in lecture. Lecture three hours, recitation one hour and laboratory five hours a week. Prerequisite: CHEM 104 with a grade of at least 2.0.
Approach: Quantitative Readiness Required (QR); Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Nerz-Stormes,M., Malachowski,B., Schmink,J.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B212 Organic Chemistry II: Biological Organic Chemistry
The second semester (biological organic chemistry) is broken into two modules. In the first module, the reactivity of carbonyl carbon is discussed, including ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and derivatives, saccharides and enolate chemistry. Traditional biochemistry coverage begins with the second module. Amino acids (pI, electrophoresis, side chain pKa), protein structure (1°, 2°, 3°, 4°), and enzymatic catalysis, kinetics and inhibition are introduced. The reactivity of the co-enzymes (vitamins) is also covered as individual case studies in bio-organic reactivity. Lecture three hours, recitation one hour and laboratory five hours a week. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 with a grade of at least 2.0.
Approach: Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Nerz-Stormes,M., Malachowski,B., Schmink,J.
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B221 Physical Chemistry I
Introduction to quantum theory and spectroscopy. Atomic and molecular structure; molecular modeling; rotational, vibrational, electronic and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Lecture three hours. Prerequisites: CHEM B104, PHYS B121 or B101 and MATH B201. May be taken concurrently with CHEM B211 and PHYS B121 or B101.
Approach: Quantitative Methods (QM)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Francl,M.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B222 Physical Chemistry II
Modern thermodynamics, with application to phase equilibria, interfacial phenomena and chemical equilibria; statistical mechanics; chemical dynamics. Kinetic theory of gases; chemical kinetics. Lecture three hours. Prerequisites: CHEM 104, PHYS 122 or 102 and MATH 201. May be taken concurrently with CHEM 212 and PHYS 122 or 102.
Approach: Quantitative Methods (QM)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Francl,M.
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B231 Inorganic Chemistry
Bonding theory; structures and properties of ionic solids; symmetry; crystal field theory; structures, spectroscopy, stereochemistry, reactions and reaction mechanisms of coordination compounds; acid-base concepts; descriptive chemistry of main group elements. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: CHEM 212.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Burgmayer,S.
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B242 Biological Chemistry
The structure, chemistry and function of amino acids, proteins, lipids, polysaccharides and nucleic acids; enzyme kinetics; metabolic relationships of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, and the control of various pathways; protein synthesis. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: CHEM B212 or CHEM H222.
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Health Studies
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kung,Y.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B251 Research Methodology in Chemistry I
This laboratory course integrates advanced concepts in chemistry from biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Students gain experience in the use of departmental research instruments and in scientific literature searches, quantitative data analysis, record-keeping and writing. Attendance at departmental colloquia is expected of all students. Prerequisite: CHEM B212. Corequisite: CHEM B221 or B231 or B242.
Approach: Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): White,S.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B252 Research Methodology II
This laboratory course integrates advanced concepts in chemistry from biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. Students will gain experience in the use of departmental research instruments and in scientific literature searches, quantitative data analysis, record-keeping, and writing. Attendance at departmental colloquia is expected of all students. Prerequisite: CHEM B212. Corequisites: CHEM B222 or CHEM B231 or CHEM B242.
Approach: Quantitative Readiness Required (QR)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kung,Y.
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B311 Advanced Organic Chemistry
A survey of the methods and concepts used in the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisites: CHEM 212 and 222.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schmink,J.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B312 Advanced Organic Chemistry
Principles of physical organic chemistry with emphasis on reaction mechanisms, reactive intermediates, stereochemistry, and qualitative molecular orbital theory reasoning. Prerequisites: A standard two-semester course in organic chemistry (such as BMC Chemistry 211/212), and some coursework in physical chemistry.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B315 Medicinal Chemistry
A survey of topics related to drug discovery including lead discovery, target interactions, structural optimization, drug metabolism, and drug synthesis. The course will engage in an advanced treatment of these topics with particular attention to an understanding of drug design and development on the molecular level. Case studies will be used to illustrate the application of these principles. Discussions may include OxyContin and related opiate analgesics; aspirin and related NSAIDs; penicillin and other antibacterial agents; Tamiflu and related anti-virals; Alzheimer’s disease drugs; and anti-depressants. Prerequisites: CHE 212 or the equivalent.
Counts towards: Health Studies
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B321 Topics: Advanced Physical Chemistry
This is a topics course, course content varies. Prerequisites: CHEM 221 and 222 or permission of the instructor. Lecture/seminar three hours per week.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B332 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
A survey of metals in biology illustrating structural, enzymatic and pharmaceutical applications of transition metals in biological chemistry and including discussion of structural themes and bonding, reaction types, and catalysis. Lecture three hours per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 231 and 242 or permission of the instructor.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B345 Advanced Biological Chemistry
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Prerequisite: Any course in Biochemistry.
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kung,Y.
Fall 2014: Current topic description: Biochemical pathways involved in cellular metabolism and natural product biosynthesis are explored in molecular detail, including fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis of antibiotics, anticancer agents, vitamins, and other secondary metabolites. Attention paid to biochemical mechanisms employed, the role of cofactors, coenzymes, and metals, and emerging applications to biotechnology and medicine. Prerequisites: CHEM B242 or BIOL B375 or BIOL H200 with instructor permission.

CHEM B350 Selected Topics in Current Chemical Research
A combination lecture/seminar course on the physical, structural, chemical, photochemical, mechanistic and spectroscopic properties of novel organic compounds, including oral presentations by students on very recently published research articles. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisites: CHEM 211-212, CHEM 221-222, and any 300/500 level course in organic, physical, inorganic or biological chemistry.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B398 Senior Seminar
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Francl,M., Burgmayer,S., Nerz-Stormes,M., White,S., Malachowski,B., Porello,S., Goldsmith,J., Schmin
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B399 Senior Seminar
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Francl,M., Burgmayer,S., Nerz-Stormes,M., White,S., Malachowski,B., Porello,S., Goldsmith,J., Schmin
(Spring 2015)

CHEM B425 Praxis III: Independent Study
Praxis III courses are Independent Study courses and are developed by individual students, in collaboration with faculty and field supervisors. A Praxis courses is distinguished by genuine collaboration with fieldsite organizations and by a dynamic process of reflection that incorporates lessons learned in the field into the classroom setting and applies theoretical understanding gained through classroom study to work done in the broader community.
Counts towards: Praxis Program
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B511 Advanced Organic Chemistry I
A survey of the methods and concepts used in the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisites: CHEM 212 and 222.
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Schmink,J.
(Fall 2014)

CHEM B512 Advanced Organic Chemistry
Principles of physical organic chemistry with emphasis on reaction mechanisms, reactive intermediates, stereochemistry, and qualitative molecular orbital theory reasoning. Prerequisites: A standard two-semester course in organic chemistry (such as BMC Chemistry 211/212), and some coursework in physical chemistry.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B515 Topics in Organic Chemistry
This is a topics course. Topics may vary. Prerequisite: CHEM B242 or equivalent.
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):Malachowski,B., Kung,Y.
Spring 2015: Current topic description: A survey of topics related to drug discovery including lead discovery, target interactions, structural optimization, drug metabolism and drug synthesis, with particular focus on a molecular understanding of drug design and development. Case studies may include OxyContin and related opiate analgesics; aspirin and related NSAIDs; penicillin and other antibacterial agents; Tamiflu and related anti-virals; Alzheimer’s disease drugs; and antidepressants.

CHEM B521 Advanced Physical Chemistry
Quantum mechanics and its application to problems in chemistry. Topics will include molecular orbital theory, density functional theory. Readings and problem sets will be supplemented with material from the current research literature. Students will gain experience with programming in Mathematica. Prerequisites: CHEM 221 and 222 or permission of the instructor. Lecture/seminar three hours per week.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B532 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
A survey of metals in biology illustrating structural, enzymatic and pharmaceutical applications of transition metals in biological chemistry and including discussion of structural themes and bonding, reaction types, and catalysis. Lecture three hours per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 231 and 242 or permission of the instructor.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B534 Organometallic Chemistry
Fundamental concepts in organometallic chemistry, including structure and bonding, reaction types, and catalysis, and applications to current problems in organic synthesis. Lecture three hours a week. Course is open to graduate students and those undergraduates with CHEM B231 or permission from the instructor.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B535 Inorganic Seminar: Group Theory
Fundamental concepts of mathematical groups, their derivation and their application to problems in bonding, spectroscopy and chemical reactivity.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B545 Advanced Biological Chemistry
This is a topics course. Topics vary. Prerequisites: CHEM B242 or BIOL B375 or BIOL H200 with instructor permission. Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Kung,Y.
Fall 2014: Current topic description: Biochemical pathways involved in cellular metabolism and natural product biosynthesis are explored in molecular detail, including fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis of antibiotics, anticancer agents, vitamins, and other secondary metabolites. Attention paid to biochemical mechanisms employed, the role of cofactors, coenzymes, and metals, and emerging applications to biotechnology and medicine.

CHEM B550 Selected Topics in Current Chemical Research
A combination lecture/seminar course on physical, structural and spectroscopic properties of organic compounds, including oral presentations by students on very recently published research articles.
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2014-2015)

CHEM B701 Supervised Work
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Burgmayer,S., White,S., Malachowski,B., Goldsmith,J., Schmink,J., Kung,Y.
(Fall 2014, Spring 2015)