The undergraduate course program in chemistry is designed to give students a sound background in both theoretical and practical aspects of four main fields: organic chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and biological chemistry. Furthermore, students may design courses of study that emphasize chemistry's connections to biology, earth sciences and computer science. Laboratory work is emphasized to provide students with modern training in experimental skills and analytical techniques.
Getting Started with the Major
Undergraduate Laboratory Research
The department strongly encourages students to consider participating in a faculty-supervised research project.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Our Students Go On To
Our majors enter diverse fields and programs, and stay in touch with the department by joining our Facebook Group.
- About 35% enter graduate programs in chemistry or biochemistry
- About 35% enter medical school
- About 30% finds jobs in fields as diverse as business consulting and medical research
- A growing number enter materials science and public health programs
Outstanding Laboratory Facilities
- 400 MHz Bruker Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer
- Waters LC-MS with Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometer (ESI-MS)
- Atomic-Force Microscope
- Gas Chromatograph-Mass spectrometer (GC-MS)
- Fourier Transform-Infrared (FT-IR) spectrophotometers
- Fluorescence spectrophotometer
- Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-vis) spectrophotometers
- High-Pressure Liquid Chromatographs (HPLC)
- Liquid scintillation counter
- Inert atmosphere glove box and multiple Schlenk vacuum lines for anaerobic chemistry
- Cold rooms
- Potentiostats and Biopotentiostat
- MacPro (3.2 GHz processor and 32 GB memory) running Gaussian09
- Four computational servers with Gaussian 03 and Sybyl 6.92
- Machine shop staffed with two full-time machinists skilled in scientific apparatus design and construction
- Outstanding library resources, including Scifinder Scholar; a campus collection comprised of over one million volumes, including books, documents, microform, and multimedia material; a tri-college collection with Haverford and Swarthmore of one million-plus titles; over 550 journal subscriptions in the sciences with internet access to the most recent issues.
Current Research Activities
- organic synthesis and methodology development
- enzyme inhibitor design and development
- organic photochemistry; synthesis and investigation of solubilized "graphite ribbons"
- NMR studies of intramolecular interactions in organic molecules
- solid state studies of intramolecular rotation of alkyl groups attached to aromatic rings
- ab initio molecular orbital calculations applied to reaction mechanisms
- computational chemistry
- materials science
- nanomaterial synthesis and testing
- transition metal complexes involving heterocyclic ligands
- bioinorganic chemistry
- biochemical and biophysical studies of the structure, stability, and protein binding of RNA molecules.