Chemistry

Website: chemistry.sewanee.edu/

Professor Bachman, Chair

Professor Durig

Associate Professor Shibata

Associate Professor R. Summers

Associate Professor Miles

Assistant Professor Sharma Seballos

Assistant Professor Pongdee

Assistant Professor White

Chemistry is often referred to as the Central Science. As such, it interfaces with and illuminates numerous disciplines including physics, biology, forestry, and geology. The General Chemistry course attempts to serve future majors and students from these other disciplines by providing a solid foundational understanding of the central organizational principles of chemistry. Courses in the major amplify this understanding by providing an in-depth exploration of the major sub-disciplines: organic, inorganic, analytical, environmental, physical and biochemistry. Majors are encouraged to participate in research projects with faculty members, during the school year and in the summer. Majors are also encouraged to participate in research groups at other schools during the summers. An active seminar series allows students to gain proficiency in oral presentation of technical material as well as learn about the frontiers of chemical research from eminent scientists.

The Department of Chemistry offers the following two majors:

Chemistry examines the composition, structure, properties, and transformation of matter, from which the material world is constituted. Topics examined range from atomic structure to the functioning of biomolecules and modern materials. The courses offered and requirements for the major are more fully described below.

Biochemistry, offered in collaboration with the Department of Biology, explores the molecular basis of life. The major provides a sound foundation in biology and chemistry as well as a thorough exploration of the interface between these two traditional disciplines. (See the catalog section on Biochemistry for requirements.)

Entering students with an interest in either of the above majors are strongly encouraged to discuss their academic planning with faculty in the Department of Chemistry as early as possible in their academic career. Students interested in advanced placement into Chemistry 102 or 201 should consult the department chair.

Requirements for a Chemistry major:

  • Chemistry 102, 111 or 120, or advanced placement as recommended by the department. Completion of this requirement is a prerequisite to all courses numbered 201 or higher.
  • Chemistry 201 and 202.
  • Chemistry 211, 308, 311, 352.
  • Chemistry 307 or 316.
  • Chemistry 301 and 401 (one-half course each).
  • One 400-level course beyond 401.
  • Mathematics 102 [Mathematics 207 is strongly recommended].
  • Physics 101, 102 or Physics 103, 104

In order to receive honors in chemistry, a student must have a 3.00 or higher GPA in the major, take two advanced electives in chemistry at the 400 level, and complete a research project that the chemistry faculty considers worthy of honors. The research project may be done as part of a course (usually Chemistry 494), or it may be done in the context of a summer research program at this University or at another institution. The honors project must involve some original work. A formal written report and a seminar presentation on the research are required. Students must inform the department of their intention to seek honors no later than the middle of the first semester of their senior year. Please see the departmental web page for additional information about honors.

A student may minor in chemistry by taking Chemistry 102, 111, or 120; Chemistry 201 and 202; and two of the following: 211, 307, 308, 311, and 352.