All of the curricula in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry emphasize laboratory experience and culminate in a senior research project. This active involvement in the field provides experiences and a learning environment designed to stress both the conceptual basis and the experimental nature of the discipline.
The Department offers three options for students interested in the fields of chemistry or biochemistry. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree provides the opportunity to develop a broad background in chemistry within the framework of a liberal arts education. It is appropriate for students who wish to understand the basics but do not anticipate a career as a research chemist. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees consist of courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, writing and humanities. The curricula provide a firm foundation for graduate or advanced professional study. Two degrees are available: a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry. With appropriate selection of electives, both programs lead to a degree certified by the American Chemical Society. The B.S. in chemistry can be tailored to suit interests in environmental chemistry, advanced materials, applied chemistry, and health (pharmaceutical), as well as traditional chemistry. The B.S. in biochemistry emphasizes chemistry and biology at the molecular level. It is well suited to students who anticipate graduate work in the biochemical or health sciences, or plan to pursue a professional degree program (medical or dental).
Upon completion of the B.A. or B.S. program, students will have developed a set of core skills which they use in approaching the fundamental concepts. These include:
- Conducting meaningful and successful experiments,
- Communicating results,
- Thinking critically,
- Acting ethically, and
- Extending results through lifelong learning.
Students seeking secondary teacher certification in chemistry must also complete requirements for a second major in education described under the School of Urban Education . In addition, teacher certification requires proficiency in a second language at the novice level. See Second Language Proficiency .