5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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Department of Chemistry
Course Descriptions | Departmental Degree Requirements

Course Descriptions

Note   Undergraduate chemistry, including year courses with laboratory in organic and physical chemistry (CHEM 261, 262, 271, 272, and 361, 362, 371, 372 or equivalent), is a normal prerequisite for all of the following courses. Exceptions may be made by permission of the instructor in certain cases.

The student is responsible for breakage charges.

CHEM 511 - (3) (Y)
Organic Chemistry III

Prerequisite: One year of organic chemistry. In addition, one year of physical chemistry is recommended
A systematic review and extension of the facts and theories of organic chemistry; includes the mechanism of reactions, structure and stereochemistry.

CHEM 521 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Physical Chemistry I

Study of introductory quantum mechanics; application of group theory to molecular orbital theory; and rotational, vibrational, and electronic spectra.

CHEM 522 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Physical Chemistry II

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of the laws of thermodynamics and extra-thermodynamic principles; statistical mechanics; theory of reaction rates, and the interpretation of experimental kinetic data.

CHEM 535 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry I

Prerequisite: CHEM 432 or permission of instructor
Introduction to the electronic structure of atoms and simple molecules, including basic concepts and applications of symmetry and group theory. The chemistry of the main group elements is described using energetics, structure, and reaction pathways to provide a theoretical background. Emphasizes applying these concepts to predicting the stability and developing synthetic routes to individual compounds or classes.

CHEM 536 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II

Prerequisite: CHEM 432 or permission of instructor
The electronic structure of compounds of the transition metals is introduced, using ligand field theory and molecular orbital theory. The chemistry of coordination and organometallic compounds is described, emphasizing structure, reactivity, and synthesis. Applications to transformations in organic chemistry and to catalysis are examined.

CHEM 551 - (3) (Y)
Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Prerequisite: CHEM 341 or CHEM 361, or permission of instructor
Utilization of modern analytical instrumentation for chemical analysis. Includes emission and mass spectroscopy, ultraviolet, visible, and infrared absorption spectroscopy, atomic absorption, electrical methods of analysis, gas chromatography, and X-ray methods. Three class hours.

CHEM 553 - (4) (SI)
Electronics and Chemical Instrumentation

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of the fundamentals of electronics and modern scientific instrumentation. Provides extensive laboratory experience with test equipment, power supplies, transistors, operational amplifiers, and digital and analog integrated circuits. Special project involving an area of interest to the student. Three class hours, four laboratory hours.

CHEM 554 - (4) (SI)
Computer Interfacing and Automation of Chemical Instrumentation

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of the principles of computer interfacing and on-line data processing applied to instrumentation. Includes assembly and high-level computer languages, analog-digital domain conversions, multiplexing, and signal averaging. Provides extensive hands-on experience interfacing and programming a microcomputer for electrochemical, spectroscopic and kinetics experiments. Special project involving area of interest to student. Three class hours, four laboratory hours.

Note   Specific background requirements vary for successful study of 700-level and higher courses. Students should consult with the instructor before registering for these courses.

CHEM 701, 702 - (3) (Y)
Research Seminar

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Entering graduate students attend departmental seminars and colloquia. These lectures expose the student to a wide range of the latest theoretical and experimental topics in chemistry.

CHEM 707 - (3) (IR) Topics of Current Interest and Pedagogy
Exploration of current topics in chemistry unified by a specific theme. Designed to aid teachers in promotion of scientific literacy among the student population of Virginia. Emphasizes topics suitable for stimulating interest among the majority of secondary school students rather than specialized material for advanced students.

CHEM 712 - (3) (Y)
Organic Chemistry IV

Prerequisite: CHEM 511
A comprehensive survey of synthetic organic reactions and their application to the design and execution of syntheses of relatively complex organic substances.

CHEM 715 - (3) (Y)
Instrumental Theory and Techniques in Organic Chemistry

Study of the theory and application of instrumental techniques in solving organic structural problems. Topics include ultraviolet and infrared absorption spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, rotatory dispersion, and circular dichroism.

CHEM 722 - (3) (S)
Reaction Kinetics and Dynamics

Prerequisites: CHEM 521, 522 or permission of instructor
Introduction to the practice and theory of modern chemical kinetics, emphasizing reactions occurring in gases, liquids, and on catalytic surfaces. The basic principles of chemical kinetics are developed and current experimental and analytic techniques are described. The microscopic reaction dynamics underlying the macroscopic kinetics are discussed in terms of reactive potential energy surfaces. Statistical theories of reactions are developed which simplify the description of the overall reaction dynamics. Included are the transition state theory, Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus (RRKM) theory for unimolecular reactions, Kramersí theory, Marcus electron transfer theory, and information theory. Current topics in reaction kinetics and dynamics from the literature are presented. Applications of the basic principles are illustrated through problem-solving exercises. Several state-of-the-art kinetics software packages are made available for student exercises.

CHEM 743 - (4) (Y)
Biological Chemistry I

Prerequisite: One year of organic chemistry
Introduces the components of biological macromolecules and the principles behind their observed structures. Includes an examination of the means by which enzymes catalyze transformations of other molecules, emphasizing on the chemical principles involved; and a description of the key metabolic cycles and pathways, the enzymes which catalyze these reactions, and the ways in which these pathways are regulated. Three class hours, one seminar hour.

CHEM 744 - (4) (Y)
Biological Chemistry II

Prerequisite: CHEM 743 or permission of instructor
Covers three main areas: (1) the structure and function of biological membranes, (2) complex biochemical systems and processes, including photosynthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, vision, neurotransmission, hormonal regulation, muscle contraction and microtubules, and (3) molecular biology, including DNA metabolism, protein synthesis, regulation of gene expression and recombinant DNA methodology. Three class hours, one seminar hour.

CHEM 751 - (4) (Y)
Analytical Chemistry

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Advanced level survey of instrumental methods of analysis, theory and application of spectrochemical, electrochemical techniques; separations, surfaces, special topics, and recent developments from the literature.

CHEM 812 - (3) (Y)
Selected Topics in Organic Chemistry

Detailed treatment of specialized areas of current interest in organic and biological organic chemistry. Subject matter will vary from year to year. May be taken for credit more than once.

CHEM 814 - (3) (SI)
Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds and Related Topics

Prerequisite: CHEM 511
The application of the concepts of organic chemistry, especially structure and reaction mechanisms, to the discussion of heterocyclic compounds. Emphasizes heteroaromatic compounds of nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Offered as required.

CHEM 821 - (3) (SI)
Principles of Quantum Mechanics

Development of principles of quantum mechanics and application to simple systems; and discussion of angular momentum, variation method, and perturbation theory.

CHEM 822 - (3) (SI)
Chemical Applications of Quantum Mechanics

Application of quantum mechanics to atomic and molecular systems; includes molecular orbital and valence bond theory. Group theory is developed from first principles and applied to molecular systems.

CHEM 825 - (3) (SI)
Molecular Spectroscopy

Prerequisites: CHEM 521, CHEM 821, and group theory equivalent to that covered in CHEM 521 or permission of instructor
Study of the basic theoretical principles of optical and radio-frequency molecular spectroscopy selected from electron spin and nuclear magnetic resonance, microwave, infrared, Raman, visible, and ultraviolet spectroscopy. Offered as required.

CHEM 831, 832 - (3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

Advanced treatment of topics of current research interest in inorganic chemistry. Offered as required.

CHEM 834 - (3) (SI)
Determination of Molecular Structure by Diffraction Methods

Study of the principles of X-ray, neutron, and electron diffraction by ordered solids; and the use of these phenomena in molecular structure determination.

CHEM 836 - (3) (SI)
Physical Inorganic Chemistry

An advanced treatment of inorganic chemistry emphasizing structure, physical properties, the physical techniques employed in inorganic chemistry, including ESR, NMR, Mossbauer, NQR and electronic spectroscopy, magneto-chemistry and high pressure chemistry. Application of the experimental and theoretical aspects to bioinorganic chemistry.

CHEM 845 - (3) (SI)
Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of the mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis of organic reactions, emphasizing the transformation of substrates to products rather than focusing on protein chemistry. Includes the application of physical organic techniques to the study of enzymatic reactions. Major reaction types considered include hydrolases, group transfer reactions, coenzyme-catalyzed reactions, biological redox reactions, eliminations, racemizations, and aldol cleavage reactions. Considers the regulation of enzymatic activity and the validity of current techniques of investigating enzyme catalysis.

CHEM 852 - (3) (SI)
Special Topics in Instrumental Methods

Study of recent developments in instrumentation and their significance to physical-analytical problems. Includes the theory and application of specialized techniques in analytical chemistry. Offered as required.

CHEM 854 - (3) (SI)
Analytical Spectroscopy

Prerequisite: CHEM 551 or permission of instructor
Study of advanced topics in optical spectroscopy as applied to analytical chemistry. Topics include fundamental principles of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, practical experimental methods including laser methods, and analytical optical methods of current research interest.

CHEM 861, 862 - (3) (SI)
Selected Topics in Advanced Physical Chemistry

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Study of selected topics in advanced physical chemistry developed to the depth required for modern research. Topics offered as demand requires. Offered as required.

CHEM 897 - (1-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research

For masterís research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

CHEM 898 - (1-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research

For masterís thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

CHEM 905, 906 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Analytical Chemistry

CHEM 907, 908 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Infrared Spectroscopy

CHEM 909, 910 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Crystallography and Structural Chemistry

CHEM 911, 912 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Inorganic and Organometallic Reactions

CHEM 913, 914 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Functional Group Transformation

CHEM 915, 916 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Photochemistry and Luminescence

CHEM 917, 918 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Organometallic Chemistry

CHEM 919, 920 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Inorganic and Organometallic Synthesis and Structure

CHEM 921, 922 - (1-12) (S)
Research in High Resolution Molecules

CHEM 923, 924 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Mass Spectrometry

CHEM 925, 926 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Bioorganic Chemistry

CHEM 927, 928 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Biophysical Chemistry

CHEM 929, 930 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Electronic Structure and Spectroscopy of Molecules and Crystals

CHEM 931, 932 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Biological Organic Chemistry

CHEM 933, 934 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Magnetic Optical Activity

CHEM 937, 938 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Organic Mechanisms and Synthesis

CHEM 939, 940 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Bonding Theory

CHEM 941, 942 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Membrane Biochemistry

CHEM 943, 944 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Membrane Chemistry

CHEM 945, 946 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Inorganic Chemistry

CHEM 949, 950 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Physical Chemistry of Surfaces

CHEM 951, 952 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Bioorganic Mechanism and Synthesis

CHEM 955, 956 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

CHEM 959, 960 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Multistage Organic Synthesis

CHEM 961, 962 - (1-12) (S)
Research in Medicinal Chemistry

CHEM 995, 996 - (1-12) (S) Research

CHEM 997 - (1-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research

For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

CHEM 999- (1-2) (S)
Non-Topical Research

For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.

Seminars and Colloquia   Departmental seminars and colloquia are held on a regular basis with the presentations being given by visiting speakers and by graduate students, research staff, and faculty of the department. Specialized research seminars and discussion groups also meet regularly to examine topics of current interest. Most graduate students are scheduled to present a departmental seminar in the second year of residence and at the completion of their research.

Lectures   Distinguished visitors present lectures regularly on a wide variety of subjects in modern chemical research. The department sponsors the endowed Burger Lectureship in Medicinal Chemistry, the Lutz Lectureship, and the Pratt Lectureship.


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