6: College of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Academic Information | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Afro-American and African Studies | Anthropology | Archaeology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern
Asian Studies | Astronomy | Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Cognitive Science | Comparative Literature
Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences | French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs
History | Latin American Studies | Linguistics | Mathematics | Medieval Studies
Middle East Studies | Music | Personal Skills | Philosophy | Physics | Political and Social Thought
Psychology | Religious Studies | Service Physical Education | Slavic | Sociology
Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | University Seminars | Women's Studies

Department of Chemistry

Course Descriptions | Faculty

Overview   The Department of Chemistry offers outstanding physical facilities and a close-knit community of scholars--an environment which demonstrates that chemistry is far more than the study of matter and its interactions. Chemists contribute to such diverse fields as medicine, agriculture, oceanography, and archaeology. The University offers several chemistry programs, giving students the opportunity to define their individual educational and career goals.

Chemistry is divided into five areas of study: organic, inorganic, biological, physical, and analytical. The first-year courses include elements of all of these areas. While organic chemistry is studied most intensely in the second year, inorganic and physical chemistry are the center of concentration in the third and fourth years. Advisors steer students toward specialized courses that correspond with their individual interests and aid them in choosing a specific program.

Faculty   The twenty-five members of the faculty include professors who are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields. The list of recent honors received by faculty members include the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry; the Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for excellence in both teaching and research; and a 1992 and 1996 Virginia Scientist of the Year award.

Teaching and research have been strengthened in recent years by a number of grants from government and private sources. These funds have permitted the acquisition of excellent instrumental facilities, and the establishment of an outstanding program in molecular research. The department has also made a major commitment to research in biological and biophysical chemistry. These programs, along with ongoing research in analytical methods, spectroscopy, and synthetic inorganic and organic chemistry, provide the student with a choice of strong research areas over a broad range of the chemical sciences. The faculty attracts approximately $6 million yearly in outside funding to support these programs, an indicator of the vigor of the research being carried out in the department.

Students   Each year approximately eighty students graduate with a degree in chemistry, which makes the program one of the largest in the nation. Students have significant opportunities to conduct research and independent study projects with professors. Advanced students may receive money from research grants or enroll in graduate courses. The class size of chemistry courses varies widely. The introductory chemistry courses are quite large, but upper level courses are usually small, with no more than thirty students per class. All lab sections are small, in order to provide an intimate atmosphere.

Students who have graduated with a B.S. in chemistry have been admitted to the best graduate schools in the country, while some have accepted positions in industrial or government labs. The number of B.A. graduates accepted to top medical schools (especially those who specialize in biological chemistry) has been extremely high, while some B.A. graduates' areas of expertise have prepared them for graduate school and jobs in government agencies, laboratories, and chemical firms.

Special Resources   Modern research is dependent on advanced instrumentation, and our department is particularly well-equipped in this area. The mass spectrometry facility contains five instruments including a glow-discharge mass spectrometer, two triple quadruple mass spectrometers, and an ion cyclotron resonance instrument. The department's nuclear magnetic resonance instruments include several super conducting spectrometers, and research in molecular spectroscopy is a major focus the department's research instrumentation. Pulsed laser spectroscopy capabilities include high-power examiner laser systems, and the department also has well-equipped machine and electronic shops under the supervision of skilled instrument makers and technicians. Finally, there are extensive computer facilities throughout the University to help collect and analyze data.

Requirements for Major   Two programs of study are open to students wishing to major in chemistry. The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry is intended for those who plan to make their professional career in chemistry.

Those wishing a less intensive program in chemistry, such as pre-medical students, should elect the B.A. with a major in Chemistry. The student may choose either a conventional B.A. in Chemistry or one which specializes in biological chemistry. The normal program for a conventional B.A. in Chemistry includes: CHEM 141, 142, CHEM 141L, 142L, (or CHEM 181, 182, 181L, 182L); CHEM 241, 242, CHEM 241L, 242L, (or CHEM 281, 282, 281L, 282L); 341, 342, (or 361, 362); 371, 372, and one other three-credit chemistry elective at the 400-level or higher. A year of physics with laboratory and MATH 122 or MATH 132 are required for the B.A. in Chemistry.

Specialization in Biological Chemistry   The Department of Chemistry offers an opportunity for a student to obtain a B.A. in Chemistry with a Specialization in Biological Chemistry. The normal program includes CHEM 141, 142, 141L, 142L, CHEM 222, (or CHEM 181, 182, 181L, 182L); CHEM 241, 242, CHEM 241L, 242L, (or CHEM 281, 282, 281L, 282L); CHEM 252; CHEM 341, 342; CHEM 441, 442, CHEM 451, CHEM 452. This program includes five biological chemistry courses, with CHEM 451 and CHEM 452 (Biological Chemistry Laboratory) replacing the physical chemistry laboratory of the conventional B.A. in Chemistry major. BIOL 201 is recommended, although not required, prior to taking CHEM 441, 442. MATH 122 or MATH 132 and one year of physics with laboratory are required. Students interested in this program are encouraged to consult early with departmental advisors for additional information and suggested course sequences. In both the conventional and specialized B.A. majors, a judicious selection of additional courses permits the student to satisfy prerequisites for admission to graduate school in chemistry or related fields of study.

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry   The chemistry department offers three programs for a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. There is the standard Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, which is a professional degree accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). It is designed to prepare the student for a career in chemistry. The program is not intended as preparation for the study of medicine. In addition, there are the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Specialization in Biochemistry and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Specialization in Chemical Physics degrees. The B.S. degrees with Specialization in Biochemistry and in Chemical Physics are not currently ACS certified.

Candidates for degrees must complete, with a grade point average of at least 2.0, a minimum of 120 credits composed of required courses and approved electives.

Recommended ACS Certified B.S. in Chemistry Program[1]
First Year
CHEM 181 Principles of Chemical Structure 3
CHEM 182 Principles of Chemical Reactions I 3
CHEM 181L Principles of Chemical Structure Laboratory 3
CHEM 182L Principles of Chemical Reactions I Laboratory 3
ENWR 101 Composition 3
MATH 131 Calculus I 4
MATH 132 Calculus II 4
Language [2] 8
Approved electives [3] 0-3
Total31-34
Second Year
CHEM 281 Principles of Chemical Reactions II 3
CHEM 281L Principles of Chemical Reactions II Laboratory 4
CHEM 282 Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics 3
CHEM 282L Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory 3
PHYS 231 Classical and Modern Physics I 4
PHYS 232 Classical and Modern Physics II 4
PHYS 201L Basics Physics Laboratory I 1.5
PHYS 202L Basic Physics Laboratory II 1.5
MATH 221 Calculus III or
MATH 225 Ordinary Differential Equations 4
Language [2]3
Approved electives [3]3
Total33
Third Year
CHEM 341 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 362 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 371 Intermediate Techniques in Chemical Experimentation 3
CHEM 372 Intermediate Techniques in Chemical Experimentation 3
CHEM 432 Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM 551 Instumental Methods of Analysis 3
Approved electives [3] 12-15
Total 30-33
Fourth Year [4]
CHEM ___ CHEM Elective (above 400) 3
CHEM 491 Undergraduate Research Seminar 1
CHEM 492 Undergraduate Research Seminar 1
CHEM 495 Supervised and Original Research in Chemistry 3
CHEM 496 Supervised and Original Research in Chemistry 3
Approved electives [3] 19
Total 30

Specialization in Biochemistry   The department offers an opportunity for a student to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a Specialization in Biochemistry. Candidates for the degree must complete, with a grade point average of at least 2.0, a minimum of 120 credits composed of required courses and approved electives.

Recommended B.S. in Chemistry with Specialization in Biochemistry Program[1]
First Year
CHEM 181 Principles of Chemical Structure 3
CHEM 182 Principles of Chemical Reactions I 3
CHEM 181L Principles of Chemical Structures Laboratory 3
CHEM 182L Principles of Chemical Reactions I Laboratory 3
ENWR 101 Composition 3
MATH 121, 122 Applied Calculus I and II or
MATH 131, 132 Calculus I and II 8
Language [5] 8
Approved electives[3] 0-3
Total31-34
Second Year
CHEM 281 Principles of Chemical Reactions II 3
CHEM 281L Principles of Chemical Reactions II Laboratory 4
CHEM 282 Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics 3
CHEM 282L Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory 3
Language [5] 6
BIOL 201 Introduction to Biology 3
BIOL 202 Introduction to Biology 3
Approved electives[3] 5
Total 30
Third Year
CHEM 441 Biological Chemistry I 3
CHEM 442 Biological Chemistry II 3
PHYS 201, 202 Principles of Physics I and II or
PHYS 231, 232 Classical and Modern Physics I and II 8
PHYS 201L, 202L Basic Physics Laboratory I and II or
PHYS 231L, 232L[6] 3
Approved electives[3] 13
Total 30
Fourth Year
CHEM 341 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 342 Physical Chemistry or
CHEM 362 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 451 Biological Chemistry Laboratory I 3
CHEM 452 Biological Chemistry Laboratory II 3
Approved upper-level CHEM or BIOL elective3
Approved electives[3] 15
Total 30

Specialization in Chemical Physics   The department offers an opportunity for a student to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a specialization in Chemical Physics. Candidates for the degree must complete, with a grade point average of at least 2.0, a minimum of 120 credits of required courses and approved electives.

B.S. in Chemistry with Specialization in Chemical Physics Program[7]
First Year
CHEM 181 Principles of Chemical Structure 3
CHEM 182 Principles of Chemical Reactions I 3
CHEM 181L Principles of Chemical Structures Laboratory 3
CHEM 182L Principles of Chemical Reactions I Laboratory 3
ENWR 101 Composition 3
MATH 131 Calculus I 4
MATH 132 Calculus II 4
Language [5] 8
Approved electives[3] 0-3
Total31-34
Second Year
CHEM 281 Principles of Chemical Reactions II 3
CHEM 281L Principles of Chemical Reactions II Laboratory 4
CHEM 282 Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics 3
CHEM 282L Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics Laboratory 3
PHYS 231 Classical and Modern Physics I 4
PHYS 232 Classical and Modern Physics II 4
MATH 221 Calculus III or
MATH 225 Ordinary Differential Equations 4
Language [5] 6
Total 30
Third Year
CHEM 341 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 362 Physical Chemistry 3
CHEM 371 Intermediate Techniques in Chemical Experimentation 3
CHEM 372 Intermediate Techniques in Chemical Experimentation 3
PHYS 201L Basics Physics Laboratory I 1.5
PHYS 202L Basic Physics Laboratory II 1.5
PHYS ___Two approved PHYS electives 6
Approved electives[3] 9
Total 30
Fourth Year
CHEM 521 Advanced Physical Chemistry I 3
CHEM 522 Advanced Physical Chemistry II 3
Approved electives[3] 24
Total 30

[1] This table shows the normal sequence of required courses. Students who have taken CHEM 141, 142, 141L, 142L and wish to obtain the B.S. should complete CHEM 222. CHEM 222 may not be offered for credit by students who complete CHEM 181, 182, 181L, 182L. It is possible to major in chemistry after taking PHYS 201, 202 rather than PHYS 231, 232. Candidates not following the normal course sequence should consult an advisor as early as possible.
[2] Students are required to complete the equivalent of Language 201. German or Russian are recommended but not required. If this requirement is satisfied in less than three semesters, the student may elect other language courses or a different subject.
[3] Approved electives are "free" electives to be chosen by the candidate in conference with an advisor, and must include six credits in the humanities, six credits in the social sciences, and meet other College requirements.
[4] The fourth-year program is adaptable to individual student interests in that there are no specific required courses. Students may choose from any 400 or greater level course in physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, or biological chemistry.
[5] Students are required to complete the equivalent of Language 202. German or Russian are recommended but not required. If this requirement is satisfied in less than four semesters, the student may elect other language courses or a different subject.
[6] PHYS 221, 222 taken after PHYS 231, 232 is an acceptable alternative.
[7] This table shows the normal sequence of required courses. Students who have taken CHEM 141, 142, 141L, 142L and wish to obtain the B.S. should complete CHEM 222. CHEM 222 may not be offered for credit by students who complete CHEM 181, 182, 181L, 182L. Students may also complete the physics requirement by taking the PHYS 151, 152, 251, 252 sequence. Candidates not following the normal sequence should consult an advisor as early as possible.

Distinguished Majors Program   Students with a cumulative grade point of 3.4 or higher after five semesters may apply for the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Applications and inquiries must be made to the undergraduate programs committee prior to the beginning of the seventh semester. The DMP consists of specified course requirements within the B.A. or B.S. programs and two semesters (six credits) of study or research under the supervision of a faculty member. The results of the research will be submitted in written form and presented to a faculty committee. Additional information can be obtained from the Undergraduate Programs Committee of the Department of Chemistry.

Requirements for Minor   A minor in chemistry requires the satisfactory completion of the following courses: CHEM 141, 142, 141L, 142L; CHEM 241, 242 or CHEM 281, CHEM 282; CHEM 241L, 242L or CHEM 281L, 282L; CHEM 341 or CHEM 361; and one other chemistry course at the 300-level or higher (except chemistry research courses). CHEM 222 may be presented as the elective course if CHEM 142 is included in the program.

Note   Students who receive advanced standing credit for CHEM 141, 142 and who take CHEM 181,182 may not count both CHEM 141, 142 and CHEM 181, 182 toward the degree.

The student is responsible for breakage charges.

Additional Information   For more information, contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Building, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 924-3344.


Continue to: Course Descriptions
Return to: Chapter 6 Index