2010-2011 Academic Catalog 
    Dec 03, 2023  
2010-2011 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry Major

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Undergraduate Program

The Chemistry Department offers an undergraduate program with the following goals in mind:

  • to provide a variety of course offerings that are consistent with the accreditation requirements of the American Chemical Society;
  • to offer a program that will prepare students for graduate work in chemistry and related fields;
  • to provide a strong scientific background for students planning careers in health-related professions;
  • and to encourage students not majoring in science to obtain an overview of the impact of science on society.

The department offers two tracks leading to a B.A. in chemistry. The requirements for the two tracks are designed to allow students to choose their course work depending upon their ultimate career goals.

Program Requirements

All students in either track (Standard and ACS-Certified) must complete two courses in calculus (either MATH 120 or MATH 124, and MATH 121 or MATH 125) and two courses in physics (either PHYS 110 or PHYS 120 and PHYS 111 or PHYS 121). Students must also demonstrate competence in communicating chemical concepts (e.g., through reports based on research in the chemical literature, Academic Spree Day presentations, Directed Study papers, Honors theses, or publications), and take at least four of the five ACS standardized exams (either as part of the Honors program, or as a separate assessment of their understanding of a body of knowledge in chemistry).

In addition:

Two additional courses at the 200-level or above to total a minimum of eleven courses in chemistry.

One must be:

Four additional advanced chemistry courses (200-level or above).

Two of these must have laboratory sections.


# CHEM 103  (Accelerated Introductory Chemistry) may be taken instead of CHEM 101  and CHEM 102 .
* Students may receive credit for one towards their major.

The ACS-certified track meets the entrance requirements for graduate study in chemistry and is recommended for those students with a strong interest in chemistry and a desire for a profession in the chemical sciences. The Standard track offers more latitude in course selection and is appropriate for those students with an interest in chemistry, but who plan to continue in one of the health professions (medical, dental or veterinary school), public school teaching, technical sales, etc.

The requirements for the first two years are identical, so students do not need to make a final decision on which track to follow until the end of their sophomore year, but are encouraged to discuss career plans with members of the department early to make the most appropriate choice.

A student may elect as his or her first course in chemistry: CHEM 010 , CHEM 101 , CHEM 102 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 131 . Science majors normally begin with CHEM 101 . The decision to begin with CHEM 102 , CHEM 103  or CHEM 131  must be made in consultation with the department and may require taking a placement examination offered at the beginning of each semester. The department encourages students with two or more years of high school chemistry to consider this option as it allows time for additional electives in the junior and senior years. The department publishes an undergraduate handbook, Majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology at Clark University, which provides additional information. Copies are available in the department office.

Students planning graduate study in chemistry are strongly urged to take CHEM 270  (Quantum Chemistry), CHEM 231  (Advanced Organic Chemistry) and/or additional advanced courses in mathematics, physics and biochemistry. All majors are encouraged to undertake independent research projects as a candidate for Honors, Directed Study or through one of the department’s summer research fellowships, and are eligible to do so following completion of CHEM 102 .

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