Department mission/description:

Society is influenced by the field of chemistry in essentially all phases of life. An understanding of chemistry is necessary for those who wish to study such subjects as biology, physiology, psychology, geology, environmental science, engineering, law, medicine and dentistry. A knowledge of chemistry and its effects, as related to the foods we eat, the air we breathe and medications we use, for example, will enhance the lives of students from all disciplines. All courses contain a strong emphasis on classroom instruction and development of competent laboratory technique. In advanced courses, hands-on training in operation and use of all department instruments is received.

Saint Martin’s offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry serves the needs of those seeking a broader education. Many students opt for the bachelor of arts program and complete the requirements for a second degree with a major in biology while in the University’s pre-medicine program. This curriculum is recommended for students entering the allied health fields and for those who desire to teach science at the secondary school level. Students working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree are expected to complete Elements of Research (CHM 375), Thesis (CHM 475), and Research (CHM 450).

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry is designed to prepare students for positions in industry and government or for further education at the graduate level. Degree requirements are based on American Chemical Society standards. Students working toward a Bachelor of Science degree will complete Elements of Research, Research, and Thesis (CHM 375, 450, and 475). An internship program is available to all chemistry majors, although it is not a requirement for Bachelor of Science candidates. All chemistry majors are advised to take ENG 306, Professional and Academic Writing Skills, as an elective. Prerequisites for all chemistry courses must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better.

Chemistry student learning outcomes:

1. Students will be able to demonstrate competence in four of the five subcategories of chemistry (Analytical, Organic, Inorganic, Physical, and Biochemistry) by

  • Scoring at or near national norms on standardized chemistry subject exams
  • Applying the theoretical underpinnings of modern chemistry to solve problems
  • Proposing practical applications of chemical concepts
  • Using modern techniques in chemical laboratories and analyzing experimental results

2.  Students will be able to work safely and effectively in a chemistry laboratory environment by:

  • Following detailed experimental procedures
  • Designing and conducting chemical (research) projects
  • Using experimental results for planning further experiments
  • Observing accepted laboratory safety protocols

3. Students will be able to utilize chemistry-centered computer technology to:

  • Collect and analyze experimental data
  • Simulate chemical systems
  • Search electronic literature databases
  • Prepare presentations and publications

4. Students will be able to use critical thinking skills to:

  • Evaluate the behavior of known chemical systems
  • Predict and explain the behavior of new systems

5. Students will be able to use their knowledge of chemistry to engage with society at large by:

  • Delivering chemical knowledge to the general public in an accessible way
  • Taking steps to begin a career in academia or industry

6. Students will be able to effectively communicate chemical knowledge in oral and written form by

  • Maintaining proper records of experimental work
  • Writing reports on topics in chemistry
  • Producing and presenting (in written and oral form) a thesis treating an experimental project they developed and conducted