The Chemistry Major (B.A.)

Chemistry lies at the heart of modern science. Advances in fields such as molecular biology, environmental science, materials science and medicinal chemistry are built upon an understanding of chemistry. At Sweet Briar students may earn either a B.A. or B.S. degree in chemistry. We also offer a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology (BIOC) jointly with the biology department. Chemistry courses provide a sound background in chemical principles, and open-ended investigative laboratories teach students to become chemists. These labs present opportunities for students to design their own experiments and experience the excitement of discovery. Beginning in introductory courses, students gain experience with sophisticated, research-quality equipment. As students progress, projects deal with more complex chemical questions and require hands-on problem-solving and extensive data analysis. Chemistry and BIOC students learn to present their results in both written and oral form. Students are challenged to develop excellent problem-solving skills, both in their coursework and in the laboratory, and to become adept at using professional instrumentation and computer software. The culmination of both the chemistry and the BIOC major is the completion of a semester-long, independent project. It is strongly recommended that a student considering a major in chemistry or biochemistry and molecular biology complete CHEM 131, CHEM 141, CHEM 252, CHEM 253, MATH 123 and MATH 124 by the end of her first year. Prospective majors should consult with the department before registering for sophomore courses.

(48-50 semester hours)

Required prerequisites (or exemption by placement):
CHEM 131 (4) - General Chemistry
CHEM 141 (1) - General Chemistry Lab

CHEM 216 (3) - Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 226 (1) - Environmental Analytical Chemistry Lab
CHEM 231 (4) - Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 232 (4) - Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 233 (1) - Organic Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 234 (1) - Organic Chemistry II Lab
CHEM 252 (4) - Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 253 (1) - Introduction to Quantitative and Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 341 (3) - Intermediate Laboratory I
MATH 123 (4) - Calculus I
MATH 124 (4) - Calculus II

Senior Exercise:
CHEM 451 (3) - Senior Research

Choose 3 of the following courses: (at least one must be a physical chemistry course)
CHEM 202 (3) - The Biochemistry of Human Nutrition
CHEM 321 (3) - Biochemistry I
CHEM 322 (3) - Biochemistry II
CHEM 331 (3) - Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy
CHEM 332 (3) - Physical Chemistry: Kinetics and Thermodynamics
CHEM 431 (3) - Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 432 (3) - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 450 (3) - Advanced Organic Chemistry

Choose 1 of the following physics sequences:

Sequence A
PHYS 171 (4) - General Physics I
PHYS 172 (4) - General Physics II

Sequence B
PHYS 121 (3) - Principles of Physics I
PHYS 122 (3) - Principles of Physics II

Note: With permission of the department, one course in physics at the 200, 300 or 400 level or one course in molecular biology at the 300 or 400 level may be used in place of one course in chemistry.