Chemistry

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Course Description

The Curriculum

As discussed on the Curriculum page, your first two years of chemistry study will include Organic Chemistry 1 and 2, Introductory Iinorganic Chemistry, and Analytical Chemistry. This is the sequence taken by most students with POEs in Biology and related areas. In addition, as a chemistry POE, you will take Chemistry Seminar, a one-credit course in the fall of the sophomore year designed to expose you to the wide variety of career options available to a chemist; and Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry, a spring course that covers a great deal of the chemistry of the non-carbon elements. Rounding out your first two years will be four courses in other departments that are necessary background for upper-level chemistry: Calculus 1 and 2, and Introduction to Physics 1 and 2 (Calculus-based Physics).

The next important lecture course is Physical Chemistry (CH 305). In Physical Chemistry the emphasis is on a theoretical understanding of chemical phenomena, and the course involves a great deal of problem-solving. Mathematical equations are derived and then used to explain real-life situations. Employers and graduate schools often look for physical chemistry on transcripts as evidence that a candidate has the necessary experience and ability to understand and apply general principles to specific situations in an exact and quantitative manner. Those of you interested in medicine might note that even some medical schools include physical chemistry among the recommended courses.

From here, paths tend to diverge, depending on whether you are most interested in the interface between chemistry and biology (a Biochemistry POE) or more interested in the non-biological areas of chemistry. For the "straight" Chemistry POE, students will normally take Physical Chemistry 2 (CH 306), Organic Reactions (CH 321) and Biochemistry (CH 310) during their junior year. Organic Reactions is the course that fills in the gaps left by Organic Chemical Concepts with additional material chemists at the bachelor's level are expected to know. Biochemistry is designed for chemistry students who are not concentrating in biochemistry (they have other biochemistry courses to take). CH 310 is designed as a broad introduction to biochemistry for students who have not seen it elsewhere. The final laboratory courses required for a POE in chemistry are Synthesis (CH 338W), Spectroscopy (CH 334) and Physical Chemistry Lab (CH 316W), covering the theory and manipulations necessary to prepare and identify organic and inorganic compounds, and providing an introduction to the experimental side of physical chemistry. These courses are useful for students preparing for careers in all areas involving experimental laboratory work. They are open to any student who has taken the introductory analytical chemistry laboratory, physics, and the non-credit chemical safety course (described later). They are intended for the junior year, another reason for completing physics and analytical chemistry during your sophomore year.

If you are interested in a Biochemistry POE you probably will not take Intermediate Inorganic, Organic Reactions, Synthesis and Spectroscopy, and Physical Chemistry 2 (although you are most welcome to!). Instead, you will take Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1, 2, and 3, along with the associated lab, Molecular Techniques. Note that these have prerequisites of Biology 1, 2, and 3.

Those interested in certification to teach high school chemistry will find an outstanding program at Juniata, not least because we are the home and originators of Science in Motion. However, the Chemistry Education POE is very full and must be designed carefully from the beginning. Students interested in this avenue should contact Dr. Jones in Education very soon to make sure they are taking the correct courses each semester.

Students interested in Environmental Chemistry will create an individualized POE and should consult with an appropriate advisor as soon as possible. Appropriate advisors for environmental science students are Dr. Fisher or Dr. Yohn in chemistry, Dr. Glazier or Dr. Matter in biology, or anyone in EES.

In addition to completing the required course work, anyone with a chemistry POE must select a member of the department as an advisor. This measure ensures that each student will receive professional guidance in making course choices (in the student's own interest!) and also that at least one member of the department will be in a position to write a strong, effective letter of recommendation at a later date.

Additional expectations of chemistry POEs are listed in the Other Requirements section of this advising guide.