Course Descriptions

Chemistry

CHEM 111 - General Chemistry I: Structure and Equilibrium

This course offers a rigorous, foundational treatment of atoms and molecules. We study the nature of chemical bonding and how bonding gives rise to the three-dimensional structure of matter. We explore how the macroscopic properties of substances can be interpreted in terms of atomic and molecular structure. We also learn mathematical and conceptual tools for quantifying chemical equilibrium, with an emphasis on the reactions of acids and bases. Laboratory work reinforces concepts in lecture, and also provides a review of fundamental topics, such as stoichiometry, gas laws, and solution-phase reactions, that are essential for future course work in chemistry. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Lab fee of $12 required.

Frequency: Fall semester.

CHEM 112 - General Chemistry II: Energetics and Reactivity

This course provides an intuitive, yet rigorous, understanding of how energy is stored and transferred in chemical systems. We start with the behavior of individual atoms and molecules (using the foundation of atomic and molecular structure laid in CHEM 111, and then build up to the macroscopic concepts of thermodynamics. We focus on free energy as a powerful tool for predicting physical and chemical behavior. We then apply our understanding of energetics to electrochemical systems and the rates of chemical reactions. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Lab fee of $7 required.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better, or satisfactory performance on a placement examination.

CHEM 115 - Accelerated General Chemistry

This course combines topics from both CHEM 111 and CHEM 112 and is meant to be an accelerated one-semester version of General Chemistry. The course begins with a rigorous treatment of atomic and molecular structure, and explores various modern models of chemical bonding. These ideas are applied to a thorough discussion of chemical thermodynamics and kinetics. Conceptual and mathematical methods for quantifying chemical equilibrium are also explored, with particular emphasis on the chemistry of acids and bases. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Lab fee of $12 required.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

AP CHEM score of 4 or 5, IB CHEM score of 5,6 or 7 or satisfactory performance on a placement examination (administered during Orientation Week). Some knowledge of calculus is recommended.

CHEM 120 - CSI Macalester

From the Sherlock Holmes stories before radio to the serial broadcasts of mysteries and whodunits during the mid-twentieth century to the current popularity of television's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation , society has demonstrated an abiding interest - regardless of the technological mode of delivery - in the entertainment value associated with the application of systematic, scientific, analytical thinking in the course of criminal investigation. May high-profile cases from real life have captured public attention as newspaper columnists and radio and television pundits report and pontificate on such cases, especially the physical evidence. The Lindberg kidnapping and the O.J. Simpson trial created stunning examples of public theatre driven by a widespread desire in people to know the facts and try the case in their own minds. Whether in an entertaining work of fiction or through an untidy twist of everyday life, forensic science serves as the fulcrum upon which collection and analysis of physical evidence lead ultimately to testimony in a courtroom. Of course, in contemporary terms the word physical is essentially a euphemism for chemical or molecular . Paradoxically, the public fascination with forensic science stands largely in opposition to the public distrust and fear of all things chemical. In this course we will work towards developing thorough, molecular level understanding of the foundations of modern forensic science. In appropriate measure and as a function of scheduling, readings, problem sets, case studies, hands-on analytical analyses, guest lecture visits, and field trips may be used to guide our study of modern forensic science.

Frequency: Fall semesters as a First Year Course.

CHEM 194 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHEM 211 - Organic Chemistry I

This course develops a broad understanding of the theoretical concepts of organic chemistry. Molecular orbital theory and valence bond resonance theory are invoked to describe and explain the ramification of covalent bonding in organic molecules, as well as to rationalize fundamental noncovalent associations. Thermodynamic considerations of 3-dimensional molecular shape are discussed. Contemporary instrumental techniques for the assignment of molecular structure are a key focus. Modern mechanistic theory of organic chemical reactions is developed in the context of acid-base, nucleophilic substitution, elimination, and electrophilic addition reactions. Three lectures, four hours laboratory per week.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or better or CHEM 115 with a grade of C- or better

CHEM 212 - Organic Chemistry II

This course further develops the theoretical concepts of organic chemistry, and helps students to develop an ability to propose plausible synthetic pathways to organic molecules. Particular focus is on nucleophilic addition, electrophilic substitution, free radical, and pericyclic reactions. Three lectures, four hours laboratory per week.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 CHEM 211

CHEM 222 - Analytical Chemistry

This course uses key concepts of chemical equilibrium and structure to solve problems in chemical analysis. Lecture and laboratory work provide both the theoretical foundations and practical training in classical methods (gravimetric and volumetric analysis), atomic and molecular spectroscopy, and chromatography. Statistics and error analysis are also emphasized throughout the course. Three lectures, four hours laboratory per week.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 112 with a grade of C- or better or CHEM 115 with a grade of C- or better

CHEM 252 - Research Methods in Organic Chemistry

This course develops understanding of computation, advanced NMR and mass spectrometric techniques as applied to research efforts in organic chemistry and related fields, such as pharmaceuticals, materials science, supramolecular synthesis, and crystal engineering. Three lectures per week.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 212 with a grade of C- or better and permission of the instructor

CHEM 294 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHEM 300 - Chemistry Seminar

Presentations on current topics in the molecular sciences by campus visitors, as well as by Macalester students and faculty. Students may be expected to prepare for the presentations by reading, and in some cases, discussing the work of a speaker in advance of his/her seminar presentation. Chemistry majors will make two oral presentations over four semesters. All students will submit a written synopsis for three seminar presentations each semester. One hour per week.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Junior or Senior standing

CHEM 311 - Thermodynamics and Kinetics

This course covers topics in macroscopic physical chemistry dealing with the bulk properties of matter and energy. These topics include the properties of gases, the First and Second Laws of thermodynamics and their application to physical and chemical systems, phase and chemical equilibria, rates of reactions and chemical kinetics, and x-ray diffractometry. Three lectures and three hours laboratory per week.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 112 or CHEM 115, PHYS 227, and MATH 137. Student must earn a grade of C- or higher in prerequisite course(s).

CHEM 312 - Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy

This course covers topics in microscopic physical chemistry dealing with the structural and energetic properties of individual molecules. These topics include the foundations and applications of quantum mechanics, electronic structure and bonding, computational chemistry, molecular symmetry, group theory, rotational, vibrational and electronic spectroscopy, and statistical mechanics. Three lectures and three hours lab per week.

Frequency: Spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 CHEM 112 or CHEM 115, PHYS 227, and MATH 237. Student must earn a grade of C- or higher in prerequisite course(s).

CHEM 320 - Computational Chemistry

Computation plays a key role in chemical research today, with many articles in the literature using computer modeling to make predictions of chemical behavior and to interpret experimental results. Arguably the most powerful subfield of computational chemistry is quantum chemistry-the application of quantum mechanics to atoms and molecules. This course has the following goals: (1) introducing the basic concepts of quantum chemistry; (2) illustrating the power and limitations of different quantum chemical methods; (3) providing opportunities to apply quantum chemistry to a variety of systems. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the use of computers to make predictions, instead of the mathematics and physics underlying quantum mechanics.

Frequency: Offered alternate spring terms.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 212 (Organic Chemistry II) with a grade of C- or better, or permission of the instructor.

CHEM 351 - Biochemistry I

A study of biological processes at the molecular level with an emphasis on the chemistry of biological molecules, physical biochemistry, structure of proteins, mechanisms and kinetics of enzyme catalyzed reactions, and introduction to intermediary metabolism, including the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week.

Frequency: Offered every fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 212, BIOL 255, BIOL 260, BIOL 265 or permission of instructor. Student must earn a grade of C- or higher in prerequisite course(s).

Cross-Listed as

BIOL 351

CHEM 352 - Biochemistry II

A continuation of BIOL 351. A study of biological processes at the molecular level with an emphasis on the metabolism of amino acids, nucleotides, the regulation of biochemical pathways, and topics in molecular biology such as gene replication, the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids, and recent advances in genomics and proteomics. Three lecture hours and one three-hour laboratory per week.

Frequency: Offered every spring semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 BIOL 351 or CHEM 351 permission of the instructor. Student must earn a grade of C- or higher in prerequisite course(s).

Cross-Listed as

BIOL 352

CHEM 361 - Advanced Organic Chemistry

Selected topics in organic chemistry, including stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms, modern methods of organic synthesis and spectral methods of identifying organic compounds. Laboratory emphasis on spectral, chromatographic and synthetic methods.

Frequency: Alternate fall semesters.

Prerequisite(s)

CHEM 212 with a grade of C- or better.

CHEM 394 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHEM 411 - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

This course examines how modern theories of chemical bonding are applied to an understanding of the chemistry of the elements of the periodic table. Students explore chemical structures, reactions and spectra on the basis of molecular symmetry and group theory. Topics covered include chemical periodicity, coordination compounds, and organometallic complexes.Three lectures and three hours of laboratory per week.

Frequency: Fall semester.

Prerequisite(s)

 CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better, or permission of the instructor.

CHEM 471 - Research in Molecular Spectroscopy

Collaborative research with a faculty member on a current problem in the field of molecular spectroscopy. Students will use modern laser technology to record and then analyze electronic spectra of gaseous free radicals. In addition to extensive laboratory research, there will be readings and discussion of the primary literature.

Frequency: Offered occasionally.

Prerequisite(s)

 CHEM 312 with a grade of C- or better, or permission of the instructor.

CHEM 494 - Topics Course

Varies by semester. Consult the department or class schedule for current listing.

CHEM 611 - Independent Project

Laboratory and library research on an original problem, usually with a thesis.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 612 - Independent Project

Laboratory and library research on an original problem, usually with a thesis.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 613 - Independent Project

Laboratory and library research on an original problem, usually with a thesis.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 614 - Independent Project

Laboratory and library research on an original problem, usually with a thesis.

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 621 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Ordinarily restricted to seniors. Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

CHEM 622 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Ordinarily restricted to seniors. Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

CHEM 623 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Ordinarily restricted to seniors. Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

CHEM 624 - Internship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Ordinarily restricted to seniors. Permission of instructor. Work with Internship Office.

CHEM 631 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

CHEM 632 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

CHEM 633 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

CHEM 634 - Preceptorship

Frequency: Every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor. Work with Academic Programs.

CHEM 641 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the seniors honors project.

Frequency: Offered every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 642 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the seniors honors project.

Frequency: Offered every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 643 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the seniors honors project.

Frequency: Offered every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.

CHEM 644 - Honors Independent

Independent research, writing, or other preparation leading to the culmination of the seniors honors project.

Frequency: Offered every semester.

Prerequisite(s)

Permission of instructor.