Catalog 2021-2022

Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics

Faculty: Associate Professor Jackman, Chair; Associate Professor Schuler, Associate Chair of Physics; Professors Evans-Nguyen, Werner; Associate Professors Ballard, Carastro, Deneault, Masserini, Witherow; Assistant Professors Bronikowski, Crnojevic, Crosby, Deister, Gordon, Hemric, Lien, Longstreet, Perry, Struss, Theodore, B. Wilson; Associate Teaching Professors Murray, M. Wilson; Assistant Teaching Professors Fetto, Lee, Ortega, Scharf, Yanello; Instructors Dormer, Henchey, Morris.


Degrees offered:  B.S. in chemistry, ACS-certified; B.S. in chemistry; B.A. in chemistry; B.S. in biochemistry, ASBMB-accredited; B.S. in chemistry with biochemistry concentration, ACS-certified; B.A. in biochemistry; B.S. in forensic science; B.S. in marine chemistry; B.S. in physics; B.A. in physics. Minors in chemistry and physics are also offered.

The Department offers chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science and marine chemistry students a solid foundation in the five major areas of chemistry: analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry. Research projects, publishing opportunities, internships and classes with both lecture and laboratory experience give chemistry majors the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory experience to either enter the job market with a B.S. degree or go on to graduate or professional school.

Each program is a continuum of prerequisites designed to develop the student’s knowledge of chemistry in each of the five major areas. In upper-level classes, the average course size drops to approximately 10 students per class. This small class size gives students the opportunity to work with equipment not often available to undergraduates at larger institutions, and allows for frequent, direct interaction with the faculty.

The department also offers students a comprehensive program of study in physics and astronomy, leading toward the B.S. degree in physics. This program is designed to prepare students not only for advanced studies at the graduate level, but also to provide important problem solving and research skills and experience needed for employment in physics and other scientific and technology disciplines.

Given the small class size at the University and the varied research interests of the chemistry and physics faculty, experiential learning opportunities are available and encouraged. Students working with faculty members have completed projects in separation and fluorescence of rare earth elements; environmental analysis; marine nutrient analysis; natural product isolation, structural elucidation and assay for biological activity; astrochemistry; protein chemistry; computational chemistry; green chemistry reaction discovery; organic reaction mechanisms; exoplanet research; electroanalysis; stellar spectral analysis: galaxy formation and evolution, and biosensor development.

Each member of the faculty is an expert in at least one of the aforementioned areas of chemistry and physics. Chemistry and physics majors may request assignment to a faculty member who serves as an advisor and whose specialty coincides with the student’s area of interest. Advisors and students work together to select courses, review academic and professional progress, and discuss career and graduate opportunities.