2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog
Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science
The Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science offers two degrees: a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (B.Ch.E.) as a 3 + 2 dual degree program in conjunction with North Carolina State University. As a central scientific discipline, chemistry impacts human life in many ways and the understanding of chemistry is critical for solving the world’s most important problems. To serve the diverse interests of our students, the department offers six different concentrations to students seeking the B.S. degree in chemistry. The Biochemistry concentration is designed for students who are interested in the application of chemical principles to the life sciences; it prepares students for chemical, forensics, and pharmaceutical industries or graduate school in biochemistry or related fields. The Chemistry Entrepreneurship concentration is intended for students who wish to pursue the fields of chemistry and business; it contains a solid foundation in chemistry and an introduction to business and entrepreneurship coursework. The General (Applied) Chemistry concentration is a traditional chemistry track that prepares students for a career in the chemical industry or for graduate school in chemistry or related fields. The Materials Science concentration is ideal for students interested in the growing field of nanotechnology and materials on all scales; it prepares students for a variety of graduate programs in engineering, industry, and related fields. The Pre-Pharmacy concentration is designed to prepare students for success in professional pharmacy degree programs. The Pre-Health concentration gives students the foundation they need for careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, veterinary medicine, and other health related careers. The B.Ch.E. degree prepares students to work in a wide range of industries to solve technical problems, create and improve products, or for graduate study in chemical engineering. The minors in chemistry, materials science, and physics are designed for undergraduates majoring in other areas who seek degree recognition for their background in chemistry, materials science, and physics. Other course offerings by the department include comprehensive courses in astronomy, geology, physical science, and physics, which prepare students for further studies in these fields. The department also offers courses as a service to other disciplines as an integral part of the university’s core education requirements.
Student Learning Outcomes
The Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to certify the degrees of graduating students who have completed the curriculum and professional training recommended by ACS for chemistry B.S. degree graduates. An ACS-approved program is committed to providing its majors with a broadly based and intellectually challenging experience in chemistry. An ACS-certified degree indicates that the student has completed rigorous course work that provides them with the skills needed for a successful career in science.
The ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) sets the standards for an ACS certified degree, namely:
- Be able to demonstrate foundation knowledge in the five areas of chemistry (analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry).
- Be able to access, search, and use the chemical literature.
- Be knowledgeable in classical laboratory techniques and be able to use modern instrumentation.
- Be able to design and carry out scientific experiments and record and analyze the resulting data.
- Be able to work and collaborate as part of a team.
- Be knowledgeable in proper safety procedures and regulations in handling and disposal of chemicals.
- Be able to communicate scientific information to chemists and non-chemists in writing and orally.
- Be knowledgeable of ethical practices in science.
Students in the General Chemistry and Materials Science concentrations earn an ACS-certified degree without additional coursework beyond the courses required for the B.S. degree. Students in other concentrations can earn an ACS-certified degree by fulfilling additional laboratory and coursework requirements set by CPT.