Chemistry is the study of the principles that govern matter and the chemical transformations of matter. This fundamental discipline plays a pivotal role in all of the sciences. In fact, life itself is essentially a complicated system of interrelated chemical processes. In the study of Chemistry, the student is exposed to atomic and molecular structure, properties of matter, chemical reactions, and spectroscopy.
A student who successfully completes the Chemistry Major gains basic theoretical knowledge and practical experimental skills in areas of inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry. Courses in the supporting areas provide a basic foundation in calculus, physics, and subjects necessary to understanding modern chemical concepts. Coordinated laboratory experiences reinforce concepts presented in lecture classes. Students also benefit from “hands-on” use of modern chemical instrumentation and from student research, a requirement of every student majoring in Chemistry.
Knowledge of chemistry is necessary for all health and allied health professional programs, geochemistry, environmental science, and molecular biology. Students seeking entrance into professional and graduate programs in these areas are well-prepared as Chemistry majors. Employment opportunities (academic and research laboratories, governmental agencies, hazardous materials management, sales, environmental testing, and remediation) remain good for students possessing undergraduate degrees in Chemistry. Opportunities expand exponentially for those students who continue their training for a masters or doctoral degree. Chemistry graduates from Western have been successful in their careers because of the theoretical and practical training received in their areas of emphasis.
The Chemistry Major at Western consists of a comprehensive program offering three areas of emphasis selected according to the interests and career goals of the student. These emphases are: general chemistry, biochemistry, and secondary licensure.
The Secondary Licensure Emphasis in Chemistry qualifies students for the State of Colorado License in Science Education. Other Chemistry emphases may also be used for licensure but may require additional classes. In addition, the student must fulfill the requirements of the Secondary Licensure Program (see description under Education).
Capstone Course Requirement
An introductory course which addresses the basic facts and principles of chemistry, as well as the history of chemistry, practical aspects of chemistry, and relevance of chemistry. Topics covered in the course are dependent on the instructor and contemporary events. This course is designed for non-science majors without a background in chemistry or mathematics and may not be counted toward the Chemistry Major or Minor.
A survey of inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on chemical principles, atomic theory, periodic law, chemical equilibrium, equations, solutions, and descriptive chemistry of the elements. This course is designed for non-majors without a background in chemistry or mathematics and may not be counted toward the Chemistry Major or Minor.
An introductory course designed for science majors focusing on principles and applications of chemistry. Previous experience with chemistry is expected. Topics covered are stoichiometry, bonding models, intermolecular forces, and periodic trends. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above; SAT math score of 560 or above; MATH 140 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer Advanced Algebra and Functions test score of 280 or above; or corequisite MATH 140 and ACT math score of 21 or above or SAT math score of 540 or above or Accuplacer Advanced Algebra and Functions test score of 245 or above; or instructor permission. GT-SC2
An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Additional course fee applies. Corequisite: CHEM 111.
A continuation of CHEM 112. An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 113. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.
A single semester general chemistry course designed for engineering students. Previous experience with chemistry is expected. Topics include atomic structure, bonding models, stoichiometry, states of matter, intermolecular forces, thermodynamics (including calorimetry, enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy), and equilibrium. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 23 or above; SAT math score of 560 or above; MATH 140 with a minimum grade of C-; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test score of 65 or above.
A descriptive survey course which introduces the essential topics and applications of organic chemistry and biochemistry. The course is designed for non-majors who need the second semester of a one-year chemistry core that includes general, organic, and biochemistry.This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Prerequisite: CHEM 101 or CHEM 113.
An introductory laboratory to accompany CHEM 231. Experiments focus on reactions of organic functional groups, organic synthesis, and the chemistry of biological molecules.This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231.
In this course designed for chemistry majors, students learn about the organization of the chemical literature, important resources for navigating the literature of chemistry, and methods for selecting the most appropriate resources. Students will work on effective written, oral and graphical communication for chemistry and the sciences. Prerequisites: COM 202, CHEM113 and CHEM114.
First semester course of a two semester organic chemistry sequence. This course is an in depth study of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Topics include their naming, electronic structure, bonding, reactivity, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms Prerequisite: CHEM 113.
An accompanying laboratory course for CHEM 331, serving as an introduction to basic macro-and micro- scale organic techniques used to separate, isolate, and characterize organic compounds. Methods utilized include distillation, extraction, chromatography, Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 114. Corequisite: CHEM 331.
This lab is a continuation of CHEM 334, with an expansion in scope that allows incorporation of more complex synthetic problems. The lab will employ the use of thin layer chromatography (TLC) to follow reaction progress along with NMR spectroscopy to determine reaction outcomes. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 334. Corequisite: CHEM 332.
A lecture/laboratory course examining the theory and techniques of instrumental methods of quantitative analysis, including spectrophotometric methods, electrochemical methods, and chromatography. Additional course fee applies. Prerequisite: CHEM 306
An experimental-techniques course in physical chemistry (including computer-assisted instruction), with emphasis on thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, and spectroscopy. Offered in alternate years. Additional course fee applies. Corequisite: CHEM 452 or PHYS 452.
Overview of the aqueous environment and its effects on solutes, including biomolecules. Other subject matters include the chemistry of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids; the mechanisms and kinetics of enzymes; and the stoichiometry and chemistry underlying core metabolic processes, energy production, cellular respiration and the regulation of these processes. Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and CHEM 332
A continuation of CHEM 471. The course integrates the study of metabolic processes and regulation to the synthesis of lipids and other biologically important molecules. Topics include membranes and molecular transport, biosignaling and receptors, hormonal regulation of metabolism, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and nitrogen metabolism. Plant biochemistry, including photosynthesis and carbohydrate production are introduced as well. Prerequisite: CHEM 471
Biochemical techniques laboratory course involving analytical experiments with proteins, nucleic acids and other biological molecules. Basic spectrophotometric techniques are introduced and utilized in biochemical research applications. Molecular separations using a variety of chromatographic techniques to purify and characterize enzymes from both native tissues and recombinant enzymes produced from bacterial systems are performed. Additional course fees apply. Prerequisite/Corequisite: CHEM 471
An advanced, supervised laboratory or literature research experience involving methods of chemical research in an area of analytical, physical, organic, or biochemistry. A research paper and oral presentation of research results is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 302.