Chemistry bachelor of science degree

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Overview

Search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to discover, develop, or improve synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products.


Chemistry is the science of the structure, properties, and reactions of matter.  Chemists seek to understand matter at the molecular and atomic level.  Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of biology, biochemistry, geology and medicine, and areas of astronomy, physics, and engineering.  The RIT chemistry degree prepares you for work in all areas of chemistry.  You will be prepared for a wide variety of professional positions in industrial manufacturing and research, government, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.  You will also be ready to continue with graduate studies in chemistry or professional education in medicine or other health-related fields.

The American Chemical Society (ACS)-approved chemistry major prepares you for positions in several fields of chemistry, including professional industrial work in processing and laboratory operations, research and experimental work, supervision of technical projects, and managerial positions. A substantial number of students continue their education and earn advanced degrees in chemistry or pursue careers in pharmacy, medicine, and dentistry.

The chemistry major allows for flexibility in the type and number of chemistry and university-wide elective courses you decide to take. The major also provides you with the option of planning an elective concentration in a complementary field such as imaging science, business, graphic arts, psychology, biology, criminal justice, computer science, engineering, environmental science, forensics, mathematics, packaging science, or physics.

Cooperative education

The chemistry major may be completed in four or five years, depending on the amount of cooperative education experience each student elects to complete. Co-op may begin as early as the summer after the first year. Students may elect to complete the BS degree requirements in a traditional four-year program with three summers of co-op work experience. Students who choose to complete co-op requirements during the academic year may be required to extend the length of their program.

Industries


  • Medical Devices

  • Manufacturing

  • Food and Beverage

  • Consumer Packaged Goods

Typical Job Titles

Materials Scientist Assistant/Associate Research and Development Scientist
Quality Control Specialist Analytical Chemist
Organic Chemist Inorganic Chemist
Physical Chemist Medical Chemist
Lab Technician

100%

outcome rate of graduates

$50.6k

median first-year salary of graduates

Curriculum

Chemistry, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CHEM-130
Chemical Connections
This course introduces first-year chemistry and biochemistry majors to the topics of chemical safety, ethics, database searching, citation protocol, presentation development and execution as well as the career options in the field and opportunities at RIT and beyond. These topics will be covered in the context of developing a product that the student will accomplish during the lab component of the course.
1
CHEM-151
General Chemistry
An accelerated entry-level course designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Topics include measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium and acid-base chemistry.
3
CHEM-155
Chemistry Workshop
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts.
2
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
CHMO-331
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I
This course is a rigorous study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. The course will also provide an introduction to chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, alkene, and alkyne reactions. This course will require the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions.
3
CHMO-335
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I Lab
This course prepares students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and to carryout reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-331.
1
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
ACSC-010
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
0
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
First Year LAS Elective
3
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
CHMA-161
Quantitative Analysis
This course will introduce students to quantitative methods. The course will cover gravimetric techniques, equilibria, statistical methods, and solution chemistry. In addition, equilibrium for polyprotic acids, electrochemistry and potentiometry will be discussed.
3
CHMA-165
Analytical Methods Lab
This laboratory is designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors or those interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry. Experiments include statistics, calibration of equipment, spectroscopy, volumetric analyses, kinetics, Gran Plot, double endpoint titrations, potentiometric titration, photometric determination of copper, and water hardness.
1
CHMO-332
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course is a comprehensive study of the structure, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic rings, ketones, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Students will apply their knowledge from CHMO-331 to predict products and derive mechanisms that describe various organic reactions.
3
CHMO-336
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II Lab
This course teaches students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-332. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture and perform qualitative analysis of unknown compounds. Students are expected to do significant work outside of lab.
2
CHMI-351
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
This course covers descriptive inorganic reactions in terms of periodic trends. Topics will include nucleosynthesis and the birth of the universe, applications used in large-scale industrial processes and their environmental impacts, nanostructured materials, and bonding theory will also be discussed. A detailed study of solid-state chemistry and structure will also be addressed.
3
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed.
3
PHYS-211
LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
MATH-233
Linear Systems and Differential Equations
This is an introductory course in linear algebra and ordinary differential equations in which a scientific computing package is used to clarify mathematical concepts, visualize problems, and work with large systems. The course covers matrix algebra, the basic notions and techniques of ordinary differential equations with constant coefficients, and the physical situation in which they arise.
4
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Immersion 1
3
Third Year
CHMA-261
Instrumental Analysis
This course presents a preliminary treatment of instrumental theory and technique. The course will cover the theory and implementation of spectroscopic, mass spectrometric, and chemical separations instrumentation and techniques. Instrumental techniques include: atomic and molecular emission and absorption and emission spectroscopies, atomic and molecular mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography.
3
CHMA-265
Instrumental Analysis Lab
This course presents hands-on experience with modern chemical instrumentation including a number of spectroscopic techniques, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, and other. The course will cover the theory of operation of each instrument, their capabilities, and their limitations. Students will perform experiments utilizing modern chemical instrumentation and gain experience in analyzing data and presenting experimental results.
1
CHMP-441
Physical Chemistry I
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics will be developed. Mathematical models that provide quantitative predictions will be described for thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. These contain the mathematical underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: gases, temperature, energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and the Second and Third laws, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, criteria for equilibrium and spontaneity, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetic molecular theory and chemical kinetics.
3
PHYS-212
LAS Perspective 6: University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
CHMP-442
Physical Chemistry II
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles of quantum chemistry, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in quantum chemistry will be developed. Mathematical models will be described, which contain the underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: Postulates and formulation of Schrödinger equations, Operators and matrix elements, Solutions for the particle-in-a-box, simple harmonic oscillators, the rigid rotor and angular momentum, the hydrogen atom; spin, the Pauli principle. Approximation methods will be described for the helium atom, the hydrogen molecule ion, the hydrogen molecule, Diatomic molecules. Linear combinations of atomic orbitals and computational chemistry will be introduced and quantum chemistry applications will be provided. In addition this course will cover standard thermodynamic functions expressed in partition functions and spectroscopy and light-matter interaction
3
CHMP-445
Experimental Physical Chemistry (WI)
An advanced laboratory course on the use of wet chemical and instrumental analysis to apply, test and formulate physical and mathematical models to explain chemical phenomena. Emphasis is placed on formulating a scientific argument, supported by experimental evidence and established theories, and presented in a formal technical report.
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Fourth Year
CHMI-564
Structural Inorganic Chemistry
3
 
Advanced Chemistry Electives§
6
 
Advanced Chemistry Lab§
2
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
123

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Advanced chemistry electives

Course
CHMA-621
Advanced Instrumental Analysis Lab
This is a capstone course requiring students to develop experimental protocols involving advanced techniques in instrumental analysis. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required.
CHMA-711
Advanced Instrumental Analysis
The theory, applications, and limitations of selected instrumental methods in qualitative, quantitative and structural analysis will be discussed. This course is also intended to give an opportunity to develop writing and revising abilities, as well as communication skills. Library, literature, and textbook research will be required.
CHMA-740
Practical NMR
A graduate level lecture and laboratory course designed to teach a student how to use a Bruker high-resolution NMR spectrometer to perform a variety of chemical analyses. Students are presented a series of brief descriptions of how to perform various functions and experiments on a Bruker NMR. Students then receive hands-on training and perform the experiment. Specific operations taught include: file management, magnet shimming, probe tuning, parameter optimization, pulse sequence development, one-dimensional and two-dimensional acquisitions, variable temperature studies, data processing, diffusion measurements, and measuring relaxation times. This course serves as mechanism to gain different levels of access to the Chemistry Department's NMR spectrometers.
CHEM-489
Advanced Special Topics
This is an advanced course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures.
CHEM-495
Advanced Chemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
CHEM-498
Advanced Chemistry Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study.
CHMB-405
Biochemistry Experimental Techniques
An introduction to the theory and practice of modern experimental biochemical laboratory techniques and concepts. The weekly two-hour lecture provides a theoretical framework for the course and includes a discussion of the properties of biomolecules and how those properties are exploited in the separation and characterization of the molecules. Practical laboratory techniques include the preparation of buffers, centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoretic methods, and UV-visible spectrophotometry as applied to the isolation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. The manipulation of genetic material in E. coli will also be executed. This course will be offered in a writing intensive format where the students will write and submit the different sections found in scientific papers (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, figures, tables) in an iterative fashion that will include regular feedback from the instructor.
CHMB-460
Infectious Disease: Impact on Society and Culture
This course investigates the mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, and other microbial infectious agents. This course also covers the historical, social, and cultural impact that these infectious diseases have had on society. Topics may include: antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, vaccines, gut microflora and health, foodborne illnesses, bioterrorism, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and staph infections.
CHMB-495
Advanced Biochemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
CHMB-610
Advanced Protein Biochemistry
This course analyzes protein structure function relationships. Students will investigate how proteins function and how the structure relates to that function. The principles that explain enzyme rate enhancements and mechanistic enzymology will be examined. Additionally, protein superfamilies for phylogenetic relationships will be explored to enhance understanding of protein structure-function relationships. Students will read and discuss the current scientific literature and classic papers.
CHMB-702
Protein Conformation and Dynamics
An advanced study of the structure and function of proteins and enzymes. Biophysical and mechanistic aspects of enzyme function will be examined. Applications of computation to protein structure will also be discussed.
CHMB-704
Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
This course will cover nucleic acid structures as determined by NMR and X-ray crystallography and nucleic acid catalysis, especially that of ribozymes. Genomics, specifically whole-genome sequencing papers, will be analyzed. Current RNA topics including the RNA World, Ribozymes, RNAi, and Riboswitches will be discussed. Current DNA topics including Lateral/Horizontal DNA Transfer, Genome Duplication, Alternate Gene Expression and Synthetic Life will also be discussed.
CHMI-565
Preparative Inorganic Chemistry Lab
This course provides a laboratory environment for students to learn the strategies necessary to synthesize a wide variety of inorganic compounds and organometallic complexes. Students will learn how to plan and develop synthetic protocols in both atmospheric and inert reaction processes. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required.
CHMP-636
Spec ID of Organic Compounds
CHMO-535
Advanced Techniques in Organic Synthesis
This advanced lab course teaches students to perform advanced techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. Techniques covered include working under inert atmospheres, working with air-sensitive reagents, using syringes, purification methods, and carrying on material for subsequent synthetic steps. Characterization of synthesized compounds will be conducted.
CHMO-637
Advanced Organic Chemistry 
This course will revisit many of the reactions covered in the first year of organic chemistry with an emphasis on stereochemical control. Students will be introduced to the technique of retrosynthesis. The course will introduce more reactions with an emphasis on current topics from the literature. Students will hone their skills in writing electron pushing mechanisms and the use of protecting groups while practicing the art of designing synthetic strategies for making natural products.
CHMO-640
Mechanisms of Drug Interactions
Drugs are naturally occurring or synthetic substances that upon exposure to a living organism form complexes with biological targets. These complexes result in a characteristic pharmacological effect which alter physiological functions or counteract environmental insults. The goal of this course is to systematically study drug discovery, lead optimization, drug-receptor interactions, and bioavailability. Historically important drug classes and their mechanism of action will receive special consideration.
CHMO-710
Literature Explorations in Organic Synthesis
This course will be a survey of the recent literature in organic chemistry with a focus on the chemistry concerning the synthesis of natural products and/or methodology towards synthesizing natural products. During each week of the course a student is selected to lead a discussion based on an article from a premier journal. This course may be repeated for credit.
CHMO-739
Physical Organic Chemistry
This course covers topics in physical organic chemistry including: techniques for elucidation of mechanism (kinetic, and linear free energy relationships); isotope effects; molecular orbital theory; and electrocyclic reactions.
CHMP-751
Colloid and Interface Science
The parallel growth of nanotechnology and a molecular perspective in the medical and life sciences has focused attention on the colloidal domain structures of dimension 1 nm to 1 mm. This course will introduce colloid and interface science that will allow for an appreciation of the role of colloids in biological systems, industrial processes and commercial products.
CHMP-752
Molecular Photophysics and Photochemistry
This course provides a comprehensive and clear description of the concepts and principles of molecular photophysical processes and photochemistry. The practical methods required for associated photophysical characterization and measurement are presented along with important applications of molecular photonics in cutting-edge research. A review of quantum mechanics is given with the photochemist in mind such that the student is encouraged to make more use of quantum mechanical terms, quantities and concepts. The course covers the interaction of light with molecular orbitals to form an excited state, and its subsequent de-activation. Applications such as lasers, spectroscopy, photoinduced charge transfer in modern organic photovoltaics and photosynthesis are described.
CHMP-753
Computational Chemistry
This course will introduce students to an in-depth investigation into the computational theories and applications used to model complex physical and chemical phenomena. Computational methods are used to provide synergy linking experiment with theory involving such chemical processes as reaction mechanisms, docking, energy transfer and conformational conversions. Predicting spectral and thermodynamic properties of molecular systems and ensembles will also be treated.
CHPO-706
Polymer Chemistry I
This course offers an in-depth survey of contemporary chemistry involved in the synthesis of high molecular weight polymers and macromolecules and the relationships between their structure, functionality, and applications. The course focuses on fundamental principles that govern chain structure and statistics, solution behavior, and characterization of polymers. Specific attention is given to recent advances and current issues in the synthesis of polymers, and to controlled architecture and self-assembly of polymers and macromolecules.
CHPO-707
Polymer Chemistry II
This course further investigates the contemporary chemistry of high molecular weight polymers and macromolecules and the relationships between their structure, functionality, and utility. The course focuses on fundamental principles that govern swollen gels and soft matter. Mechanisms of the formation of polymers containing heteroatoms in their chains are examined in detail. Specific attention is given to the synthesis of polymers of controlled architecture and self-assembly, and of polymers and macromolecules. Dendrimers, hyper-branched polymers, functional polymers, polymeric reagents, polyelectrolytes, and biopolymers are also discussed.
CHPO-708
Polymer Synthesis and Characterization Lab
Students will synthesize about eight polymers and characterize them carry by specific methods. In about half of those experiments step-growth polymerizations and in the other half chain-addition polymerizations will be performed. Among the polymers produced will be Nylon 6-10, Nylon 11, polystyrene, high-density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, copolymer of styrene and methyl methacrylate and polyurethane. The most specific types of polymerizations and reactions introduced will be cross-linking polymer, interfacial and bulk step-growth polymerizations, cyclopolymerization, radical, ionic and coordinative chain polymerizations. The methods of characterization which will be applied are infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, titrations, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), measurement of swelling, and viscometry.

Accelerated dual degree options

Accelerated dual degree options are available to students who wish to earn both a BS and an MS in five years.

Chemistry, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
CHEM-130
Chemical Connections
This course introduces first-year chemistry and biochemistry majors to the topics of chemical safety, ethics, database searching, citation protocol, presentation development and execution as well as the career options in the field and opportunities at RIT and beyond. These topics will be covered in the context of developing a product that the student will accomplish during the lab component of the course.
1
CHEM-151
General Chemistry
An accelerated entry-level course designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Topics include measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium and acid-base chemistry.
3
CHEM-155
Chemistry Workshop
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts.
2
CHMO-331
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I
This course is a rigorous study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. The course will also provide an introduction to chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, alkene, and alkyne reactions. This course will require the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions.
3
CHMO-335
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I Lab
This course prepares students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and to carryout reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-331.
1
ACSC-010
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
First Year LAS Elective
3
 
First Year Writing (WI)
0
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
CHMA-161
Quantitative Analysis
This course will introduce students to quantitative methods. The course will cover gravimetric techniques, equilibria, statistical methods, and solution chemistry. In addition, equilibrium for polyprotic acids, electrochemistry and potentiometry will be discussed.
3
CHMO-332
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course is a comprehensive study of the structure, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic rings, ketones, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Students will apply their knowledge from CHMO-331 to predict products and derive mechanisms that describe various organic reactions.
3
CHMO-336
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II Lab
This course teaches students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-332. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture and perform qualitative analysis of unknown compounds. Students are expected to do significant work outside of lab.
2
CHMA-165
Analytical Methods Lab
This laboratory is designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors or those interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry. Experiments include statistics, calibration of equipment, spectroscopy, volumetric analyses, kinetics, Gran Plot, double endpoint titrations, potentiometric titration, photometric determination of copper, and water hardness.
1
PHYS-211
University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed.
3
CHMI-351
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
This course covers descriptive inorganic reactions in terms of periodic trends. Topics will include nucleosynthesis and the birth of the universe, applications used in large-scale industrial processes and their environmental impacts, nanostructured materials, and bonding theory will also be discussed. A detailed study of solid-state chemistry and structure will also be addressed.
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Immersion 1
3
Third Year
PHYS-212
University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
CHMA-261
Instrumental Analysis
This course presents a preliminary treatment of instrumental theory and technique. The course will cover the theory and implementation of spectroscopic, mass spectrometric, and chemical separations instrumentation and techniques. Instrumental techniques include: atomic and molecular emission and absorption and emission spectroscopies, atomic and molecular mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography.
3
CHMA-265
Instrumental Analysis Lab
This course presents hands-on experience with modern chemical instrumentation including a number of spectroscopic techniques, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, and other. The course will cover the theory of operation of each instrument, their capabilities, and their limitations. Students will perform experiments utilizing modern chemical instrumentation and gain experience in analyzing data and presenting experimental results.
1
CHMP-441
Physical Chemistry I
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics will be developed. Mathematical models that provide quantitative predictions will be described for thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. These contain the mathematical underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: gases, temperature, energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and the Second and Third laws, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, criteria for equilibrium and spontaneity, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetic molecular theory and chemical kinetics.
3
CHMP-442
Physical Chemistry II
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles of quantum chemistry, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in quantum chemistry will be developed. Mathematical models will be described, which contain the underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: Postulates and formulation of Schrödinger equations, Operators and matrix elements, Solutions for the particle-in-a-box, simple harmonic oscillators, the rigid rotor and angular momentum, the hydrogen atom; spin, the Pauli principle. Approximation methods will be described for the helium atom, the hydrogen molecule ion, the hydrogen molecule, Diatomic molecules. Linear combinations of atomic orbitals and computational chemistry will be introduced and quantum chemistry applications will be provided. In addition this course will cover standard thermodynamic functions expressed in partition functions and spectroscopy and light-matter interaction
3
CHEm-445
Experimental Physical Chemistry
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
LAS Electives
9
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
Choose one of the following:
6
 
   Graduate Chemistry Focus Course (Project track)
 
  CHEM-790
   Chemistry Research (Thesis track)
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
 
CHMI-664
Moderm Inorganic Chemistry
3
CHEM-771
Graduate Chemistry Seminar I
Chemists are required to communicate information about their research, laboratory, and themselves orally. Graduate Chemistry Seminar I is the first in a series of four courses designed to develop the ability to assimilate useful information and organize a chemistry seminar while increasing a student's breadth and depth of knowledge of chemical research topics. This seminar requires the students to attend weekly chemistry seminars and write seminar summaries. Additionally, each student will present a seminar on their proposed research that also summarizes the scientific literature related to the research.
1
CHEM-772
Graduate Chemistry Seminar II
Chemists are required to communicate information about their research, laboratory, and themselves orally. Graduate Chemistry Seminar II is the second in a series of four courses designed to develop the ability to assimilate useful information and organize a chemistry seminar while increasing a student's breadth and depth of knowledge of chemical research topics. This seminar requires the students to attend weekly chemistry seminars and write seminar summaries.
1
CHEM-670
Graduate Chemistry Writing
Chemists are required to communicate information about their research, laboratory, and themselves in writing. This course is designed to develop these skills. Students will learn how to write a curriculum vitae, resume, laboratory overview, short and long research abstracts, and scientific research articles using the various formats and styles used by chemists. An integral part of the writing of a research article is the initial formulation of the research hypothesis and design of experiments to test the hypothesis. This course will also review and stress the importance of these components.
1
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
Advanced Chemistry Lab Course
2
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Fifth Year
CHEM-773
Graduate Chemistry Seminar III
Chemists are required to communicate information about their research, laboratory, and themselves orally. Graduate Chemistry Seminar III is the third in a series of four courses designed to develop the ability to assimilate useful information and organize a chemistry seminar while increasing a student's breadth and depth of knowledge of chemical research topics. This seminar requires students to attend weekly chemistry seminars and write seminar summaries throughout the four semesters. Additionally, each student must invite, organize, host, and introduce an external seminar speaker to participate in the Chemistry Seminar Series.
1
CHEM-774
Graduate Chemistry Seminar IV
Professional chemists are required to communicate information about their research, laboratory, and themselves orally. Graduate Chemistry Seminar IV is the fourth in a series of four courses designed to develop the ability to assimilate useful information and organize a chemistry seminar while increasing a student's breadth and depth of knowledge of chemical research topics. This seminar requires the students to attend weekly chemistry seminars and write seminar summaries. Additionally, each student will present a seminar summarizing their thesis research at RIT which serves as the public portion of their thesis defense.
1
 
Approved Chemistry Graduate Courses
18
Choose one of the following:
4
  CHEM-780
   Chemistry Project
Chemistry project accomplished by the MS student for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the project advisor.
 
  CHEM-790
   Research and Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
 
Total Semester Credit Hours
150

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Chemistry, BS degree/Materials science and engineering, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CHEM-130
Chemical Connections
This course introduces first-year chemistry and biochemistry majors to the topics of chemical safety, ethics, database searching, citation protocol, presentation development and execution as well as the career options in the field and opportunities at RIT and beyond. These topics will be covered in the context of developing a product that the student will accomplish during the lab component of the course.
1
CHEM-151
General Chemistry
An accelerated entry-level course designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Topics include measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium and acid-base chemistry.
3
CHEM-155
Chemistry Workshop
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts.
2
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
CHMO-331
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I
This course is a rigorous study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. The course will also provide an introduction to chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, alkene, and alkyne reactions. This course will require the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions.
3
CHMO-335
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I Lab
This course prepares students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and to carryout reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-331.
1
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
ACSC-010
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
0
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
First Year LAS Elective
3
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
CHMA-161
Quantitative Analysis
This course will introduce students to quantitative methods. The course will cover gravimetric techniques, equilibria, statistical methods, and solution chemistry. In addition, equilibrium for polyprotic acids, electrochemistry and potentiometry will be discussed.
3
CHMA-165
Analytical Methods Lab
This laboratory is designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors or those interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry. Experiments include statistics, calibration of equipment, spectroscopy, volumetric analyses, kinetics, Gran Plot, double endpoint titrations, potentiometric titration, photometric determination of copper, and water hardness.
1
CHMO-332
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course is a comprehensive study of the structure, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic rings, ketones, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Students will apply their knowledge from CHMO-331 to predict products and derive mechanisms that describe various organic reactions.
3
CHMO-336
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II Lab
This course teaches students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-332. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture and perform qualitative analysis of unknown compounds. Students are expected to do significant work outside of lab.
2
CHMI-351
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
This course covers descriptive inorganic reactions in terms of periodic trends. Topics will include nucleosynthesis and the birth of the universe, applications used in large-scale industrial processes and their environmental impacts, nanostructured materials, and bonding theory will also be discussed. A detailed study of solid-state chemistry and structure will also be addressed.
3
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
MATH-233
Linear Systems and Differential Equations
This is an introductory course in linear algebra and ordinary differential equations in which a scientific computing package is used to clarify mathematical concepts, visualize problems, and work with large systems. The course covers matrix algebra, the basic notions and techniques of ordinary differential equations with constant coefficients, and the physical situation in which they arise.
4
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed.
3
PHYS-211
LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Immersion 1
3
Third Year
CHMA-261
Instrumental Analysis
This course presents a preliminary treatment of instrumental theory and technique. The course will cover the theory and implementation of spectroscopic, mass spectrometric, and chemical separations instrumentation and techniques. Instrumental techniques include: atomic and molecular emission and absorption and emission spectroscopies, atomic and molecular mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography.
3
CHMA-265
Instrumental Analysis Lab
This course presents hands-on experience with modern chemical instrumentation including a number of spectroscopic techniques, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, and other. The course will cover the theory of operation of each instrument, their capabilities, and their limitations. Students will perform experiments utilizing modern chemical instrumentation and gain experience in analyzing data and presenting experimental results.
1
CHMP-441
Physical Chemistry I
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics will be developed. Mathematical models that provide quantitative predictions will be described for thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. These contain the mathematical underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: gases, temperature, energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and the Second and Third laws, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, criteria for equilibrium and spontaneity, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetic molecular theory and chemical kinetics.
3
PHYS-212
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): University Physics II
This course is a continuation of PHYS-211, University Physics I. Topics include electrostatics, Gauss' law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, DC circuits, magnetic field, Ampere's law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
4
CHMP-442
Physical Chemistry II
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles of quantum chemistry, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in quantum chemistry will be developed. Mathematical models will be described, which contain the underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: Postulates and formulation of Schrödinger equations, Operators and matrix elements, Solutions for the particle-in-a-box, simple harmonic oscillators, the rigid rotor and angular momentum, the hydrogen atom; spin, the Pauli principle. Approximation methods will be described for the helium atom, the hydrogen molecule ion, the hydrogen molecule, Diatomic molecules. Linear combinations of atomic orbitals and computational chemistry will be introduced and quantum chemistry applications will be provided. In addition this course will cover standard thermodynamic functions expressed in partition functions and spectroscopy and light-matter interaction
3
CHMP-445
Experimental Physical Chemistry (WI)
An advanced laboratory course on the use of wet chemical and instrumental analysis to apply, test and formulate physical and mathematical models to explain chemical phenomena. Emphasis is placed on formulating a scientific argument, supported by experimental evidence and established theories, and presented in a formal technical report.
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Fourth Year
CHMI-564
Structural Inorganic Chemistry
3
 
Advanced Chemistry Electives§
6
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
Advanced Chemistry Lab§
2
 
LAS Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Fifth Year
MTSE-601
Introduction to Materials Science
This course provides an understanding of the relationship between structure and properties necessary for the development of new materials. Topics include atomic and crystal structure, crystalline defects, diffusion, theories, strengthening mechanisms, ferrous alloys, cast irons, structure of ceramics and polymeric materials and corrosion principles. Term paper on materials topic.
3
MTSE-705
Experimental Techniques
The course will introduce the students to laboratory equipment for hardness testing, impact testing, tensile testing, X-ray diffraction, SEM, and thermal treatment of metallic materials. Experiments illustrating the characterization of high molecular weight organic polymers will be performed.
3
MTSE-790
Research Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
9
MTSE-704
Theoretical Methods
This course includes the treatment of vector analysis, special functions, waves, and fields; Maxwell Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, and their applications. Selected topics of interest in electrodynamics, fluid mechanics, and statistical mechanics will also be discussed.
3
 
Graduate Elective§
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

§ Please see adviser for complete list of elective choices.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
  • Chemistry required

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, chemistry, math, and physics

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in liberal arts with chemistry option; chemical technology, laboratory technology

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

Undergraduate research opportunities

Students are encouraged to meet the professors in the School of Chemistry & Materials Science early in their time on campus. Many of our students join research labs and engage in research starting as early as their first year. Participation in undergraduate research leads to opportunities to make presentations at local and national conferences. Many of our student researchers also become contributing authors on peer-reviewed manuscripts.