Chemistry

Overview

The curriculum of the Chemistry Department is designed to provide the student with a sound and comprehensive grasp of the principles of chemistry, including the laboratory experience necessary for basic research, teaching, and industrial research and development. Each student is expected to participate in a research program. Research facilities and instrumentation are excellent and qualified students may begin research projects as early as their first year. Faculty research grants augmented with support from major corporations and foundations have enabled the department to offer research stipends to qualified students each summer.

To the student preparing for medicine or related professions, training is offered in the fundamental and applied branches of chemistry. In addition, chemistry offers to the liberal arts student an appreciation and understanding of the discoveries, methods, and place of this subject in our society.

The program for majors also prepares them for entrance into the School of Engineering at Columbia University and the Applied Chemistry Program of the California Institute of Technology under the Combined Plan Program. Students interested in engineering should consult the Combined Plan Program for details.

American Chemical Society Membership

The Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society for the professional education of chemists. Completion of the suggested graduate school option admits students to full membership in the American Chemical Society upon graduation. Outlines of suggested four-year programs with emphasis in environmental chemistry, biochemistry, chemical physics, engineering, pre-medicine, and teaching may be obtained from the department chair.

Major Requirements

COURSEWORK

Chemistry Foundation

CHEM 120Foundations of General Chemistry

4

And

CHEM 150Molecular Symmetry and Structure

1

Or

CHEM 130Advanced Placement General Chemistry

4

 

CHEM 220Organic Chemistry I

4

CHEM 221Organic Chemistry II

4

CHEM 240Integrated Concepts in General Chemistry

4

CHEM 300Physical Chemistry I

4

CHEM 305Physical Chemistry II

4

CHEM 340Inorganic Chemistry

4

Directed Research

Students pursuing the Chemistry major must complete a minimum of four units of directed research.

CHEM 295Directed Research

2

CHEM 395Directed Research

4

Choose one additional CHEM course (must include a lab component)

CHEM 280Instrumental and Separation Techiniques in Organic Chemistry

2

CHEM 330Biocatalysis and Biotechnology

2

CHEM 332Instrumental Chemistry

4

CHEM 340Inorganic Chemistry

4

CHEM 350Biochemistry

4

CHEM 355Bioinformatics

2

CHEM 360Physical Organic Chemistry

2

CHEM 370Organometallic Chemistry

2

CHEM 380Organic Synthesis

2

PHYS 368Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

4

Mathematics Component

All chemistry majors must also complete Calculus 2 (MATH 120 or MATH 128).

Physics Component

Students must select one option as indicated below:

Option 1 - 

PHYS 110Introductory Mechanics

4

PHYS 120Introductory Electricity and Magnetism

4

Option 2 -

PHYS 115General Physics I

4

PHYS 125General Physics II

4

WRITING REQUIREMENT

Students majoring in Chemistry will satisfy the final component of Occidental College's campus-wide writing requirement by submitting a portfolio of four special reports, drawn from CHEM 240, CHEM 300L, CHEM 305L, CHEM 340 (or appropriate course work) in the fall semester of their senior year. Students should familiarize themselves with the departmental requirement at the time of declaring the major. See the Writing Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

COMPREHENSIVE REQUIREMENT

The student will satisfactorily present a seminar during the senior year on an area of current research in the field of chemistry to an audience of Occidental students, faculty, and guests. The student will also take a comprehensive examination in Chemistry. A student with an overall grade point average of 3.25 can earn distinction with a 75th percentile rank on the examination.

HONORS

Senior chemistry students with an overall grade point average of 3.25 are permitted to present a written thesis on their research for College Honors consideration at graduation. See the Honors Program and consult the department chair for additional information.

In order to graduate with American Chemical Society certification, it is necessary to take both CHEM 332 and CHEM 350.

CHEM 120 (or CHEM 130), CHEM 220, CHEM 221, and CHEM 240 satisfy the general and organic chemistry distribution requirements for the health professions.

Minor Requirements

Introduction to Chemistry:

Option 1-
CHEM 130Advanced Placement General Chemistry

4

Option 2 – take both
CHEM 120Foundations of General Chemistry

4

CHEM 150Molecular Symmetry and Structure

1

Organic Chemistry:

CHEM 220Organic Chemistry I

4

CHEM 221Organic Chemistry II

4

CHEM 240Integrated Concepts in General Chemistry

4

Electives:

Students must enroll in a minimum of eight units of Chemistry electives in order to complete the minor. CHEM 100, CHEM 104, CHEM 195, CHEM 295, CHEM 395 and CHEM 397 may not be included as electives.

Courses

Chemistry Courses

Faculty

Regular Faculty

Michael Hill, chair

Professor, Chemistry

Fletcher Jones Foundation Professor of Chemistry 

B.A., Macalester College; Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Jeffrey Cannon

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

B.A. Occidental College; Ph.D. University of California, Irvine

Chris Craney

Professor, Chemistry; Advisory Committee, Biochemistry

B.S., University of Puget Sound; M.S., D.A., Washington State University

Phoebe Dea

Fletcher Jones Professor, Chemistry

B.S., UCLA; Ph.D., Caltech

Donald Deardorff

Carl F. Braun Professor, Chemistry; Advisory Committee, Kinesiology

B.S., Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Ph.D., University of Arizona

Linda Lasater

Non Tenure Track Professor, Chemistry; Advisory Committee, Biochemistry

B.A., State University of New York; M.S., Nova University; Ph.D., University of South Florida

Aram Nersissian

Associate Professor, Chemistry; Advisory Committee, Biochemistry

B.S., Moscow State Lomonosov University; Ph.D., Armenian Academy of Sciences

Eileen Spain

Professor, Chemistry

Carl F. Braun Professor of Chemistry 

B.S., Sonoma State University; Ph.D., University of Utah

Andrew K. Udit

Associate Professor, Chemistry

H.B.Sc., University of Toronto; Ph.D., Caltech

On Special Appointment

Thomas Gregory Drummond

Adjunct Instructor, Chemistry

B.A., University of West Georgia; M.S., Caltech

Harry Gray

Adjunct Professor, Chemistry

B.A., UC Santa Cruz; M.S., Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara

Jeremy Kallick

Non Tenure Track Instructor, Chemistry

B.A., Occidental College

Alan Khuu

Non Tenure Track Instructor, Chemistry

B.S., M.S., University of California, Los Angeles

Derek Ross

Adjunct Instructor in Chemistry

B.A. Occidental College; M.S. University of California, Los Angeles

Gabriela Venturini

Non Tenure Track Professor, Chemistry

M.S., Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Keiko Yokoyama

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Chemistry

B.E. Tokyo University, M.E. Tokyo University, PhD Tokyo University