Chemistry

As the science of matter and change, chemistry is rapidly emerging as the discipline at the base of many interdisciplinary subjects such as biotechnology, materials science, molecular biology and environmental science. The Guilford chemistry major explores the fundamental principles of chemistry and examines how those principles are applied to the observable world. Chemistry majors will develop chemical reasoning and experimental skills, as well as an understanding of the science’s interdisciplinary nature.

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Students with a major in chemistry will be prepared to work in the chemical industry; pursue graduate research in chemistry (or a related field); or attend medical, dental or pharmacy school. A chemistry major can lead to many different careers outside chemical or biochemical research. These include teaching, medicine, patent law, business or interdisciplinary areas such as environmental science, molecular biology, pharmacology, toxicology, materials science, geochemistry and chemical physics.

Key features of the Guilford chemistry program are the emphasis on research and direct student access to instrumentation. Students in chemistry at all levels are encouraged to participate in research, whether integrated into courses, through collaboration with faculty during the semester, or through summer research experiences at Guilford or other institutions. In addition, students are encouraged to pursue the practical applications of chemistry through internships. State-of-the-art facilities are available in the Frank Family Science Center for student/faculty research.

Scholarships

To recognize superior work in chemistry, the department annually offers a prize for outstanding achievement to a first-year student in chemical principles and the Harvey Ljung Scholarship to a rising senior chemistry major. In addition, the department selects a senior for the Outstanding Student Award. Chemistry majors are also eligible for the Glaxo-Wellcome Women in Science Scholarship, awarded annually to an outstanding rising junior woman science major.

Degrees Offered

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in chemistry.

Chemistry Majors

Bachelor of Arts

Requirements for the major include the completion of a sequence of introductory and advanced courses in chemistry that introduce students to the main areas of study in chemistry. Course-work in the related fields of mathematics and physics is also required to prepare students for upper-level courses in chemistry. For the Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, students must complete at least 36 credit hours in chemistry, among which must be included the courses listed below. For the Bachelor of Science in chemistry, students must complete 45 credit hours in chemistry, among which must be included the courses listed below.

CHEM 111 Chemical Principles I - 4 credits
CHEM 112 Chemical Principles II - 4 credits
CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry II - 4 credits
CHEM 235 Integrated Laboratory for Organic Chemistry - 1 credit
CHEM 242     Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry - 4 credits  
CHEM 331 Physical Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 341 Instrumental Analysis - 4 credits
CHEM 345 Integrated Laboratory for Inorganic Chemistry - 1 credit
CHEM 400 Chemistry Seminar - 2 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
CHEM 412 Geochemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 420 Polymer Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 430 Medicinal Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 434 Biochemistry: Metabolism, Energy and Information Flow - 4 credits

NOTE: An internship (at the 390 level) or independent study approved by the department can substitute for an upper-level chemistry course. With the approval of the department, students can also take 400 level (and above) courses at consortium colleges to fulfill this requirement.

Total credits required for A.B. degree in chemistry – 36 credits

prerequisite courses
MATH 121 and MATH 122 or MATH 123
PHYS 117 and PHYS 118 or PHYS 121 and PHYS 122 
Courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better before taking CHEM 331 or CHEM 332.
Majors who intend to pursue graduate study are strongly encouraged to obtain experience in computer programming at the level of Introduction to Computer Programming (CTIS 140).
Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in an industrial or governmental internship, pursue undergraduate research during the semester or summer, and/or study abroad as part of their experience at Guilford.

Bachelor of Science

Requirements for the major include the completion of a sequence of introductory and advanced courses in chemistry that introduce students to the main areas of study in chemistry. Course-work in the related fields of mathematics and physics is also required to prepare students for upper-level courses in chemistry. For the Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, students must complete at least 36 credit hours in chemistry, among which must be included the courses listed below. For the Bachelor of Science in chemistry, students must complete 45 credit hours in chemistry, among which must be included the courses listed below.

CHEM 111 Chemical Principles I - 4 credits
CHEM 112 Chemical Principles II - 4 credits
CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry II - 4 credits
CHEM 235 Integrated Laboratory for Organic Chemistry - 1 credit
CHEM 242     Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry - 4 credits 
CHEM 331 Physical Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 341 Instrumental Analysis - 4 credits
CHEM 345 Integrated Laboratory for Inorganic Chemistry - 1 credit
CHEM 400 Chemistry Seminar - 2 credits

choose one course (4 credits)
CHEM 412 Geochemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 420 Polymer Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 430 Medical Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 434 Biochemistry: Metabolism, Energy and Information Flow - 4 credits

NOTE: An internship (at the 390 level) or independent study approved by the department can substitute for an upper-level chemistry course. With the approval of the department, students can also take 400 level (and above) courses at consortium colleges to fulfill this requirement.

additional required courses for bachelor of science major in chemistry
CHEM 332 Physical Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 336 Integrated Laboratory for Physical Chemistry - 1 credit
CHOSE ONE COURSE (4 credits)
MATH 320 Mathematical Physics - 4 credits
MATH 225 Multivariable Calculus - 4 credits
PHYS 223 Classical and Modern Physics III - 4 credits
Total credits required for B.S. degree in chemistry – 45 credits

 

REQUIRED PREREQUISITES
MATH 121 and MATH 122 or MATH 123
 PHYS 117 or PHYS 118 or PHYS 121 and PHYS 122
Must be completed with a grade of C- or better before taking CHEM 331 or CHEM 332. 

Majors who intend to pursue graduate study are strongly encouraged to obtain experience in computer programming at the level of Introduction to Computer Programming (CTIS 140).

Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in an industrial or governmental internship, pursue undergraduate research during the semester or summer, and/or study abroad as part of their experience at Guilford.

Chemistry Minor

Minor

The chemistry minor gives students tools to explore rapidly growing areas of science on the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines. Students interested in the health professions, biology, geology and physics can gain an understanding of how chemistry is applied in their field and complements their major or career goals. The minor also attracts those interested in law, business, environmental issues and art.

Through a chemistry minor, students can select chemistry courses that best complement their major and career goals and gain an understanding of why chemistry is often called “the central science.” For example, biology, geology and physics majors and students interested in the health professions (pre-med, pre-vet and pre-dental) could deepen their knowledge of how chemistry is applied in their field. The most rapidly growing areas in science are those that appear on the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines, such as materials science (physics, chemistry and geology), molecular biology (chemistry and biology) and biophysics (chemistry, biology and physics).

The minor is not limited to science majors. Pre-law students interested in patent law would benefit from this minor, as would management or accounting majors seeking to work in the area of pharmaceutical or chemical manufacturing or sales. Language or international studies majors wishing to work for multinational, scientific companies or deal with global environmental issues would find the minor useful, as would art majors seeking a detailed knowledge of the properties and safety hazards of the materials they use.

The minor in chemistry is not available to chemistry majors.

The minor requires a minimum of 18 credits (five courses).

CHEM 111 Chemistry Principles I - 4 credits
CHEM 112 Chemistry Principles II - 4 credits
CHEM 400 Seminar or BIOL/CHEM 475 Research Seminar - 2 credits

CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 CREDITS)
CHEM 231 Organic Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 232 Organix Chemistry II - 4 credits
CHEM 242  Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry - 4 credits 
CHEM 331 Physical Chemistry I - 4 credits
CHEM 341 Instrumental Analysis - 4 credits
CHEM 412 Geochemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 420 Polymer Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 430 Medicinal Chemistry - 4 credits
CHEM 434 Biochemistry - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for chemistry minor – 18 credits

An internship or independent study approved by the minor coordinator can substitute for the 400-level chemistry course. With approval of the minor coordinator, students may take advanced courses at consortium colleges to fulfill the minor requirements.

Chemistry Facilities and Equipment

Facilities and Equipment

There is no better way to learn about the equipment in the chemistry labs than to actually use it. Students begin that learning in first year chemistry classes. Chemistry majors receive training on all major equipment, they use that equipment in their coursework, including the research-based Integrated Laboratory.

Departmental equipment currently includes:

  • Anasazi NMR spectrometer
  • Shimadzu Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS)
  • Agilent Gas Chromatograph
  • Varian High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)
  • Olis Modernized SLM Spectrofluorimeter
  • Jasco Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR)
  • Scinco UV-Visible Spectrometer
  • Perkin-Elmer Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

The  Department  of Chemistry  also uses Vernier data acquisition equipment in all the teaching labs. In 2011, the Department of Chemistry was awarded a grant from the Pittsburgh Conference Memorial National College Grants Program to purchase Vernier gas chromatographs and spectrometers for use in all lab courses from the introductory Chemical Principles sequence to advanced courses.

Chemistry at Guilford

Why Chemistry at Guilford?

Chemistry has emerged as the base of many interdisciplinary subjects such as biotechnology, materials science, molecular biology, and environmental science. Guilford  chemistry courses are designed for students to explore these interactions and actively build their knowledge in the classroom and lab. Chemistry students at all levels are encouraged to participate in research, through courses such as the Integrated Laboratory sequence, collaboration with faculty during the semester, or summer research experiences at Guilford or other institutions. Guilford chemistry majors have pursued a variety of careers, including chemistry and biochemistry research, teaching, medicine, patent law, business, environmental science, forensic science, molecular biology, pharmacology, toxicology, materials science, geochemistry, and chemical physics.

A Student’s Perspective  

So what makes chemistry such a warm and fuzzy place?

Well it’s not the three hour long labs, which are fun and a great place to catch up on your lab partner’s love life or your homework, and I don’t even think it’s the classes, as informative as they are. It’s the environment.

The resources of the department are available to even the most flammable first year student. That includes the computers, the IR, the GC, the NMR, the HPLC, and all the other toys that chemists use to do that thing that they do so well.

In the chemistry student study areas, a.k.a. Frank 314 and 325, we even have all the comforts of home, provided all you have at home is a fridge, a microwave, a coffeemaker and all the chemistry reference books you need to complete your labs and assignments. Hang around long enough and you can get your own space in Frank 304, the chemistry student office.

Studying science at Guilford is a unique experience. It’s flexible–we currently have students studying everything from ionic liquids to peptide conformations to chemiluminesence to molecular dynamics. Guilford is a small dynamic school, small enough that you really get to know your professors.

So explore away!

(Original text by alumni Tajhia Whigham, B.S. Chemistry. Tajhia is currently a scientist in Pharmaceutical Development at GlaxoSmithKline in Research Triangle Park, N.C.)

Experiential Learning Opportunities

“Integrated Lab was a memorable growth experience involving learning-by-doing and part of my induction into a research-oriented career. Integrated Lab took a large step beyond traditional pedagogy and delivered an authentic research experience”

- Carl Willis, Nuclear Engineer, Qynergy Corporation.

 

Internships

Majors are strongly encouraged to participate in an industrial or governmental internship, pursue undergraduate research during the semester or summer, and/or study abroad as part of their experience at Guilford. Recent locations where Guilford chemistry students have completed internships or summer research include:

  • Greensboro Water Department
  • Syngenta Crop Protection
  • University of Kentucky
  • Georgetown University
  • Duke University
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • University of Bristol, England
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
Integrated Laboratory

Integrated Laboratory is the unique experience for chemistry students at Guilford. Research-centered and team-based, Integrated Lab shows students how to use their learning in a real-world research experience. The chemistry professors form research teams from organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry students, and even students in the honors section of the Chemical Principles class. Each year, faculty members choose a different research topic as the starting point, such as chemiluminescence, host-guest chemistry, ionic liquids, or palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions (the bases for the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Each team then develops and executes an original research project based on the topic. A faculty research advisor guides the team, but all major decisions are the responsibility of the team. Each team presents their work in a poster session at the end of the semester.

Success in Integrated Lab requires bringing forward the talents and creativity of the entire team. The team has to research and read the literature, develop an original and feasible idea, order chemicals and equipment, and perform the experiments and analysis to figure out what the results mean.

Chemistry majors take Integrated Lab several times, taking on an increasing leadership role each successive year.

Titles of recent Integrated Laboratory research projects include:

  • Bis-(2,4,6-trichlorophenyl)malonate and quenching of luminescence with 2-bromo-9,10-diphenylanthracene
  • Chemiluminescent Detection of Propoxur via HPLC
  • Modeling Aromatic Ring Coupling for Polymer Formation Using Simultaneous Suzuki and Heck Reactions
  • The Comparison of the Atom Economy of Two Different Methods of Isolating (Z)-Anethole
  • Modification of Green Suzuki Reaction Using a Novel Catalyst and an Alternate Aryl Halide
What Guilford alumni say about Integrated Laboratory:

 “A great strength of integrated lab was having the freedom to choose basically any research topic that corresponded to the background information and initial experiments. This allowed us to discover something we were passionate about and/or interested in. Integrated Lab really captured my attention every year, even when we had difficulties and group issues. The lessons learned in Integrated Lab are invaluable to anyone who participates in it, even if he or she does not intend on a career in chemistry. I would do it again if I could!”  – Dana Small, Medical Student, Lincoln Memorial University.

“I am really grateful to have been able to participate in Integrated Lab, and consider it to be one of the most valuable learning experiences I had during my undergraduate studies. Integrated Lab is a great means of providing students with an idea of how research really works and allows them to see if they are suited for research.”  – Kim Heck, Ph.D. Student, Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University.

Chemistry Faculty