The Chemistry Major

About the Chemistry Major

Chemistry at Bard is geared primarily, but not exclusively, to meeting the needs of students planning to do graduate work in chemistry and biology. Students receive extensive hands-on experience with contemporary instrumentation and techniques. The instruments include a 400-MHz NMR; GC/MS; LC/MS; HPLC; UV/Vis, and FTIR spectrophotometers. In addition to the core courses, a student typically takes at least two advanced electives in chemistry, biology, mathematics, or physics, according to personal interests and goals.

The chemistry major consists of three categories of courses:

1. The introductory chemistry sequence and background requirements:

Most students start with (Chemistry 141) in the fall semester of their first year. (Chemistry 142) which continues the fundamentals of Chemistry is taught in the spring. Students with Advanced Placement scores of 4 or 5 may choose to place out of (Chemistry 141) and/or (Chemistry 142) with the permission of the instructor. Contact Prof. McLaughlin for further information on advanced course placement. The four other introductory level courses should be taken before moderation, which occurs during the end of the second year.

2. The intermediate chemistry sequence:

Most students will take (Chemistry 201), Organic Chemistry, in the fall semester of their second year. Chemistry 202, which continues the examination of Organic Chemistry, is normally offered in the spring semester.

3. By graduation, all chemistry majors should have taken a selection of advanced courses, four of which include:

The final required courses come from a choice of either Biochemistry (Chemistry 390) and one selecion of our 400-level offerings or two of our 400-level offerings.  400-level courses are seminar style and focus on the recent primary literature.

4. The Senior Project in Chemistry.

Finally, all students must complete a Senior Project in Chemistry.

This list of courses is a minimum; students regularly take more chemistry courses than required.

To enter into the upper college or moderate in chemistry, a student writes two short papers; one describing the work the student has done in the lower college and the other describing the plans the student has for the upper college and beyond. Before moderating, students should complete or be enrolled in Chemistry 141-142 and 201-202, Mathematics 141 and 142, and Physics 141 and 142. Students are expected to follow the standard divisional procedure for Moderation and to fulfill the college-wide distribution and First-Year Seminar requirements. Each student then meets with a moderation board of three faculty (that includes at least two of the chemistry faculty) to discuss the work the student has done and what would be best for the student in the future.

The Chemistry Program is flexible enough to allow a student to prepare for graduate study in chemistry, professional schools (such as medical or law), or employment in the public or private sector.

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