Requirements for the Chemistry Major
The Chemistry Department offers five major programs. All major programs require an average GPA of 2.0 in all courses counted toward the major, including prerequisites taken in Chemistry. Normally, all courses that would serve as prerequisites to, or count toward a major in Chemistry, and that are presented at the time the student submits a major card must individually have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Three of the major programs are offered as majors in chemistry: Plan A, for those who wish a broad and thorough training in chemistry; Plan B, for those whose scientific interests are only partially based in chemistry; and a modified major, which is similar to Plan B, but also includes a second program involving another college department.
Plan A should be chosen by students who plan to do graduate work in chemistry or a closely allied science. Such students should normally add further courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics to the plan’s minimum requirements. Plan A is also a suitable choice for premedical students.
Plan B is less structured and is suitable for students planning to engage in chemically-related careers, such as medicine, environmental science, life science, or industrial science, or professions for which the study of chemistry may prove desirable, such as teaching, law, or business.
The fourth program offered by the Chemistry Department is a major in biophysical chemistry. This is a relatively structured major designed for students interested in biophysical chemistry and associated methodologies for studying life processes. It provides a strong background for graduate work in biophysical chemistry, structural biology, biochemistry, and biomedical science, and is suitable for premedical students. Students are encouraged to add further courses in chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences, mathematics, and physics to the plan’s minimum requirements.
The fifth program is a major in biological chemistry. This major is designed for students interested in applications of chemistry to fundamental biological processes, similar to the biophysical chemistry option, but without as much emphasis on the physical chemical underpinnings. In addition to being suitable for premedical students, it provides the framework for further graduate study in all areas of biological chemistry and biomedicine.
Dartmouth College requires that all majors must complete a substantial, graded culminating or integrating activity in their major. Many chemistry majors will satisfy this requirement by participating in undergraduate research by registering for one or more terms of CHEM 87, Undergraduate Investigation in Chemistry. Often such students will be enrolled in the Chemistry Honors Program as well.
Other chemistry majors will satisfy the requirement for a culminating or integrating experience by including in their major programs one of the three-course groups listed below. The course groups, each of which provides an integrated presentation of an important area of modern chemical sciences, are: Biophysical Chemistry CHEM 75, CHEM 76 and CHEM 67; Biological Chemistry CHEM 40, CHEM 41, and CHEM 42; Physical Chemistry CHEM 75, CHEM 76 and CHEM 96; Chemical Applications, Synthesis and Characterization CHEM 63, CHEM 64, and one additional course from among CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 92, CHEM 93.
Students must indicate their preliminary plans for satisfying the requirement for the culminating or integrating experience by the time they enroll in the major and submit their major cards. They must confirm their plans at the beginning of the fall term of the senior year. Modified majors with Chemistry as the primary department must define a culminating or integrating experience as part of the coherent and unified whole of their modified major, and must file a written statement with the Department’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee and with the Registrar, explaining their rationale for the courses selected for the modified major.
The computation of the average in the major will be based upon all courses that are eligible to be counted toward the major.
1. Plan A Major
Prerequisite: CHEM 5-6, or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10; MATH 3, MATH 8, and MATH 13 (or equivalents); and PHYS 13-14 (strongly recommended) or PHYS 3-4 or PHYS 15-16.
Required Courses: CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, CHEM 52 or CHEM 58, CHEM 64, CHEM 75, CHEM 76 and CHEM 96.
Two additional courses selected from among CHEM 41, CHEM 42, CHEM 63, CHEM 67, CHEM 87, CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 92, CHEM 93 and CHEM 96; graduate-level courses in Chemistry; PHYS 19; BIOL 40; MATH 20, MATH 22 or MATH 24, MATH 23, and MATH 46; and, with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences. CHEM 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with BIOL 40.
2. Plan B Major
Prerequisite: CHEM 5-6, or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10; MATH 3 and MATH 8 (or equivalent); and PHYS 13-14 (strongly recommended) or PHYS 3-4 or PHYS 15-16.
Required Courses: Of the eight courses, a minimum of six must be in chemistry to include a) CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, CHEM 75 and CHEM 76, and CHEM 64; b) two additional courses from the following group: CHEM 41, CHEM 42, CHEM 52 or 58, CHEM 63, CHEM 67, CHEM 87, CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 92, CHEM 93, CHEM 96 and graduate-level courses in chemistry. Note that CHEM 76 is a prerequisite to CHEM 96.
The remaining two courses may be additional chemistry courses from group b) above or may be chosen from the following: PHYS 19; BIOL 40; MATH 20, MATH 22 or MATH 24, MATH 23 and MATH 46; and, with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences. CHEM 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with BIOL 40.
3. Modified Major
Modified Major with Chemistry as the primary department
Prerequisite: As required by courses elected.
Required Courses: Six in total, which must include CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, CHEM 64, and CHEM 75. The other three courses must be Chemistry Department courses. CHEM 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with BIOL 40.
Four additional courses from the secondary department selected with the approval of any member of the Undergraduate Advisory Committee (and under certain circumstances by the secondary department; see the Regulations under Department Major).
Modified Major with Chemistry as the secondary department
Prerequisite: As required by courses elected.
Required Courses: Four courses, which must be chemistry offerings, suitable (beyond prerequisites to the major) for completion of the Plan A or Plan B major.
4. Biophysical Chemistry Major
Prerequisite: CHEM 5-6, or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10; MATH 3 and MATH 8 (or equivalent); PHYS 13-14 (strongly recommended) or PHYS 3-4 or PHYS 15-16. (BIOL 12 and BIOL 13 are recommended but not required.)
Required Courses: CHEM 41, CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, CHEM 52 or CHEM 58, CHEM 75, CHEM 76, CHEM 64, and CHEM 67.
One additional course selected from among CHEM 42, CHEM 63, CHEM 87, CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 92, CHEM 93 or CHEM 96; graduate-level courses in chemistry; ENGS 35; MATH 20, MATH 22 or MATH 24, MATH 23, or MATH 46; PHYS 19; and with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences.
5. Biological Chemistry Major
Prerequisite: CHEM 5-6, or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10; BIOL 12, and BIOL 13 or BIOL 14; MATH 3 and MATH 8 (or equivalent); PHYS 13-14 (strongly recommended) or PHYS 3-4 or PHYS 15-16.
Required Courses: CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, CHEM 52 or CHEM 58, CHEM 64, CHEM 40 (or CHEM 76), CHEM 41, and CHEM 42.
Two additional courses selected from the following two groups, with at least one from group (a): (a) CHEM 67, CHEM 161, CHEM 92, CHEM 87, or CHEM 153; (b) CHEM 63, CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 93, CHEM 96, graduate courses in chemistry, or with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences.
There are many different ways in which one can complete a major in Chemistry. In order to better inform your decision, the department has prepared a handout showing various paths students can take through the major; not only does this emphasize that the major is more flexible than it might appear at first glance, but also it shows that there are several major plans that do not require taking two major courses in a term. This document is available at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chem/docs/chemmajorplanning.pdf.
Students considering a Chemistry Department major are strongly encouraged to take CHEM 5-6 (or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10) in their first year. Students with advanced placement in English, foreign language, or chemistry are urged to consider taking PHYS 13-14 during the first year. This is also advisable for those students who delay completion of the language requirement until sophomore year in Language Study Abroad. Students who plan to participate in Language Study Abroad should give early attention to the need for careful curriculum planning. In some cases it may be advisable to postpone the LSA term to the fall term of the junior year. If so, it is necessary to obtain (routine) approval from the Registrar for deferral of completion of the Language requirement.
All Chemistry Department majors have required courses, some of which must be taken in a particular order. While many sequences are possible, and the Department’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee is happy to give advice on this, it is essential to complete prerequisite courses before taking certain major courses. As a general guideline, it is recommended for majors that the physics and mathematics prerequisites for Physical Chemistry (CHEM 75 and CHEM 76, or CHEM 40), as well as CHEM 51 or CHEM 57, be completed by the end of the sophomore spring term. Specifically, majors must complete PHYS 13 (or PHYS 15, or PHYS 3 and PHYS 4) and MATH 8 before they take CHEM 75 or CHEM 40. Any changes of courses from those listed on the major card filed with the Department must be approved in writing by a departmental adviser before the course is taken for credit.
Many Chemistry Department majors do research projects. This research is usually done during the senior (and sometimes junior) year and often for credit (see CHEM 87), though occasionally a stipend is available to allow a student to do full-time research during a leave term. All majors are urged to investigate the numerous possible research projects offered by chemistry faculty members. A brochure describing faculty research interests and the CHEM 87 application form are available at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chem and from the Department staff (102 Burke). The brochure enables a student to identify research areas of particular interest. A final choice of research project is made after consultation with the faculty member(s) concerned. The completed application form is submitted to the Chair for approval.
Certification as a public school Chemistry teacher is available through partnership with the Education Department. Contact the Education Department for details about course requirements.
Requirements for the Chemistry Minor
The Chemistry Department offers a single minor program. Any student wishing to enroll in the minor program must submit a minor card signed by a member of the Chemistry Department’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee no later than the end of the first week of the last term in residence prior to graduation.
Prerequisite: CHEM 5-6, or CHEM 9-6, or CHEM 10 and MATH 3
Required Courses: CHEM 51 or CHEM 57 and CHEM 64
Two additional courses selected from among CHEM 40, CHEM 41, CHEM 42, CHEM 52 or CHEM 58, CHEM 63, CHEM 75, CHEM 76, CHEM 87, CHEM 90, CHEM 91, CHEM 92, and CHEM 93; or graduate-level courses in chemistry. The NRO option is disallowed for any required course taken to fulfill the chemistry minor. Students should note that many of the courses listed above have prerequisites in addition to CHEM 6 and MATH 3.
Requirements for the Materials Science Minor
The minor in Materials Science is sponsored by faculty in Chemistry, Physics and Engineering with an interest in interdisciplinary education and research in materials science.
Chemistry Department Honors Program
A student whose grades meet the minimum College requirement for honors work may apply to be admitted to the Honors Program. An honors major follows the basic pattern outlined in the requirements for the chemistry major but is very strongly urged to elect additional courses in chemistry and allied sciences.
An honors student carries out one of two individual projects. Usually an original experimental or theoretical investigation is undertaken in a well-defined area of interest under the guidance and supervision of a member of the faculty. A student with a strong interest in teaching may, however, formulate and carry out under the direction of a member of the faculty a program combining the development of instructional materials with actual experience in classroom or laboratory teaching. In either case, on completion of the work the student will write a thesis and take an oral examination.
A student electing an original experimental or theoretical investigation may conduct it by electing CHEM 87 three times (counting as three courses toward graduation, but only once toward the minimum group of major courses) or during a leave term of full-time effort. He or she may also request consideration of any appropriate combination of CHEM 087 and noncredit research. A project concerned with the development of educational materials and experience in teaching will be similar in extent.
Ordinarily, the Honors Program will be undertaken by seniors, but juniors who have progressed sufficiently far in satisfying the normal requirements may be permitted to participate. A student who wishes to participate in the Honors Program must apply for admission to the Program by submitting a form, available from the Department staff, before beginning work on an honors project, unless special permission has been obtained from the Chair. Before or at the time of application the student must arrange for the supervision of the work, normally by a member of the faculty of the Department. The deadline for applications is the third day of the winter term of the senior year. Additional information is available at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chem and from the Department administrative office.
Those students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program with a ‘B+’ average or better in the grade(s) assigned to their honors work at the time of examination will earn Honors recognition in the major or, in appropriate cases, High Honors. High Honors will be granted only by vote of the Department on the basis of outstanding independent work and outstanding performance in the major. An interim evaluation of honors students will be made after one term and continuation will be recommended for those students whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program will have Honors in Chemistry or Biophysical Chemistry, or, when appropriate, High Honors in Chemistry or Biophysical Chemistry, entered on their permanent record.