Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, April 19, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2017-2018 Course Catalog

Period: 2018-20192017-20182016-20172015-20162014-2015

This catalog was created on Friday, April 19, 2019.


Chemists, biochemists, and chemical engineers contribute to the development and utilization of the materials, medicines, foods, and fuels that are the hallmarks of modern life. They also contribute to the understanding and protection of the natural environment. Working in concert with biologists, geologists, physicists, psychologists, and others, chemists work toward the solution of many of society’s most pressing problems—challenges to physical and mental health, pollution and its effects, resource recovery, and energy production and conservation among them.

The American Chemical Society certified chemistry major at Lawrence prepares students for a broad range of opportunities and careers, including academic or industrial research, engineering, secondary or college teaching, medical or veterinary practice, law, business, or public service.

The Lawrence chemistry department is large enough to ensure that all the major areas of chemistry are well represented, yet small enough that students can build close working relationships with all the faculty members. Our faculty are all actively engaged in their own research programs, primarily using Lawrence’s own wide array of instrumentation; these programs create ample indepensdent research opportunities for students, either during the school year or the summer months. We see these research experiences as a critical part of our curriculum, as they provide students with the analytical techniques, problem-solving strategies, and critical thinking skills necessary for success in the physical, medical or life sciences. Our goals are to engage students from diverse backgrounds with the excitement of chemistry; foster in them the habit of informed and critical thinking; involve them in independent learning and research; and prepare them for the successful pursuit of a wide variety of post-baccalaureate and professional opportunities.

Advanced Placement

Students who have had the equivalent of a college general chemistry course are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in Chemistry administered by the Educational Testing Service. Students with sufficiently high AP exam scores will receive six units of college credit for CHEM 115, and will typically be advised to enroll in CHEM 116.

Students that have not taken or passed the AP Chemistry exam may also be placed in CHEM 116, depending on their score on our online placement test; in this case, no course credit for CHEM 115 would be awarded. In any case, instructor approval is required for our general chemistry courses, and students are encouraged to reach out to a chemistry faculty member with any questions about the courses. For more information about placement in our introductory chemistry courses, please visit the Introductory Chemistry and Advanced Placement page at our departmental website:

Required for the chemistry major

  1. Introductory principles
    1. CHEM 115 and 116 or the equivalent
    2. MATH 140 and 150, or the equivalent
    3. PHYS 141 and 151
  2. Core competencies
    1. CHEM 210: Analytical chemistry
    2. CHEM 250: Organic chemistry I
    3. CHEM 252: Organic chemistry II
    4. CHEM 320: Inorganic chemistry
    5. CHEM 340: Biochemistry
    6. CHEM 370: Physical chemistry I
    7. Four additional classes. At least three must be chemistry classes at or above the 400 level, and at least one of those three must be a class in physical chemistry. One class in another natural science department, if it has significant chemistry content (such as a course in molecular biology), may be counted as one of the four electives with departmental approval.
  3. Six units of credit earned in chemistry Senior Experience courses numbered 380, 480, and 680
  4. C average in the major

Required for the chemistry minor

  1. Introductory principles
    1. CHEM 115 and 116 or the equivalent
  2. Core competencies
    1. CHEM 210: Analytical chemistry
    2. CHEM 250: Organic chemistry I
    3. CHEM 320: Inorganic chemistry
    4. CHEM 370: Physical Chemistry I
    5. Two additional chemistry classes, one of which must be at or above the 400 level.
  3. At least three units of credit earned in chemistry seminar courses numbered 380, 480, and 680
  4. C average in the minor

Teacher Certification in Chemsitry or Broad-Field Science

Students can seek teacher certification to teach chemistry at the secondary level. Certification requires a major in chemistry with courses in other science subjects. Students also have the option of seeking broad-field science certification by completing a minimum of two courses in each of two other science disciplines and at least one course in each of the remaining sciences. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.

Required for the interdisciplinary major in the natural sciences in chemistry and physics or geology

Chemistry students who have strong secondary interests in physics or geology may construct a major involving chemistry and geology or physics, using the interdisciplinary major in the natural sciences. Previous interdisciplinary combinations of biology and chemistry have been replaced by the biochemistry major.

The requirements for the interdisciplinary major with chemistry as the primary discipline are:

  1. Introductory course sequences in chemistry, physics, and geology, chosen to include the discipline of secondary interest. The introductory sequences are:
    1. CHEM 115 and 116 or the equivalent
    2. GEOL 110 and 210
    3. PHYS 141 and 151
  2. Intermediate/Advanced Requirement: At least 10 six-unit courses in the sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, physics) numbered 200 or above, with at least five in chemistry and at least three in the secondary discipline.
  3. Six units of credit earned in chemistry seminar courses numbered 380, 480, and 680

Senior Experience in Chemistry

The chemistry department's capstone sequence consists of a series of 3 seminars:

  1. CHEM 380: Seminar: Perspectives on Chemistry (Fall Term, 1 unit) Taken optimally by sophomores or juniors, this is a series of presentations by visiting chemists and Lawrence students, faculty, and staff, featuring current issues in chemistry, important applications of chemistry, and professional development topics appropriate to chemistry majors or minors.
  2. CHEM 480: Seminar: Chemical Literature (Winter Term, 2 units) A seminar course for chemistry majors and minors, taken optimally during the junior year, in which students learn how to educate themselves about the chemical literature in fields of interest to them. In this seminar, they learn the character and organization of the chemical literature and become familiar with search strategies. Students select topics and, guided by the instructor, conduct a literature search for key papers, construct a bibliography, and prepare presentations highlighting key research findings. Students are encouraged to correlate their activities in this seminar with research projects that they undertake at Lawrence or elsewhere, which form the basis of the senior seminar.
  3. CHEM 680: Senior Seminar (Spring Term, 3 units): The culminating course in our capstone sequence asks each major to present an individual seminar presentation based on research they have done at Lawrence or elsewhere. 3 units.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors and relevant department chairs to plan and negotiate their overall capstone experience as early as possible.

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