Affiliation: School of Sciences & Mathematics
The degree offered is the Bachelor of Science, with programs in chemistry, pre-allopathic medicine, pre-osteopathic medicine, and pre-pharmacy.
The Chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Upon graduation, students receiving the University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry as described in this catalog meet the requirements for certification by the American Chemical Society.
CONTRIBUTION OF PROGRAM TO TRUMAN’S LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCE MISSION
The mission of the Department of Chemistry is the development of liberally-educated and critically-thinking chemists capable of functioning as professionals.
The BS Chemistry degree blends a strong liberal arts component with an exceptional professional program. Courses in the Liberal Studies Program develop the necessary knowledge and basic skills for the Chemistry major to be a creative problem solver. Broad exposure to the five fundamental areas of chemistry (organic, physical, analytical, inorganic and biological chemistry) provides a basis for learning the scientific process.
A lecture component of 600 clock hours covers the formal presentation of chemistry. The laboratory experience of 500 clock hours gives the student “hands-on” experience and knowledge of chemistry and the confidence and competence to:
- Plan and execute experiments through the use of chemical literature.
- Respond properly to the hazards of chemical processes.
- Keep neat, complete experimental records.
- Synthesize and characterize inorganic and organic compounds.
- Perform accurate quantitative measurements.
- Use and understand modern instruments.
- Analyze data and assess the reliability of results.
- Draw reasonable conclusions.
- Communicate effectively through oral and written reports.
Undergraduate research integrates the components of the chemistry curriculum into a unified structure. Research helps the undergraduate acquire a spirit of inquiry, initiative, independence, judgment, patience, persistence, alertness, and reference skills using chemical literature. For the faculty members, research opportunities increase their enthusiasm, professional competence, and scholarly productivity.
INTEGRATIVE OR CULMINATING EXPERIENCE
The “community of learning” allows a student to integrate numerous experiences beginning as early as the freshman year and culminating with a variety of possible activities. In the freshman year, the activities may include introduction to research and involvement in science-oriented student organizations. The sophomore student may tutor and increase involvement in research. Junior and senior students may be invited to serve as lab assistants for lower division courses. Upperclass students write résumés, plan post-graduate activities, continue to have research opportunities, and continue their service to the community through student organizations.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE CHEMISTRY PROGRAM INCLUDE:
- “Communities of learning”
- Seminar courses each year
- Honors program option
- Externally Normed Senior Examination
The organic chemistry laboratories are modern and equipped with IR and NMR instrumentation upon which all students receive “hands-on” experience in the use and interpretation of results. The analytical chemistry lab has computer integrated experiments offering “hands-on” experience with atomic spectroscopy, molecular spectroscopy, liquid and gas chromatography, capillary electrophoresis and electrochemistry. A wide range of standard techniques are introduced to provide each student with the background to succeed in both industry and graduate studies.
The advanced labs for Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Instrumental Analysis, and Inorganic Chemistry provide a more challenging atmosphere to integrate fundamental techniques. Each lab has components of individual investigation.
The Department of Chemistry has state-of-the-art FT-IR instruments, a 400 MHz NMR spectrophotometer and an X-ray diffractometer which allow the student additional “hands-on” experience with computer-interfaced instruments that perform rapid, accurate, and precise chemical analyses. Modern chemical procedures require the student to be computer literate. The Department of Chemistry at Truman not only uses computers in most of the courses but provides a high degree of access to computers for coursework and sophisticated research-quality calculations.
DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN CHEMISTRY
Any student can graduate with Honors in Chemistry under the following criteria:
- Must complete the calculus-based PHYS 195 - PHYS 196 sequence.
- In 3 out of 5 of the “core” areas (organic, analytical, physical, inorganic, biochemistry), score at or above the 50th percentile on the American Chemical Society nationally-normed exam.
- The student must achieve the University’s academic standards for graduating cum laude (achieving a GPA of 3.50 or above) and one of the following criteria:
a) The student has obtained a 90th percentile on the MFAT in Chemistry.
b) The student has progressed successfully on a research project of at least two semesters’ effort and has written a research report according to the CHEM 443 guidelines and has given a research seminar/presentation. The student must register for two credits of research (see CHEM 443 guidelines at http://chem.truman.edu).