Formal election of a major comes during the winter or spring term of the sophomore year. At that time, a detailed plan for the junior and senior years is devised in consultation with the student's faculty advisor. Three possible pathways to the major are possible. The Plan A major in Chemistry is a fairly structured major, and is considered most suitable for students wishing to go on to graduate school in Chemistry. The Plan B major in Chemistry is less structured, with more elective options, and still provides an excellent background in the subject. The Biophysical Chemistry major provides a rigorous background in those aspects of Chemistry and Biochemistry considered most suitable for a prospective graduate student in that subject. A minimum of eight upper-level classes is required for all three majors. Upper level courses are chosen from a wide variety of disciplines to meet specific student interests and to prepare for careers in chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, medicine, law, or business. All major courses have associated laboratory instruction which not only illustrates basic principles but also emphasizes modern techniques and student use of research-grade instruments. In addition to the introductory or honors general chemistry, courses are offered in these areas of chemistry: basic and advanced organic, physical (kinetics and thermodynamics), basic and advanced inorganic, physical biochemistry, environmental, instrumental, and molecular spectroscopy and bonding (quantum chemistry). In addition, an array of graduate level courses are available to qualified majors, in subjects as diverse as photochemistry and molecular orbital theory to the chemistry of natural products and advanced biochemistry.
Students may also elect to minor in Chemistry. Four Chemistry courses suitable for inclusion in the major are required for the minor. Of the four, there is one required course in organic chemistry, and one in inorganic chemistry; the remaining two are electives. It should be noted that any student who completes the premedical required courses in chemistry is already within two courses of completing a minor in the subject.
For individuals with special interests, modified or self-designed majors in which chemistry is combined with such disciplines as biology, earth science, mathematics, physics, or environmental study can be arranged. At Dartmouth, the course requirements for a modified major are proposed by the student and, subject to broad institutional guidelines, approved by the several departments or programs of relevance. In addition to modified majors in chemistry and a second science, recent examples of creative curriculum planning have included modified majors in Chemistry and Psychology, Chemistry and Religion, and Chemistry, Government and Economics. Dartmouth's guiding principle is that a modified or self-designed major, however diverse, must simply constitute a unified and coherent whole.
Last Updated: 12/11/08