Skip to main content

Notice

Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Chemistry

Chair: David S. Glueck

Professors J. J. BelBruno, R. S. Cantor, R. Ditchfield, D. S. Glueck, G. W. Gribble, R. P. Hughes, P. A. Jacobi, J. E. G. Lipson, D. F. Mierke, D. E. Wilcox, J. S. Winn; Associate Professors R. B. Grubbs, F. J. Kull; Assistant Professors I. Abrahamian, E. V. Pletneva, J. Wu; Senior Lecturers S. P. Milde, P. S. Veale; Visiting Professor R. J. Stolzberg; Adjunct Professors T. U. Gerngross, U. J. Gibson , D. R. Madden, R. A. Naumann, R. M. Ross, H. M. Swartz; Adjunct Assistant Professors B. C. Bostick, M. R. Spaller; Research Professors D. M. Lemal, T. A. Spencer; Research Associate Professor T. Honda; Research Assistant Professors B. P. Jackson, M. Pellegrini, A. A. Pletnev.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CHEMISTRY MAJOR

The Chemistry Department offers four major programs. All major programs require an average GPA of 2.0 in all courses counted toward the major, including prerequisites taken in Chemistry. 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 biological chemistry and chemical methods 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.

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 Chemistry 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 Chemistry 61, 62, and 67; Physical Chemistry Chemistry 71, 72, and 73; Chemical Applications, Synthesis and Characterization Chemistry 63, 64, and one additional course from among Chemistry 90, 91, 92, and 93.

Students must indicate their 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 with written approval of the Department’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

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: Chemistry 5-6 (or 10); Mathematics 3, 8, and 13 (or equivalents); and Physics 13-14 (strongly recommended) or 3-4 or 15-16.

Required Courses: Chemistry 51 or 57, 52 or 58, 64, 71, 72, and 73.

Two additional courses selected from among Chemistry 41, 45, 63, 67, 87, 90, 91, 92, and 93; graduate-level courses in Chemistry; Physics 19; Biology 40; Mathematics 20, 22 or 24, 23, and 46; and, with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences. Chemistry 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with Biology 40.

2. PLAN B MAJOR

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5-6 (or 10); Mathematics 3 and 8 (or equivalent); and Physics 13-14 (strongly recommended) or 3-4 or 15-16.

Required Courses: Of the eight courses, a minimum of six must be in chemistry to include a) Chemistry 51 or 57, 61 and 62 or 71 and 72, and 64; b) two additional courses from the following group: Chemistry 41, 45, 52 or 58, 63, 67, 73, 87, 90, 91, 92, 93, and graduate-level courses in chemistry. Note that Chemistry 72 is a prerequisite to Chemistry 73.

The remaining two courses may be additional chemistry courses from group b) above or may be chosen from the following: Physics 19; Biology 40; Mathematics 20, 22 or 24, 23 and 46; and, with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences. Chemistry 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with Biology 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 Chemistry 51 or 57, 64, and 61 or 71. The other three courses must be Chemistry Department courses. Chemistry 41 cannot be taken in conjunction with Biology 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: Chemistry 5-6 (or 10); Mathematics 3 and 8 (or equivalent); Physics 13-14 (strongly recommended) or 3-4 or 15-16. (Biology 12 and 13 are recommended but not required.)

Required Courses: Chemistry 41, 51 or 57, 52 or 58, 61, 62, 64, and 67.

One additional course selected from among Chemistry 45, 63, 87, 90, 91, 92, or 93; graduate-level courses in chemistry; Engineering Sciences 35; Mathematics 20, 22 or 24, 23, or 46; Physics 19; and with prior written permission, relevant major credit (or graduate-level) courses in other departments in the Division of the Sciences. Chemistry 71, 72 and 73 may be substituted for Chemistry 61, 62 and the one additional course.

A typical arrangement of courses for a Plan A major is given below with possible alternative scheduling in brackets. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are optional in the sense of the additional (optional) courses above. The Plan B or modified major offers substantially increased flexibility in scheduling.

Year Summer Fall Winter Spring
1st Mathematics 3
Chemistry 10 †
Chemistry 5
Mathematics 8
[Physics 13]
Chemistry 6
[Mathematics 8]
[Physics 14]
2nd Chemistry 51 (or 57)
Mathematics 13
Chemistry 52 (or 58)
Physics 13
Physics 14
[Chemistry 41*]
[Chemistry 51]
3rd [Chemistry 52]
Chemistry 63*
Chemistry 64
Chemistry 71
Chemistry 72
[Chemistry 41*]
4th Chemistry 87* Chemistry 73
Chemistry 87*
Chemistry 67*
Chemistry 87*
[Chemistry 41*]
Chemistry 87*

†A student who takes this course would not take Chemistry 5 or 6.

Students considering a Chemistry Department major are strongly encouraged to take Chemistry 5-6 (or 10) in their first year. Students with advanced placement in English, foreign language, or chemistry are urged to consider taking Physics 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 that are to be taken in the junior winter and spring terms. For example, Plan A majors take Chemistry 64 and 71 in the junior winter term followed by Chemistry 72 in their junior spring, while Biophysical Chemistry majors take Chemistry 64 in their junior winter followed by Chemistry 61 in the junior spring term. Plan B majors who elect Chemistry 71 and 72 must take these courses in their junior year. The timing of these courses has important ramifications for the completion of prerequisite courses. As a general guideline, it is recommended that the physics and mathematics prerequisites for these courses, as well as Chemistry 51 or 57, be completed by the end of the sophomore spring term. Specifically, Plan A majors must complete Physics 13 (or 15, or 3 and 4) and Mathematics 13 before they take Chemistry 71, and Plan B and Biophysical Chemistry majors must complete Physics 13 (or 15, or 3 and 4) and Mathematics 8 before they take Chemistry 61. 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 Chemistry 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 Chemistry 87 application form are available 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 day before final examinations begin in fall term of senior year.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 5-6 (or 10) and Mathematics 3

Required Courses: Chemistry 51 or 57 and 64

Two additional courses selected from among Chemistry 41, 45, 52 or 58, 61, 62, 63, 71, 72, 87, 90, 91, 92, and 93; or graduate-level courses in chemistry. The NRO option is disallowed for any required course taken to fulfill the chemistry minor. Chemistry 61 and 62 cannot be taken in conjunction with Chemistry 71 and Chemistry 72. Students should note that many of the courses listed above have prerequisites in addition to Chemistry 6 and Mathematics 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 Chemistry 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 Chemistry 87 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 from the Department 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.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE (M.S.)

The general requirements for the Master’s degree are given in the Graduate Regulations. These requirements, together with the specific requirements of the Department of Chemistry normally allow completion of the degree in two years.

The specific requirements are as follows:

1. Each student must pass with a grade of P or better eight courses from the offerings in chemistry and allied areas that have been chosen in consultation with the adviser and approved by the Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC). Chemistry 256 and one term of Chemistry 257 may count. Up to four courses may be in graduate-level research, but they may not include the Colloquium course 140 or any course in the 260 series, nor may courses numbered below 100 count in the eight-course total.

2. The student must complete a satisfactory thesis and pass creditably an oral examination upon this thesis.

3. In the course of this training, the student must gain experience in teaching, including completion of Chemistry 256.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR’S DEGREE (PH.D.) IN CHEMISTRY

A student will be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate after satisfying the following requirements:

1. Completion, by the start of the Fall term of the student’s second year in the program, through an appropriate combination of Dartmouth courses or performance on diagnostic entrance examinations, of a breadth requirement in three of the four topical areas of biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

2. Passing within a specified time a total of five cumulative examinations in chemistry at an advanced level, at least three of which must be from an area closely allied with the student’s research area.

3. Presentation before the Department of a lecture unrelated to the thesis topic.

4. Submission and oral defense of an original research proposal in an area removed from the student’s own thesis research.

The candidate will receive the doctorate upon:

1. Satisfactory completion of an original thesis project of high quality and substantial significance, and approval of the thesis embodying the results of this research.

2. Successful defense of this thesis in an oral examination.

A candidate for the doctorate will take various courses in chemistry and allied fields that are pertinent to their area of study. He or she will also participate actively in undergraduate teaching, including completion of Chemistry 256. It is anticipated that a graduate student will normally complete all of the requirements for the doctorate in approximately five years. It is not necessary to earn a master’s degree as a prerequisite to the doctorate.

More complete information can be obtained from the brochure, Graduate Study in Chemistry at Dartmouth, obtainable from the Department of Chemistry.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR’S DEGREE (PH.D.) IN CHEMISTRY-MATERIALS

A student will be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate after satisfying the following requirements:

1. Completion, by the start of the Fall term of the student’s second year in the program, through an appropriate combination of Dartmouth courses or performance on diagnostic entrance examinations, of a breadth requirement in three of the four topical areas of biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.

2. Successful completion, by the end of the student’s third year in the program, of four core courses satisfying the breadth requirement in Materials Chemistry, and a minimum of three elective courses selected from the Chemistry-Materials elective course list.

3. Annual presentation of a Research in Progress lecture to the Materials Chemistry Group, and submission of an annual research progress report to the student’s Research Advisory Committee.

4. Submission and oral defense of an original research proposal in an area removed from the student’s own thesis research.

The candidate will receive the doctorate upon:

1. Satisfactory completion of an original thesis project of high quality and substantial significance, and approval of the thesis embodying the results of this research.

2. Successful defense of this thesis in an oral examination.

A candidate for the doctorate will take additional courses in chemistry and allied fields as required for their area of study. He or she will also participate actively in undergraduate teaching, including completion of Chemistry 256. Students are required to attend research discussion meetings of the Center for Nanomaterials Research at Dartmouth, as well as seminars designated as Materials Seminars by the Center. It is anticipated that a graduate student will normally complete all of the requirements for the doctorate in approximately five years. It is not necessary to earn a master’s degree as a prerequisite to the doctorate.