Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of the physical sciences that studies matter and the principles that govern matter. It connects physics with biology and geology. Western Chemistry students focus on the composition, structure and properties that occur in chemical systems.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

Students in Chemistry learn theory and laboratory techniques to ensure their safety and success in the lab. Students learn to use instruments such as the infrared spectrometer, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and atomic absorption spectrophotometer to identify and characterize chemicals.

Most of Western's Chemistry courses include lab components, so students gain hands-on experience with the topics discussed in lectures and texts.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in Chemistry take field trips to facilities such as the Crested Butte wastewater treatment plant, where they collect water samples for metal analysis. Classes have also visited the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) lab to see crime data analyzed. 

Students attend a variety of conferences and work with faculty members on original research. Western students have also participated in summer research at Vanderbilt University, Montana State University, the University of Wyoming and other institutions offering Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Stipends for these summer research positions range from $3,500 to $4,500, with housing included.

After Graduation

With a degree in chemistry from Western, students can follow several career paths, such as teaching, working in industry and conducting research. 

Many Western Chemistry graduates have gone on to pharmacy and graduate schools. Others are teaching, or working in labs as quality control or environmental analysts.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Chemistry Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
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  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

 CHEM 100 - CONTEMPORARY CHEMISTRY (3 credits)

An introductory course which addresses the basic facts and principles of chemistry, as well as the history of chemistry, practical aspects of chemistry, and relevance of chemistry. Topics covered in the course are dependent on the instructor and contemporary events. This course is designed for non-science majors without a background in chemistry or mathematics and may not be counted toward the Chemistry Major or Minor.

 CHEM 101 - INTRODUCTION TO INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3 credits)

A survey of inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on chemical principles, atomic theory, periodic law, chemical equilibrium, equations, solutions, and descriptive chemistry of the elements. This course is designed for non-majors without a background in chemistry or mathematics and may not be counted toward the Chemistry Major or Minor.

 CHEM 111 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY I (3 credits)

An introductory course designed for science majors focusing on principles and applications of chemistry. Topics covered in this course are stoichiometry, bonding models, intermolecular forces, and periodic trends. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 140 or Accuplacer college-level mathematics test score of 85 or above, ACT math score of 24 or above, or instructor permission.

 CHEM 112 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I (1 credits)

An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. laboratory notebook keeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Corequisite: CHEM 111.

 CHEM 113 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics covered in this course are thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 111.

 CHEM 114 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORYORATORYRATRY II (1 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 112. An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 113. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. laboratory notebook keeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 197 - SPECIAL TOPICS (1 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

 CHEM 231 - INTRODUCTORY ORGANIC AND BIOCHEMISTRY (3 credits)

A descriptive survey course which introduces the essential topics and applications of organic chemistry and biochemistry. The course is designed for non-majors who need the second semester of a one-year chemistry core that includes general, organic, and biochemistry. This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Prerequisite: CHEM 101 or CHEM 113.

 CHEM 234 - INTRODUCTORY ORGANIC AND BIOCHEMISTRY (1 credits)

An introductory laboratory to accompany CHEM 231. Experiments focus on reactions of organic functional groups, organic synthesis, and the chemistry of biological molecules. This course may not be counted for credit toward the Chemistry Major or Minor. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231.

 CHEM 297 - SPECIAL TOPICS (1 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

 CHEM 306 - ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY WITH LABORATORY (4 credits)

A lecture/laboratory course involving principles, techniques and calculations involved with quantitative analysis of substances. Includes solution chemistry, gravimetric, volumetric, redox, and pH determinations. Prerequisites: CHEM 113 and CHEM 114.

 CHEM 331 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3 credits)

First semester course of a two semester organic chemistry sequence. This course is an in depth study of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Topics include their naming, electronic structure, bonding, reactivity, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms Prerequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 332 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 331. This course discusses spectroscopic analysis, physical, and chemical properties of organic functional groups. Emphasis includes synthesis, mechanisms, and reactions of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing compounds, and amines. Prerequisite: CHEM 331.

 CHEM 334 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I (1 credits)

An accompanying laboratory course for CHEM 331, serving as an introduction to basic macro-and micro- scale organic techniques used to separate, isolate, and characterize organic compounds. Methods utilized include distillation, extraction, chromatography, Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Prerequisite: CHEM 114. Corequisite: CHEM 331.

 CHEM 335 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II (1 credits)

This LABORATORY is a continuation of CHEM 334, with an expansion in scope that allows incorporation of more complex synthetic problems. The LABORATORY will employ the use of thin layer chromatography (TLC) to follow reaction progress along with NMR spectroscopy to determine reaction outcomes. Prerequisite: CHEM 334. Corequisite: CHEM 332.

 CHEM 397 - SPECIAL TOPICS (1 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

 CHEM 401 - INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS (2 credits)

An examination of the theory and techniques of instrumental methods of quantitative analysis, including spectrophotometric methods, electrochemical methods, and chromatography. Offered in alternate years, 2010-2011. Prerequisites: CHEM 306.

 CHEM 402 - INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS LABORATORY (2 credits)

An introduction to instrumental techniques, principles, calculations, and applications for qualitative, quantitative, and structural analysis. Offered in alternate years, 2010-2011. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 401.

 CHEM 451 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I (3 credits)

A detailed study of thermodynamics, phase equilibria, kinetic theory and chemical kinetics. Offered in alternate years, 2011-2012. Prerequisites: CHEM 113, MATH 251, and PHYS 201

 CHEM 452 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 451, which examines quantum chemistry, atomic, and molecular structure and spectra, photochemistry, and statistical mechanics. Offered in alternate years, 2011-2012. Prerequisites: CHEM 451.

 CHEM 454 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY (2 credits)

An experimental-techniques course in physical chemistry (including computer-assisted instruction), with emphasis on thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, and spectroscopy. Offered in alternate years, 2011-2012. Corequisite: CHEM 452 or PHYS 452.

 CHEM 461 - ADVANCED INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3 credits)

Inorganic chemistry based on principles of bonding, structure, and reaction mechanisms. Chemistry of representative and transition elements and their compounds are covered. Offered in alternate years, 2010-2011. Prerequisite: CHEM 113, SCI 202, and MATH 251.

 CHEM 471 - BIOCHEMISTRY I (4 credits)

An introductory biochemistry course, examining the chemistry of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids. Intermediary metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids are introduced. Additional topics include respiration and photosynthesis. Prerequisite: CHEM 332. BIOL 150 is highly recommended.

 CHEM 472 - BIOCHEMISTRY II WITH LABORATORY (4 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 471. A study of the molecular mechanisms by which cellular processes are controlled in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Topics include the biochemistry of macromolecular processes, the structure of genes and chromosomes, the genetic and molecular techniques used to study gene expression, and the transcriptional and translational control of gene expression. The laboratory includes recombinant DNA techniques to manipulate the genome of a model organism. Prerequisites: BIOL 312 and CHEM 471.

 CHEM 494 - RESEARCH PROBLEMS (1 credits)

An advanced, supervised laboratory or library research experience involving methods of chemical research in an area of analytical, physical, organic, or biochemistry. A research paper and oral presentation of research results is required. Prerequisite: SCI 202.

 CHEM 497 - SPECIAL TOPICS (1 credits)

Special topics - studies to be determined by faculty, department and student.

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Charlesworth, William Memorial Scholarship

Charlesworth, William Memorial Mathematics and Natural Science Scholarship Available to:

The applicant has applied to and has been accepted for admission to Western State Colorado University and is pursuing a major in mathematics or related natural sciences. The applicant has demonstrated a need for financial assistance. The applicant has demonstrated an interest and is active in inter-collegiate athletics. Preference should be given to entering freshmen; however, all classes, freshmen through senior, are eligible. Preference should be given to applicants whose study time is limited by family obligations or the need to earn income. No preference should be given based on the sex of the applicant. Preference should be given to applicants from Delta County, Colorado, or from the Western Slope of Colorado.

Scholarship Provided by:

Established with the Western State Colorado University Foundation to perpetuate the memory of William Charlesworth, a 1954 graduate of Western State Colorado University. The express purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to student-athletes pursuing majors in mathematics or related natural sciences.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Chaired by the chairman of Mathematics and Computer Information Science and shall include a representative from the Athletic Department appointed by the Athletic Director. A representative from the Natural Sciences Department shall be on the selection committee.

Application: Contact the Mathematics and Computer Information Science Department or the Athletic Department for application and deadline information. MCIS Department: (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128 Athletic Department: (970) 943-2079 - Paul Wright Gym 201

Find out more about Western's Math Program at www.western.edu/mathematics.

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry.

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology.

Find out more about Western's Geology Program at www.western.edu/geology.

 Lawrence, A. W. Memorial Scholarship

Lawrence, A.W. Biology and Chemistry Scholarship is Available to:

Students majoring in Biology or Chemistry.

Scholarship Provided by:

Family and friends of Aubrey W. Lawrence who served as Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Science Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application: Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry

 Mckenny, Casey James Memorial Scholarship

Mckenny, Casey James Memorial, Natural and Environmental Sciences Scholarship is Available to:

Full-time students at Western who are Juniors or Seniors (qualified Juniors shall be given preference over Seniors). Must be a declared major in Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences. Must maintain a GPA of 3.2 or greater. Recipients must follow Casey's example of academic promise, love for the outdoors and service to fellow students demonstrated by volunteering in the community and involvement in campus activities and service.

Scholarship Provided by:

Gifts by Bill and Monica McKenny, Casey's parents, as well as other family members and friends.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Western NAES faculty in consultation with the Dean of Students and Bill and Monica McKenny.

Application: Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128.

Find out more about Western's Physics Program at www.western.edu/physics

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry

Find out more about Western's Geology Program at www.western.edu/geology

 Nauman, James D. Scholarship

Nauman, James D. Department of Environmental Sciences Scholarship is Available to:

Full-time, Colorado residents who have a major in a field within the Department of Natural & Environmental Sciences. Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and demonstrated financial need.

Scholarship Provided by:

Dr. James Nauman, who attended Western from 1945-49.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application: Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Find out more about Western's Physics Program at www.western.edu/physics

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry

 Walker, C. Ralph and Florence Memorial Scholarship

Walker, C. Ralph and Florence Memorial Scholarship (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) is Available to:

Full-time students at Western State Colorado University; must have declared a major in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Scholarship Provided by:

Gifts from members of the Walker family to perpetuate the memory and to commemorate the service and devotion of C. Ralph and Florence Walker who both served the College and the Gunnison community in an exemplary manner for many years. Professor Walker was Chairman of Western's then Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Amount: Award depends on funds available.

Scholarship Selected by:

Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application: Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2015 - Hurst Hall 128

Find out more about Western's Physics Program at www.western.edu/physics.

Find out more about Western's Biology Program at www.western.edu/biology.

Find out more about Western's Chemistry Program at www.western.edu/chemistry.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Associate Professor of Chemistry
B.S., Clemson University; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-3152
Office Location: Hurst Hall 204
Chair, Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences; Professor of Chemistry
B. A., Colorado College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: (970) 943-3437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A
Professor of Chemistry
B.S., Beloit College; Ph.D., University of Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-7098
Office Location: Hurst Hall 208
Senior Lecturer in Chemistry
B. S., Fort Lewis College, M. S. University of Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-2875
Office Location: Hurst Hall 217A
Lecturer in Chemistry
B.S., University of New Hampshire, Ph.D., Cornell University
Phone: (970) 943-2479
Office Location: Hurst Hall 206