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

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 CHEM 100 - CONTEMPORARY CHEMISTRY GSC2 (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 - INTRO TO INORGANIC CHEM GSC2 (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 GSC2 (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 111 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY I GSC2 (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 LAB I GSC1 (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 112 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I GSC1 (1 credits)

An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebookkeeping 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 LAB 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 notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 114 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATRY 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 notebookkeeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 231 - INTRO ORGANIC CHEM BIOCHEM (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 - INTRO ORGANIC BIOCHEM LAB (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 306 - ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY W LAB (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 LAB 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 LAB II (1 credits)

This lab is a continuation of CHEM 334, with an expansion in scope that allows incorporation of more complex synthetic problems. The lab 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 451 - PHYSICAL CHEM 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 CHEM 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 LAB (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 471 - BIOCHEMISTRY I (4 credits)

A study of structural biochemistry and metabolism. The course begins with an overview of the aqueous environment and its effects on solutes, including biomolecules. Other subject matters include the chemistry of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids; the mechanisms and kinetics of enzymes; and the stoichiometry and chemistry underlying the core metabolic processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Prerequisite: BIOL 150, CHEM 332, and SCI 202.

 CHEM 472 - BIOCHEMISTRY II W LAB (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.

 MATH 151 - CALCULUS I GMA1 (4 credits)

A study of differential calculus, including limits, continuous functions, Intermediate Value Theorem, tangents, linear approximation, inverse functions, implicit differentiation, extreme values and the Mean Value Theorem. This course also introduces Integral calculus including anti-derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above; SAT math score of 610 or above; MATH 141 with a minimum grade of "C-"; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 95 or above. GT-MA1

 PHYS 200 - GENERAL PHYSICS I GSC1 (4 credits)

A quantitative lecture and laboratory introduction to the basic principles of physics, using the concepts of calculus as a tool. Topics covered include the motions of particles, forces in nature, field concepts, energy, conservation laws, many-particle systems, and thermodynamics. A student may not receive credit for both PHYS 170 and 200. Prerequisites: PHYS 140 or one year of high school physics; and completion of MATH 151 preferred but may be taken concurrently.

 PHYS 200 - GENERAL PHYSICS I LAB GSC1 (0 credits)

A quantitative lecture and laboratory introduction to the basic principles of physics, using the concepts of calculus as a tool. Topics covered include the motions of particles, forces in nature, field concepts, energy, conservation laws, many-particle systems, and thermodynamics. A student may not receive credit for both PHYS 170 and 200. Prerequisites: PHYS 140 or one year of high school physics; and completion of MATH 151 preferred but may be taken concurrently.

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

Lecturer of Chemistry and Biology
B.S., Colorado State University, M.S., University of Oregon
Phone:
Office Location: Hurst 218
Associate Professor of Chemistry
B.S., Clemson University; Ph.D., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-3152
Office Location: Hurst Hall 204
Professor of Chemistry
B. A., Colorado College; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: (970) 943-3437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 206
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 of Chemistry
B.S., Saint Louis University, M.S., Saint Louis University, Ph.D., University of Oregon
Phone: 970.943.2256
Office Location: Hurst 218