Chemistry Course Offerings

The chemistry department at Rocky Mountain College offers the following courses:

CHM 100: Chemistry of Everyday Life
Spring Semester: even years
Semester hours: 4

This is an introductory course for students interested in learning about the major role that chemistry plays in our modern society and in our daily lives. Emphasis will be on how chemical principles relate to topics such as diet and nutrition, food additives, pharmaceutical compounds, household chemicals, natural and synthetic fibers, pesticides, batteries, and alternative energy sources. This course is a lab science elective for non-science majors, but does not count as credit toward and chemistry major or minor. A previous background is science or college-level mathematics is not required for enrollment. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

CHM 101: General Chemistry I
Fall Semester
Semester hours: 4

This course introduces students to the science of chemistry. The concepts of atoms, molecules, bonding, and energy successfully explain the properties of matter and how reactions happen. Goals of this course include introducing students to representative materials and reactions, to important models and theories of the science, and to the symbols and language of chemists. The laboratory will involve observations of elements, compounds and their reactions (including synthesis), and quantitative measurements of properties or amounts of matter. Three hours of lecture, one two-hour laboratory session, and one hour of recitation per week.
Prerequisite: MAT 100 or higher mathematics course OR placement into MAT 110 or higher mathematics course.

CHM 102: General Chemistry II
Spring Semester
Semester hours: 4

This course will further develop the principles presented in CHM 101 with emphasis on the following core concepts: chemical kinetics, chemical equilibria, solution and acid-base chemistry, thermodynamics of reactions, and electrochemistry. Examples used in this course will point to the various branches of chemical sciences (organic, physical, biological, inorganic, analytical, geological, materials, and nuclear). The knowledge and skills gained over the two semester will be applied to the analysis of a contemporary topic or issue in chemistry. The laboratory experiments are designed to explore chemical principles and to expose students to more advanced chemical instrumentation in the department. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 101 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 105: Chemical Magic
Fall Semester
Semester hours: 1 - 2

This course will involve the student in chemistry demonstrations and chemistry magic shows to the community and to students in the CHM 101 lectures. Students will not only learn the "secrets" behind visually spectacular reactions, but they will also learn aspects of chemical preparation, presentation of chemistry to the general public, safe handling of chemicals, and proper clean-up after the show. Much of this course is dedicated to the selection, testing, and development of chemical demonstrations in the laboratory. Students taking this course for two semester hours will be required to participate in off-campus chemical magic shows. One one-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 123: Introduction to Chemistry Research I
Fall Semester
Semester hours: 1

This course is a laboratory-based introduction to the common techniques of research in the chemical sciences. Students will learn about safety, chemical hygiene, laboratory organization, solution and sample preparation, storage and labeling of chemical bottles, separation and purification methods, use of equipment, and keeping records in a notebook. In addition, an introduction to the use of handbooks, databases, and common software including structure-drawing programs will be presented. The student will also begin selecting a research project with a chosen faculty member of the chemistry department. One two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 101 with a grade of "C-" or higher, and students must apply for acceptance to the course.

CHM 220: Fundamental Organic Chemistry
Fall Semester
Semester hours: 4

This course is a one-semester introduction to carbon-containing compounds including their structure, bonding, properties, and reactivity. The different functional groups are introduced, including the key reactions and mechanisms of these groups. This course is designed to serve as a prerequisite of biochemistry. Four lecture hours per week. This course will not count as an elective for the chemistry major or minor.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 223: Introduction of Chemistry Research II
Fall Semester
Semester hours: 2

This course will further develop laboratory, experimental, instrumental, and computational techniques from Introduction to Research I. The use and capabilities of selected instruments in the department will be explored according to the interests and projects of the students. Students will begin working on research with close supervision by a faculty mentor. In addition, students will participate in a weekly discussion to learn how to read, analyze, and present articles from scientific journals. One one-hour lecture/discussion and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 123

CHM 224: Introduction to Chemistry Research III
Spring Semester
Semester Hours: 2

This course is designed to prepare students for independent research, so that less immediate supervision by their faculty mentor is required. They will continue working on research with supervision by a faculty mentor. Students in this course will also learn about research proposals and funding agencies. They will use their background and planning from Introduction to Research I and II to develop and present their proposal of a research project, in consultation with their individual faculty mentor. Students will formally present preliminary results of their research to faculty and students in a seminar or poster presentation. In addition, students in this course will be expected to mentor students in Introduction to Research I. One one-hour lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 223

CHM 251: Organic Chemistry I
Fall Semester
Semester Hours: 4

This course is an introduction to the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, concentrating on the structures, properties, and reactions of some of the important families of organic compounds. Considerable emphasis is placed on reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry. The laboratory experiments introduce techniques for the isolation and preparation of compounds. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 252: Organic Chemistry II
Spring Semester 
Semester hours: 4

This course, a continuation of Organic Chemistry I, concentrates on the chemistry of additional important families of organic compounds, emphasizing reaction mechanisms, synthesis, stereochemistry, and spectroscopy. The laboratory experiments include the synthesis and analysis of compounds with biological and industrial importance and qualitative analysis.
Prerequisite: CHM 251 with a grade of "C-" or higher. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.

CHM 260: History of Chemistry - Chemical Connections
Fall Semester: even years
Semester hours: 3

Considering history as a web of related events rather than as a series of unrelated timelines allows interesting connections between seemingly unrelated historical events. This course looks at how seemingly unrelated events in history are connected to various chemical discoveries and how these chemical discoveries led to unforeseen future results. Although chemistry will be the recurring thread throughout the connections made in the course, the discussions of chemical concepts and discoveries will be at a level easily understandable by students with a basic background in chemistry and science.

CHM 336: Instrumental Analysis
Fall Semester: even years
Semester hours: 4

This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of using advanced chemical instruments available in the department, including UV-visible spectrophotometers, atomic absorption (AA) spectrometer, in fared (FTIR) spectrometer, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, gas chromatograph (GC), liquid chromatograph (LC), ion-selective electrodes (ISE), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Basic theory of each instrument and interpretation of the output will be presented. Students will also learn sample preparation and loading for each instrument, as well as have the opportunity to explore the effects of changing operating conditions. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.

CHM 338: Chemical Equilibrium & Analysis
Spring Semester: odd years
Semester hours: 4

The classical methods of chemical analysis of samples rely on stoichiometry and various classes of chemical reactions introduced in CHM 101 and CHM 102. In particular, the concept of chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier's principle will be further explored in this course as it is central to chemical analyses, both classical and instrumental. The lectures will also include chemical calculations, statistical testing, and error analysis of experimental data. The principles of precipitation, acid-base neutralization, complex-formation, and redox reactions presented in the lecture will be applied in the laboratory to titrimetric, gravimetric, and potentiometric analyses of samples in the laboratory. The laboratory will also emphasize methods to enable accurate and precise determinations of composition. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 102 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 340: Environmental Chemistry
Spring Semester: odd years
Semester hours: 4

An upper-level science elective for science students interested in seeing the fascinating role that chemistry plays in many current challenges to our environment (air, water, and soil) and to our energy needs. The chemistry of natural processes will be discussed, along with the potential causes of - and potential solutions to - various environmental problems. The laboratory portion of this course includes analytical techniques, separations, chemical synthesis, and modeling. Three hours of lecture plus one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher; completion or concurrent enrollment in CHM 338 is advised. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.

CHM 401: Chemical Thermodynamics
Fall Semester: odd years
Semester hours: 4

The relationship between heat and work (thermodynamics) is enormously powerful for predicting the behavior of material systems in chemistry and biology. Students will explore the properties of matter (gases, solids, liquids, solutions, and mixtures) using classical thermodynamics enriched with the molecular insight from chemistry. State functions such as enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs free energy will be explored and used for predicting the spontaneous direction of physical transformations and chemical reactions. Students will also explore a complementary view of chemistry from kinetics, or the rate at which changes happen. The use of rate laws to discern the mechanism of reactions will be explained, as well as the importance of catalysis to life and industry. Laboratory experiments will emphasize the measurement of physical properties of materials, as well as experimental design and development toward this purpose. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.
Co-requisite: PHS 201

CHM 402: Quantum Chemistry
Spring Semester: even years
Semester hours: 4

The experimental behavior of tiny, nanoscopic objects like electrons and atom are best explained by quantum theory developed in the early 20th century. This course will give the historical overview and an introduction to applying quantum theory to simple systems like a particle confined in a box. The use of wave functions, operators and Schrodinger's equation will be explained. Students will explore systems like electrons in conjugated bonds, the harmonic oscillator, the hydrogen atom, multi-electron atoms, and molecules. Since spectroscopy probes the quantized energy levels in chemical species, the basics of modern molecular spectroscopy will also be discussed and will be the focus of laboratory experiments. There will also be exercises in computational modeling of molecules. Three lectures per week and one three-hour laboratory session per week.
Prerequisite: CHM 401 and PHS 201, both with a grade of "C-" or higher; previous or concurrent enrollment in PHS 202 is advised.

CHM 432: Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Sciences
Spring Semester: odd years
Semester hours: 3

Understanding how drugs cause biochemical and physiological effects stems from an analysis of the structure of drugs and the interactions that occur at their target sites. Chemical properties such as ionization, solubility, partition coefficients, and diffusion coefficients provide a basis for understanding how drugs get from the point of administration to their targets. The chemistry of drug distribution, metabolism, elimination, and the mechanism of action of specific classes of drugs will be discussed, along with toxicology (the potential adverse effects of drugs), drug discovery, and the FDA approval process.
Prerequisite: CHM 220 or CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher.

CHM 443: Organic Spectroscopic Analysis
On Demand
Semester hours: 3

The characterization and structure elucidation of organic compounds by spectral methods including mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, ultraviolet spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Prerequisite: CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher. CHM 220 will not be accepted as a prerequisite for this course.

CHM 450: Internship
On Demand
Semester hours: 1 - 12

A maximum of three semester hours can be counted toward the major in chemistry. This course is a guided work experience in an already established place of business. The student must arrange the internship in agreement with a chemistry advisor and the Office of Career Services. The internship should relate to the student's major or minor area of study. A contract is required.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.

CHM 452: Biochemistry I
Spring Semester
Semester hours: 5

Biochemistry focuses on the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of life, bringing together principles learned in biology and chemistry. After an introduction to the chemistry and structure of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, discussions of enzyme structure and kinetics set the stage for a detailed exploration of metabolism and its regulation. The laboratory component of this course involves a semester-long integrated project that requires independent student work. This project incorporates many different types of instrumentation, including low pressure chromatography, electrophoresis, UV-visible spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and ultrafiltration. Three lecture hours plus one laboratory lecture per week. Significant time working independently in the laboratory is required.
Prerequisite: CHM 220 or CHM 252 with a grade of "C-" or higher. BIO 111 is strongly recommended. Junior or senior standing is required.

CHM 460: Biochemistry II
On Demand
Semester hours: 3

This course is an introduction to the chemistry and structure of nucleotides and nucleic acids is followed by a detailed study of DNA replication and repair, RNA transcription and processing, protein synthesis, and the regulation of these processes. Bioethics, an important and interesting topic, is covered as an extension to the scientific content. This course covers topics in more depth and with a different emphasis than genetics.
Prerequisites: CHM 220 or CHM 252 and CHM 452 or BIO 203.

CHM 490: Seminar
Fall or Spring Semester
Semester hours: 1 - 3

This course is a discussion of a specialized area in chemistry. The subject matter and requirements of the course will vary semester to semester and by instructor. Students should see the instructor of that semester's seminar for information about the course description and the prerequisites. Students may take this course up to three times for credit; a maximum of three credit hours can count toward the major or minor.

CHM 499: Independent Study
On Demand
Semester hours: 1 - 3

This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing.

 
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