Professors Todd Hamilton (Chair) and David Fraley;

Associate Professors Susan Campbell, Patrick Sheridan and Meghan Knapp;

Professor Emeritus Frank Wiseman

Contact the Department

Chemistry Department
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

Department Site



Chemistry is everywhere! Actually everything we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell has a firm basis in Chemistry. The high quality of life that we experience today is due in no small part to many significant chemical discoveries over the past 150 years. Chemistry, as a Pure Science, seeks to describe and make comprehensible the nature and transformations of matter. As an Applied Science, it provides society with knowledge and tools to achieve its material purposes. By coupling creative thought and critical thinking skills with experimentation, the study of Chemistry contributes to a liberal arts education. The courses in Chemistry are designed to emphasize the fundamental principles of the science, to reflect its interdisciplinary nature, and to develop experimental skill.

Because Chemistry is the “Central” Science, a wide variety of opportunities awaits those with training in this field. The Chemistry Department offers a program meeting the needs of students pursuing a variety of study and career options in the Chemical Sciences. Included are students who anticipate careers as:

Professional Chemists in industrial research or as Environmental Chemists for the government or industry

Health-care Professionals in the Medical Sciences, such as Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, or Biomedical research

Chemical Engineers or Materials Scientists

Secondary Science Teachers or College Professors

Individuals who desire knowledge of Chemistry as part of their liberal arts experience, in that several graduates have chosen careers in the Law, Religion, and Business fields.

The Department of Chemistry has Approved status by the American Chemical Society. This prestigious recognition is granted to less than one-quarter of the nation’s colleges and universities. The ACS promotes excellence in chemis-try education for undergraduate students through approval of baccalaureate chemistry programs. ACS-Approval is based upon such factors as the number and academic quali-fications of the faculty, foundation and in-depth course and lab offerings, instrumentation, library holdings, administra-tive support, budgets, research opportunities, and lab space. ACS-Approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous Chemistry education that gives students intellectu-al, experimental, and communication skills to become ef-fective scientific professionals.

Graduates of the chemistry program will:

  • demonstrate a core of knowledge in inorganic, organic, biological, analytical, and physical chemistry;
  • develop basic laboratory skills and the ability to select and utilize appropriate instrumentation to conduct scientific investigations and analyses;
  • conduct effective searches of the chemical literature and will communicate competently, both orally and in writing, the results of literature research and laboratory experimentation;
  • understand career options and examine the role of chemistry in our society and our economy.

The Chemistry Department offers two degrees. For the B.S. degree, students complete 41 hours in Chemistry and 10 hours in allied courses. Independent research is not re-quired, but is encouraged. This is the degree that most students complete. An ACS-Certified B.S. degree is available to those students who optionally complete some addi-tional courses beyond the standard B.S. Chemistry degree. Those students complete 48 hours in Chemistry and 14 hours in allied courses. Independent research is required. The ACS-Certified B.S. degree is more appropriate for students who plan to go (a) to graduate school in Chemistry or (b) directly into the workforce in a chemically related area. For students who will be going into health-related fields, the additional study does indeed set them apart as graduates who are particularly well-prepared in Chemistry.

Graduates who attain an ACS-Certified B.S. degree will complete requirements that exceed those of the current B.S. degree, but this comprehensive undergraduate experience provides an excellent foundation for a career in the molec-ular sciences. An ACS-Certified degree signifies that a student has completed an integrated, rigorous program which includes introductory, foundational, and in-depth course work in Chemistry. This degree also emphasizes laboratory experiences and the development of professional skills that are needed to be an effective chemist. Certification gives a student an identity as a chemist and helps in the transition from undergraduate studies to professional stud-ies or employment. ACS-Certified graduates benefit from their broad, rigorous education in Chemistry and the recognition associated with their degree.


(B.S. degree) Fifty-one hours required. Forty-one hours of Chemistry which must include CHE 111, 112, 113, 201, 202, 309, 310, 331, 341, 450, 451. Additionally, three courses must be chosen from CHE 305, 315, 332 or 400, plus two labs chosen from CHE 319, 325, 329, 333, 339, 342, and 421, plus enough semester hours of electives to reach a total of 41. The required allied courses are MAT 125 and 225 plus PHY 211. PHY 301 may be used as an elective. CHE 100, 102, 171, or 271 may not count toward a Chemistry major.


(ACS-Certified B.S. degree) Sixty-two hours required. Forty-eight hours of Chemistry which should in-clude CHE-111, 112, 113, 211, 213, 201, 202, 309, 310, 305, 315, 331, 332, 333, 341, 342, 400, 325, 450, and 451, plus sufficient hours of electives to reach a total of 48. A research lab experience is required. The required allied courses are MAT-125 and 225 plus PHY-211 and 212. CHE-100, 102, 135, 171, or 271 may not count to-ward this Chemistry major. Prospective students should consult with the Chair of the Chemistry Dept. concerning proper course selection and ways in which the course and lab requirements may be fulfilled.



Twenty hours required, which must include CHE 111, 112, 113, 201, 202, 309, 310; plus four credit hours in any other Chemistry course (except CHE 100, 102, 171, or 271), one of which must be a lab course.


100. Liberal Arts Chemistry. (4 hours) This introductory course, primarily for non-science students, will introduce the basic concepts of Chemistry and how it affects our life. Particular emphasis is placed upon the relevancy of Chemistry today to problems including air and water pollution, energy production, and nuclear energy. Practical applications of Chemistry to the broad exposure of our modern life, such as foods, household chemicals, personal fitness and health, and drugs are included. Includes a 3-hour lab each week.               Fall and Spring


102. Liberal Arts Chemistry/No Lab. (3 hours) This course has the same lecture as CHE 100 but does not include a lab. (A student may not receive credit for both CHE 100 and 102, but CHE 102 can be upgraded to 100, by later completing the lab.)      Fall and Spring


111. General Chemistry I. (4 hours) This initial course on the principles of Chemistry is for those who may have a continuing interest in the natural sciences. Content includes the structure of matter, stoichiometry, chemical reactivity, gases, thermochemistry, atomic structure, and periodic relationships of the elements. Includes a 3-hour lab each week. Proficiency in math at the level of college algebra (Math 107 or a Math ACT > 22) is strongly advised. Additional lab fee applies. Special fee applies, please see Financial Planning and Expenses section.                                                                                                                            Fall


112. General Chemistry II. (3 hours) This course is a continuation of the material in CHE 111. It will include chemical bonding, molecular geometry, intermolecular forces, solutions, rates of reactions, equilibrium, and acid-base chemistry. Lecture only. Prerequisite: CHE 111; CHE 113 is the separate, co-requisite lab component.                                     Spring


113. General Chemistry II Lab. (1 hour) This course involves laboratory experiences that accompany the General Chemistry-II lecture. The activities are designed to develop skills in the chemistry laboratory via quantitative analysis, synthesis, molecular modeling, rates of reactions, and inorganic qualitative analysis. Practical experiments that correlate with the lecture material are designed to aid the understanding of modern chemical concepts. One 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHE 111; Co-requisite: CHE 112.            Spring


135. Practical Applications of Chemistry. (1 hour) This course is designed to expose science majors to some of the many practical applications of Chemistry, such as nuclear power, plastics, household products, nutrition, or drugs, as well as the interaction of chemistry with other segments of society. Prerequisite: CHE 111. (A student receiving credit for either CHE 100, 102, or 271 may not receive credit for 135.)                                                                                                     Fall and Spring


171. Culinary Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) This course will examine the principles of cooking and the chemistry of food using scientific principles. Students will have the opportunity to test theories of improving cooking and to determine how and why certain foods are used in recipes. Co-requisites: CHE102 or CHE271.                                            Odd Springs


201. Organic Chemistry I. (3 hours) The nomenclature, reactions, preparations, electronic and structural features of carbon-containing compounds will be covered in this course. These compounds include many medicines, pesticides, plastics, fibers, solvents, and fuels. The study of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, and alkyl halides is emphasized. Prerequisites: CHE 112, 113. Concurrent with CHE 202.                                                                                                                                          Fall


202. Organic Chemistry Lab I – Techniques and Synthesis. (1 hour) This is a technique-oriented course focusing on the ability to carry out standard operations in the laboratory. Content includes learning how to determine the melting and boiling points of compounds as well as purifying liquids by distillation and solids by recrystallization and sublimation. Also covered are methods of synthesizing and proving the identity of compounds, chromatographic methods of analysis, and general safety considerations. Prerequisites: CHE 112, 113. Concurrent with CHE 201.                                                                                         Fall


208. Science Careers Seminar. (2 hours) An interdisciplinary seminar in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines that will introduce students interested in scientific research to an array of professions and professionals in these fields. This introduction will emphasize comprehension and analysis of published scientific research and provide students with the opportunity to meet the science professional who produced the work. Prerequisites: One science or mathematics course for majors, sophomore or junior standing, and approval of instructor.                                                                        Fall


211. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry. (3 hours) Introduction to chemical concepts covered in-depth in advanced courses such as equilibrium, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and nuclear reactions. The major focus will be on the periodic properties of the elements, descriptive main group and transition metal chemistry, and solid state chemistry. The lab (CHE 213) is optional. Prerequisite: CHE 112.                                                                                                                              Even Falls


213. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) Laboratory experiences to accompany CHE 211 will include qualitative inorganic analysis and Inquiry-based labs on topics relevant to descriptive inorganic chemistry. One 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHE 113.                                                                                                                              Even Falls


271. Culinary Chemistry: The Science of Food and Cooking. (3 hours) Students will examine raw ingredients and the methods to prepare foods from a chemical perspective. The effects of temperature, acidity, and polarity on the texture and flavor of foods will be examined. No science prerequisite, but a core knowledge of the basic structure of an atom and scientific method will be presumed. Students should have completed the writing sequence prior to taking this course.

Odd Springs


305. Analytical Chemistry. (4 hours) Qualitative and quantitative analyses dealing with both the theoretical and practical aspects of classical gravimetric and volumetric chemical techniques, spectrophotometry, chromatography, and electrochemistry are covered. This course places an emphasis on both accuracy and precision in the lab and incorporates a discussion of elementary statistics and uncertainty in measurements. Includes a 3-hour lab each week. Prerequisites: CHE 112, 113.               Odd Falls


307. Chemistry and Cancer. (3 hours) This course in applied biochemistry examines the fundamental biochemistry and molecular biology of human cancers. Causes of cancer (genetic and environmental) and treatment of cancer (conventional therapies and emerging therapies) will be discussed. Prerequisites: 1 semester of Biology and CHE 201.   Even Falls


309. Organic Chemistry II. (3 hours) This continuation of Chemistry 201 emphasizes the chemistry of aromatics, ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, and amines. Multistep synthesis ties it all together. The theory and interpretation of spectral methods is also included. Prerequisite: CHE 201. Concurrent with CHE 310.             Spring


310. Organic Chemistry Lab II — Qualitative Analysis and Synthesis.

(1 hour) This lab utilizes more advanced synthetic methods than those covered in Chemistry 202. Classical methods of organic qualitative analysis, including refractive indices and densities, are used to determine the identity of unknown compounds and mixtures. Skill in obtaining and interpreting ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and mass (MS) spectra is emphasized. Prerequisite: CHE 202. Concurrent with CHE 309.                                           Spring


315. Spectroscopy. (4 hours) This course covers modern analytical methodology, including the theory, instrumental analysis, and advanced spectral interpretation of UV-Visible, IR, NMR, MS, Fluorescence, and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. In addition, this course, like many other upper-level courses, gives students a chance to review the basic concepts introduced in the General and Organic sequences. Includes a 3-hour lab each week. Prerequisite: CHE 309.    Even Falls


317. Forensic Chemistry. (2 hours) Students will study the scientific principles and analytical techniques applied to forensic investigations associated with crime scenes, legal proceedings, and current TV dramas. The class will study the history of forensic science and will be introduced to typical analytical techniques used for drug identification, arson investigation, forensic serology, DNA typing, and trace evidence investigation. Prerequisite: CHE 112.                                       Odd Springs


319. Nuclear Chemistry and Electrochemistry Lab. (1 hour) This lab provides experience in the use of modern electrochemical instrumentation and in the study of the characteristics of the three types of natural radioactivity. Materials containing safe, low levels of radioactivity are utilized. One 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHE 202. Even Falls


325. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) Advanced synthesis and characterization of inorganic and organometallic compounds using solution and solid state techniques, along with the study of the properties of these materials. One 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHE 202. Offered concurrently with CHE 400.                                    Even Springs


327. Medicinal Chemistry. (2 hours) This course covers the basic categories of medicinal compounds and the chemical methods by which many are prepared commercially. It will also cover the principles by which pharmaceutical preparations are developed into usable form and the biochemical mode of action and transformations of selected compounds (such as aspirin and penicillin). The chemical and legal processes required to bring a compound to market and the history of the development of some of the important classes of drugs will also be covered. The lab is optional. Prerequisite: CHE 309.                        Odd Springs


329. Medicinal and Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) This lab includes the multi-step synthesis and analysis of a variety of medically significant

materials using modern instrumentation. One 3-hour lab per week. CHE 327 is optional. Prerequisite: CHE 310. Offered concurrently with CHE 327.

Odd Springs


331. Physical Chemistry I. (4 hours) An advanced treatment of chemical principles will include quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure, the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry, and chemical equilibria in gas phase reactions. Includes a 3-hour lab each week. Prerequisites: CHE 112, MAT 225, PHY 211. Fall


332. Physical Chemistry II. (3 hours) Topics will include molecular spectroscopy, the properties of gases, kinetics, and chemical equilibria in solution phase reactions. The lab is optional. CHE 331 and 332 may be taken in any order. Prerequisites: CHE 201, MAT 225, PHY 211.                                                                                                                  Odd Springs


333. Physical Chemistry II Lab. (1 hour) In this laboratory course, students will perform detailed measurements of density, viscosity, conductivity, and freezing point depression. A series of unknowns are identified using physical measurements, various types of spectroscopy (UV-Visible, IR, NMR, MS, Fluorescence), and known literature values. One 3-hour lab per week. Co-requisite: CHE 332. Prerequisite: CHE 202                                                                                  Odd Springs


337. Environmental Chemistry. (2 hours) By combining chemical principles with issues of environmental concern, this course explores the flow of energy through nature, air pollution (global warming, acid rain, ozone depletion, photochemical smog, and indoor air), water pollution and purification, and toxic substances. Analytical techniques that are used to measure pollutants in the environment are also covered. The lab is optional. Prerequisite: CHE 201.

Even Springs


339. Environmental Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) By working with EPA sampling techniques and using modern instrumentation to separate and analyze real samples for environmentally significant materials, students will gain an appreciation for measuring trace components in complex samples. One 3-hour lab per week. CHE 337 is optional. Prerequisite: CHE 202. Offered concurrently with CHE 337.                Even Springs


341. Biochemistry. (3 hours) This class focuses on the molecular structures, functions, and naming systems of the four major classes of biomolecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids). It includes the acid-base behavior of biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, and practical considerations of personal nutrition. The biochemistry of glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and electron transport is also covered. The optional lab is offered in Even Springs. Co- or Prerequisite: CHE 309.               Spring


342. Biochemistry Lab. (1 hour) Students will be introduced to the theory and application of modern biochemical techniques. Experiments will emphasize amino acid, carbohydrate, and lipid chemistry, protein isolation and

characterization via column chromatography and electrophoresis, enzyme kinetics, and membrane biochemistry. One 3-hour lab per week. Co-requisite:
CHE 341.                                                                                                       Even Springs


371. Special Topics in Chemistry. (1-4 hours) Selected courses from fields such as chemical energetics, separations, toxicology, surface and materials chemistry, polymers, and mass spectrometry. Typically, one topic is offered each year. Prerequisites: CHE 112, 113.      As needed


400. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. (3 hours) Advanced principles of inorganic chemistry will be introduced by focusing on the periodic properties, bonding, and structural theories of the elements, particularly the transition metals. Symmetry and group theory, acid-base theories, coordination compounds, and bioinorganic compounds are also covered. The lab (CHE 325) is optional. Prerequisite:
CHE 331.                                                                                                       Even Springs


421. Computational Chemistry Lab. (1 hour) This lab will utilize powerful, yet convenient, molecular modeling software suites to model the chemical and physical properties of organic, inorganic, and biological molecules. Modern theoretical methods will examine molecular structure, spectra, bonding, and reactivity. Studies of Quantitative Structure Activity Relationships (QSAR) and the molecular dynamics of physical processes will be included. One 3-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHE 201.         Odd Falls


440. Independent Research. (1-3 hours) A student will work closely with a chemistry faculty member to identify a problem, define a course of investigation, accomplish the study in the library or laboratory, and submit a document recording the project. One hour of credit for each 3-hour lab per week.

Fall, Spring, or Summer


450. Junior Seminar. (1 hour) Students will present several short presentations based on the chemical industry and the chemical literature. Resume preparation, small group activities, and talks by visiting speakers are included.     Spring


451. Senior Seminar. (1 hour) This continuation of the seminar series includes a 30-45 minute seminar presentation by each student on a current chemical topic. Prerequisite: CHE 450.                                                      Fall

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