Chemistry Department

Chemistry DepartmentThe Georgetown College Chemistry Department is Approved by the American Chemical Society.

It is one of only a select number of private colleges with this prestigious recognition. ACS-Approved programs offer their students a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that provides them with the intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.

ACS-Approval depends on a number of factors, including the number and academic qualifications of the faculty, foundation and in-depth course and lab offerings, instrumentation, library holdings, administrative support, budgets, research opportunities, and lab space. ACS-Approval permits students to earn the comprehensive ACS-Certified degree, which provides an excellent foundation for a career in the molecular sciences. This ACS-Approval is a high honor because less than one-quarter of all 4-year degree granting institutions have this distinction.

Chemistry is everywhere! Actually everything we see, taste, smell and touch 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 100 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 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 such a central science, a wide variety of opportunities await 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 as environmental chemists for the government or industry; seek thorough and comprehensive pre-professional training for Engineering or Medical Science (Medicine, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Medical Technology, Nursing); plan to engage in Secondary Science or College Teaching; or desire a knowledge of Chemistry as part of their liberal arts experience.

NSFCONGRATULATIONS to Drs. David Fraley, Todd Hamilton, and Meghan Knapp who have received a $199,900 grant from the National Science Foundation.  The grant,

Putting Undergraduate Chemistry on Solid Ground:  Analysis of Solids for a Deeper Understanding of Chemistry,”

will acquire 3 new instruments for the analysis of solids that will be integrated into the Chemistry curriculum.  Their primary use will be in the General, Liberal Arts, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, and Spectroscopy labs. The faculty will develop new, engaging labs for both non-science and science majors that involve hands-on use of these sophisticated, research-grade instruments.  The 3 instruments to be acquired are:

1.     X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF).  David Fraley will use this instrument to analyze for most elements (primarily metals) in soils, powders, metals, i.e. many solid materials.

2.     Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and a Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA) for Todd Hamilton.  These two instruments monitor the heat flow into or out of a sample (the DSC) or the mass of the sample (the TGA) as the temperature of the sample is raised from room temperature to several hundred degrees.

3.     X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) for Meghan Knapp.  This instrument provides information on the identity and structure of crystalline powders.