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Course Descriptions

Here you will find detailed descriptions of all courses offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Department of Chemistry. You will also find what specific courses will be offered during the current academic year. For detailed information on courses, click on their corresponding links.

Course numbers define specific levels of study.

The Penn State Office of the University Registrar provides a list of courses, times and locations offered during Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters at University Park.

For some courses, a more detailed description may be available, accessible by clicking on the course number. All course descriptions are updated periodically.

Courses Level 0 through 399
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(*) The following combinations of courses must be taken to receive General Education credit in chemistry: CHEM 012 GN (or 017 GN) and 014 GN; CHEM 013 GN and 015 GN.

  CHEM 001 (GN)    MOLECULAR SCIENCE (3)

Selected concepts and topics in chemistry and related physical sciences showing their development, interrelationship, and present status. Students who have received credit for CHEM 002, 011, or 012 may not schedule this course.

  CHEM 002 (GN)    MOLECULAR SCIENCE (3)

Selected concepts and topics in chemistry and related physical sciences showing their development, interrelationship, and present status. Students who have received credit for CHEM 001, 011, or 012 may not schedule this course.

  CHEM 006    PROBLEM SOLVING IN CHEMISTRY (1)

Techniques, strategies, and skills for solving problems in general chemistry. Prerequisite: required by FTCAP Concurrent: CHEM 012.

  CHEM 011    INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY (3)

Selected principles and applications of chemistry. Prior study of chemistry not assumed. Prerequisite: MATH 021 ; or satisfactory performance on the MATH FTCAP examination-- i.e., placement beyond the level of MATH 021

  (*) CHEM 012 (GN)    CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES (3)

Basic concepts and quantitative relations. The following combinations of courses must be taken to receive General Education credit in chemistry: CHEM 012 GN (or CHEM 017 GN) and CHEM 014 GN; CHEM 013 GN and CHEM 015 GN. Prerequisite: satisfactory performance on the Chemistry and Math FTCAP tests-- i.e., placement beyond the level of CHEM 011 and MATH 022; or CHEM 011, and MATH 022 or MATH 041

   CHEM 012H (GN)    CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES (3)

Basic concepts and quantitative relations. (Honors) Prerequisite: satisfactory performance on the Chemistry and Math FTCAP tests-- i.e., placement beyond the level of CHEM 011 and MATH 022; or CHEM 011 , and MATH 022 or MATH 041

  (*) CHEM 013 (GN)    CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES (3)

Continuation of CHEM 012, including an introduction to the chemistry of the elements. The following combinations of courses must be taken to receive General Education credit in chemistry: CHEM 012 GN (or CHEM 017 GN) and CHEM 014 GN; CHEM 013 GN and CHEM 015 GN. Prerequisite: CHEM 012 or CHEM 017. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 014

  CHEM 013H (GN)    CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES (3)

Continuation of CHEM 012, including an introduction to the chemistry of the elements. Prerequisite: CHEM 012 or CHEM 017. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 014

  (*) CHEM 014 (GN)    EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY (1)

Introduction to quantitative experimentation in chemistry. The following combinations of courses must be taken to receive General Education credit in chemistry: CHEM 012 GN (or CHEM 017 GN) and CHEM 014 GN; CHEM 013 GN and CHEM 015 GN. Prerequisite: or concurrent: CHEM 012 OR CHEM 017

   CHEM 014H (GN)    EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY (1)

Introduction to quantitative experimentation in chemistry. Prerequisite: or concurrent: CHEM 012 OR CHEM 017

  (*) CHEM 015 (GN)    EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY (1)

Continuation of CHEM 014, with emphasis on analytical procedures. The following combinations of courses must be taken to receive General Education credit in chemistry: CHEM 012 GN (or CHEM 017 GN) and CHEM 014 GN; CHEM 013 GN and CHEM 015 GN. Prerequisite: CHEM 014. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 013

  CHEM 015B    EXPERIMENTAL CHEMISTRY - BIOSCIENCE (1)

A continuation of CHEM 014 with emphasis on bioscience examples of analytical procedures. Prerequisite: CHEM 014. PREREQUISITE OR CONCURRENT: CHEM 013

  CHEM 016    THE PROFESSIONAL CHEMIST (1)

Industrial employment opportunities and challenges; graduate and professional school opportunities; tailoring the chemistry curriculum to career goals. Prerequisite: fifth-semester standing in chemistry

  CHEM 034    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Introduction to organic chemistry, with emphasis on the properties of organic compounds of biochemical importance. Not open to those who have previously scheduled CHEM 037. Prerequisite: CHEM 011 , CHEM 012, or CHEM 017

  CHEM 035    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Introduction to organic chemistry, with emphasis on the identification of organic compounds by characteristic chemical reactions and by spectroscopy. Prerequisite: CHEM 034

  CHEM 036    LAB IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (2)

Basic laboratory operations; applications of theories and principles. Prerequisite: CHEM 038. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 039

  CHEM 036B    LAB IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - BIOSCIENCE (2)

Basic laboratory operations; synthesis and chemical or instrumental analysis of materials of biological significance. Prerequisite: CHEM 038. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 039

  CHEM 036H    LAB IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - BIOSCIENCE (2)

Basic laboratory operations; applications of theories and principles. Prerequisite: CHEM 038. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 039

  CHEM 038    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Principles and theories; nomenclature; chemistry of the functional groups; applications of spectroscopy. Students may not receive credit for both CHEM 038 and 034. Prerequisite: CHEM 013

  CHEM 038H    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Principles and theories; nomenclature; chemistry of the functional groups; applications of spectroscopy. Students may not receive credit for both CHEM 038 and 034. Prerequisite: CHEM 013

  CHEM 039    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Continuation of CHEM 038. Emphasis is placed on the role of organic reactions in biological chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 038

  CHEM 039H    ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Continuation of CHEM 038. Emphasis is placed on the role of organic reactions in biological chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 038

Courses Level 400 through 499
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(+) Graduate credit not allowed for student majoring in BioChemistry, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.

  CHEM 400    CHEMICAL LITERATURE (1)

Instruction in use of the library and of the literature of chemistry. Library problems will be assigned. Prerequisite: 15 credits of chemistry.

  CHEM 402    CHEMISTRY IN THE ENVIRONMENT (3)

Chemistry of the atmosphere, natural waters, and the land surface with particular focus on human influence on processes occurring therein. Prerequisite: CHEM 039

  CHEM 405    (NUC E) NUCLEAR AND RADIOCHEMISTRY (3)

Theory of radioactive decay processes, nuclear properties and structure, nuclear reactions, interactions of radiation with matter, biological effects of radiation. Prerequisite: PHYS 237, CHEM 452, OR NUC E 301

  CHEM 408    COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN CHEMISTRY (3)

Introduction to numerical and non numerical computer uses in physical science. Prerequisite: MATH 231. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 451

  CHEM 410    INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Conceptual and descriptive aspects of non transition elements, covering structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic features. Prerequisite: CHEM 013; CHEM 034 OR CHEM 038

  CHEM 411    TRANSITION METAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Structure and bonding of compounds containing transition metals. Prerequisite: CHEM 013; CHEM 034 OR CHEM 038

  CHEM 425    CHROMATOGRAPHY AND ELECTROCHEMISTRY (3)

Gas, liquid, and other forms of chromatography; important techniques of electrochemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 451. Prerequisite or concurrent: CHEM 457

  CHEM 426    CHEMICAL SPECTROSCOPY (3)

Modern methods and instruments of spectroscopy and their applications to problems of chemical structure and analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 452, CHEM 457

  CHEM 431W    ORGANIC AND INORGANIC PREPARATIONS (3)

Preparation, purification, and characterization of both organic and inorganic compounds by modern methods. Prerequisite: CHEM 036

  CHEM 439 STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (3)

Spectroscopic methods as tools in gross and detailed structural analysis and interpretation within the framework of modern theory. Prerequisite: CHEM 036

  CHEM 448    SURFACE CHEMISTRY (3)

Surface chemistry, including a description of modern techniques for characterization and selected heterogeneous catalytic systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  (+) CHEM 451    PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Introduction to chemical principles, including properties of matter and fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics. (Graduate credit not allowed for students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.) Prerequisite: CHEM 013, MATH 141, PHYS 202 or PHYS 212

  (+) CHEM 452     PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Continuation of CHEM 451, including molecular structure and chemical kinetics. (Graduate credit not allowed for students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.) Prerequisite: CHEM 451

  CHEM 453    THERMODYNAMICS OF CHEMICAL SYSTEMS (3)

Chemical thermodynamics, with applications to pure phases, solutions, and chemical reactions; introduction to the methods of statistical thermodynamics. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 454    INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM CHEMISTRY (3)

Introduction to theoretical physical chemistry, with emphasis on atomic and molecular structure. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 455    PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY OF HIGH POLYMERS (3)

Physiochemical principles related to the properties of synthetic and natural polymetric systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  (+) CHEM 457    EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (2)

Laboratory measurements illustrative of the principles of physical chemistry. (Graduate credit not allowed for students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.) Prerequisite: CHEM 451

  (+) CHEM 458     EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (1 - 2)

Laboratory measurements illustrative of the principles of physical chemistry. (Graduate credit not allowed for students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.) Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 463    CHEMICAL KINETICS (3)

Traditional topics in chemical kinetics. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 497A     BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Special topics course.

Courses Level 500 through 599
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  CHEM 500     SEMINAR IN CHEMISTRY ( 1 per semester, max of 9)

  CHEM 516     INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Systematic treatment of inorganic chemistry in terms of modern concepts.

  CHEM 517     ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Organometallic compounds and their use in catalysis and organic synthesis.

  CHEM 518     PHYSICAL METHODS IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3 per semester, max of 9)

Elements of group theory, transition metal electronic spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, magnetism, x-ray and photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray structure.

  CHEM 524     ELECTROANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Modern instrumental methods of analysis; electrochemistry.

  CHEM 525     ANALYTICAL SEPARATIONS (3)

Modern instrumental analysis, including chromatography and other separation methods.

  CHEM 526     SPECTROSCOPIC ANALYSIS (3)

Modern instrumental analysis, including absorption, emission, electronic, and magnetic spectroscopies.

  CHEM 527     SPECIAL TOPICS IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (2 - 12)

  CHEM 531     SPECIAL TOPICS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (2 - 12)

Prerequisite: CHEM 536

  CHEM 535     ORGANIC REACTION MECHANISMS I (3)

Reaction mechanisms and their determination by kinetic and nonkinetic methods. Reactive intermediates. Prerequisite: CHEM 439

  CHEM 536     ORGANIC REACTION MECHANISMS II (3)

Reaction mechanisms and their determination by kinetic and nonkinetic methods. Reactive intermediates. Prerequisite: CHEM 439

  CHEM 537     SYNTHESIS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Theory and methods of directed syntheses, including stereospecific and stereoselected schemes; biologically inspired syntheses. Prerequisite: CHEM 536

  CHEM 539     MECHANISTIC BIOORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3)

Advanced organic reaction mechanisms, particularly those applicable to biological systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 535, BIOCH 401

  CHEM 540     BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (3)

Structure of biomacromolecules, physical techniques for the study of structure and function, thermodynamic and kinetic studies of biomacromolecules in solution. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 543     POLYMER CHEMISTRY (3)

his graduate course discusses the new advances in polymer chemistry that leads to new polymeric materials with interesting structures and properties. Prerequisite: MATSE 441 or approval of program

  CHEM 544     CHEMICAL THERMODYNAMICS (3)

Development of thermodynamic theory, with special reference to common physical changes and chemical reactions. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 545     STATISTICAL THERMODYNAMICS (3)

Basic principles of statistical mechanics with application to the calculation of thermodynamic properties of gases and condensed phases. Prerequisite: CHEM 451, CHEM 452

  CHEM 560     TOPICS IN PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY (2 - 6 per semester)

  CHEM 563     CHEMICAL DYNAMICS (3)

Molecular dynamics of chemical reaction, energy transfer, and scattering. Reaction rate theory and experiment. Prerequisite: CHEM 565

  CHEM 565     QUANTUM CHEMISTRY I (3)

An introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics and their applications to chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 452

  CHEM 566     QUANTUM CHEMISTRY II (3)

Modern techniques in quantum mechanics, with applications to problems in molecular structure and interactions. Prerequisite: CHEM 565

  CHEM 567     MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY (3)

Principles and methods of molecular spectroscopy and their applications to chemical problems. Prerequisite: CHEM 565

  CHEM 571     POLYMER CHEMISTRY (3)

The synthesis, reactions, and structure determination of high polymers.

  CHEM 597A     THEORETICAL NMR SPECTROSCOPY (3)

Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

  CHEM 597B     BIOMEMBRANES (3)

Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

  CHEM 597C     ANALYSIS OF BIOLMOLECULES: MODERN TECHNIQUES AND ADVANCED APPLICATIONS (3)

Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

  CHEM 597D     BIOLOGICAL MASS SPECTROMETRY AND ANALYSTICAL PROTEOMICS (3)

Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

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