Jul 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalogue 
2021-2022 Catalogue

Chemistry, B.A.

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Karl Feierabend, Chair
Paul Bonvallet
Paul Edmiston
Jennifer Faust
Sara Martin
Lilliana Morris
Mark Snider
Sarah Sobeck


Chemistry is the study of the composition and transformations of matter. The faculty and staff of the Department of Chemistry have created a student-centered curriculum, a supportive environment, and a vibrant intellectual community for majors and non-majors alike. Our students grow into ethical, productive members of society who apply their scientific knowledge and skills in a broad range of endeavors. Instruction in the discipline integrates learning through coursework, laboratory work, and research by promoting skills in laboratory methods, use of instrumentation, information literacy, problem solving, oral and written communication, and research design. The curriculum is guided by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training and is comprised of courses across the major sub-disciplines of chemistry. Feedback from alumni, graduate programs, professional schools, and employers indicates that graduates from our program are well-prepared in terms of chemical knowledge, exposure to research-grade instrumentation, and communication skills. Within the context of the liberal arts and Senior Independent Study, Wooster chemists also have the ability to apply their knowledge, solve complex problems, and take on leadership roles.


Course Sequence

Students considering a Chemistry major should consider one of the sequences below:

Special Notes

  • Most students begin the curriculum with General Chemistry I (CHEM 11100).  Those seeking placement into General Chemistry II (CHEM 11200) must take the Chemistry Department placement exam.  Students are eligible for enrollment in CHEM 11200 after meeting at least one of the following criteria:
  1.  Performance on the Department of Chemistry placement exam that meets standards set by the Chair. 
  2.  Receiving transfer credit for CHEM 11100.  Students are strongly recommended to consult with the Chair for placement into CHEM 11200, especially in the case of dual-degree or CCP transfer credit.
  3.  Completion of CHEM 11100 with a grade of C- or higher.
  • Students can receive transfer credit for General Chemistry I (CHEM 11100) by one of the following:
  1. Earning a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Chemistry Exam
  2. Transfer of course credit from another accredited institution, subject to approval by the Chair. 

Students have the option of waiving this credit if they choose to enroll in CHEM 11100.

  •  International students with a certificate from a foreign Baccalaureate program may receive either one or two Chemistry course credits. Students who take the Chemistry Department placement exam will be placed into General Chemistry II (CHEM 11200) or Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 21100) depending upon the department placement exam results. If the student places into CHEM 11200, then 1.0 credit will be awarded for CHEM 11100. If the student places into Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 21100), then 2.25 credits will be awarded for the combination of CHEM 11100, CHEM 11200, and CHEM 11200L.
  •  First-year students rarely begin with Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 21100). Direct entry into this course may occur only with the permission of the instructor or Chair. 
  •  For the major, students who begin in CHEM 11100 are only required to take one elective.
  •  For the minor, students who begin with CHEM 11100 are only required to take two Chemistry courses at or above the 200-level.
  •  Concurrent enrollment in both class and laboratory is required for students taking a course with a laboratory component. Students who do not complete the class or laboratory component of a course with a C- or better must repeat both the class and the laboratory.
  •  A student may not take CHEM 10102 or CHEM 10103 concurrent with or after CHEM 11200.
  •  Chemistry majors in pre-professional dual degree programs (such as the Pre-Dental or Pre-Engineering programs, as described in the Pre-Professional and Dual Degree Programs section) must make sufficient progress in three years to complete the major in their fourth year, if necessary. Such students are required to complete the following courses by the end of their junior year: CHEM 11200, 21100, 21200, 21500, 24000, 31800 (or 31900), and 40100 in addition to MATH 11000 and 12000 and PHYS 10700-10800 (or 11100-11200).
  •  Chemistry majors who plan to attend graduate school should consider pursuing an ACS-certified degree in consultation with their academic advisor.  The requirements for an American Chemical Society Certified Degree are summarized below:
  1.  Chemistry: CHEM 11200, 21100, 21200, 21500, 24000, 31800, 31900, 40100, 45100, 45200, BIOL 20100, BCMB 33100, MATH 11000, 11500, 12000, 12500, PHYS 10700-10800 (or 11100, 11200).   This differs from the minimal Wooster major by at least two courses: Principles of Biochemistry (BCMB 33100) and its prerequisite Gateway to Molecular & Cellular Biology (BIOL 20100).   Biology 11100 (Foundations of Biology) is also required for students who do not place directly into BIOL 20100.
  2.  Chemistry/Chemical Physics: CHEM 11200, 21100, 21200, 21500, 24000, 31800, 31900, BIOL 20000, BCMB 33100, MATH 11000, 11500, 12000, 12500, PHYS 11100, 11200, two Physics courses beyond PHYS 11200, two advanced courses in theoretical chemistry, physics, or math; CHEM or PHYS 40100, 45100, 45200.
  •  All courses counting towards the Chemistry major or minor must be taken on a letter-grade basis and passed with a C- or better.  This policy applies to classroom and laboratory components alike.



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