Featured Faculty: George McKnight Salem College's chemistry department combines an emphasis on real-world experience in professional laboratory settings with a foundation in the liberal arts. When you major or minor in chemistry, you will be equipped with both knowledge of the practice of chemistry as well as skills in critical thinking, analysis and communication.
Chemistry and Biochemistry Courses Program 4-Year Plan

Your Program

As a member of the chemistry department, you will learn modern theories of chemistry and familiarize yourself with the laboratory techniques that are fundamental to its practice. Salem offers two chemistry majors:

  • B.S. in Chemistry

Students completing the B.S. degree will be equipped for graduate or medical school or for professional occupation. The course of study is distributed over all four years.

  • B.A. in Chemistry

The curriculum provides a basic understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and allows for a broad liberal arts education.

Salem's intimate community means that each student receives one-on-one training from our chemistry faculty. They also receive extensive hands on experience in our newly renovated labs. Students may also take advantage of the programs offered by the unique Women in Science and Mathematics Program, including lectures, special study and research opportunities.

Your Faculty

As chemistry practitioners, Salem's faculty members, all of whom hold doctorates in the field, are able to convey the importance of learning through hands-on experience. Salem's intimate size means you will receive one-on-one training from the chemistry faculty, who will assist you in gaining extensive hands-on experience in our newly renovated labs and will encourage you to take advantage of the programs offered by the unique Women in Science and Mathematics Program, including lectures, special study and research opportunities.

Your Results

As a chemistry major, you will join other Salem majors who have been very successful in graduate programs, medical schools and other professional programs. The personal connections made through internships and research projects will be invaluable to you when you enter a career in science.

Chemistry Major (B.A.)

The bachelor of arts degree in chemistry provides the student with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry. The degree is designed to provide the student with flexibility to combine her interests in chemistry with interests in other areas. The major requires the completion of eight courses.

Chemistry Major (B.S.)

The bachelor of science degree in chemistry prepares a student for a career in chemistry or a related field. 

Chemistry Minor

The minor in chemistry requires completion of five courses.

Chemistry Courses (CHEM)

Each course lists the number of lectures and laboratories per week.

050. Modern Chemistry and Society One course

This course is designed for the non-science major. Emphasis is placed on the presentation of those concepts which will enable the student to understand the role of chemistry in society. Topics are selected which illustrate the impact of chemistry on the individual as well as society as a whole. Not included in the major or minor. Students who have taken one semester of general chemistry cannot take this course for credit. Three lectures and one laboratory. Offered as needed.

110. General Chemistry One course

Introduction to stoichiometry, thermochemistry, the gas laws, atomic structure and ionic bonding. Four hours of lecture, one laboratory. Prerequisite: MATH 020 equivalent or placement in a higher level math course. Fall.

120. General Chemistry with Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis One course

A continuation of CHEM 110 with emphasis on chemical bonding, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, oxidation and reduction and an introduction to chemical kinetics and electrochemistry. The laboratory emphasizes the techniques associated with qualitative and quantitative analysis. Four hours of lecture, one laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 110. Spring.

200. Independent Study in Chemistry One-quarter to one course

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor with permission from the department chair. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative average. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, a conference, project and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of four courses, no more than two in any term. Prerequisite: previous study in chemistry or permission of the department. Fall and Spring.

201. Organic Chemistry I One course

The chemistry of carbon compounds with an emphasis on structural theory, reactions and energetics. The laboratory stresses synthesis separation and identification techniques typical for organic compounds, including chromatography, spectrometry and molecular modeling. Four hours of lecture, one laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 120. Fall.

202. Organic Chemistry II One course

The continuation of CHEM 201 with emphasis on the reactions and reaction mechanisms characteristic of various functional groups. The laboratory stresses synthesis, separation and identification techniques (chromatography and spectrometric) and kinetic measurements. Four hours of lecture, one laboratory. Prerequisite: CHEM 201. Spring.

207. Solutions One course

The course introduces the student to the computational techniques used in quantitative analysis. This includes an introduction to the statistical methods used in evaluating the reliability of experimental and calculated data and the use of Excel in the manipulation of this data. The course specifically treats data obtained through gravimetric and titrimetric analyses and the chemical equilibria associated with these analytical methods. Four lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 120 and MATH 025 or equivalent. Spring.

220. Special Topics in Chemistry One course

A study of an area, topic, application or issue related to chemistry that will offer the student a broader, deeper, more practical or alternative view of the field. To be offered as needed. The topic will be announced in the semester prior to the semester in which it will be offered.

270. Internship in Chemistry One course

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a an applied laboratory setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to juniors and seniors with a 2.0 cumulative average; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only.

290. Honors Independent Study in Chemistry One to two courses

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Normally open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in chemistry. Subject to approval of the chair of the department. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses per term.

305. Biochemistry One course

Modern biochemistry with emphasis on the structure, chemical properties and metabolism of biologically important molecules. Three lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 202 and BIOL 100, or permission of the instructor. Fall.

308. Spectroscopy One course

Basic principles of infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy and their use in the identification of organic compounds. Three lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 202. Spring 2012 and alternate years.

309. Physical Methods Laboratory I One-half course

Methods of chemical analysis based on spectroscopy and laboratory computers. Prerequisite: CHEM 202 and PHYS 220. Fall.

310. Physical Methods Laboratory II One-half course

A continuation of CHEM 309 with emphasis on chromatography and electrochemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 309 and PHYS 220. Spring.

311. Physical Chemistry I One course

Thermodynamics, gas laws and colligative properties. Three lectures. Prerequisite: four chemistry courses, PHYS 220, and MATH 102 or permission of the instructor. Fall 2012 and alternate years.

312. Physical Chemistry II One course

Kinetics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy. Three lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 311. Spring 2011 and alternate years.

313. Inorganic Chemistry One course

An introduction to the chemistry of inorganic compounds. Topics covered are: atomic structure, molecular structure, molecular shape and geometry, the structures of solids, acids and bases, d-metal complexes and oxidation and reduction. Additional topics may be selected based on student interest. Four lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 202 or CHEM 207. Fall 2011 and alternate years.

314. Environmental Chemistry One course

An introduction to the chemistry of the environment with special emphasis on the chemical mechanisms of reactions occurring in the atmosphere. Topics to be covered include: the ozone layer and its maintenance; ground-level air pollutants and their effects on the environment; the enhanced greenhouse effect and the molecules that support it; global warming and its relationship to the use of fossil fuels; and alternative sources of energy sources. Four lectures. Prerequisite: CHEM 201 or equivalent. Spring 2011 and alternate years.

390. Senior Seminar One-half course

Discussion of special topics in chemistry with emphasis on current research. Required of majors in the department. Fall and Spring.


Students seeking teacher licensure in chemistry (grades 9-12) are required to complete a major in chemistry including CHEM 305, BIOL 010 or 100, PHYS 210, 220 and MATH 100. Professional education requirements are listed under the education department.

Inclement Weather

Due to inclement weather, all classes have been canceled and all offices will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Scholarship Weekend events scheduled for Monday, February 15, will take place in the Single Sisters House.

Tue Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2016