The department offers both a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Chemistry. The B.A. degree is for those who want a core of chemistry courses with a broader background in the liberal arts. The B.S. degree is for those who wish to emphasize their study of chemistry.
The B.S. degree with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology consists of a combination of chemistry-based curriculum with a significant biology component that prepares our students for postgraduate studies in fields such as biochemical, biomedical, and bioengineering sciences. While biochemistry focuses on the structure and function of compounds like DNA, enzymes and proteins, molecular biology focuses on how molecules convert information into chemical reactions.
Chemists also regularly study in any of Nebraska Wesleyan’s health-related pre-professional programs. A program of study emphasizing a strong background in chemistry is available for students planning a future in medicine.
Students interested in chemical engineering can participate in the Engineering Dual-Degree Program described in the Department of Physics and Astronomy section of this catalog. Chemical Engineering students complete either a B.A. or B.S. degree in Chemistry at NWU and any remaining engineering program requirements at one of our participating schools of engineering.
The Department of Chemistry is on the approved list of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Approval is received after an examination of curriculum, laboratory facilities, library, and staff of the department by the Committee on Professional Training of the ACS.
Students who wish to be certified as having met the minimum requirements of the American Chemical Society for professional training must work closely with the department chair in developing their program of study.
Department Learning Outcomes
Majors will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the core descriptive material in inorganic, physical, analytical, organic and polymer (macromolecular) chemistry, and biochemistry.
- Describe the structure of atoms and molecules.
- Understand relationships between structure and reactivity.
- Predict mechanisms and products of chemical transformations.
- Use retrosynthetic analysis to design syntheses of organic compounds.
- Understand thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of physical and chemical transformations.
- Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative problems dealing with stoichiometry and quantitative analysis, thermodynamics and equilibrium, kinetics, and quantum mechanics.
- Analyze and interpret the data derived from modern methods of spectroscopic, electrometric, and chromatographic analysis, and understand the fundamental principles upon which these instrumental methods of measurement are based.
- Evaluate and understand error and uncertainties in physical measurements.