College of Science
Programs and Opportunities
Medical schools recognize the importance of chemistry in medicine, because this science is fundamental to the study of all life processes and is the basis of the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, the department provides leading-edge courses in both organic chemistry and biochemistry. Organic chemistry facilitates the understanding of the structural features in therapeutic agents used for curing or preventing human disease. Biochemistry provides the fundamental knowledge needed to understand cellular processes and the molecular bases of genetic and metabolic disorders. Several members of the chemistry faculty are carrying out research at the interface between chemistry and medicine, with many of these laboratories available to undergraduates who wish to have research experience. Chemistry majors have full access to the College of Science health sciences advisor, and those interested in medical school are encouraged to consult with that office as early as their freshman year.
Virtually any plan of study within the chemistry department can be easily modified to assure that all the requirements for admission to a medical school are satisfied. Typically, this requires only the inclusion of one year of biologyin the plans of study. The B.S. in Biochemistry/Chemistry program is a departmental option that is accredited by the American Chemical Society and automatically includes biology within its curriculum.
The Department of Chemistry has an honors program for superior students. Participation can begin during the sophomore year, and a student will be assigned to advanced sections in chemistry courses taken during the sophomore year. During the junior and senior years, a student engages in undergraduate research, participates in research seminars and completes honors courses in the selected degree plan. The undergraduate research experience (CHM 49900) is to be a minimum of six credits. In addition, the student must write an honors thesis based on the CHM 49900 work. A committee of two faculty members will read the thesis, and the student will give a public presentation of the research.
Admission to the chemistry honors program must be made by the junior year. The honors student is expected to achieve and maintain a scholastic graduation index of at least 3.4. Students fulfilling requirements of the chemistry honors program will be graduated “with honors in chemistry.”
Honors Program Courses
Except for CHM 49900, the honors courses listed below replace the corresponding courses in the degree requirements:
Chemistry: CHM 26700 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory [Honors]) (2 cr.); CHM 26800 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) (2 cr.); and CHM 32300 (Analytical Chemistry I [Honors]) (4 cr.)
Undergraduate Research: CHM 49900 (Special Assignments) (6 cr. minimum)
Professional Practice Program
The Department of Chemistry participates in the Professional Practice Program. This program requires five years and involves four work periods — either semesters or summer modules — with a cooperating company in the chemical industry. As a student gains experience, he or she is given increasingly responsible industrial assignments and receives more compensation.
A student can enter the program at the end of the freshman or sophomore year if he or she ranks in the upper half of the class, has completed two semesters of chemistry and has a chemistry index greater than 2.8. Information is available from the Coordinator of the Professional Practice Program in the Department of Chemistry. Check with your advisor for further information.
Advanced Technical Experience Program
In this program, students spend all three work sessions with a single employer, much like five-session Co-Op students. Students begin in fall, spring or summer of their junior year. This program is a transcript-recorded experience and provides an academic certificate upon completion.
Applications are accepted at any time during the student’s sophomore year. Applicants are chosen by the employer host organizations during on-campus interviews. Selection depends upon the student’s academic achievement on campus (2.6/4.0 minimum GPA) and their success during the interview.
Additionally, students in the program who complete one term of work experience overseas have an international experience endorsement added to their certificates.
Information is available from the Coordinator of ATEP in the Department of Chemistry. Check with your advisor for further information.
A student may earn a minor in chemistry upon completion of 16 credit hours of chemistry courses beyond general chemistry (CHM 11500 and 11600, 12500 and 12600, or 13600). The following courses (designed for non-science majors) will not count toward a minor: CHM 22400 (Introductory Quantitative Analysis), CHM 25700 (Organic Chemistry [for non-science majors]) and CHM 33300 (Principles of Biochemistry).
Up to three credits of undergraduate research (CHM 49900) may be used toward fulfillment of the minor. All courses must be offered by the Department of Chemistry, Purdue University.