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Chemistry and Biochemistry: Overview


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is a newly merged department (2009) housing five undergraduate programs and a comprehensive graduate program. Assessment details for each of the Graduate and Undergraduate programs can be seen by following the links at left.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Upon completion of the BIOC or CHEM program, students should be able to design, investigate, and/or evaluate strategies to:

A.  Synthesize chemical/biochemical entities:

·  Isolate and purify a range of chemical/biochemical entities on a preparative scale

·  Carry out a multi-step synthesis following a known procedure

·  Choose and use appropriate analytical methods to monitor reaction progress

·  Isolate and characterize targeted products by determining their composition, structure, and major physical, chemical, and biochemical properties

B.  Analyze the properties of chemical/biochemical entities:

·  Detect the presence of targeted components

·  Identify the different components present in a system and determine sample purity using appropriate analytical methods

·  Isolate targeted components

·  Quantify the concentration and/or amount of targeted components

C.  Control chemical/biochemical processes:

·   Control the extent and rate of targeted chemical/biochemical processes

·   Control the outcome of targeted chemical/biochemical processes

·   Control the costs and risks of targeted chemical/biochemical processes

D.  Model chemical/biochemical entities and processes:

·     Derive reasonable chemical models for the composition, structure, and/or mechanism of a targeted system from experimental data.

·    Use chemical models to explain experimental data

·    Infer structural and/or mechanistic information from chemical models of a system

·    Use chemical models to predict relevant physical, chemical, and biochemical properties and behaviors under various conditions

It is expected that students will integrate core concepts, ideas, and practices to design, investigate, and/or evaluate strategies to Analyze, Synthesize, Control, and Model chemical‌/‌bio­chemical systems using sound practices. In particular, students are expected to:

·   Assess the applicability and limitations of available experimental and/or theoretical strategies to solve specific problems

·   Evaluate strategies and procedures with attention to cost, risk, safety, and sustainability

·   Safely and efficiently implement  proposed strategies to solve problems

·    Identify and solve issues encountered using knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry

·    Critically analyze and assess the validity of data using appropriate numerical, statistical, and interpretive tools

·    Build convincing arguments based on the analysis of existing evidence and on chemical or biochemical models

·    Clearly communicate the nature of the problem, their goals, proposed strategies, and the results of their work

·    Adhere to the chemical/biochemical professional’s code of conduct



Assessment Activities: 

1.   “Design Your Own Synthesis” – literature-based synthesis project in CHEM 247B, culminating in presentation and written report

            Applies to Outcomes A, B, C

2.   Materials Characterization Project – capstone project in CHEM 400A

            Applies to Outcomes A, B, C, D

3.   Testing prior and after CHEM 400A; comparison to control group (incoming grad students)

            Applies to Outcome B, D

4.   Biochemistry majors capstone project

            Applies to Outcome A, B, C

5.   ASBMB certification exam

            Applies to Outcome B, D

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Updated date: Fri, 08/05/2016 - 12:24