Skip to main content

Vision of the Program:

To be recognized by graduate and professional schools, industrial employers, and other undergraduate educational institutions as one of the best chemistry programs at any liberal arts college in the mid-west region.

Mission of the Program

  1. To graduate chemists and biochemists who are:
    • prepared for entrance into top-rated graduate and professional schools
    • prepared for entry-level positions in chemical industry and other chemistry-related fields
    • capable of becoming responsible, successful professionals and leaders in their chosen fields
  2. To contribute to the preparation of students in other science disciplines for their careers.
  3. To contribute to the improvement of scientific and technological literacy, and the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills of all students as preparation for the world of work and responsible citizenship.
  4. To maintain an ACS approved chemistry program.
  5. To attract well-qualified students, graduate 10-12 students per year, half as chemistry majors, with 60% of those graduates entering graduate or professional schools, including some of the top schools/programs in the country.
  6. To increase the number of science majors enrolled in non-required chemistry courses and graduating with chemistry minors.
  7. To increase the number of non-science majors enrolled in chemistry courses.


Educational Goals

  1. Provide chemistry majors with a strong background in the five major sub-disciplines of chemistry – organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry and biochemistry – with up-to-date coursework in each area.
  2. Provide biochemistry majors with a strong background in organic and analytical chemistry and biochemistry, while emphasizing the interface between chemistry and biology.
  3. Provide students with relevant laboratory and research experiences designed to deepen their understanding of chemical principles, while simultaneously teaching students safe, responsible laboratory practices.
  4. Demonstrate the use of modern technology in chemistry by giving students direct, hands-on experiences with up-to-date instrumentation, computer software, and methods of information retrieval, both in coursework and in the laboratory setting.
  5. Provide students with opportunities, through regular coursework and research experiences, to practice active learning and develop their critical thinking, communication, and technical skills.
  6. Provide opportunities for students to become familiar with the chemical professions and professional activities of practicing chemists and biochemists.
  7. Provide students with a more holistic view of chemistry through emphasis on its interdisciplinary nature by using specific examples to illustrate connections between chemistry and other science areas and the liberal arts.


Learning Outcomes

In order to achieve the seven educational objectives of the Chemistry program, graduates of the program must demonstrate that they have achieved the following outcomes (all outcomes relate to goals 1 and 2 above. Additional specific ties to goals 3-7 are noted in parentheses):

Laboratory Skills

  • Design and conduct experiments (3,5)
  • Analyze experimental data (3,4)
  • Assess chemical safety issues (3)
  • Perform both quantitative and qualitative analysis (3,4)
  • Synthesize chemical products (3)
  • Purify chemicals (3,4)
  • Separate chemicals via chromatography and other means (3,4)
  • Use instrumentation to collect and interpret data (3,4)
  • Use instrumentation to perform both quantitative and qualitative analysis (3,4)
  • Use instrumentation for the separation of chemicals (3,4)
  • Analyze samples via spectroscopic methods (3,4)
  • Perform electrochemical experiments (3,4)
  • Prepare samples for instrumental analysis (3,4)
  • Use computers for data acquisition, analysis, and manipulation (3,4)
  • Perform basic molecular modeling experiments (3,4)
  • Use chemical-structure drawing programs (3,4)


Classroom/Theoretical Skills


  • Read and understand chemical literature (6,7)
  • Express chemical concepts both in written and oral formats (5, 7)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method (5,6)
  • Relate theory to experimental results (3,6)
  • Understand the relationship between chemistry and other disciplines (7)
  • Assess the quality of reported data (3, 5, 6)
  • Solve problems (3-6)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of thermodynamics
  • Demonstrate an understanding of kinetics
  • Demonstrate an understanding of equilibrium
  • Demonstrate an understanding of reaction mechanisms
  • Demonstrate an understanding of quantum theory
  • Demonstrate an understanding of bonding theory
  • Demonstrate an understanding of spectroscopy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of catalysis
  • Demonstrate an understanding of molecular structure
  • Demonstrate an understanding of synthesis
  • Demonstrate an understanding of nomenclature
  • Demonstrate an understanding of periodic trends
  • Demonstrate an understanding of instrumental theory and design (4)
  • Use mathematical applications to solve chemical problems
  • Demonstrate an understanding of macromolecules
  • Demonstrate an ability to work in groups or teams (6)
  • Learn improved study skills (5)