Chemistry & Biochemistry

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Kent State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers five programs leading to the Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Arts degree. Graduate students can pursue the can pursue the Master of Science, Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees at Kent State.
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General Requirements

All students seeking bachelor’s degrees at Kent State complete a series of Kent Core requirements. In addition to the coursework specific to their major (outlined below), students pursuing B.S. or B.A. chemistry degree programs take courses in English composition, foreign language, humanities, fine arts and social sciences.

Bachelor Of Science Program

There are four B.S. chemistry degree concentrations at Kent State:

Chemistry Concentration

This traditional B.S. chemistry program is certified by the American Chemical Society and is recommended for students interested in pursuing graduate study in chemistry, as well as those planning careers as practicing chemists in industry, government, medical technology, forensic analysis or in academia. In addition to the Kent Core requirements cited above, students take courses in the following areas:

Year I: general chemistry (lecture/lab), analytical geometry and calculus I and II;  Year II: organic chemistry (lecture/lab), inorganic chemistry (lecture), physics I and II (lecture/lab), analytical geometry and calculus III;  Year III: analytical chemistry (lecture/lab), physical chemistry (lecture/lab), organic chemistry (lecture/lab);  Year IV: inorganic chemistry (lecture/lab), biological chemistry (lecture), physical chemistry (lab), chemistry electives.

Biochemistry Concentration

The biochemistry concentration is tailored for students interested in careers in pharmacy, as well as those planning to pursue graduate study in biochemistry or move on to a job as a B.S.-level biochemist. Kent State’s relationship with the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) allows qualified students (with appropriate planning) to enter the College of Pharmacy after completing just 3 years of study at Kent State. These students may then retroactively complete a B.S. Chemistry – Biochemistry Concentration degree at Kent State with transfer of the necessary coursework from NEOMED. The B.S. Chemistry – Biochemistry Concentration degree is eligible for certification by the American Chemical Society with the selection of appropriate concentration electives. In addition to the Kent Core requirements cited above, students take courses in the following areas:

Year I: general chemistry (lecture/lab), biological foundations, calculus for life sciences, probability and statistics for life sciences;  Year II: organic chemistry (lecture/lab), inorganic chemistry (lecture), genetics (lecture), cell biology (lecture/lab), physics (lecture/lab); Year III: biochemistry (lecture), analytical chemistry (lecture/lab), physical chemistry (lecture/lab), microbiology (lecture/lab); Year IV: advanced biological chemistry (lecture/lab), physical biochemistry (lecture), chemistry/biology electives.

Biochemistry - Pre-Medicine, Pre-Osteopathy, Pre-Dentistry Concentration

This concentration is tailored specifically to meet the needs of those students interested in a career in medicine or dentistry. This concentration differs from the Biochemistry Concentration primarily through an additional requirement for physiology and the option of anatomy as a concentration elective. This option meets all pre-medicine and pre-dentistry requirements and provides one of the strongest possible preparations for the MCAT/DAT and for medical and dental school.

Industrial Chemistry Concentration

This concentration provides solid training in the major areas of Chemistry as well as practical experience in fields sought by chemical industries. This program provides extensive options for an industrial internship, elective work in other areas of science and technology, and courses in business, patent law, and industrial safety. It is designed to prepare students for careers in industry upon graduation. In addition to the Kent Core requirements cited above, students take courses in the following areas:

Year I: general chemistry (lecture/lab), analytic geometry and calculus I and II; Year II: organic chemistry (lecture/lab), inorganic chemistry (lecture), career pathways in chemistry, analytic geometry and calculus III or probability & statistics, physics I and II (lecture/lab);  Year III: analytical chemistry (lecture/lab), physical chemistry (lecture/lab), inorganic chemistry (lecture), materials physics (lecture);  Year IV: inorganic chemistry (lab), concentration electives (selected from materials chemistry courses, industrial internship, chemical separations, biochemistry, patent law, industrial safety, financial accounting).

Undergraduate Research

A research experience is an important component of all of our Bachelor of Science degree programs. Students have numerous opportunities to pursue research projects and gain experience working with state-of-the-art instrumentation under the guidance of members of the chemistry faculty. This experience is invaluable in students’ intellectual development and in their subsequent search for positions in industry, graduate school, pharmacy school or medical school. Students who are members of the Honors College perform undergraduate research and prepare and defend an honors thesis.

Some examples of the types of research projects available to undergraduates include: the synthesis and characterization of both organic and inorganic compounds with useful materials properties (e.g., liquid crystalline, electro-optical, microporous and nanoscale materials) or medicinal activity (e.g., new compounds for the treatment of pain and cancer); studies of biologically important molecules (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids) and processes (e.g., protein synthesis, RNA-protein interactions); fundamental surface chemistry; and various projects centered around state-of-the-art instrumentation and spectroscopic methods (e.g., NMR, IR and microwave spectroscopy, optical tweezers) in addressing important chemical and biochemical problems.

Interested students can pick up the Undergraduate Research Packet in Room 208 Williams Hall and visit our website for more information at www.kent.edu/chemistry/opportunities-for-undergraduate-research.

Bachelor of Arts Program

The Bachelor of Arts degree program has fewer required courses than the Bachelor of Science program and thus allows greater flexibility in curriculum design. Students may, therefore, combine chemistry coursework with courses in other fields (e.g., business, technical writing, computer science) to prepare themselves for a broad range of career opportunities (e.g., management, technical sales and service, technical writing, science education, information science).

The Faculty

The department has 22 full-time faculty and is especially proud of its excellence in teaching and research. Several faculty members have been honored with teaching awards, including the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Council Award for Outstanding Teaching. The department maintains active research programs on many frontiers of analytical, biological, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry but has particular strengths in materials chemistry, spectroscopy and imaging, and in biological chemistry and its applications in medicine. Members of the department’s faculty are internationally recognized leaders in their fields.

Facilities and Instrumentation

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is housed in Williams Hall and part of the connecting Science Research Building and the newly-constructed Integrated Sciences Building. These facilities include two large lecture halls, classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, the Analytical Instrumentation Facility, chemical stockrooms, and glass and electronics shops. All undergraduate teaching laboratories were recently renovated, and provide a modern environment in which to learn.

The department has excellent laboratory facilities equipped with a wide range of instrumentation that is available for use by undergraduate students. Instrumentation available includes: three high field NMR spectrometers, X-ray powder and single crystal diffractometers, FTIR, UV/visible, microwave and fluorescence spectrometers, four mass spectrometers, titration and differential scanning calorimeters, numerous chromatographs, centrifuges, electrophoresis equipment and facilities for proteomics, DNA sequencing, PCR and protein purification, and analysis. Molecular modeling software is available for the display and analysis of proteins, nucleic acids and small inorganic and organic compounds. One of our large lecture halls includes a 3-D visualization system where various chemical concepts can be effectively illustrated using large three-dimensional images which appear to "come to life" for the student audience.

Scholarships

The department offers several renewable scholarships to qualified incoming freshmen who major in chemistry. Students can learn more about these scholarships and apply online at www.kent.edu/chemistry/awards-scholarships. The deadline for receipt of applications is March 1 for the following fall semester.