Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Chemistry Courses

Explore the molecules that make up our world in chemistry at Simon’s Rock.

Chemistry students

Introduction to Chemistry Lab 

Chemistry I

Chemistry 100 | D. Myers, Robbins | 4 credits

This course is designed to cover the basic principles of chemistry and to prepare the student to take further chemistry classes. Topics include writing and dealing with chemical equations, an understanding of chemical relations and reactions, stoichiometry, oxidation-reduction, gas laws, chemical bonding, the atomic theory, a smattering of quantum theory, and the consequences of that quantum theory. The required concurrent laboratory deals with the safe handling of chemicals, the apparatus of chemistry and the chemical lab, the quantification of data, and chemical identifications based on these data; many laboratory exercises demonstrate and exemplify lecture concepts. Laboratory fee.

Prerequisites: Mathematics 109 or higher. This course is generally offered once a year (in the fall).

Chemistry II

Chemistry 101 | D. Myers, Robbins | 4 credits

This course is a continuation of Chemistry 100. Topics covered include solutions, acid/base theory, kinetics, equilibria, thermodynamics of chemical reactions, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory experiments mostly deal with classic qualitative inorganic analysis; other experiments illustrate and magnify lecture topics. Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite: Completion of Chemistry 100 (with a grade of C or higher). This course is generally offered once a year (in the spring).

Organic Chemistry I

Chemistry 302 | D. MyersRobbins | 4 credits

The course deals with the theoretical and practical aspects of the chemistry of carbon compounds. Topics include bonding, classification of functional groups, organic chemical nomenclature, electron delocalization, stereochemistry, beginning of reaction mechanisms, equilibrium, spectroscopy, and simple chemical syntheses. The laboratory experiments address the skills and techniques of organic chemistry labs, including syntheses, separations, and extractions and are designed to parallel many lecture topics. Laboratory fee.

Prerequisites: Chemistry 100 and 101 (with grades of C or higher in both courses). This course is generally offered once a year (in the fall).

Organic Chemistry II

Chemistry 303 | D. MyersRobbins | 4 credits

This course is a continuation of Chemistry 302. Topics include conjugation, aromaticity, aromatic substitution reactions, spectroscopy, carbonyl compounds and their addition reactions, acids and acid derivatives (amines, alcohols), and, if time permits, pericyclic reactions. All topics are aimed toward synthesis, and an understanding of the reaction mechanisms, both of and using the compounds of interest. The laboratory experiments will deal with guided organic analysis, culminating in classical qualitative organic analysis. Laboratory fee.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 302 (with a grade of C or higher) and all of its prerequisites. This course is generally offered once a year (in the spring).

Inorganic Chemistry

Chemistry 306 | D. Myers | 4 credits

This course examines in detail the chemistry of the main group and transition metal elements, examining the effects of electron configuration in the determination of the geometry and spin-state of inorganic complexes. Students also examine how the size of an atom and the charge on it affect the compounds it forms and study the applications of group theory to chemistry. This lays the base for further studies both in organometallic chemistry and coordination chemistry.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 101 and Mathematics 211 or higher (with a grade of C or higher) or permission of the instructor. This course is generally offered once every two years in the spring of odd years.

Instrumental Methods of Analysis in Chemistry

Chemistry 310T | D. Myers | 4 credits

Much of the physical data about the structure and composition of compounds is obtained from the highly specific and known ways in which compounds interact with radiant energy. Instrumentation to measure such interactions is a powerful tool routinely used in analysis. This course investigates both the theoretical basis of these methods and the practical use of the data in the determination of structure and composition. The course investigates electronic spectroscopy (atomic absorption, ultraviolet), vibrational spectroscopy (infrared, Raman), and other excitation spectroscopies (nuclear magnetic resonance, circular dichroism, optical rotatory dispersion). In addition, some instrumental methods of purification and assessing purity (gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography) are studied. The course is focused almost exclusively on learning how to interpret these spectral data.

Prerequisites: Chemistry 101 and 303, Physics 101 (can be taken concurrently), and Mathematics 211 or higher. This course is generally offered as a tutorial.

Introduction to Computational Methods in Chemistry

Chemistry 311m | D. Myers | 2 credits

This course will deal with the various computational methods employed in chemistry (from molecular mechanics to high-level density functional theory). Particular consideration will be given to the advantages and disadvantages of these methods as well as what these techniques can and cannot tell chemists about the molecules of interest. Upon completion of the course, the student should be more comfortable reading the chemical literature, which is increasing including computational results.

Prerequisites: Completion (with a C or better) of: Chemistry 101 or above; Physics 101 (or above), Math 221 (or above). Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 302 desirable. This course is offered once every two or three years, usually in the fall.


Chemistry 312 | D. MyersRobbins | 4 credits

This course is designed to demonstrate how the chemistry of living systems is a natural extension of the basic principles of inorganic and organic chemistry. Recent advances in biochemical research will be incorporated with background from the text and papers of fundamental value to the field. Topics include: Biosynthesis of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, steroids, carbohydrates; protein structure and enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and metabolic pathways; and biochemical evolution. Laboratory fee.

Prerequisites: Chemistry 303 and Biology 201, or permission of the instructor. This course is generally offered once every two years in the spring term of even years.

Chemistry Tutorial

Chemistry 300/400 | Staff | 4 credits

Under these course numbers, juniors and seniors design tutorials to meet their particular interests and programmatic needs. A student should see the prospective tutor to define an area of mutual interest to pursue either individually or in a small group.