What is Chemistry?
Nutrition, medicine, energy sources and alternatives, rocket fuels, biological research - these are just a few of the endless areas touched by the discipline we call chemistry. Chemistry is defined as "the study of matter", and that makes the importance, relevance and scope of the subject as far-reaching as matter itself. Chemistry is not only concerned with the basic structures and properties of material substances, but also with the changes that occur as matter is transformed from one state to another and as one substance is changed into a variety of new and different substances.
Chemistry majors are as varied as the many areas the subject encompasses, and yet they have many of the same characteristics. By its very nature, chemistry attracts curious and imaginative individuals who are interested in learning more about the world around them and in solving problems by rational thinking.
The IU Southeast Program
The chemistry program at IU Southeast is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and offers a variety of bachelor degrees in chemistry as well as to serve and support other disciplines and schools of the university. Chemistry majors can, by consultation with faculty advisors, tailor their studies to accommodate their particular career plans.
Students desiring a knowledge of chemistry as a basis for work in other fields (such as medicine, dentistry, business or law), may limit themselves to some specific courses. Most students, however, choose to strengthen their degrees by increasing the number of hours of chemistry and mathematics courses taken. Those students planning to become professional chemists should take another 10-20 hours of chemistry and several additional mathematics courses. Students who complete the requirements for a professional degree receive a certificate from the ACS. This is a recognized accomplishment when entering graduate school or beginning work in the chemical industry. Along with these courses, chemistry majors must also fulfill the general requirements of the bachelor degree by completing courses in language, humanities, and the social and biological sciences. Upon graduation, students will have accumulated about 120 credit hours.
Smaller IU Southeast chemistry class sizes make it possible for students to interact freely with professors. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on use of state-of-the-art laboratory instruments for especially strong career preparation. Undergraduate research is emphasized in an atmosphere of intellectual independence and creative thinking with the direct stimulus of a professor - an opportunity that cannot be matched by the lecture environment alone. IU Southeast chemistry students regularly.
Relatively small class sizes and liberal faculty office hours offer IU Southeast chemistry students the opportunity for close faculty - student interactions and discussions, which can be very helpful in developing scientific and personal maturity. The appropriate use of audio-visual aids, computer assisted instruction, and other modern teaching-learning techniques are employed by the faculty. There is also easy access to the extensive library facilities of the Indiana University system, and those of the Metroversity institutions. An active undergraduate research program exists in which junior and senior students with strong backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Research is currently being conducted in the following areas: a) Synthesis of organic compounds with potential biological importance such as fertility regulating agents and substances for treatment of drug abuse victims. b) The application of computers to lab data acquisition and control situations. c) The synthesis of and electrical/spectral properties of inorganic complexes. d) The synthesis and reactivity studies of metal chalogenide complexes. e) Designing of new analytical chemistry schemes, application of analytical chemistry in the hydrometallurgical processing of ores for metal recovery and designing environmentally benign process methodologies for the recovery of metals and wastewater and effluent treatment.
An active chemistry club, which is affiliated with ACS, allows the students to interact on a social and professional basis. The Chemistry Club sponsors guest speakers and trips to local chemical industries and graduate schools, thus providing important exposure to professional chemists and to opportunities for careers in chemistry. The Chemistry Club also sponsors social events which build a sense of camaraderie among its members.
Chemistry majors will have the opportunity to gain experience in the techniques of atomic absorption, infrared, ultraviolet, and visible spectrophotometries, as well as polarography, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, magnetic susceptibility, and various types of chromatography including gas, high-pressure liquid, column, and thin layer. Graduates with extensive training in chemistry can qualify for a number of academic, industrial or governmental positions which involve teaching, basic research, or administrative duties. Many industrial jobs for chemists involve developing new and more useful products and analyzing materials for quality control, environmental and consumer protection, and medical diagnosis.
A sound undergraduate chemistry background qualifies students for advanced work in graduate or professional schools. Aside from graduate studies in various fields of chemistry, other possibilities include specialization in medicine or related professions, food technology, agriculture, earth and environmental sciences, business and law. Also, students with training in chemistry can become certified to teach chemistry in high schools and junior college.