Graduate Courses

Listed below are upper-level undergraduate (400+) and graduate (600+) courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Information about course meeting times and instructors can be found at

Biochemistry Courses

BCHM 461 Biochemistry I (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C− in CHEM 271 and CHEM 272; or minimum grade of C− in CHEM 276 and CHEM 277. Credit granted for only one of BCHM 461 or BCHM 463.

First semester of a comprehensive introduction to modern biochemistry. Structure, chemical properties, and function of proteins and enzymes, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Basic enzyme kinetics and catalytic mechanisms.

BCHM 462 Biochemistry II (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C− in BCHM 461. Credit granted for only one of BCHM 462 or BCHM 463.

Metabolic pathways and metabolic regulation, energy transduction in biological systems, enzyme catalytic mechanisms.

BCHM 463 Biochemistry of Physiology (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C− in CHEM 271 and CHEM 272; or minimum grade of C− in CHEM 276 and CHEM 277. Credit only granted for BCHM 461 and BCHM 462 or for BCHM 463.

A one-semester introduction to general biochemistry. A study of protein structure, enzyme catalysis, metabolism, and metabolic regulation with respect to their relationship to physiology.

BCHM 464 Biochemistry Laboratory (3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 461 or BCHM 463. A grade of C− or better in the prerequisite is required for all College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences majors and is recommended for all students. Corequisite: BCHM 465. Restriction: BCHM, CHEM, and Nutritional Sciences majors have first priority, followed by other life science majors.

Biochemical and genetic methods for studying protein function. Site-directed mutagenesis and molecular cloning, protein purification, enzyme activity assays, computer modeling of protein structure.

BCHM 465 Biochemistry III (3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 461 or BCHM 463. A grade of C− or better in the prerequisite is required for College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences majors and is recommended for all students. Recommended: BCHM 462.

Biochemical approach to cellular information processing. DNA and RNA structure, DNA replication, transcription, and repair; translation of mRNA to make proteins.

BCHM 485 Physical Biochemistry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C− in CHEM 481. Restriction: Must be in Biochemistry program, or permission of instructor. Credit granted for only one of CHEM 482 or BCHM 485.

Physical chemistry with applications to biological systems. Principal topics: quantum chemistry, spectroscopy, structural methods for biological macromolecules, statistical thermodynamics, transport processes in liquid phase, chemical and biochemical kinetics, modeling and simulation, polymer dynamics.

BCHM 661 Nucleic Acids I (2 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 465 or BSCI 410 or equivalent.

Chemistry and structure of DNA and RNA, from nucleotide to chromatin, chromosomes, and genomes, and methods for studying, synthesizing, sequencing and manipulating nucleic acids. Basics of genomics and bioinformatics. DNA Biology: selected aspects of the biochemistry and regulation of DNA replication, repair, and recombination, and how these processes interact with each other.

BCHM 662 Nucleic Acids II (2 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 661.

Interactions between nucleic acids and ligands such as cations, drugs, and especially proteins. Sources of binding affinity and specificity. Selection-amplification methods. Description of several classes of protein-nucleic acids complexes. DNA/RNA catalysis, the origin of life, mobile genetic elements.

BCHM 669 Special Topics in Biochemistry (1-3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 462 or equivalent.

Recent offerings of BCHM 669 include:

BCHM 669A Special Topics in Biochemistry: Methods for Protein Structure Determination (3 credits)

Prerequisite: calculus, undergraduate level biochemistry and physical chemistry.

This graduate level course is designed as an introduction to modern methods for biomolecular structure determination at atomic level resolution. The course covers the theory and basic principles underlying the two major high-resolution experimental methods: X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

BCHM 669C Special Topics in Biochemistry: Protein Folding and Disease (2 credits)

Prerequisite: Undergraduate chemistry, biochemistry, and biology.

This graduate level course will cover the basic principles of protein structure and folding,
and how they apply to understanding the mechanisms of protein mis-folding and
disease states.

BCHM 669D Special Topics in Biochemistry: Drug Discovery (2 credits)

Prerequisite: Undergraduate level Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology.

The course focuses primarily on the early drug discovery process from the biochemist
point of view, except for one class that discusses drug equivalence issues post approval
for therapy.

BCHM 669E Special Topics in Biochemistry: Biomolecular NMR, Theory, and Applications (3 credits)

Prerequisites: CHEM 482 or BCHM 485, BCHM 461, or equivalent.

Introduction to modern biomolecular NMR and its applications to biological problems, including determination of the structure and dynamics of biomacromolecules and characterization of macromolecular interactions. The course covers fundamentals of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), including quantum-mechanical treatment, vector models, and product operator formalism. The students will learn NMR pulse sequence design, principles of multidimensional NMR, methods for protein signal assignment and structure calculation, studies of protein-ligand interactions, and NMR approaches to protein dynamics.

BCHM 671 Protein Chemistry and Enzymic Catalysis (3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 461 or equivalent.

Principles of protein structure, folding, and function, experimental characterization of structure, active sites, enzyme mechanisms and kinetics.

BCHM 673 Regulation of Metabolism (3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 661/662 or equivalent and BCHM 671 or equivalent.

Selected topics in signal transduction and the control of biological function. Topics have included transcriptional regulation by nuclear hormone receptors, bacterial chemotaxis, insulin signaling and diabetes, G proteins and G-protein coupled receptors, and the identification, modeling, and emergent properties of gene regulatory networks.

BCHM 675 Biophysical Chemistry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 481 and BCHM 461 or equivalent.

Conformation, shape, structure, conformational changes, dynamics and interactions of biological macromolecules and complexes or arrays of macromolecules. Physical techniques for studying properties of biological macromolecules.

BCHM 676 Biological Mass Spectrometry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: BCHM 461 or BCHM 463.

Fundamentals of modern mass spectrometry and use with biochemical techniques to provide unique analyses of drug metabolites, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleotides and proteins. The interface with bioinformatics will be examined, which provides the foundation of proteomics.

BCHM 677 Computational Tools in Biochemistry (1 credit)

Prerequisite: BCHM 661/662 or BCHM 671 or permission of instructor. Restriction: Must be in one of the following programs (Biochemistry (Master’s); Biochemistry (Doctoral)), or permission of instructor.

A practical, hands-on introduction to the application of computational tools that support biochemical research. Selected topics may include: efficient use of scientific literature databases and the preparation of professional bibliographies, proteomics and mass spectrometry, bioinformatics and genomics programs and database resources, molecular structure visualization and modeling, quantitative data fitting and error analysis, and laboratory research ethics.

BCHM 698 Literature Seminar in Biochemistry (2 credits)

BCHM 889A Seminar; Biochemistry (1 credit)

BCHM 898 Pre-Candidacy Research (1 – 8 credit)

BCHM 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research (6 credits)

Chemistry Courses

CHEM 401 Inorganic Chemistry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 276 or CHEM 271; and (CHEM 247 or CHEM 241).

An overview of basic concepts of the electronic structure of the elements, chemical bonding and reactivity, from simple diatomic molecules to coordination compounds. These are viewed from simple (Lewis) to the most comprehensive molecular orbital theory. Symmetry and group theory are used throughout the course.

CHEM 403 Radiochemistry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: must have completed one year of college chemistry and one year of college physics.

Radioactive decay; introduction to properties of atomic nuclei; nuclear processes in cosmology; chemical, biomedical and environmental applications of radioactivity; nuclear processes as chemical tools; interaction of radiation with matter.

CHEM 425 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 272 and CHEM 271; or CHEM 276 and CHEM 277.

Modern instrumentation in analytical chemistry. Electronics, spectroscopy, chromatography and electrochemistry.

CHEM 441 Advanced Organic Chemistry (3 credits)

(recommended for those who have not taken undergrad Advanced Organic Chemistry).

Prerequisite: must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in CHEM 481; and 1 course with a minimum grade of C- from CHEM 241, CHEM 247. Also offered as: CHEM 641.

An advanced study of the compounds of carbon, with special emphasis on molecular orbital theory and organic reaction mechanisms.

CHEM 460 Structure Determination Using Spectroscopic Methods (3 credits)

Prerequisite: must have completed CHEM 243; or CHEM 247; or CHEM 241 and CHEM 242. Formerly: CHEM 660.

The use of infrared, ultraviolet-visible, proton and carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy for structure determination in organic chemistry.

CHEM 481 Physical Chemistry I (3 credits)

(recommended for those who have not taken 2 semesters of undergrad Physical Chemistry)

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in CHEM 135; or minimum grade of C- in CHEM 271 and CHEM 272; or minimum grade of C- in CHEM 276 and CHEM 277. And minimum grade of C- in MATH 141. And minimum grade of C- in PHYS 260 and PHYS 261; or minimum grade of C- in PHYS 141.

Thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical and molecular systems. Topics may include internal energy, heat, work, enthalpy, entropy, free energy, and spontaneity as well as reaction order, differential rate laws, integrated rate laws, and rate laws for multi-step processes.

CHEM 498B Descriptive Chemistry of the Elements (3 credits)

Prerequisite: must have completed CHEM 231 or an equivalent.

The modern society utilizes virtually all the known stable chemical elements and many of the radioactive isotopes as well. At the same time, students are typically taught chemistry of carbon only (organic chemistry) and have virtually no knowledge of chemistry of other elements. In the course “Descriptive Chemistry of the Elements” students come to know some fundamental properties of the elements and their compounds. The course is based on many facts including the most recent reports from research labs that constantly appear in the top chemistry journals and constantly change our understanding of what is possible and what is not possible in chemistry. The origin of the elements is given in the beginning of the course. Next, assuming that the organization of the Periodic Table of the Elements is known to the students, chemistry of the elements of groups 1-18, lanthanides and actinides is discussed. A special consideration is given to the elements that have currently found important applications, and/or whose utility and chemistry demonstrates a rapid growth, that demonstrate unusual types of bonding, reactivity and structure. Vertical, horizontal and diagonal trends in the elements most typical chemical and physical properties will be discussed throughout the course whenever it is appropriate.

CHEM 482 Physical Chemistry II (3 credits)

(recommended for those who have not taken 2 semesters of undergrad Physical Chemistry)

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in CHEM 481.

Quantum mechanical nature of atoms and molecules. Topics may include model systems for electronic, vibrational, rotational and translational energies as well as connections to molecular spectroscopy and thermal distributions.

CHEM 601 Structure and Bonding of Molecules and Materials (3 credits)

Several bonding models are covered, from the simple valence bond and ligand field models to a quantitative group theoretical treatment of molecular orbital theory and band structure descriptions of solids. Concepts of electron counting and oxidation state and ligand characteristics are revisited in terms of the more sophisticated bonding models. Finally, these models are used to analyze the reactivity, magnetic and spectroscopic properties of inorganic coordination compounds. Prior advanced inorganic and/or advanced quantum chemistry courses are not prerequisites.

CHEM 602 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry II (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 601; or permission of instructor.

A continuation of CHEM 601 with emphasis on the application of contemporary spectroscopic techniques to inorganic problems.

CHEM 608P Selected Topics in Inorganic Chemistry: Polymer Chemistry

CHEM 608K Chemistry Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2 credits)

Also offered as BIOL 608K, CBMG 699K, and ENTM 699K. Credit will be granted for only one of the following: BIOL 608K, CBMG 699K, CHEM 608K, or ENTM 699K.

CHEM 611 Professional Skills for New Graduate Students (1 credit)

Restriction: Must be in one of the following programs: Chemistry Master’s; Biochemistry Master’s; Biochemistry Doctoral; Chemistry Doctoral; and must be a new graduate student.

Covers a wide range of topics in professional development for new graduate students.

CHEM 623 Optical Methods of Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 482; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.

The quantitative applications of various methods of optical spectroscopy.

CHEM 624 Electrical Methods of Quantitative Analysis (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 482; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.

The use of conductivity, potentiometry, polarography, voltammetry, amperometry, coulometry, and chronopotentiometry in quantitative analysis.

CHEM 640 Problems in Organic Reaction Mechanisms (1 credit)

A tutorial type course dealing with the basic description of the fundamentals of writing organic reaction mechanisms.

CHEM 641 Organic Reaction Mechanisms (3 credits)

CHEM 647 Organic Synthesis (3 credits)

The use of new reagents in organic reactions; multistep syntheses leading to natural products of biological interest; stereospecific and regiospecific reactions and their use in total synthesis.

CHEM 648E Special Topics in Organic Chemistry; Ethics in Scientific Research (2 credits)

Prerequisite: completion of one year of graduate study and permission of instructor. Also offered as BIOL 600, NACS 600, and PSYC 788B. Credit granted for BIOL 600, NACS 600, PSYC 788B, or CHEM 648E. Issues of scientific integrity with emphasis on investigators in the laboratory sciences, including mentoring, scientific record keeping, authorship and peer review, ownership of data, use of animals and humans in research, and conflict of interest.

CHEM 648K Introduction to Chemical Biology (3 credits)

Prerequisite: one-year organic chemistry (CHEM 231 and CHEM 241 or equivalent) is required. A basic understanding of biochemistry (one semester of general biochemistry) is assumed.

Chemical biology involves the application of chemical techniques, tools, and analyses to the study and manipulation of biological systems, as well as the harnessing of biology to advance chemistry. Students will survey current topics in chemical biology, highlight the chemical basis of biological functions of major biomolecules (DNA/RNA, proteins, glycans, and lipids), and describes innovative recent experiments to demonstrate the interplay between chemistry and biology for discovery. They will learn the fundamental principles of chemical biology through case studies with approaches originating from chemistry and integrating other disciplines such as biochemistry and molecular biology.

CHEM 650 Problems in Organic Synthesis (1 credit)

A tutorial type course dealing with mechanistic problems from the current literature of organic synthesis.

CHEM 684 Chemical Thermodynamics (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 482; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.

CHEM 687 Statistical Mechanics and Chemistry (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 684; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department.

CHEM 688C Selected Topics in Physical Chemistry: Numerical Computation in Chemistry using MATHLAB (2 credits)

Hands-on experience with MOLPRO and ADF programs will explore the foundations of computational chemistry (molecular mechanics, semi-empirical methods, ab initio electronic structure, and density functional theory) with emphasis on using, and the advantages and disadvantages of different methods. Prerequisite: MATH 141 and CHEM 482. Familiarity with linear algebra, script-based computer programming, and use of UNIX command line interface will be helpful.

CHEM 689B Introduction to Colloids and Interfaces-From Fundamentals to Nanoscience (3 credits)

CHEM 690 Quantum Chemistry I (3 credits)

CHEM 691 Quantum Chemistry II (3 credits)

Prerequisite: CHEM 690 or PHYS 622.

CHEM 703 Introduction to Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics (3 credits)

Prerequisite: PHYS 603 or CHEM 687; or permission of instructor. Credit only granted for: CHPH 703, CHPH 718B, CHEM 703, CHEM 718B, PHYS 703, or PHYS 798Z. Formerly: CHEM 718B.

Analysis and microscopic modeling of systems away from thermal equilibrium. Linear response theory, ergodicity, Brownian motion, Monte Carlo modeling, thermal ratchets, far-from-equilibrium fluctuation relations. Introduction to the theoretical tools of nonequilibrium phenomena and their application to problems in physics, chemistry and biology.

CHEM 705 Nuclear Chemistry (3 credits)

Nuclear structure models, radioactive decay processes, nuclear reactions in complex nuclei, fission, nucleosynthesis and nuclear particle accelerators.

CHEM 799 Master’s Thesis Research (1-6 credits)

CHEM 889A Analytical, Nuclear and Environmental Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889C Inorganic Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889D Organic Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889E Physical Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889F Chemical Physics Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889G Physical Organic Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 889M Materials Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

CHEM 898 Pre-Candidacy Research (1-8 credits)

CHEM 899 Doctoral Dissertation Research (6 credits)