Jul 20, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Chemistry, B.S.

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Michael Nosek
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
Christopher Cratsley (Biology) Dennis Awasabisah (Chemistry) Elizabeth Kirkpatrick (Biology)
Margaret Hoey (Biology) Emma Downs (Chemistry)  
Ronald Krieser (Biology) Steven Fiedler (Chemistry)  
John Ludlam (Biology) Lisa Grimm (Biology)  
Michael Nosek (Biology) Ronald Krieser (Biology)  
Christopher Picone (Biology) Mathangi Krishnamurthy (Chemistry)  
  Erin Rehrig (Biology)
Aisling O’Connor (Chemistry)  
Sean Rollins (Biology) Billy Samulak (Biology)  
Daniel Welsh (Biology) Eric Williams (Biology)  

Objectives for the Program in Chemistry

The Bachelor of Science degree programs in chemistry are available for students who intend to pursue graduate studies, secondary school teaching, or a professional career in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology or related industry. The programs provide a strong background in the modern areas of chemistry including biochemistry with emphasis on hands-on laboratory work. They also provide the opportunity for exceptionally talented students to conduct independent research under the guidance of the faculty. The degree programs will also prepare students for further education in health sciences, such as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, optometry and other health professions provided they take other pre-requisite courses.

Student Learning Outcomes

Disciplinary knowledge

Students should understand and be able to apply their understanding of all chemistry sub-disciplines and use appropriate laboratory skills and instrumentation to solve problems. These areas of knowledge include:

  • Basic chemical concepts such as stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic structure, molecular structure and bonding, thermodynamics, equilibria, and kinetics.
  • Foundational knowledge and skills in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry.
  • Foundational laboratory skills including synthesis of molecules, measurement of chemical properties, determination of structures, use of modern instrumentation and computational modeling.

Lab skills

Students should be able to demonstrate and apply foundational laboratory skills. The areas of skills include:

  • Basic laboratory skills such as keeping a notebook, use of electronic balances and volumetric glassware, preparation of solutions, chemical measurements using pH electrodes and spectrophotometers.
  • Prepare solutions, record data correctly, and perform chemical synthesis and analysis of compounds, as well as use standard laboratory equipment and programs to solve problems.


Students should be able to demonstrate and apply their understanding of the concepts of safe lab practices, and be able to evaluate and assess safety risks associated with laboratory experiences.  Students must be able to:

  • Carry out responsible disposal techniques
  • Comply with safety regulations
  • Properly use personal protective equipment to minimize exposure to hazards
  • Recognize chemical and physical hazards in laboratories, assess the risks from these hazards, know how to minimize the risks, and prepare for emergencies.
  • Understand the categories of hazards associated with chemicals (health, physical, and environmental)
  • Use Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and other standard printed and online safety reference

Communication skills

Students should be able to present information in a clear and organized manner, write well-organized and concise reports in a scientifically appropriate style, and use relevant technology in their communications.

Required Core Courses in Chemistry

Additional Requirement

Chemistry majors must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II. If a grade below 2.0 is earned in General Chemistry I, the course must be repeated before enrolling in General Chemistry II. Chemistry majors are limited to two attempts in General Chemistry I and two attempts in General Chemistry II including the grade of W.

Required Courses in Related Disciplines

Chemistry Electives

Students must choose two electives from any 3000 or higher level course in chemistry (CHEM).  The exact number of credits will depend on whether a student chooses an elective with a lab component (4 cr.) or without a lab (3 cr.)


Additional Information about the Program of Study

  • Up to 3 credits of Internship (CHEM 4940), Independent Study (CHEM 4900) or Directed Study (CHEM 4975) can be used to fulfill the elective requirement.
  • Total number of credit hours required in the major and related areas - 63 - 65 cr.
  • General Education coursework - 42 cr. (minimum)
  • Total number of credits for required coursework - 105 - 107 cr.
  • Free Electives - balance needed for a total of 120 cr. to graduate with the B.S. degree

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