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Department ofChemistry and Biochemistry

About Us


The SCU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is a community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to:

  • fostering a culture that values teaching and research
  • promoting innovative teaching and personalized instruction
  • providing undergraduate research opportunities
  • encouraging women and minorities to pursue scientific endeavors
  • encouraging scientific and technical literacy throughout the university and the community at large
  • projecting a positive image of science in general, and chemistry & biochemistry in particular.


Learning Outcomes for Chemistry & Biochemistry Majors
Basic Knowledge
  • Learn the symbols and terminology (the language) of chemistry
  • Learn a base of sound mathematical concepts and be able to apply them to chemical systems.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the organization of the periodic table.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the atomic and quantum mechanical basis of chemical behavior.
  • Have a basic knowledge of chemical bonding and structure/reactivity relationships.
  • Have a basic knowledge of chemical kinetics and chemical equilibrium.
  • Have a basic knowledge of descriptive chemistry and of practical and everyday chemistry.
Inquiry/Problem Solving
  • Be able to employ the scientific method.
  • Be able to learn independently.
  • Be able to define a problem and develop and implement a strategy to solve it.
  • Be able to evaluate scientific findings critically.
Skills and Techniques
  • Be able to perform laboratory work in the safest manner possible and dispose of waste materials according to safe and established procedures.
  • Be able to design and perform a controlled experiment and be knowledgeable about methods of instrumentation and materials available, including knowledge of design, operation, capabilities and limitations.
  • Be able to maintain a proper laboratory notebook.
  • Develop an appreciation of the importance of uncertainty in scientific measurements and develop the judgment to recognize that different levels of accuracy and reproducibility are appropriate in different settings.
  • Develop the ability to communicate scientific results effectively both orally and in written form, including displaying information clearly using graphs and tables.
  • Master a variety of standard laboratory procedures and operations, including the ability to prepare solutions from raw materials and stock concentrates.
  • Become familiar with modern instruments and computer methods of analysis in chemical sciences.
Values, Beliefs, Attitudes
  • Recognize the value of self-discipline, persistence and excelling beyond the minimum requirements of a task.
  • Value the sharing of knowledge with peers and society, emphasizing that science is a human endeavor and a vital part of a liberal arts education.
  • Be receptive to new ideas and new approaches.
  • Appreciate that science involves an ever changing, frequently modified body of information and that theories are only as good as the experimental evidence that supports them.
  • Understand that scientific work should be carried out honestly and objectively with a concern for the moral, ethical and environmental aspects of the work.
  • Value independent and creative thinking based on a sound base of knowledge.
    Appreciate the history and traditions of science.
  • Believe that education and self-improvement are ongoing processes which must continue after the completion of formal education.