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
- 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.
- 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.