B.A. and B.S. in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provides a strong education in chemistry and biochemistry that prepares its students to function and thrive in our society. The department attempts to increase the problem solving and critical thinking skills of all students. Non-science students learn about the scientific and chemical aspects of everyday life that allow them to understand issues related to the environment, energy production, disease prevention, and nutrition. Students of the sciences learn the fundamentals of chemistry that control the interactions of elements and molecules which form the building blocks in nature. Chemistry majors receive extensive instruction in predicting chemical reactivity. Building on an understanding of mathematics, physics, and biology, chemistry majors receive a background in the major disciplines of chemistry including inorganic, analytical, organic, physical, and biochemistry. Students learn the protocols and techniques for working safely with chemicals. The department recognizes the importance of the pursuit of new knowledge in the development of skilled scientists and productive members of society, and encourages its students to participate in research projects and cooperative educational opportunities.

Program Assessment Tools
Program Review Reflections and Results
Program Accomplishments
  • Dr. LeDuc was awarded STEM Education grants from the Bechtel Foundation and Broadcom for work on improving science preparation for middle and high school teachers and for development of a Foundational Level General Science program. These grants amounted to over a million dollars for the period 2011-2015. Dr. LeDuc is co-PI on several other large STEM education grants and maintains a research program in plant biochemistry. She was awarded a CSU Agricultural Research Institute grant for molecular approaches to irrigation of poplars for 2010-2014. Faculty member Patrick Huang holds a grant subcontract from Lawrence Livermore National Labs entitled "Novel Rare Earth Permanent Magnets." Dr. Sommerhalter obtained a CSUEB EIRA grant for 2013-14 to work with other faculty and selected students on design of modern classroom experiments for department instruments.
  •  Over the last five years department faculty collectively published over 20 articles in peer reviewed journals. Professors Groziak, LeDuc, Sommerhalter and Huang published articles during 2013-14 in such established publications as Acta Crystallographica, Environmental Science and Technology, the Journal of Physical Chemistry and College Teaching.
  • Between 2009 and 2014 over 50 students supervised by department faculty members presented research results at scientific meetings.  Eight research Master's students collectively supervised by Professors Kotchevar, Kim, McPartland and Sommerhalter completed a thesis and graduated in 2013-14. Drs. Groziak and Kim hosted and supervised high school students on laboratory research projects during the summers of 2012-13-14 through the Chevron sponsored Summer Research Outreach Program. Dr. LeDuc was recognized for her student mentoring efforts as recipient of the 2012 CSUEB Honors Faculty Award.
  • In 2014 Professor Huang served as reviewer for articles submitted to the Journal of Chemical Physics and to Inorganic Chemistry and for grant proposals for the Department of Energy. Dr. Groziak was a reviewer for National Institutes of Health grants and for CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) grants and meeting abstracts. Dr. Sommerhalter was a National Science Foundation proposal reviewer and both Drs. Sommerhalter and LeDuc reviewed grants for CSUPERB.
  •  The department maintained American Chemical Society accreditation for the B.S. Chemistry degree program.
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