Jun 19, 2024  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry Website


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Department Head: Dr. Katie Hailer
  (406) 496-4117
Administrative Assistant: Michelle Bennetts
  (406) 496-4182
  CBB 224
Fax: (406) 496-4135


The Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry offers a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a M.S. degree in Geochemistry. The undergraduate degree is certified by the American Chemical Society and a student who fulfills the requirements described under the Professional option will be certified by ACS. The undergraduate curriculum allows sufficient electives for students to tailor their program to match career objectives.

Several areas of specialization are available at the undergraduate level. Each is designed to enhance knowledge in the special area while maintaining a strong chemical orientation. Areas of specialization include, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry (ACS certified), Geology-Geochemistry, and Professional (ACS certified). Internship opportunities are also available for students who wish to incorporate practical work experience with their academic studies.

Mission of the Department of Chemistry & Geochemistry:

The mission of the Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry is to pursue a better understanding of the world through scholarship involving faculty working with undergraduate and graduate students and to communicate that understanding to students and the public through exemplary teaching and outreach.

Objective of the Department of Chemistry & Geochemistry:

The objective of the Montana Tech Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry is to broadly educate its majors in the field of chemistry and to provide these students with the knowledge and tools to succeed in pursuing careers in industry, education, government, or professional fields.

Montana Tech graduates with a B.S. in Chemistry will:

  • Have a general working knowledge of inorganic, organic, analytical, physical, and optionally biochemistry;
  • Be able to effectively apply mathematics through calculus and introductory physics to understanding chemistry;
  • Be proficient in basic and safe chemical laboratory skills;
  • Understand the principles and applications of modern instrumentation, computation, experimental design, and data analysis;
  • Be able to apply, adapt, and extend their knowledge to solve a wide variety of chemical and technical problems;\
  • Have effective oral and written communication skills;
  • Be able to access, read, understand, and use the scientific literature;
  • Be able to work with others to solve chemical problems as a team;
  • Compete successfully for careers in industry, government, education,or health care.

These outcomes will assessed by:

  • Taking and passing the specific courses that constitute the B. S. Chemistry curriculum;
  • By national standardized exam scores;
  • The successful completion of capstone experiences in undergraduate research and/or chemistry seminar;
  • Surveys of our undergraduates at the end of the sophomore and at senior years;
  • Placement rates.

Faculty members in chemistry are actively involved in many areas of both fundamental and applied research with a primary focus in the area of environmental geochemistry , material science, and energy. Areas of research include remediation of mine waste and other environmental problems, isolation and structural elucidation of compounds from microorganisms for use in biofuels, chemical applications of graph theory, computer modeling of clay surfaces, inorganic and organometallic synthesis, and chemical education. Participation by undergraduate students in faculty research is strongly encouraged and required for the Professional option. A number of undergraduate research and teaching assistantships are available in the department to facilitate student participation.

The Chemistry degree offers students four educational options:

Biochemistry Option: This option is for students interested in pursuing careers in research and/or professional practice in biomedicine and health care, including careers in biotechnology, medicine, medical technology, pharmacy, dentistry, etc. The Biochemistry Option is designed to produce graduates whose educational preparation should be well suited for entering graduate or professional schools in biomedicine or for seeking employment with biotechnological companies. This objective is accomplished in the proposed Biochemistry Option by including several appropriate courses in biology and by increasing the emphasis on biological processes in the chemistry curriculum. The full curriculum in the option is described in detail in the following pages.

Environmental Chemistry (ACS certified): This option is for chemistry majors who also desire a strong background in the environmental sciences. In addition to completing all of the requirements for an ACS certified chemistry degree (see the Professional option listed below), students pursuing this option will take courses in biology, geology, and environmental engineering designed to provide the fundamental understanding necessary to work in the environmental field. Additional courses required under this option are BIOB 160 , BIOB 375 , CHMY 442 , CHMY 430 , EENV 204 , EENV 242 , GEO 101 , GEOE 420 , and (STAT 332  or STAT 441 ). In addition the undergraduate research required for ACS certification must be directed toward an environmental topic.

Geology-Geochemistry: This option is designed particularly for those wanting a strong background in geology. A student considering entry into the Master’s program in Geochemistry offered by the department is strongly urged to follow this option. With the completion of the courses required for the  option, a student would be able to enter directly into the Geochemistry Master’s program. The Geology-Geochemistry option includes the following courses: GEO 101 , GEO 204 , GEOE 403 , GEOE 420 ; CHMY 442 , and CHMY 430 .

Professional (ACS certified): This option is designed for majors anticipating graduate study or research-oriented positions in chemistry. Several of the courses that are optional under the basic program are required under this plan. A minimum of 3 credits of senior research and a paper on this  research is required. The Professional option requires the following courses: CHMY 401 , CHMY 403 ,

  , and CHMY 435 .


    Bachelor of ScienceNon-Degree

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