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Catalog 2003-2004
Chemistry (BS)
School of Theoretical and Applied Science

Requirements of the Major
Requirements of the Minor

Convener: Robert Mentore
Advisors: Kwesi E. Aggrey
Arthur M. Felix
Carol Frishberg
Robert J. Shine

(disclaimer below)

About the Major

The study of chemistry provides an understanding of matter and its transformation and reactions. It is central to the understanding of biological and environmental problems. Far from being an esoteric discipline, chemistry has a profound influence on everyday lives. Chemicals are added to food and water for health, preservation, and taste. Synthetic polymers are being used to replace natural materials in furniture and clothing. The major mode of transportation, the automobile, uses the energy released by chemical reactions to start and move. The human body manufactures hormones and enzymes that regulate the living process. Medicine cabinets are stocked with drugs whose chemistry affects the state of body and mind.

The chemistry major at Ramapo, offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science, gives its students an in-depth grasp of theoretical concepts as well as a variety of practical skills. In the first year, students take Fundamentals of Chemistry, an introduction to modern chemical theory presented through the study of atomic and molecular structure. In the next three years, courses in organic, analytical/instrumental, and physical chemistry increase understanding. A selection of chemistry electives, including Cooperative Education placements, independent research study, and a broad range of special topic electives, allow senior students to concentrate in any one of six areas: theoretical, organic, biochemistry, analytical/ environmental chemistry, surface and colloid chemistry, or polymer science. Many interdisciplinary courses are offered by other major programs in TAS. Students are encouraged to plan a program of study that includes courses from a number of sciences. Many of the scientific advances of this modern age are in interdisciplinary areas such as biophysics, materials science, molecular biology, and environmental science.

Ramapo and Rutgers University also offer a joint B.S./Graduate Degree program in chemistry that makes it possible for an ambitious student to complete requirements for a B.S./M.S. in five years or a B.S./ Ph.D. in seven years.

Ramapo’s modern, well-equipped, safety-conscious laboratories rank among the best undergraduate chemistry facilities in the state. Instrumentation includes infrared, ultraviolet-visible, fluorescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, liquid and gas chromatographs, GC/MS, and atomic absorption instruments. Laboratory courses offer a hands-on approach and provide students with valuable experience in technical and analytical skills.

The program is approved by the American Chemical Society. All Ramapo students graduating with a major in chemistry can be certified by the ACS if they have taken certain specified courses.

Job opportunities available to chemistry majors encompass a wide range of activities and institutions. Private industry offers the largest number of positions for chemists, with additional opportunities in federal, state and local government laboratories, research institutes, hospitals, and analytical laboratories. The variety of jobs includes laboratory work, sales, technical service, and administration in the areas of product development, research and production. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is also a valuable background for students wishing to pursue graduate work in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary work as well as in chemistry, biochemistry, or molecular biology.

The chemistry faculty is actively engaged in scientific research. Among their interests are such widely diverse areas as ionophores, molecular modeling, environmental and trace analysis, structure and dynamics of ultrathin organic and biopolymer films, biomaterials science, spectroscopy of biological macromolecules, x-ray diffraction theory, and quantum chemistry. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty supervised research projects. Chemistry majors may also work in Ramapo’s Cooperative Education program, where industrial work experience, for which students earn money and credit simultaneously, alternates with full-time or part-time study.

Ramapo College of New Jersey recognizes the value of publishing on the Internet and encourages the campus community to produce personal World Wide Web pages to enhance communications. The College does not preview, review, censor, or control the content of these pages in any way as a matter of course. Personal Web pages are those of the authors, and do not in any way constitute official Ramapo College of New Jersey content.

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