Division I Chair: M. Saderholm

Department Chair: A. Kovacevic

Faculty: J. Baltisberger, M. Garrett, A. Kovacevic, M. Saderholm, P. Smithson, and E. Thomas


Courses: CHM Courses

Course Sequencing Table: Chemistry

Major/Minor Requirements: Chemistry B.A. with a General ConcentrationChemistry B.A. with a Professional ConcentrationChemistry B.A. with a Biochemistry ConcentrationChemistry Minor

Chemistry is central to many of the major issues that will face society for years to come from energy and waste management to medicine and biotechnology. The Chemistry Department offers a full set of courses designed to prepare a student for graduate study, medical school, or work in the chemical industry. This course work includes a foundational two-year program with associated labs in general, organic, and analytical chemistry, followed by intensive junior/senior laboratory courses in conjunction with advanced courses in biochemistry, and physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. All majors assemble a Chemistry Portfolio over their junior and senior years that insures each student has conducted experiments in all areas of chemistry, has achieved proficiency in all major areas of instrumentation, and has attended and given seminars both inside and outside of Berea College.

The Chemistry Department offers three different concentrations or tracks to provide individualized experiences to meet the needs of students. The General Concentration is recommended for students interested in teaching, pursuing other academic interests that require significant additional coursework (like a minor, double major, or pre-professional coursework), or those students imply interested in immediately seeking employment after graduation. The Biochemistry Concentration is recommended for students with a clear interest in biochemistry as a field, and those that see it as the best major from which to seek further training like graduate school or medical school. The Professional Concentration is recommended for students with a clear interest in graduate school in chemistry. The Professional Concentration is the only Chemistry concentration that is approved by the American Chemical Society. As stated on the ACS website, "ACS-approved programs offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental, and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals."

Chemistry courses are grounded in problem solving using both practical and quantitative-reasoning skills. The Department faculty is committed to the idea that students should conduct research as part of their undergraduate curriculum. All Chemistry faculty direct undergraduate research with students, as well as send some students to undergraduate-research programs at other institutions. The Department aims to prepare its students to address chemical problems that have come to dominate the headlines of today’s news, from nuclear to biomedical issues and everything in between.

Berea’s Chemistry students have gone on to work in many fields, including chemical-industrial research, medicine (including doctors, physician assistants, and pharmacists), and college teaching. The department’s courses also serve as collateral requirements in Biology, Nursing, Psychology, and Sustainability and Environmental Studies, as well as provide general chemistry and environmental chemistry courses to serve the student body at large.

For students inclined toward Chemical Engineering, the College offers a 3-2 Engineering Dual Degree Program under the Applied Science and Mathematics major. In that department, a student attends Berea College for three years, then completes the Engineering degree requirements at the University of Kentucky (Lexington).

In addition to supporting students' achievement of the Aims of General Education, the Chemistry Department seeks to assist students in meeting the following learning goals and associated learning outcomes:  

Chemistry Student Learning Goals & Outcomes

Learning Goal 1: 
Build Knowledge & Laboratory Skills

Learning Outcome 1.1: Demonstrate Knowledge

Students will demonstrate knowledge in all major fields of chemistry including organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biochemistry, and polymer chemistry.

Learning Outcome 1.2: Demonstrate Laboratory Skills

Students will demonstrate laboratory skills and show understanding in all major laboratory techniques and principles including instrumentation, synthesis, purification, analysis, and green chemistry.

Learning Goal 2:  Build Problem-Solving Methods & Skills

Outcome 2.1: Demonstrate Math Skills

Students will develop and refine quantitative problem solving skills used in the field of chemistry.

Outcome 2.2: Demonstrate Chemical Modeling

Students will employ mathematical methods to model experimental data and solve chemistry problems.

Learning Goal 3: Build Research Skills

Outcome 3.1: Conduct Research

Students shall demonstrate capacity to prepare for, conduct, and present original research.

Learning Goal 4: Build Skills to Succeed After Graduation

Outcome 4.1: Demonstrate Professional Skills and Ethics

Students shall demonstrate creative and ethical thinking in both individual and collaborative environments.