Chemistry & Biochemistry Programs

Chemistry Program

The Loras Chemistry and Biochemistry program provides students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in chemical principles and to apply their training in the lab. This foundation enables Chemistry and Biochemistry graduates to pursue a very wide range of options after graduation. These include graduate school in chemistry or a chemistry-related field; going directly into the workforce for a career in the chemical industry, government, education, engineering, forensic science or law; or entering interdisciplinary fields such as medicine, dentistry and other health professions.

Our Chemistry and Biochemistry programs are American Chemical Society (ACS) certified, providing students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in chemical principles and to apply their training in the lab. This foundation enables Chemistry and Biochemistry graduates to pursue a very wide range of options after graduation

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Chemistry Program’s Features

At Loras, we offer a small-school atmosphere coupled with the quality and depth of instruction usually found only at a larger institution. Other features include:

  • An American Chemical Society (ACS) certified chemistry program. The ACS only certifies programs that “offer a broad-based and rigorous chemistry education that gives students intellectual, experimental and communication skills to become effective scientific professionals.” All ACS-certified programs must meet a high set of standards for the quality of their faculty, curriculum and facilities.
  • Dedicated chemistry faculty. To adequately cover the discipline, a college chemistry program should have expertise in the areas of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Loras has qualified chemistry faculty trained in each of these five major areas as well as in the important interdisciplinary area of polymer chemistry.
  • The opportunity for students to make use of modern facilities including the Medical Associates Recombinant DNA laboratory, the NMR laboratory and the Carver Foundation Molecular Biology laboratory. We have modern instrumentation that includes the recent acquisitions of several FT infrared spectrometers, a triple quad gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer and an atomic absorption spectrometer. Loras has added major pieces of equipment worth over $350,000 during the last 5 years. The 2003 acquisition of a $250,000 Bruker 300MHz high field nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (updated in 2011) gives students access to an instrument found in very few small colleges. Larger institutions with this type of instrumentation seldom allow student hands-on access. Every student in the program has access to all of instrumentation throughout their time at Loras.
  • Opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom to real life situations such as internships. Also, the Loras Chemistry Club, an ACS Student Chapter, has won national awards for student involvement and for tutoring and demonstration shows on campus and in local schools. Each spring, members of the club attend the ACS National Meeting held in places like San Francisco and New Orleans.
  • Smaller class sizes that permit professors to give each student individual attention, with upper level chemistry courses seldom having enrollments greater than ten students.
  • A research project conducted by each Loras chemistry and biochemistry major during their junior and senior years or during summers. These research experiences are performed with Loras faculty during the academic year or at other institutions during the summer. The results of the research are presented at local, regional and national seminars and conferences. This experience helps prepare students for careers after college.
  • Chemistry faculty who all have a Ph.D. degree. Choose a school in which all of your courses, including laboratories, will be taught by professors with a Ph.D. in chemistry. We do not have graduate student assistants teaching undergraduate courses.

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Loras College Chemistry Profile: Ryan Mcclellan (’00), Medical Science

Ryan Mcclellan (’00), Medical Science Liaison – Takeda Pharmaceuticals
“You use the equipment one-on-one with your professor rather than with someone you don’t know, or by yourself…it’s a much more personal type of education. The faculty are interested in you getting the most out of your experience.”

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How has your Loras Chemistry Experience Advanced Your Career?

My Experience: Marla Kilburg (’90), Chemist
“I always felt like I could go somewhere and get the help I needed [to succeed]…[Y]ou will say, ‘I love Loras.’ We [my daughter and I] both just loved it!”

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Chemistry Career Opportunities – Outcomes

Recent Loras graduates have gone on to a variety of careers, professional schools and graduate schools with:

  • Approximately 25% in medical school
  • Another 25% in a variety of health science programs including veterinary medicine, pharmacy, nursing, osteopathic medicine and optometry
  • 25% in graduate school or law school at institutions that include the University of Iowa, Drake, Duke, Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois at Chicago, Colorado, Wright State and Northern Illinois
  • 25% who are using their Loras training to teach in high school or to work in industry as laboratory technicians

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Loras College Chemistry / Biochemistry Scholarship

The alumni and friends of the Loras chemistry department recognize that chemistry has greatly enhanced their lives. Therefore, to encourage others to pursue a career in chemistry or biochemistry, they have established a four-year scholarship in the amount of $1000 ($250 each year). The award is offered to prospective first-year students who have the greatest potential for achievement in chemistry or biochemistry.

Award criteria:
High School record, ACT or SAT scores and a short essay to be submitted by April 30. Financial need is not a primary factor for this award. A complete application for admission to Loras College must be received in the Loras College Admission Office prior to your essay submission. Award is generally announced in May.

Recipient must maintains a grade point average of 3.0 and makes satisfactory progress at Loras College toward a bachelor’s degree with a major in chemistry or biochemistry.

Submit your application by April 30 by emailing your essay to Dr. David Speckhard david.speckhard@loras.edu. Be sure to include your full name, address, phone number and email address. If you do not have email, feel free to mail your submission to:

Loras College
c/o Dr. David Speckhard
Chemistry Program
1450 Alta Vista
Dubuque, IA 52001

Questions concerning this scholarship may be addressed to:

Dr. David Speckhard
david.speckhard@loras.edu
Loras College
Professor of Chemistry
106 Science Hall
800-24-LORAS
563.588.7133

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How does Loras Differ from Other Colleges and Universities

My Loras College Experience: Joe Plamondon (’63), Senior Scientist

 

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Reflecting on the Broader Loras College Experience: Values

My Loras College Experience: Ted Haas (’72), MD OB/GYN Physician

 

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How has your Loras experience impacted your career and life?

Loras College Chemistry: Tom Gawne (’94), President – Elemental Solutions

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How has your Loras Chemistry experience advanced your career?

Loras College Chemistry: Bill Feld, PhD (’66), Professor of Chemistry – Wright State University

 

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Loras Chemistry and Biochemistry Program Board of Visitors – Friday, October 2nd

Loras Chemistry and Biochemistry Program Board of Visitors meeting will be held all day on Friday, October 2nd starting at 8:30AM in Rm 109 of the St. Joseph Hall of Science. We would also like to invite all chemistry/biochemistry alumni attending homecoming to feel free to attend any part or all of the Board meeting.

The Board members are:

Daniel Bowen Ph.D. (‘90) Honeywell FM&T
William Feld Ph.D. (‘66) Wright State University
David Feller Ph.D. (‘72) Washington State University
Thomas Gawne M.S. (‘94) Elemental Solutions
Timothy Keiderling Ph.D. (‘69) University of Illinois at Chicago
William LeClair B.S. (‘80) DemandTec, Inc.
Ryan McClellan Pharm.D. (‘00) Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Joe Plamondon Ph.D. (‘63) Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
Nicholas Stanek M.D. (‘84) Univ. of Wis. School of Med.
David Vanderah Ph.D. (‘68) Nat. Bureau of Standards
Francis “Fritz” Schmitz Ph.D. (‘58) University of Oklahoma – Emeritus
Marla Kilburg B.S. (‘90) Flint Hills Resources
Kathy Schott M.S. (‘89) Drake University
Theodore Haas M.D. (‘72) Ottumwa OB/GYN
Jerry Thoma M.S. (‘69) Environmental Services
Brian Tlach B.S. (‘08) Graduate Student – Iowa State Univ.
Kelli Theisen B.S. (‘10) Illinois College of Optometry

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Chemistry Club Hosts Annual Chemistry Olympics for scholarships

The Chemistry Olympics is a daylong event that allows high school students to come to Loras College and compete in five events that test laboratory and content covered in general chemistry. Winning teams are awarded trophies and can qualify for individual Loras College scholarships up to $2,000.

The Chemistry Olympics also includes a science building tour, hands-on laboratory experiences in the DNA lab and infrared lab and a chance for high school students to talk with current college students and professors. The goal of the event is to cultivate greater interest in chemistry, inspire future pursuits in science, and further develop the relationship between Loras College and regional high schools.

“The science faculty and students at Loras are excited to continue hosting this event. We hope the chance for the high school students to participate in some friendly competition and see science at Loras will encourage them to continue in science,” said Assistant Professor of Chemistry Adam Moser, Ph.D.

The Loras College Chemistry Club is a student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The club received an Honorable Mention award from the organization in 2014 for its programming, which included the annual Chemistry Olympics event and a Chemistry Carnival for elementary students.

The Olympic events have included a titration race, solution identification race, solution density/drop volume race, periodic table race and a chemical quiz show. The events help students reinforce the skills and concepts taught in general chemistry and require students to balance speed with accuracy as they compete with each other to be the fastest to get the correct answer. Contact us for more information:

Adam Moser, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Adam.Moser@loras.edu
563.588.7920

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Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes – Biochemistry & Chemistry
1 Students will master the fundamentals in Biochemical, Inorganic, Analytical, Organic and Physical Chemistry.
2 Students will be able to plan and execute experiments and evaluate their results.
3 Students will be able to communicate scientific and experimental information to other scientists and the community at large.
4 Students will identify, comprehend, and evaluate relevant chemical literature.
5 Students will develop professional skills that support relevant vocations.
Major Requirements

CHEMISTRY & BIOCHEMISTRY
Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Kate Cooper, Ph.D., Chair
kate.cooper@loras.edu
563.588.7956

The chemistry and biochemistry programs provide students with the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in chemical principles and to apply them to laboratory applications. This foundation enables chemistry and biochemistry graduates to pursue a wide range of careers in chemical industry, research, education, engineering, or in interdisciplinary fields such as medicine, dentistry, other health professions, forensic science, or patent law. Students have the opportunity to major in: biochemistry, chemistry, or pursue licensure in chemistry/secondary teaching.

The required and supporting courses for majors must be completed with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. At least 12 credits of required chemistry courses, numbered 300 or above, must be completed at Loras College. L.CHE-489 and L.CHE-490 must be included in these 12 credits. Majors will be required to satisfactorily complete a thesis and should see their faculty advisor for details.

Requirements for the major in Biochemistry (B.S.):
This major is intended for students interested in careers in medicine and other health sciences, biochemistry and biotechnology laboratories, and graduate studies in biochemistry.

Satisfactory completion of a thesis in a biochemical area is also required. L.BIO-420 is strongly recommended for those planning to go on to medical school. Those planning to go on to graduate school should plan to take L.PHY-223/224, and L.MAT- 160, as recommended by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

At least 12 credits of required chemistry or biology courses, numbered 300 or above, must be completed at Loras College. L.CHE-489 and L.CHE-490 must be included in these 12 credits.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.BIO-115: Principles of Biology I 4
2 L.BIO-250: Genetics 4
3 L.BIO-410: Cell and Molecular Biology 4
Select one from Req 4
4 L.BIO-279: Experimental Design & Biostatistics-AH 3
4 L.BIO-348: Immunology 3
4 L.BIO-420: Vertebrate Physiology 4
4 Elective: Other L.BIO-300+ Division Chairperson approved course 3 to 4
5 L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 6
6 L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II 4
6 L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry 4
7 L.CHE-200: Intensive Science Research Experience 3
8 L.CHE-225: Analytical Chemistry 4
9 L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I 4
10 L.CHE-234: Organic Chemistry II 4
11 L.CHE-350: Biophysical Chemistry 4
12 L.CHE-335: Introductory Biochemistry 3
13 L.CHE-335L: Introductory Biochemistry Lab 1
14 L.CHE-448: Advanced Biochemistry 4
15 L.CHE-389: Junior Seminar I: Chemical Literacy 1
16 L.CHE-390: Junior Seminar II: Writing and Ethics 1
17 L.CHE-489: Senior Seminar I: Portfolio-PJ 1
18 L.CHE-490: Senior Seminar II: Thesis 1
19 L.MAT-150: Calculus of One Variable I-FM 4
Select both from Req 20a, or both from Req 20b
20a L.PHY-210: Elements of Physics I 4
20a L.PHY-211: Elements of Physics II 4
20b L.PHY-223: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I 5
20b L.PHY-224: Physics for Scientists and Engineers II 5
66 to 69 total required credits

Requirements for the major in Chemistry (B.S.):
An American Chemical Society (ACS) certified degree is intended for those who plan careers in industry, or intend graduate study.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.BIO-115: Principles of Biology I 4
2 L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 3
3 L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II 4
3 L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry 4
4 L.CHE-200: Intensive Science Research Experience 3
5 L.CHE-225: Analytical Chemistry 4
6 L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I 4
7 L.CHE-234: Organic Chemistry II 4
8 L.CHE-335: Introductory Biochemistry 3
9 L.CHE-335L: Introductory Biochemistry Lab 1
Select one from Req 10
10 L.CHE-350: Biophysical Chemistry 4
10 L.CHE-351: Physical Chemistry 4
11 L.CHE-352: Quantum Chemistry 4
12 L.CHE-446: Instrumental Analysis 3
13 L.CHE-455: Inorganic Chemistry 4
Select one from 14
14 L.CHE-381: Polymer Chemistry 3
14 L.CHE-448: Advanced Biochemistry 4
14 L.CHE-454: Theories of Organic Chemistry 3
14 L.CHE-491: Research 4-Mar
15 L.CHE-389: Junior Seminar I: Chemical Literacy 1
16 L.CHE-390: Junior Seminar II: Writing and Ethics 1
17 L.CHE-489: Senior Seminar I: Portfolio PJ 1
18 L.CHE-490: Senior Seminar II: Thesis 1
19 L.MAT-160: Calculus of One Variable II 4
Select both from Req 20a, or both from Req 20b
20a L.PHY-210: Elements of Physics I 4
20a L.PHY-211: Elements of Physics II 4
20b L.PHY-223: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I 5
20b L.PHY-224: Physics for Scientists and Engineers II 5
64 to 67 total required credits

Requirements for the major in Chemistry/Secondary Teaching (B.S.):
This major is intended for those planning to teach chemistry at the secondary level.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 2
2 L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II 4
2 L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry 4
3 L.CHE-200: Intensive Science Research Experience 3
4 L.CHE-225: Analytical Chemistry 4
5 L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I 4
6 L.CHE-234: Organic Chemistry II 4
Select one from Req 7
7 L.CHE-350: Biophysical Chemistry 4
7 L.CHE-351: Physical Chemistry 4
Select one from Req 8
8 L.CHE-335: Introductory Biochemistry 3
8 L.CHE-352: Quantum Chemistry 4
8 L.CHE-381: Polymer Chemistry 4
8 L.CHE-446: Instrumental Analysis 3
8 L.CHE-455: Inorganic Chemistry 4
9 L.CHE-389: Junior Seminar I: Chemical Literacy 1
10 L.CHE-390: Junior Seminar II: Writing and Ethics 1
11 L.CHE-489: Senior Seminar I: Portfolio-PJ 1
12 L.CHE-490: Senior Seminar II: Thesis 1
13 L.PHY-210: Elements of Physics I 4
14 L.PHY-211: Elements of Physics II 4
15 L.MAT-160: Calculus of One Variable II 4
16 L.EDU-200: Foundations of Education 3
17 L.EDU-205: Foundations of Special Education 3
18 L.PSY-121: Developmental Psychology 3
Select one from Req 19
19 L.EDU-203: Teaching for Social Justice 3
19 L.EDU-265: Multicultural Education-AC 3
20 L.EDU-339: Differentiated Instruction, Grades 5-12 2
21 L.EDU-350: General Secondary Curriculum & Instruction 3
22 L.EDU-350L: Intermediate Clinical, Grades 5-12 1
23 L.EDU-354: Special Secondary Curriculum & Methods-Science 3
24 L.EDU-357: Reading in Middle & Secondary School 3
25 L.EDU-452: Student Teaching in Secondary School 10
26 L.EDU-490: Capstone Seminar & Portfolio-PJ 2
83 to 84 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Chemistry:
No more than one course from among those already being used to satisfy the requirements of another major or minor may be applied to requirement 3 of the chemistry minor.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I 4
Select one from Req 2
2 L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II 4
2 L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry 4
Select three from Req 3
3 L.CHE-225: Analytical Chemistry 4
3 L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I 4
3 L.CHE-234: Organic Chemistry II 4
3 L.CHE-335: Introductory Biochemistry 3
3 L.CHE-350: Biophysical Chemistry 4
3 L.CHE-352: Quantum Chemistry 4
3 L.CHE-381: Polymer Chemistry 4
3 L.CHE-446: Instrumental Analysis 3
3 L.CHE-448: Advanced Biochemistry 4
3 L.CHE-454: Theories of Organic Chemistry 3
3 L.CHE-455: Inorganic Chemistry 4
17 to 20 total required credits
Course Descriptions

L.CHE-111: General Chemistry I

The fundamental principles of chemistry and the properties of the more familiar elements and compounds are studied, chiefly in light of the periodic system and the theory of atomic structure. Major topics include: stoichiometry, energy, atomic structure, radiochemistry, bonding, gases, solids and solutions. Recommended: 3 years of high school mathematics including Algebra II. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. 4 credits. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-112: General Chemistry II

The fundamental principles of chemistry and the properties of the more familiar elements and compounds are studied. Major topics include: kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. Prerequisite: L.CHE-111. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. 4 credits. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-150: Career Options in Science

Students in this class will explore career options open to science majors. Students will prepare summaries of career information from a variety of sources including online, CEL materials, reference literature, and interviews of practicing professionals. Several tour/field trips to local or regional sites where science professionals practice are required. Course fee applies. 3 credits. January term.

L.CHE-151: Chemistry of Forensics

This course will provide an in-depth introduction to forensic science with an emphasis in forensic chemistry. The topics include: handling data, collection of physical evidence, identification of evidence, characterization of glass and soil evidence, examination of hairs, fibers, and paints, drug analysis, serology, fingerprint detection, and document analysis. This course will focus on the chemical basis behind the forensic techniques used in crime labs and the analysis of physical evidence. Course fee applies. 3 credits. January term.

L.CHE-152: From Caveman to Scientist

From the discovery of fire to the production of antibiotics and polymeric materials, how did each great advance in technology lead to the next great advance and ultimately to modern society? Each day we will explore one of the great advances: fire, ceramics, metallurgy, electricity, fermentation, synthetic chemistry, polymers. The class will be a mix of hands-on discovery activities, mini-lectures with discussion, and team-based inquiries into historical information. Course fee applies. 3 credits. January term.

L.CHE-200: Intensive Science Research Experience

This is an in-depth course designed to give students majoring in one of the sciences an intense, full-time research experience in their sub-discipline. The intensive research experiences will allow the student to perform experiments toward novel scientific findings, not simply a pre-packaged lab with the results already determined. Topics to be covered in the seminars include: Why are controls so important in research? How do I evaluate if research I read or hear about in the news is valid and sound scientifically? How do I read a scientific research paper? Prerequisites: L.CHE-111, and consent of mentor and instructor. Course fee applies. 3 credits. January term.

L.CHE-203: The Science of Paintings

This course will explore some of the basic principles of science and apply of those principles to understand the physical and chemical nature of paints, pigments, and dyes. In the technological realm, scientists and artists both explore ways to manipulate matter to achieve desired ends. Both generate and analyze solutions to problems using creativity and imagination. We will explore the creation process by using science to create our own artistic materials. Includes a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. Course fee applies. 3 credits. January term.

L.CHE-208: Forensic Chemistry-AH

This course designed to familiarize students, who are intrigued by this rapidly evolving science, with the role of science in solving crime and establishing justice in our community with an emphasis on scientific thinking and reasoning. In spite of its introductory level, the course will stress upon the latest technologies and discoveries used in crime solving crime. Each major aspect of forensic science, fingerprinting, DNA, drugs, arson, etc., will be introduced and explained supplemented with infamous cases and the techniques used in solving them. In every lecture the science behind the technique will be explored and explained in class. This course also requires reading external material provided and participating in a solving a fictional crime based on the experimental laboratories that are carried out during the semester. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and a Mathematical Modeling (-FM) course. 4 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-225: Analytical Chemistry

A study of the principles of quantitative analytical chemistry and the application of these principles to gravimetric, volumetric, electro-analytical and spectroscopic analyses. Prerequisite: L.CHE-112 or L.CHE-245. Two lectures and two three-hour laboratory periods each week. 4 credits. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-233: Organic Chemistry I

This course deals with structure, reaction mechanisms and properties of carbon compounds, focusing on the chemistry of the hydrocarbons. The theory is illustrated in the laboratory by the preparation and identification of typical organic compounds. Prerequisite: L.CHE-111. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. 4 credits. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-234: Organic Chemistry II

A continuation of Chemistry 233. This course deals with structure, reaction mechanisms and properties of carbon compounds, focusing on the chemistry of organic functional groups. The theory is illustrated in the laboratory by the preparation and identification of typical organic compounds. Prerequisite: L.CHE-233. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. 4 credits. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-235: Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

This course will provide a background in organic chemistry with an emphasis on biological applications. This is achieved through lecture, discussion and in the development of laboratory techniques.  The course will provide understanding of the structure and bonding of organic molecules, the reactions and mechanisms involved in organic reactions, and the methods of the analysis of organic molecules. Prerequisite: L.CHE-111 or equivalent. Instructor permission required. Not open to students who have taken L.CHE-233.4 lectures and 1 lab per credit. 5 credits.

L.CHE-245: Quantitative Chemistry

A continuation of General Chemistry I (L.CHE-111) that builds on the Organic Chemistry (L.CHE-233 and L.CHE-234) background.  Quantitative Chemistry will survey fundamental principles of physical, analytical, biological, and inorganic chemistry.  The course will focus on quantitative problem solving within the content areas: kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base, crystal field theory, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry.  Introduction of science communication and quantitative lab technique will be included. This course is intended for science students going on to biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry and replaces the General Chemistry II requirement.  Prerequisite: L.CHE-111. 4 credits.  Each spring semester.

L.CHE-260: The Chemistry of Art-AH

This course is about intersection of chemistry with the visual arts. Chemistry and art share some common ground. Chemists and artists both explore ways to manipulate matter in order to achieve desired ends. Both generate and analyze solutions to problems using creativity and imagination. We will learn how chemistry and art are connected by exploring how chemistry is used in the perception, creation, restoration and preservation of works of art. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110 and a Mathematical Modeling (-FM) course. 4 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-262: Global Warming- Fact or Fiction-AH

The scientific method will be used to explore the impact and assess the importance of human activities and natural events on recent increases in Earth’s average global temperature. Potential consequences of this global phenomenon for future generations and us will be explored. Actions that might prevent these changes, as well as the potential economic impact of these actions on society will also be studied. Students will collect and analyze data directly. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and a Mathematical Modeling (-FM) course. 4 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-263: Energy & Water-AH

The availability of clean water and energy are critical to our quality of life. This course will deal with the chemistry involved with water, water pollution, and water purification. Students will collect water from various sources and test them for various contaminants. The advantages and disadvantages of various sources of energy (fossil, nuclear, fuel cell, hydrogen, etc.) will also be discussed. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB­105, L.LIB-110, and a Mathematical Modeling (-FM) course. 4 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-295: Topics

Subjects, prerequisites and credits to be announced. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-335: Introductory Biochemistry

The structures, function, synthesis and metabolism of proteins, fats, sugars, and genetic material will be studied. Interrelationships and control within the cell will be emphasized. Prerequisite: L.CHE-112 or L.CHE-245, L.CHE-234, and L.BIO-115. 3 credits. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-335L: Biochemistry Lab

Laboratory section for L.CHE-335. 1 credit. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-350: Biophysical Chemistry

This course treats systematically the fundamental laws and theories of chemistry from a biochemical perspective. An extended treatment is given of the properties and structure of gases, the laws of thermodynamics, the physical transformations of pure substances, the properties of mixtures, phase and chemical equilibrium, and electrochemistry. Prerequisites: L.CHE-112 or L.CHE-245; L.MAT-150 or above; L.PHY-210 and L.PHY-211, or L.PHY­223 and L.PHY-224. 4 credits. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-351: Physical Chemistry

This course treats systematically the fundamental laws and theories of chemistry. An extended treatment is given of the properties and structure of gases, the laws of thermodynamics, the physical transformations of pure substances, the properties of mixtures, phase and chemical equilibrium, and electrochemistry. Three lectures and one four-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-112 or L.CHE-245; L.MAT-160 or L.MAT­170; L.PHY-210 and L.PHY-211, or L.PHY-223 and L.PHY-224. 4 credits. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-352: Quantum Chemistry

An extended treatment is given of quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure and spectra, crystal structure and x-ray diffraction, transport processes and chemical kinetics. Three lectures and one four-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-112 or L.CHE-245: L.MAT-160 or above; L.PHY-210 and L.PHY-211, or L.PHY-­223 and L.PHY-224. 4 credits. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

L.CHE-381: Polymer Chemistry

A study of the organic chemistry and physical chemistry of natural and synthetic high polymers. Topics covered include the synthesis of polymers, thermodynamics and kinetics of polymerization and the characterization and testing of polymers. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-234. 4 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-389: Junior Seminar I: Chemical Literacy

The chemistry/biochemistry seminar sequence prepares students for success in future scientific careers and guides them through the research thesis requirement.  This is the first in a four course series that focuses on chemical literacy, which will include chemical safety, retrieval of scientific information, reference management, analysis of technical writing, and oral communication of primary scientific literature.  Students will develop professional relationships through mentorship, professional society membership, and alumni interaction. Prerequisites: L.CHE-234; L.CHE-112 or L.CHE 245. 1 credit. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-390: Junior Seminar II: Writing & Ethics

The chemistry/biochemistry seminar sequence prepares students for success in future scientific careers and guides them through the research thesis requirement.  This is the second course in the series and is a writing intensive course.  This course focuses on the thesis introduction, ethical concerns in chemistry, participating in peer review, and development of scientific vocation and accompanying credentials.  Prerequisites: L.CHE-389.   1 credit per year. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-446: Instrumental Analysis

An advanced course in analytical chemistry stressing the use of instrumental methods. Application of the techniques of infrared, ultraviolet, atomic absorption and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to chemical analyses is made. It also includes analyses based on potentiometric, amperiometric, conductometric and chromatographic processes. Three lectures and one four-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-225. 3 credits. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

L.CHE-448: Advanced Biochemistry

The relationship between the structure and chemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids will be studied. Topics include: structure, chemistry, isolation, modification, and genetic manipulation of DNA, RNA and proteins. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-234, 335. 4 credits. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

L.CHE-454: Theories of Organic Chemistry

A lecture course treating stereochemistry of organic compounds and mechanisms of organic reactions. Three lectures per week. Prerequisites: L.CHE-234, 352, which may be taken concurrently. 3 credits. Dependent upon staff and demand.

L.CHE-455: Inorganic Chemistry

Treats the nature of bonding in inorganic systems, the relationship between chemical bonding and the chemical and physical properties of inorganic compounds, the descriptive chemistry of the elements, and the use of thermodynamics, kinetics and physical methods in studying inorganic systems. Prerequisite: L.CHE-352. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. 4 credits. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

L.CHE-489: Senior Seminar I: Portfolio-PJ

The chemistry/biochemistry seminar sequence prepares students for success in future scientific careers and guides them through the research thesis requirement. In the first part of the Senior Seminar capstone, students will continue the thesis research begun during Junior Seminar. Students will demonstrate the transferable knowledge and skills that they have developed through their liberal arts education at Loras College in a portfolio. In addition, students will professionally present their strengths and accomplishments in a cover letter and resume. Prerequisite: L.CHE-390. 1 credit. Each fall semester.

L.CHE-490: Senior Seminar II: Thesis

The chemistry/biochemistry seminar sequence prepares students for success in future scientific careers and guides them through the research thesis requirement.  In the second half of the senior capstone, students will complete their research, give a seminar, present a poster and write a thesis on research projects conducted on or off campus. Prerequisite: L.CHE-489. 1 credit per year. Each spring semester.

L.CHE-491: Research

This course serves as an opportunity for students to conduct mentored research.  The primary goal of the course is to provide focused time, organized reflection, and continuous feedback so that meaningful progress on a research project can be made.  Open only to qualified students upon recommendation of a chemistry/biochemistry research mentor. Instructor permission required. 1 to 3 credits to be arranged. A maximum of 4 credits can be earned.  Each semester.

L.CHE-495: Topics

Subjects, prerequisites and credits to be announced. Dependent upon staff and demand.

Biochemistry Aspects and Career Opportunities

A distinct aspect of the Loras Biochemistry program is our Medical Associates Recombinant DNA Laboratory. Students engage in research employing DNA cloning—a critical component of modern biochemistry—and molecular biology investigations. Student research is a required component of our program and is integrated in the second year of the curriculum, culminating in a senior thesis project presentation. After receiving your degree from Loras, you could move on to graduate school or a career in one of these fields:

  • Chemical Industry
  • Government
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Forensic science
  • Health professions
Chemistry Aspects and Career Opportunities

The Chemistry program offers undeniable advantages over larger universities. A small school atmosphere coupled with the quality and depth of instruction usually found only at a larger institution, Loras classes emphasize lab work in direct coordination with professors rather than teaching assistants. Faculty are easily accessible to their students, and many work one-on-one with students on student-designed research projects.

Two local hospitals provide many opportunities for collaboration and extension of study beyond the classroom, and high-tech facilities on campus give students hands-on experience with cutting edge technology rarely seen at the undergraduate level. With the flexibility of student design and a wealth of opportunities, a degree in this division can be largely tailored to each student’s individual interests. After receiving your degree from Loras, you could move on to graduate school or a career in one of these fields:

  • Pharmaceutical Research
  • Chemical Quality Control
  • Chemical Research
  • Government
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Forensic Science or Law
  • Academic Research
  • Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Safety
  • Interdisciplinary Fields (such as Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry and other health professions)
Questions? Contact Us!

Christina Edwards, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7012 | Christina.Edwards@loras.edu

Dr. Edwards received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Iowa (2008) and Ph.D. at the University of Kansas (2014) in Analytical Chemistry.  Her graduate research included investigation of metallic nanowire formation on substrate surfaces with selective size and orientation, as well as developing new electrode materials to improve solar cell function.  Currently, she teaches Analytical Chemistry, General Chemistry, Junior Seminar for Chemistry and Biochemistry majors, the J-Term Intensive Research Experience, and Chemistry of Environmental Sustainability.  Her research at Loras College has a focus in the areas of environmental and surface science chemistry.  Specific research interests include the development of biodiesel refinement methods to improve biodiesel fuel properties, synthesizing quantum dots with different materials with spectroscopic characterization, and characterization of water quality in the surrounding local areas.

Adam Moser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7920 | Adam.Moser@loras.edu

Dr. Moser got his B.A. in chemistry at Wabash College (2003) and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota (2009)in Physical chemistry. After three years as a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow at Boston University, he came to Loras College in 2012. Dr. Moser teaches general chemistry, quantum chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and intensive science research experience. Dr. Moser’s research is in the field of computational biophysics, which is using computers to model biological systems. Current research interests are related to biomimetic materials, synthetic molecules designed to mimic biological molecules. This includes foldamers (i.e. molecules that fold like biopolymers) and reverse micelles (i.e. nanoscale systems that mimic cell membranes). For more information including CV, please visit his website (www.moserlab.com).

David Oostendorp, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
563.588.7259 | David.Oostendorp@loras.edu

Dr. Oostendorp earned his Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (1991) studying the reaction kinetics and synthesis of polysiloxanes. Dr. Oostendorp teaches organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and the chemistry of art. Current areas of research include investigations into kinetic control of addition reactions involving conjugated dienes, synthesis of difunctional dendrimers and green chemistry involving reusable catalysts.

Eric Peterson
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
563.588.7133 | eric.peterson@loras.edu