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Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Chemistry Department at Yeshiva College offers a rigorous program of study and encourages undergraduate students to engage in research during the academic year and summer to work one-on-one with our faculty members. 

Yeshiva College’s Chemistry Club organizes numerous activities for chemistry majors, including seminars, lectures and field trips to academic and industrial research laboratories.

Chemistry is vital for students interested in medical and health-related careers, which are based on knowledge of the chemical sciences. It is also ideal for students interested in a broad, liberal arts education, with an emphasis on understanding the nature and interactions of the chemicals that make up the world.

The field of chemistry can lead to careers in research and teaching, medicine and health sciences, and industry and private service. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries provide opportunities for applied chemical research. Medicine and health-science fields emphasize the biologic aspects of advances in chemistry.  

Public service-minded individuals with a solid science education may find their niche in environmental protection agencies, consumer advocacy groups, and government offices. In education, there is a nationwide shortage of elementary and high school science teachers.

Students interested in a career in chemical engineering may consider the combined engineering program with Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science. The Yeshiva Colleges Chemistry Club is affiliated with the American Chemical Society and organizes numerous activities for chemistry majors, including seminars, lectures, and field trips to academic and industrial research laboratories.

Mission Statement

The mission of the undergraduate Chemistry program is to prepare students for entry into graduate and professional programs and to become active and engaged members of the chemical scientific community, by providing students with traditional chemical education integrated with modern research.

Student Learning Goals

  • Understand chemical principles in order to explain the phenomena of the natural world.
  • Apply experimental techniques and chemical principles to investigate and solve problems.
  • Effectively communicate technical and scientific information both verbally and in writing.
  • Generate research ideas and design theoretical and experimental methods to test these ideas with faculty guidance.

For questions or further information on the Chemistry and Biochemistry Program at Yeshiva College, please contact Professor Raji Viswanathan at raji@yu.edu or 212-960-5400 ext. 443.

New Biochemistry Major

Yeshiva College is now offering a major in Biochemistry beginning in Fall 2017.  This major is approved by NYSED, and has been successfully offered at SCW for the past 10 years.  A total of 60-61 credits are needed to complete this major. We feel it will be a valuable alternative for our pre-med and pre-dental students interested in gaining expertise in this inter-disciplinary field. Click here for the Biochemistry requirement information (PDF).

Program Information

Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings. The courses regularly offered by the chemistry department are listed below.

  • CHE 1023L Science of Chemistry: Everyday Life (Lab)(1 credit)
    Focuses on the study of the properties of matter through experimentation. An emphasis is placed on recording careful observations, collecting data, and analysis of results, including graphical analysis and calculations. Designed to cover concepts which complement the lecture topics, not duplicate them. 
    Corequisite: CHE 1023R.
  • CHE 1023R Science of Chemistry: Everyday Life (Lecture) (2 credits)
    Takes students on a journey from the observations which form the basis of Dalton's atomic theory through the discovery of subatomic particles and atomic structure, leading to trends in bonding. Molecular structures are covered from the simplest hydrogen molecule to DNA, pausing to consider the chemicals encountered in our 'everyday lives.' 
    Corequisite: CHE 1023L.
  • CHE 1024L Science of Chemistry: Global Issues (Lab) (1 credit)
    Examines contemporary environment issues through experimentation and provides an understanding of basic laboratory skills. 
    Corequisite: CHE 1024R.
  • CHE 1024R Science of Chemistry: Global Issues (Lecture) (2 credits)
    Examines contemporary environmental issues, such as fossil fuel consumption, global warming, nuclear power, and ozone depletion with an emphasis on problem-solving and an understanding of basic chemical principles. 
    Corequisite: CHE 1024L.
  • CHE 1045H, 1046H Honors: General Chemistry I & II (Lecture & Lab) (5 credits)
    This honors-level introduction to chemistry offers a rigorous, fast-paced and concept-rich approach that is ideal for students pursuing a major in the sciences or students on a pre-medical, pre-dental, or pre-engineering track. This two course sequence is recommended for chemistry majors and students interested in undergraduate research in chemistry but is also open to all non-science majors who desire a challenging but rewarding introduction to chemistry. Includes laboratory.
  • CHE 1045R, 1046R General Chemistry I & II (Lecture) (3 credits)
    This two course sequence explores the fundamental concepts of chemistry on both the atomic and macroscopic scales. Topics include atomic structure and stoichiometry; properties of gases, liquids, and solids; thermochemistry; quantum theory and the electronic structure of atoms; the periodic table and periodic properties; chemical bonding and molecular orbital theory; properties of solutions; thermodynamics; acid-base and solubility equilibria; chemical kinetics; electrochemistry; and nuclear chemistry. 
    Corequisite: CHE 1045L, 1046L.
  • CHE 1045L, 1046L General Chemistry I & II (Lab) (2 credits)
    Laboratory experiments are designed and scheduled to complement lecture topics and enhance students understanding of the principles introduced. Emphasis on quantitative techniques. 
    Corequisite: CHE 1045R, 1046R.
  • CHE 1122C Chemical Analysis (4 credits)
    This one-semester course introduces science majors and pre-health students to the principles and practice of analytical chemistry. The course begins with an introduction to analytical chemistry, including the analytical process, sampling, sources of error, statistics, and data interpretation. The course also covers major types of analyses, including wet methods, spectroscopy, chromatography, and potentiometric techniques. Classroom topics, discussions and problem solving exercises are closely coordinated with laboratory analyses. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1045R&L, 1046R&L.
  • CHE 1213L, 1214L Organic Chemistry I & II (Lab) (2 credits)
    Emphasizes basic techniques in separation, purification, identification and preparation of organic compounds. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
    Corequisite: CHE 1213R, 1214R.
  • CHE 1213R, 1214R Organic Chemistry I & II (Lecture) (3 credits)
    Organic chemistry explores the rich chemistry of carbon. Topics include the structure, synthesis, properties, and reaction mechanisms of the main classes of organic compounds, including compounds of biological importance. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
    Corequisite: CHE 1213L, 1214L.
  • CHE 1232C Medicinal Chemistry (3 credits)
    The course covers the basic chemical and biological concepts underlying medicinal chemistry. The course content includes an overview of drugs and their action, approaches to drug discovery, quantitative structure-activity relationships, drug delivery, pharmacokinetics, and drug metabolism. Laboratory classes include the modification of a drug's chemical structure with both chemical and biological characterization of the product, determination of acidity and lipophilic/lipophobic drug character, synthesis of a combinatorial drug library, and an antimicrobial bioassay.
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
    Prerequisite or corequisite: CHE 1213R&L.
  • CHE 1233C Synthesis and Characterization of Organic and Inorganic Compounds (4 credits)
    Advanced laboratory techniques; purification and characterization of compounds by physical and chemical methods including NMR spectrometry, UV-VIS and FTIR spectrophotometry, gas and high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1214R&L.
  • CHE 1375R Molecular Biochemistry (Lecture) (4 credits)
    Molecular biochemistry covers the biological aspects of cellular structure, metabolism, regulation, and replication from a chemist's perspective. The topics will range from the sequence of nucleic acids that give rise to functional proteins to the bioenergetic aspects of oxidative phosphorylation involved in cellular respiration. Particular emphasis will be placed on hot topics in modern biochemistry including protein-ligand interactions, DNA polymerization, and membrane transport.
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H, BIO 1011R&L.[Crosslisted as BIO 1375C]
  • CHE 1376R Biochemistry (Lecture) (3 credits)
    Structure and function of biological molecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, metabolism, storage and transmission of genetic information, recombinant DNA technology, and selected topics such as membrane transport, hormone action, and muscle contraction. 
    Prerequisite: BIO 1012R&L, CHE 1213R&L. [Crosslisted as BIO 1376R]
  • CHE 1376L Biochemistry (Lab) (2 credits)
    Illustration of the properties of biochemical substances; design and analysis of experiments. Techniques include chromatography, electrophoresis, differential centrifugation, and various types of enzyme assays, including spectrophotometric and radioactive. 
    Prerequisite or corequisite: CHE 1376R. [Crosslisted as BIO 1376L]
  • CHE 1378H Chemical Biology (3 credits)
    Chemical biology considers a variety of biological systems in terms of their molecular components and potential behavior as defined by chemical functional groups, three-dimensional character, likely internal motion, and inter-molecular interactions with respect to the aqueous and non-aqueous environments that constitute life. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H, CHE 1214R&L, BIO 1011R&L.
  • CHE 1379H Chemistry of Metals in Biology (Lecture and Lab) (4 credits)
    This course offers a chemical view of the metals in biological systems. Course content includes introductory coordination chemistry, spectroscopic methods used to study metal ions and metal complexes in biological system, and the catalytic properties of important metallo-proteins. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
  • CHE 1415L Physical Chemistry Laboratory (3 credits)
    Emphasizes the measurements and computations of physical chemistry. Experiments illustrate theoretical principles and provide basic experience with quantitative physical measurements including thermochemistry, chemical equilibria, kinetics, electrochemistry, spectrophotometry and computer interfacing. Applications to biochemical systems. 
    Corequisite or Pre-requisite: CHE 1415R.
  • CHE 1415R, 1416R Physical Chemistry I & II (Lecture) (4 credits)
    Physical chemistry explores the underlying physical and mathematical relationships that interconnect a diverse range of chemical concepts. The first semester considers the fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics, thermochemistry, chemical equilibria, phases of matter, aqueous solutions, electrochemistry, and the kinetic molecular theory of gases. The second semester explores the quantum mechanical nature of atoms and molecules, solutions to the Schrodinger equation, vibrational, rotational and electronic spectroscopies, the electronic structure of multi-electron atoms and molecules and chemical bonding. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H, MAT 1412/1413.
    Prerequisite or corequisite: PHY 1031/1032R&L or 1041/1042R&L.
  • CHE 1607 Inorganic and Structural Chemistry (3 credits)
    This course introduces students to an advanced physical understanding of inorganic chemistry. Students will learn to use the theories of chemical bonding to predict the electronic structures of compounds and how those electronic structures then give rise to observed chemical and physical properties. Specifically, the transition between two-electron energies of weak ligand fields and one-electron energies of strong ligand fields will be highlighted to describe phenomena found in nature. Students who finish the course will understand how symmetry may be used to predict molecular properties, which metal complexes will be more stable than others, and how interactions between light, electrons, and nuclei are responsible for much of what we see in everyday life.
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H, MAT 1413.
  • CHE 1609H Bioinorganic Chemistry (3 credits)
    Elucidates key inorganic chemistry concepts, including chemical bonding, structure, reactions and characterization methods and their applications in biology and medicine. Bioinorganic chemistry is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field. Topics include metalloenzymes, iron transport proteins, biomineralization in bones and shells and chemotherapeutic agents. 
    Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
  • CHE 1611, 1611H Molecular Structure, and Dynamics (3 credits)
    This course introduces the structure of molecules through molecular modelling and covers the theoretical prediction of the electronic structure and properties of molecules, the manipulation and visualtion of structures, simulation techniques such as molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo methods, and familiarity with commonly used software packages. This course incorporates a workship based approach within an integrated lecture and computer laboratory format. Prerequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
  • CHE 1930 Selected Topics (2 credits)
    Seminar in current problems and literature in chemistry for seniors majoring in chemistry and selected juniors. Assigned topics, regular conferences and a report. Prerequisite: By permission of the instructor.
  • CHE 1936 Introduction to Chemical Research (0.5 credits)
    This course offers students an early exposure to the current research interests of our faculty as well as information about modern chemistry careers. This course is ideal for students with minimal background in chemistry or undergraduate research and serves to help students (particularly future majors) choose a research mentor during their undergraduate years. Students will have the opportunity to visit faculty research laboratories and obtain first-hand experience of chemical research. 
    Prerequisite or corequisite: CHE 1046R&L/H.
  • CHE 1937, 1938 Seminar in Advanced Chemistry (1 credit)
    Seminar meeting two hours every two weeks. Topics in all fields of chemistry. 
    Prerequisite or Corequisite: CHE 1213R&L or by permission of the instructor.
  • CHE 4911 Research in Chemistry (1-3 credits)
    Department approval required; final approval required from Academic Standards in order to proceed. Laboratory fee on an individual basis.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Requirements

Chemistry Requirements (PDF)
Biochemistry Requirements (PDF)

Biochemistry Major Requirements (61 Credits)

  • CHEM 1045R, 1046R, 1047L, General Chemistry - Lecture and Lab, 8 Credits
  • BIOL 1011R&L, 1012R&L, Principles of Biology- Lecture and Lab, 10 Credits
  • CHEM 1213R, 1214R, 1215L, Organic Chemistry- Lecture and Lab, 8 Credits
  • CHEM 1415R or 1416R, Physical Chemistry I or II, 4 Credits
  • MATH 1412, 1413, Calculus I, Calculus II, 8 Credits
  • CHEM 1376R&L, Biochemistry  - Lecture and lab, 5 Credits
  • The following Physics Sequence: PHYS 1031R&L, 1032R&L, Introductory Physics - Lecture and Lab, 10 Credits
  • Two of the following courses:
    • BIOL 3207C, Cell Biology - Lecture and Lab, 4 Credits  
    • BIOL 3230C, Immunology - Lecture and Lab, 4 Credits  
    • BIOL 3513C, Genetics- Lecture and Lab, 4 Credits  
    • BIOL 3521C, Molecular Biology - Lecture and Lab, 4 Credits  
    • CHE 1379C, Chemistry of Metals in Biology -  Lecture and Lab, 4 Credits  

Chemistry Major (53 Credits)

Chemistry Requirements are available here.

Chemistry Minor (23 Credits)

Required Courses (20 credits)
  • CHE 1045R, General Chemistry 1, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1046R, General Chemistry 2, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1047L, General Chemistry Lab, 2 Credits
  • CHE 1213R, Organic Chemistry 1, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1214R, Organic Chemistry 2, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1215L, Organic Chemistry Lab, 2 Credits
  • CHE 1122C/1415, Chemical Analysis/Physical Chemistry 1, 4 Credits 
Electives (1 required, 3 credits minimum)
  • CHE 1232C, Medicinal Chemistry, 3 Credits
  • CHEM 1233, Synth. & Character, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1375C, Molecular Biochemistry, 4 Credits
  • CH E 1377, Organometallic Chemistry, 3 Credits
  • CHE/BIO 1376R&L, Biochemistry, 5 Credits
  • CHE 1378H, Chemical Biology, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1379C, Metals In Biology, 4 Credits
  • CHE 1415L, Physical Chemistry Lab, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1607, Inorganic & Structural, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1611, Mol. Structure & Dynamics, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1124, Forensic Chemistry, 3 Credits
  • CHE 1415R, Physical Chemistry 1, 4 Credits
  • CHE 1416R, Physical Chemistry 2, 4 Credits
  • CHE 1222H, 3 Credits

The following list includes faculty who teach at the Beren (B) and/or Wilf (W) campus.

  • Lea Blau
    Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Emerita
  • James Camara
    Assistant Professor of Chemistry (W)
  • Irina Catrina
    Clinical Assistant Professor (W)
  • Lora Danley
    Adjunct Instructor in Chemistry (B)
  • Cecily Dobin
    Instructor in Chemistry, Emerita
  • Donald Estes
    Senior Laboratory Instructional Specialist (B)
  • Jianfeng Jiang
    Associate Professor of Chemistry (W)
  • Jehovani Lopez
    Lab Specialist (W)
  • Chaya Rapp
    Associate Professor of Chemistry (B)
    Co-Chair, Department of Chemistry
  • Nelson Ruiz
    Laboratory Specialist (B)
  • Raji Viswanathan
    Professor of Chemistry (W)
    Co-Chair, Department of Chemistry

Chemistry is vital for students interested in medical and health-related careers, which are based on knowledge of the chemical sciences. It is also ideal for students interested in a broad, liberal arts education, with an emphasis on understanding the nature and interactions of the chemicals that make up the world.

An undergraduate degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry opens up a myriad possibilities.  For the various professional pathways made possible  with your Chemistry/ Biochemistry major, besides attending medical/dental schools, please visit the following webpage that maps out different career paths, along with the requirements to succeed along a chosen path: https://www.zippia.com/chemistry-major/

The Yeshiva College Chemistry Club is affiliated with the American Chemical Society. The club organizes numerous activities for chemistry majors, including seminars, lectures, and field trips to academic and industrial research laboratories.

The department encourages students to participate in research projects with faculty members at both Yeshiva College, and, through the Roth Scholar Summer Fellowships, at Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

The field of chemistry can lead to careers in research and teaching, medicine and health sciences, and industry and private service. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries provide opportunities for applied chemical research. Medicine and health-science fields emphasize the biologic aspects of advances in chemistry.

Public service-minded individuals with a solid science education may find their niche in environmental protection agencies, consumer advocacy groups, and government offices. In education, there is a nationwide shortage of elementary and high school science teachers.

Students interested in a career in chemical engineering may consider the combined engineering program with Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Please note: Links to external sites are offered as a convenience to visitors, as a starting point for exploration. Such sites are neither endorsed nor regulated by Yeshiva University, which accepts no responsibility for their content.

Research

  • SciFinder Scholar  A search tool offered by the Chemical Abstracts Service of the American Chemical Society.
  • The NIST Chemistry Webbook  Contains useful chemical information, including formulae, structures, thermodynamic data, and spectra (MS, IR, etc.).
  • Spectral Database of Organic Compounds, SDBS  A database with information on organic compounds.
  • Webelements  An online periodic table.

Internships

  • Chemistry Internships From the University of California, Santa Barbara, Career Services office.
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences List of REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) programs by discipline

Careers

News and Organizations

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