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Chemistry is a branch of science that studies the composition and properties of matter and the changes it undergoes. Chemistry is the science that studies matter from the atomic to macromolecular scale, the reactions, transformations and aggregations of matter, as well as the energy released or absorbed during these processes. The general field of chemistry is so vast that it was originally subdivided into a number of different areas of specialization; there’s now a tremendous amount of overlap between the different areas of chemistry, just as there is among the various sciences. The formal branches of chemistry include General (introductory chemistry that explores pieces of each specialty in chemistry), Inorganic (everything else not covered in General Chemistry, including qualitative (i.e., what is present) analysis, except molecules of a carbon-based-nature), Organic (only carbon-based molecules), Analytical (quantitation, i.e., how much is present), and Physical (applications of physics to chemistry) Chemistries.

At WNC, students studying chemistry can expect to learn to:

  1. Illustrate and explain the role the periodic table plays in chemistry;
  2. Describe, identify and balance the six (6) general types of chemical, as well as college freshman level reduction-oxidation, reactions;
  3. Describe, identify and apply balanced college freshman level reduction-oxidation reactions to electrochemical applications;
  4. Illustrate and explain the chemistry and function of aqueous solutions of acids and bases;
  5. Illustrate and explain the role solubility and acid-base balance plays in solution chemistry;
  6. Illustrate and explain the role thermochemistry plays in forming molecules in the solid, liquid and gaseous states;
  7. Illustrate and explain the role thermodynamics and kinetics play in determining reaction direction;
  8. Illustrate and explain introductory organic and biological chemistry reactions of a fundamental nature;
  9. Describe, identify and apply balanced college sophomore level reactions involving alkanes, alkenes, dienes, alkynes, alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, amides, cyclo-compounds, aromatic compounds and benzene derivatives and phenols;
  10. Illustrate and explain the role organic chemistry plays in pharmacological agents and their development;
  11. Illustrate and explain the roles that the amino and imino acids play in protein structure and function;
  12. Illustrate and explain the roles that mono-, di- and polysaccharides play in normal biochemical functions in the cell;
  13. Illustrate and explain the biochemical roles that saturated and unsaturated fatty acids play in triglyceride, phospholipid, prostaglandin, leukotriene, lipoxin and cholesterol syntheses at the cellular level; as well as the role these fatty acids play in the biosynthesis of VLDL, LDL, IDL and HDL cholesterol;
  14. Illustrate and explain the cellular roles that adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine and uridine play in the development/syntheses of nucleosides, nucleotides, DNA and RNA, as well as in the processes of replication, transcription and translation;
  15. Illustrate and explain fundamental biochemical metabolic pathways (which may include individual amino acid catabolism; catecholamine anabolism and catabolism; inborn errors in metabolism, e.g., PKU; glucose, fructose and galactose catabolism; lactose synthesis; gluconeogenesis; fermentation; the hexose monophosphate shunt (pentose phosphate pathway); beta-oxidation of saturated fatty acids; oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids; fatty acid synthesis; cholesterol biosynthesis and pharmacological inhibition thereof; superficial steroid hormone biosynthesis; catabolism of adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine and uridine focusing on salvage pathways);
  16. Draw conclusions with basic calculations of and from general chemistry, qualitative analysis, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry laboratory experiences to develop problem solving in a systematic manner.

Chemistry is a discipline in the Liberal Arts division.

Current CHEM course offerings:

CHEM-100 Molecules and Life in the Modern World
CHEM-121 General Chemistry I
CHEM-122 General Chemistry II
CHEM-220 Introductory Organic Chemistry
CHEM-241 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM-241L Organic Chemistry for Life Sciences Laboratory I
CHEM-242 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM-242L Organic Chemistry for Life Sciences Laboratory II