Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14



Craig Anderson (director), Swapan Jain, Marc Koyack, Christopher LaFratta, Emily McLaughlin


Chemistry at Bard is geared primarily, but not exclusively, toward meeting the needs of students planning to do graduate work in chemistry and biology. Students receive extensive hands-on experience with contem­porary instruments and equipment (see “Facilities” below). In addition to the core courses, a student typically takes at least two advanced electives in chemistry and biology, mathematics, or physics, according to personal goals. 


Before moderating in the program, students should complete or be enrolled in Chemistry 141-142 and 201-202, Mathematics 141 and 142, and Physics 141 and 142. Students are expected to follow the standard divisional procedure for Moderation and to fulfill the collegewide distribution and First-Year Seminar: The Common Course requirements. To graduate, students must successfully complete Chemistry 311, 312, 350, and 360; two electives at the 300 level or higher; and the Senior Project.

Recent Senior Projects in Chemistry

  • “Characterization of Maltoheptaose and  Complex Glycoprotein Glycan Structure by LC/MS”
  • “From Aziridines to Daffodils: Development of an Oxidative Insertion for the Synthesis of Isoquinolone Derivative”
  • “Micropatterning of Chemical Oscillating Reactions”
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of Ruthenium(III)-Ferrocene Dinuclear Metal Complexes”

Faculty/Student Publications

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to work on research projects with members of the science faculty. Recent publications that have featured student coauthors include the following:

  • “Biscyclometalated Platinum Complexes with Thiophene Ligands.” Journal of Organometallic Chemistry 723 (2013), 188-97
  • “Synthesis, Characterization, Density Functional Theory Calculations, and Activity of Tridentate NNN Zinc Pincer Complexes.” Inorganica Chimica Acta 394 (2013), 310–2
  • “Using a Homemade Flame Photometer to Measure Sodium Concentration in a Sports Drink.” Journal of Chemical Education 90 (2013), 372–75


Facilities at The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation and the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Science Laboratories include teaching labs, individual research laboratories for faculty and their students, seminar rooms, and expanded space for student research posters. Students have the opportunity to work with modern instrumentation, including a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer; a gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer; a liquid chromatograph–mass spectrometer; two Thermo Nicolet Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometers; several ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometers; a polargraph; two micro­wave reactors; a Dionex high-performance ­liquid chromatograph; a Johnson Matthey magnetic susceptibility balance; and, in collaboration with Vassar College, a state-of-the-art X-ray diffractometer. More details are available at the Chemistry Program website.


Core courses include Chemistry 141-142, Basic Principles of Chemistry; Chemistry 201-202, Organic Chemistry; Chemistry 311, Physical Chemistry; Chemistry 312, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry; and Chemistry 350 and 360, the laboratory concepts courses Analytical and Physical Techniques and Synthesis. Each semester, at least one advanced elective course, covering topics such as organic synthesis, organometallics, nanotechnology, and biochemistry (including nucleic acids), is offered.

Molecules and Medicine
Chemistry 129
When you take aspirin or ibuprofen do you ever wonder what the structure of this “miracle drug” looks like? How the molecule actually works in the body? How the medicinal use of this and other drugs was discovered? This course, intended for nonscience majors, explores biologically active molecules and their modes of action (naturally occurring and synthetic) in an effort to stress the importance of chemistry in biology and medicine.

Basic Principles of Chemistry
Chemistry 141-142
An introduction to the composition, structure, and properties of matter. The first semester covers atomic structure, stoichiometry, periodic trends, bonding and molecular geometry, thermochemistry, and the behavior of gases, liquids, and solids. Central concepts in the second semester are energy transfer, spontaneity, and change (thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium, and kinetics). The laboratory portion stresses basic techniques and quantitative applications. Basic algebra skills are required. Concurrent enrollment in calculus is recommended for students who intend to major in chemistry.

Organic Chemistry
Chemistry 201-202
Students examine the structure and reactions of specific types of or­ganic compounds and develop interrelationships that provide an integrated understanding of organic chemistry. The course emphasizes general principles and reaction mechanisms, but students are also expected to accumulate and utilize factual material. The ­laboratory is coordinated with classroom topics and should provide direct experience with many reactions and concepts. The laboratory also develops familiarity with experiment design, experimental techniques, and instrumental methods such as chromatography and spectroscopy. Prerequisite: Chemistry 141-142.

Principles of Chemical Analysis
Chemistry 301
A survey of analytical chemistry, with emphasis on the basic principles of solution equilibriums. Quantitative treatment of solubility, acidity, and oxidation potential provides the background for understanding gravimetric and volumetric techniques. Modern methods of instrumental analysis are studied and integrated into the laboratory work. Prerequisite: Chemistry 141-142.

Physical Chemistry
Chemistry 311
Quantum chemistry, spectroscopy, and thermodynamics are studied in detail. Topics covered include the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, the hydrogen atom, computational chemistry, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, the standard functions (enthalpy, entropy, Gibbs, etc.), and the microscopic point of view of entropy, among others. Prerequisites: Chemistry 141–142 (or equivalent), Physics 141 and 142, and Mathematics 141 and 142, or by permission of instructor.

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Chemistry 312
An introduction to the chemistry of the elements, this course places emphasis on the classification of the properties and reactivity of the elements by chemical periodicity, structure, and bonding. Topics include coordination chemistry of the transition metals, organometallic chemistry, and bioinorganic chemistry. Prerequisites: Chemistry 201-202.

Laboratory Concepts and Techniques: Analytical and Physical Techniques
Chemistry 350
This course covers many analytical, physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry techniques and applications. Concepts dealing with statistical evaluation of data, activity, systematic treatment of equilibrium, and electrochemistry are also addressed.

Laboratory Concepts and Techniques: Synthesis
Chemistry 360
Multistep organic and organometallic synthesis make up a solid portion of the course, which also introduces advanced lab concepts and techniques. Air- and moisture-sensitive techniques are explored, as are many analytical, physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry techniques and applications, as necessary.

Chemistry 431
This course integrates material from inorganic and organic chemistry to provide a basis for understanding the rich chemistry of the metal-carbon bond. The material consists of an examination of various organometallic reaction mechanisms, including substitution, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, and insertion, combined with a survey of the structure and reactivity of organometallic ligands. Topics such as organometallic photochemistry, catalysis, and the use of organometallic reagents in organic synthesis are also covered.

DNA/RNA: Structure and Function of Nucleic Acids

Chemistry 441
This seminar-style course begins with a review of nucleic acid chemistry. Topics of inquiry include the influence of DNA/RNA structure on replication, transcription, and translation; the importance of protein-nucleic acid interactions; and the role of RNA in regulation (catalytic RNA, riboswitches, and RNA interference pathways). Students utilize modeling/imaging software to acquire a deeper appreciation of nucleic acid structure. Prerequisites: Biology 301, Biochemistry, and permission of the instructor.

Chemistry 471
A central goal of nanoscience and technology is to make useful materials and devices through the synthesis and patterning of nanoscale building blocks. This course addresses the synthetic methods used to make metallic and semiconducting nanocrystals, as well as polymeric and bioinspired nanomaterials. Students also explore techniques that have been developed to organize and integrate these building blocks into functional architectures via self-assembly, templating, and lithography. This seminar-style course draws extensively on recent literature in chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering journals.