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Chemistry

College of Natural Sciences
Bilger 239
2545 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7480
Fax: (808) 956-5908
Email: chemdept@hawaii.edu
Web: www.manoa.hawaii.edu/chem

Faculty

*Graduate Faculty

*K. K. Kumashiro, PhD (Chair)—physical chemistry, solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance of proteins and peptides
*P. G. Williams, PhD (Associate Chair)— organic and natural products chemistry
W. J. Chain, PhD—organic chemistry, synthesis of natural products
*J. D. Head, PhD—theoretical chemistry, electronic structure determination of large molecules and clusters
*T. K. Hemscheidt, PhD—organic and bioorganic chemistry, biosynthesis of natural products
*J. T. Jarrett, PhD—biochemistry, enzymology, structure and function of metalloenzymes
*C. M. Jensen, PhD—inorganic and organometallic chemistry, polyhydride and dihydrogen metal complexes, homogeneous catalysts, hydrogen storage materials
T. Jovanovic-Talisman, PhD—nuclear pore complex, super-resolution microscopy
*R. I. Kaiser, PhD—physical chemistry, reaction dynamics, chemistry in extraterrestrial environments
H. L. Ng, PhD—membrane protein crystallography
*M. A. Tius, PhD—organic chemistry, synthesis of natural products

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

T. Apple, PhD—physical chemistry, solid-state NMR
D. M. Jameson, PhD—fluorescence spectroscopy, protein interactions
C. J. Simmons, PhD—inorganic chemistry, metal-dioxygen and Jahn-Teller copper complexes, structure determination by X-ray crystallography

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in chemistry, BA in biochemistry, BS in chemistry, BS in biochemistry, MS in chemistry, PhD in chemistry

The Academic Program

Chemistry (CHEM) stands at the crossroads between physics and biology. As biological processes are examined in ever finer detail, chemistry is increasingly called upon to provide the insights, techniques, and materials needed to understand the workings of living organisms, including ourselves. Chemistry is thus a popular major for those interested in biomedical careers. In another direction, chemistry is also essential to the search for solutions to the ecological problems created by the ever-expanding range of human activities. Chemists create new substances with new properties that find application throughout our civilization.
As a major, chemistry provides a solid foundation of scientific knowledge and experimental skills that enables one to specialize in many directions toward careers in research, teaching, business, or professional practice. Also, because virtually all constructed things we see and use in our daily lives involve chemistry, there is a huge pool of jobs for chemists in the manufacturing industries.

Undergraduate Study

BA in Chemistry Degree

Requirements

  • 27 credit hours in CHEM courses numbered 200 and above, including CHEM 272/272L, 273/273L, 274/274L, 351, 352/352L, and either 425/425L or 445/445L
  • MATH 243 (Calculus III) or 253A
  • PHYS 170/170L, and 272/272L
  • Recommended languages: German, French, Russian, or Japanese

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/. For more information on the major, go to www.advising.hawaii.edu/artsci/pages/resources/lib_art_degrees/majorskills/majorskills_chem.asp#CHEM_SCHED.

BS in Chemistry Degree

Requirements

  • 41 credit hours in CHEM courses numbered 200 and above, including CHEM 272/272L, 273/273L, 274/274L, 351, 352/352L, 372 or BIOL/MBBE/PEPS 402 or BIOC 441, 425/425L, 427, and 445/445L
  • A minimum of three credits from CHEM 399, 601, 602, 622, 641, 642, 643, 651, 653, or 657
  • MATH 243 (Calculus III) or 253A
  • PHYS 170/170L and 272/272L
  • Recommended electives: MATH 244 and PHYS 274
  • Recommended languages: German or French

To view a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets. For more information on the major, go to www.advising.hawaii.edu/artsci/pages/resources/lib_art_degrees/majorskills/majorskills_chem.asp#CHEM_SCHED.

BA in Biochemistry Degree

Requirements

  • 24 credit hours or more in CHEM courses numbered 200 and above, including CHEM 272/272L, 273/273L, 274/274L, 361 or 351/352, and 372
  • BIOL 171/171L, 172/172L, 275/275L, and 402
  • Three elective lecture courses and one accompanying laboratory course from select CHEM, BIOL, MBBE, or MICR courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • MATH 215 or 241 or 251A and 242 or 252A
  • PHYS 170/170L and 272/272L
  • Recommended languages: German, French, or Japanese.

Upon approval of a Chemistry Department Advisor and the Chair, the elective requirements may be modified to accommodate a special emphasis or interdisciplinary program that is appropriate for a major in Biochemistry.

BS in Biochemistry Degree

Requirements

  • 30 credit hours or more in CHEM courses numbered 200 and above, including CHEM 272/272L, 273/273L, 274/274L, 361 or 351/352, 372, 462, 463L.
  • BIOL 171/171L, 172/172L, 275/275L, and 402.
  • 14 credit hours or more, which must include two laboratory courses, from the following:
  • At least one course from CHEM 352L, 399, 425/425L, 427, 445/445L
  • At least two courses from MICR 351/351L, BIOL 375/375L, BIOL/MBBE 401, BIOL/MBBE 407, BIOL 408, BIOL/MBBE 483, MBBE 412, MBBE 480, MICR 431/431L, MICR 461/461L, MICR 463/463L, MICR 475/475L, MICR 490/490L, ZOOL 430/430L.

Upon approval of a Chemistry Department Advisor and the Chair, the elective requirements may be modified to accommodate a special emphasis or interdisciplinary program that is appropriate for a major in Biochemistry.

Minor

Requirements

  • 17 credit hours in CHEM courses numbered 200 and above, including CHEM 272/272L, 273/273L, 274/274L, and 351

Graduate Study

The department offers MS and PhD research and study opportunities in inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, with specialized research opportunities in geochemistry and marine-related chemistry.

Intended candidates for the MS or PhD must present the minimum undergraduate preparation in general, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry courses. Foreign applicants for the MS and the PhD must take the GRE General Test.

Graduate study in chemistry consists of course work, independent study, teaching, and research. A thesis or dissertation based on original research is the most important part of the master's or doctoral degree respectively. Candidates for advanced degrees are required to serve as teaching assistants for a portion of their program.

Additional details concerning MS and PhD degree requirements, as well as assistantships available to prospective students, are outlined in brochures available upon request from the department.

Master’s Degree

Requirements

The candidate for the MS in chemistry (Plan A only) is granted 12 credit hours for an acceptable thesis. The remaining 18 credit hours must be selected from acceptable graduate courses in chemistry (listed in this Catalog) or from graduate offerings in mathematics and the natural sciences. Required courses are CHEM 691 or 692, and 700.

Doctoral Degree

Requirements

Doctoral candidates must complete a minimum of six semesters of graduate study of which at least three semesters must be in residence at UH Manoa. Courses are selected from acceptable graduate courses in chemistry listed in this Catalog and from graduate offerings in related disciplines as directed by the faculty. Candidates must demonstrate mastery of core material in graduate courses in their chosen areas. Each candidate must pass a comprehensive oral examination consisting of the defense of an original research proposal written by the candidate and a résumé of the candidate's dissertation research and its current status.

The most important requirement for the PhD degree is the research project that culminates in the dissertation. Prior to beginning the second semester of study, each candidate selects one member of the chemistry graduate faculty to serve as his or her research director. The research director works with the candidate throughout his or her program and chairs the candidate's dissertation committee.

More information about the chemistry department and its programs can be found on its website.

CHEM Courses