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updated 11/10/2008

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Daniel L. Reger, Chair

Professors
Richard D. Adams, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1973, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
S. Michael Angel, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1984
, Fred M. Weissman Palmetto Chair
Brian C. Benicewiez, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 1980, USC Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor
Mark A. Berg, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1985
John H. Dawson, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1976, Carolina Distinguished Professor
Scott R. Goode, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1974
W. Stephen Kistler, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1970
Lukasz Lebioda, Ph.D., Jagellonian University, 1972
Stephen L. Morgan, Ph.D., Emory University, 1975
Catherine J. Murphy, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1990, Guy F. Lipscomb Chair of Chemistry
Michael L. Myrick, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 1988
Daniel L. Reger, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972, Carolina Distinguished Professor and Chair
Timothy J. Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, 1988
James M. Sodetz, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1975, Carolina Distinguished Professor, Coordinator of Medical Biochemistry
Thomas Vogt, Ph.D., Eberhard Karls Universitatin, Tubingen, Germany, 1987, Director of USC NanoCenter
Hans-Conrad zur Loye, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1988, David W. Robinson Palmetto Professor

Associate Professors
Donna A. Chen, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1997
John L. Ferry, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996
Vitaly A. Rassolov, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1996
Ken D. Shimizu, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995

Assistant Professors
P. Lee Ferguson, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2002
Sophya V. Garashchuk, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1998
John J. Lavigne, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2000
Caryn E. Outten, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2001
F. Wayne Outten, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2001
Linda S. Shimizu, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1997
Paul R. Thompson, Ph.D., McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., 2000
Benjamin S. Twining, Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 2003
Qian Wang, Ph.D., Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 2000

Sheryl L. Wiskur, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2003


Overview

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers programs leading to the Ph.D. degree, with concentrations in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The Ph.D. program is flexible and is designed to maximize research opportunities and to encourage interdisciplinary research. Master of Science degrees in the same areas of concentration are awarded. The Master of Arts in Teaching in Science (Chemistry and Biochemistry Option) and the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Science (Chemistry and Biochemistry Option) are offered in cooperation with the College of Education.

On average, the Ph.D. degree is earned in less than five years. Thirty tenure-track and research faculty teach and supervise the research of the department's approximately 130 graduate students and 30 postdoctoral fellows. Each year, around 30 new students are added to the program. Generally, 15-20 Ph.D. and four M.S. degrees are awarded per year.

The Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs prepare students for careers in industry, government, and academic settings.

Admission

An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. The applicant's academic record must indicate adequate preparation for graduate study in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Generally, to be considered for admission, a student should have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in the sciences on a 4.00 scale and score at or above the 50th percentile on the GRE. However, these guidelines are flexible, and slight deficiencies in one area can be compensated by strengths in another. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English must obtain a minimum score of 600 (250 computer-based score) on the TOEFL exam or 7 on the IELTS exam.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the M.S. degree, while earning a minimum of 30 hours of course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, must complete five 700-level courses (CHEM 790, 791, 798, 799, 898, and 899 may not be used to satisfy this requirement) and two semesters of thesis research (790 and 791) and present one divisional seminar (701). The student must complete a combined research plan and an oral and written comprehensive exam, which consists of a summary of the thesis research plan and progress to date. Finally, at least 6 credit hours of CHEM 799 Thesis Preparation must be completed.

A Ph.D. candidate, while earning a minimum of 60 hours of course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, must complete five 700-level courses (CHEM 790, 791, 798, 799, 898, and 899 may not be used to satisfy this requirement) and two semesters of thesis research (790 and 791) and present two divisional seminars (701). The student must complete a combined research plan and oral comprehensive exam, which consists of a summary of the dissertation research plan and progress to date. After this, the student must complete a combined research proposal and written comprehensive exam, consisting of an idea for original research. Finally, at least 12 credit hours of CHEM 899 Dissertation Preparation must be completed.

Detailed departmental degree requirements are outlined in Handbook for Graduate Students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, which is available to enrolled students. An electronic copy can be requested from the graduate director.


Course Descriptions (CHEM)

  • 511 -- Inorganic Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 334, PHYS 212 or 207, and MATH 241) Consideration of atomic structure, valence, complex compounds, and systematic study of the periodic table.
  • 533 -- Comprehensive Organic Chemistry III. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 334 or the equivalent) Selected organic reactions from synthetic and mechanistic viewpoints.
  • 541 -- Physical Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 112 or CHEM 142, MATH 241; prereq or coreq: PHYS 212 or PHYS 207 or consent of instructor) Chemical thermodynamics and kinetics.
  • 541L -- Physical Chemistry Laboratory. (1) (Prereq: CHEM 321L or CHEM 142 or consent of instructor; prereq or coreq: CHEM 541) Applications of physical chemical techniques. Three laboratory hours and one recitation hour per week.
  • 542 -- Physical Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 112 or CHEM 142, PHYS 212 or PHYS 207, MATH 241 or consent of instructor) Spectroscopy, statistical mechanics, and chemical applications of quantum mechanics.
  • 542L -- Physical Chemistry Laboratory. (1) (Prereq: CHEM 321L or CHEM 142 or consent of instructor; prereq or coreq: CHEM 542) Applications of physical chemical techniques. Three laboratory hours and one recitation hour per week.
  • 545 -- Physical Biochemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 541 and CHEM 550) A survey of physical methods essential for studies of biomacromolecules. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 550 -- Principles of Biochemistry. {=BIOL 541} (3) (Prereq: CHEM 334 or the equivalent) A survey of fundamentals of biochemistry. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 550L -- Principles of Biochemistry Laboratory. {=BIOL 541L} (1) (Prereq or coreq: CHEM 550) Three laboratory hours per week.
  • 555 -- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology I. {=BIOL 545} (3) (Prereq: CHEM 334 or equivalent) Essentials of modern biochemistry. Three lecture hours per week. First semester of a two-semester course.
  • 556 -- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology II. {=BIOL 546} (3) (Prereq: BIOL 302; CHEM 555 or consent of instructor) Essentials of modern biochemistry and molecular biology. Three lecture hours per week. Second semester of a two-semester course.
  • 590 -- Introductory Glassblowing. (1) (Prereq: junior or senior standing or consent of instructor) The history and fundamental application of glassblowing techniques. Three laboratory hours per week.
  • 591 -- Advanced Experimental Chemistry I. (2) (Prereq: CHEM 321; prereq or coreq: CHEM 541) Synthesis of compounds by specialized methods; measurement of thermochemical, electrochemical, and structural properties. Six laboratory hours per week.
  • 592 -- Advanced Experimental Chemistry II. (2) (Prereq: CHEM 541; CHEM 541L or CHEM 591) A continuation of Chemistry 591. Six laboratory hours per week.
  • 621 -- Instrumental Analysis. (3) (Prereq or Coreq: CHEM 541, and CHEM 541L or CHEM 591) Chemical instrumentation including electronics, signal processing, statistical analysis, molecular/atomic spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 621L -- Instrumental Analysis. (1) (Prereq: CHEM 321/321L; prereq or coreq: CHEM 541, 621, and CHEM 541L or 591) Chemical instrumentation laboratory with environmental, forensic, and biotechnology applications. Three laboratory hours per week.
  • 622 -- Forensic Analytical Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 321/321L and CHEM 334/332L or 334L) Analytical chemical methods in forensic science, including gathering of evidence, toxicology, drug identification, analysis of trace evidence, arson analysis, and DNA/serology.
  • 623 -- Introductory Environmental Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 321, CHEM 333, and MATH 142) Study of the chemical reactions and processes that affect the fate and transport of organic chemicals in the environment. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 624 -- Aquatic Chemistry. {=MSCI 624} (3) (Prereq: CHEM 321, MATH 142, or consent of instructor) Study of the chemical reactions and processes affecting the distribution of chemical species in natural systems. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 633 -- Introduction to Polymer Synthesis. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 334 or equivalent) Special emphasis on the modern synthesis of polymeric materials. Definitions, characterization, and applications of polymers will be briefly presented.
  • 644 -- Materials Chemistry. (3) (Prereq or coreq: CHEM 542) Introduction to materials science; structural and electronic description of inorganic-based solids; experimental techniques in materials chemistry; interfacial energetics and optoelectronic processes at metal and semiconductor surfaces.
  • 700 -- Methods of Solving Problems in Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., I.M.A. or M.Ed. students. Various approaches to solving problems in gas laws, solution chemistry, and equilibrium. Comparison of the pedagogical merits of the different approaches. Three lectures per week.
  • 701 -- Seminar. (fall or spring; limit of 2) Required of all graduate students.
  • 701A -- Seminar. (1) A survey of chemical research at the University of South Carolina. Required of all first-year degree candidates in chemistry. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 702 -- Structure and Bonding in Covalent Molecules. (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., or M.Ed. students. Covalent bonding in compounds of the first short period elements, with emphasis on those of boron, carbon, and nitrogen. Structure of molecules, some important functional groups, resonance in unsaturated compounds, stereochemistry, and organometallic compounds. Three lectures and one discussion period per week.
  • 703 -- Molecular Reactions. (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., or M.Ed. students. General types of organic reactions, including those of biochemistry. Industrial preparations of both organic and inorganic compounds of major importance. Three lectures and one discussion period per week.
  • 704 -- Energy, Equilibrium, and Chemical Change. (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., or M.Ed. students. The basic laws of chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and equilibrium, with emphasis on the practical and theoretical importance of the interconversion of chemical energy with other forms of energy. Three lectures and one discussion period per week.
  • 705 -- Modern Instrumental Methods in Chemistry. (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., or M.Ed. students. A survey of the applications of modern instrumental techniques to the solution of chemical problems, with emphasis on development of a basic understanding of the experiment and on interpretation of data. Three lectures and one discussion period per week.
  • 706 -- Chemistry in Living Systems. (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., I.M.A. or M.Ed. students. The structures and functions of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, enzymes, and other biologically important molecules; the role of these molecules in the major metabolic pathways. Three lectures and one discussion period per week.
  • 709 -- Special Topics in Chemical Education. (1-6) (Prereq: consent of instructor) For teachers of chemistry, M.A.T., I.M.A. and M.Ed. students. Selected chemical topics with emphasis on modern chemical concepts. Lectures, discussion, laboratories, depending on credit offered.
  • 711 -- Physical-Inorganic Chemistry. (3) The use and interpretation of modern physical measurements of particular application to inorganic chemistry, including X-ray, ESR, magnetic measurements, Mössbauer spectra, ligand field theory, and reaction mechanisms.
  • 712 -- The Chemistry of Transition Elements. (3) Systematic study of the reactions and bonding of the d and f transition elements.
  • 713 -- The Chemistry of the Representative Elements. (3) Systematic study of the structure and bonding of the inorganic compounds of main group elements.
  • 719 -- Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of the instructor)
  • 721 -- Electroanalytical Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Theory and application of classical and modern electrochemical techniques.
  • 722 -- Spectrochemical Methods of Analysis. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) A comprehensive study of the theory, instrumentation, methodology, and analytical applications of modern atomic and quantitative molecular spectrometry.
  • 723 -- Separation Methods in Analytical Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Modern techniques for analytical separations including distillation, extraction, gas chromatography, and liquid chromatography. Basic theory and practical applications. Three lecture hours per week.
  • 729 -- Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of instructor)
  • 735 -- Structural and Mechanistic Organic Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor) Basic concepts of structure, bonding, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms as applied to organic compounds and synthetic transformations.
  • 736 -- Mechanistic and Synthetic Organic Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 735 and consent of instructor) A continuation of CHEM 735 with special emphasis on organic synthesis.
  • 739 -- Special Topics in Organic Chemistry. (1-3)
  • 741 -- Chemical Thermodynamics. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 542) A development of classical thermodynamics and its application to chemical changes.
  • 743 -- Quantum Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 542; differential equations) An introduction to the application of quantum mechanics to problems in chemistry.
  • 744 -- Statistical Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 741; differential equations) Calculations of the thermodynamic properties of chemical systems from molecular properties. Theory and applications.
  • 745 -- Introductory Crystallography. (3) (Prereq: B.S. in chemistry, physics, geology, or mathematics) Point and space groups. Matrix representation and the derivation of the space groups. Significance of general and special positions. Powder and single crystal methods. Limitation imposed upon molecules by space group considerations. Introduction to structure analysis. Patterson and electron density functions. Refinement techniques.
  • 747 -- Spectroscopy and Molecular Structure. (3) (Prereq: graduate standing or consent of instructor) Study of the rotational, vibrational, and electronic spectra of polyatomic molecules for the elucidation of molecular structures.
  • 749 -- Special Topics in Physical Chemistry. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of the instructor)
  • 751 -- Biosynthesis of Macromolecules. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 550 or equivalent and consent of instructor) A detailed consideration of the enzymological basis for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein including mechanisms for the regulation of these processes. Focus will be on eucaryotic mechanisms though procaryotic systems will be covered as necessary for background.
  • 752 -- Regulation and Integration of Metabolism. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 550 or equivalent and consent of instructor) Biochemical organization of the cell. Regulation and integration of metabolism. Membrane structure and function. Energy transduction processes.
  • 753 -- Enzymology and Protein Chemistry. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 550 and consent of instructor) An analysis of the isolation, composition, structure, and function of enzymes emphasizing their kinetic, mechanistic, and regulatory features. Protein chemistry: amino acid and protein sequence analysis; chemical modification methodologies; analysis of higher order structures of proteins.
  • 754 -- Biomedical Biochemistry I. {=BMSC 754} (4) (Prereq: consent of instructor) First of a two-semester sequence covering the major areas of biochemistry in a biomedical context. Chemistry of amino acids and proteins, enzymology, metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. Emphasis is on biomedical research applications. Four lecture hours per week.
  • 755 -- Biomedical Biochemistry II. {=BMSC 755} (4) (Prereq: CHEM 754) A continuation of CHEM 754. Topics include nucleic acids and protein biosynthesis, blood chemistry, respiration, acid-base chemistry, metabolism, and nutrition. Four lecture hours per week.
  • 759 -- Special Topics in Molecular Biochemistry. (1-3) (Prereq: consent of the instructor)
  • 790 -- Introduction to Research. (3) A laboratory and introduction to modern research techniques. Six hours of laboratory per week and individual consultation with instructor.
  • 791 -- Introduction to Research. (3) (Prereq: CHEM 790) A continuation of CHEM 790. Six hours of laboratory per week and individual consultation with instructor.
  • 798 -- Research in Chemistry I. (1-12) Directed laboratory research and readings in chemistry. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 799 -- Thesis Preparation. (1-12)
  • 898 -- Research in Chemistry II. (1-12) A continuation of CHEM 798 for Ph.D. candidates. (Pass-Fail grading)
  • 899 -- Dissertation Preparation. (1-12)

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