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Information for Incoming Students



Inorganic: exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society.  Although we are not able to send copies of previous inorganic chemistry breadth exams, because the exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society, below is suggested study material.  To prepare for the inorganic chemistry breadth exam, the student should review an undergraduate level text such as (e.g. Inorganic Chemistry, by Schriver & Atkins) and work a number of problems at the end of every chapter.

  

Organic: exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society (assumes that the student has completed a one-year undergraduate course in organic chemistry).  Although we are not able to send copies of previous organic chemistry breadth exams, because the exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society, below is suggested study material.  The organic breadth exam assumes that the student has completed a one-year undergraduate course in organic chemistry.  To prepare for this exam, the student should review a sophomore level text such as (e.g. McMurray, Carey, Solomons, Wade, etc.), and work 5-10 problems at the end of every chapter.  You many also use Schaum's Organic Outline.

  

Physical: exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society (Assumes student has completed one year or more of physical chemistry including quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, spectroscopy and kinetics).  Although we are not able to send copies of previous American Chemical Society standardized physical chemistry breadth exams that are given now, the $23 study guide (link) published by ACS should provide an excellent review of the topics that will be covered. Students are encouraged to review this study guide in detail, and to refer to a standard Physical Chemistry textbook, such as Atkins or McQuarry to explain any concepts they encounter in the study guide that they are not intimately familiar with.

   

Biochemistry: exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society (Assumes student has completed an advanced undergraduate survey course in biochemistry). 

We are not able to send copies of previous biochemistry breadth exams, because the exams are standardized exams from the American Chemical Society, and we have promised ACS that we would not give out copies of these materials.  However, here is suggested study material.  The biochemistry breadth exam is an all-multiple-choice exam.  It assumes that the student has completed a one-year undergraduate course in biochemistry, but can be passed by most students who have taken just semester survey course of biochemistry.  The exam tests some basic concepts, but also demands memorization of a good amount of material. To prepare for this exam, the student should review a standard biochemistry text such as Berg, Tymoczko, Gatto, and Stryer (7th or 8th edition), focusing on the first 22 out of 36 chapters.  In particular, be comfortable with the building blocks of DNA/RNA/proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, be able to recognize the structures of substrates and small-molecule cofactors of enzymes, metabolic pathways (e.g. glycolysis, citric acid cycle, electron transport chain, among others) ,and to identify which steps in multi-step biosyntheses and bioenergetics use which cofactors. Also know which steps are endergonic and exergonic, and (approximately) by how much.  A few multiple-choice questions, similar to those you can expect on the ACS exam, are available at the end of each chapter in such textbooks.  Many more suitable practice multiple-choice questions can be obtained through the Sapling Learning Environment (saplinglearning.com), for which a license is generally obtained by purchase of a new Berg textbook; or which can be obtained through the SU Bookstore for a cost of about $50-$60.  If you have not taken a biochemistry course as a undergraduate, it is recommended that you enroll in BCM 678: Perspectives in Biochemistry during the fall semester of your first year.

The link for all ACS study guides can be found here: http://shopping.na1.netsuite.com/examsinstitute.

Registration:

Be sure to register prior to every semester until you graduate! Students typically complete their formal coursework in the first year of study, then register for Independent Study (CHE 690) until they pass the candidacy exam and have completed 48 credits. After meeting these requirements, students register for GRD 998, Degree in Progress for 0 credits.

Choosing Courses:

Several advising sessions are scheduled before the start of the fall semester to assist new students with course selection. In subsequent terms, students should discuss what classes to take with their research advisor. First year students must petition to take courses outside the Chemistry Department (e.g courses with a prefix other than BCM or CHE). Approval must be obtained prior to registration. These requirements also apply to advanced year students who have not yet completed the 18 credits of formal coursework required for a graduate degree in chemistry. Once these degree requirements advanced year students may take courses outside the chemistry depatment with the approval of their research advisor.

Choosing a Research Advisor:

Students should become familiar with the research opportunities available in the department by attending our Faculty research presentation series (required for all first year students), viewing Departmental web pages, and through discussions with faculty and other graduate students. Don't be shy! Get out there, talk to people and find what's going on. Near the end of the fall semester, students will be asked to identify four faculty members with whom they would be interested in working. The Chair then works with faculty and students to place first year students into research groups. These selections are usually finalized by the end of the first semester.

Planned Absences & Vacation Time:

When planning vacation time or other absences, keep in mind department requirements and teaching responsibilities, including those like breadth exams or finals that are scheduled after classes have ended or before the next semester begins. TAs are expected to be available for all recitation, laboratory, proctoring and grading sessions for the courses to which they have been assigned. Please refer to the academic calendar and course syllabi to verify dates you are expected to be on duty before making other plans. If an absence is unavoidable, you must obtain approval from your research advisor, TA faculty supervisor, and the Department Chair. Use the Graduate Student Absence Form to obtain approvals. The completed form should be submitted to the Chair.

Name Title Helps with...
Timothy Korter Department Chair  
Robert Doyle Associate Department Chair/Graduate Student Director  
April LePage Administrative Assistant Course related issues, chairs calendar, department meetings, website, newsletters
Jodi Randall Graduate Coordinator Handles all graduate student logistics, as well as student applications through the PHD and MS graduation process.
Elizabeth Molloy Undergraduate Coordinator Can assist with course related issues, TA offices, etc.
Deborah Maley Budget Administrator Payroll, sponsored accounts, departmental budget and equipment purchases
Allison Piccioni Financial Coordinator Handles daily ordering via web and purchase reqs, expense vouchers, travel vouchers and monthly stockroom charges.
Anne Dovciak Lab Supervisor
Gary Bonomo Lab Supervisor
Steve Rich Stockroom Manager 0-006 CST - Source for commonly used laboratory supplies, chemicals, equipment and office supplies. Also handles building/lab issues.
Sally Prasch Glassblower Glass Shop Room 0-204 and Office Room 0-210 – repairs, modifies and construct laboratory glassware. Assist with setting up glass in the lab and how to handle glass safely. Instructs a semester class in the Art and Science of Glass.
Michael Brandt Electronics Engineer Room 0-208 CST - Repair and construction of electrical and electronic equipment, computer interfacing of laboratory experiments.
Deborah Kerwood, Ph.D. Lab Manager - NMR Facility NMR Facilities