About Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Chemistry Department at Spelman College seeks to establish itself as a benchmark in the discipline, serving as a model for educating and training undergraduate students in the chemical sciences within a liberal arts context.
The Department strives to attain and sustain national prominence by creating a vibrant learning community focused on promoting academic excellence, research training and scientific discovery, as well as lifelong learning. The Department is united in its vision of providing the best possible learning environment for our students that develops their intellectual, ethical, social consciousness and leadership potential and produces graduates who are well prepared for graduate school, professional school, and future careers.
The Department of Chemistry was a merged department with the Department at Morehouse College from 1969-1977. In the spring of 1977, due to enrollment pressure at both schools, the respective administrations agreed to dissolve the merger. Each independent department was to teach its own general chemistry and organic chemistry courses, as well as senior seminar and undergraduate research. Upper-division courses continue to be available to students at both institutions and within the Atlanta University Center (AUC), with faculty expertise dictating the nature of the offerings.
Since that time, the Department has grown to include five major options. In spring of 2005, the Department of Chemistry curriculum was approved by the American Chemical Society, which allows the Chair to certify those graduates who have completed the requirements set forth by the ACS.
The number of students majoring in the Department of Chemistry has increased from 24 in 1977 to over 100 majors as of the 2008-09 academic year. For several years, this group has represented approximately 5% of the College’s enrollment. Correspondingly, 5% of the graduating class is typically composed of majors from the department (with the number of graduates ranging over the years from 15-35.) One of the strengths of the department is its faculty, which presently includes thirteen doctorate-level full-time members having specialties in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical (Computational and Biophysical) Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry.