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Chemistry and Biochemistry

Department of Chemistry/Geology/Physics

The College of Arts and Sciences


Rebecca W. Corbin, Professor of Chemistry


Perry S. Corbin, Professor of Chemistry

Brian K. Mohney, Professor of Chemistry

Jeffrey D. Weidenhamer, Professor of Chemistry, Trustees' Professor

Robert G. Bergosh, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Nicholas A. Johnson, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Trina M. Mohney, Professional Instructor of Chemistry

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science in Education

Mission and Goals

The chemistry program prepares chemistry and other science majors to apply the scientific method to problems and to discover the intimate relation of chemistry to all phases of everyday life and to other sciences. Chemistry majors graduate with the background and skills necessary for jobs in commerce, industry, or education, or further graduate or professional training.

The program places heavy emphasis on faculty/student interactions, hands-on training with instrumentation, and data analysis tools such as computer modeling and spreadsheets. The importance of writing and communication skills is stressed throughout the curriculum, beginning in the introductory courses and carried through every course offered by the department.

The chemistry program seeks to provide non-science majors with the basic understanding of the nature of science needed to live as responsible citizens in a technological society. Students gain an understanding of the scientific method through an in-depth analysis of topics and case studies, selected hands-on activities in classroom and laboratory, and exploration of the consequences of scientific discoveries for society.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in chemistry and related programs will:

  1. Describe and apply the major concepts, experimental findings, and theories of chemistry;

  2. Effectively use the laboratory techniques and methods of chemistry;

  3. Follow proper safety procedures and regulations for use of chemicals and laboratory equipment;

  4. Design appropriate investigations, interpret the results and make decisions within the context of chemistry;

  5. Communicate scientific information both orally and in writing; and

  6. Practice ethical and professional behavior within the context of the discipline.

Chemistry Facilities and Equipment

The chemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society. Eight laboratories and ample classroom space accommodate the needs of the faculty and students. The Ingmand laboratory houses chromatography and spectroscopy instruments that students will use in industry, a clinical setting, or graduate school. Recent acquisitions include a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer for measuring trace metals, a high- performance liquid chromatograph for determination of natural products and pharmaceutical agents, a spectrofluorimeter for protein-ligand binding studies, a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer, and a high field NMR spectrometer. The chemistry curriculum is structured so that students begin hands-on use of these instruments during their first two years at Ashland University.

Pre-Professional Programs

Chemistry courses make up a substantial component of the required curriculum for a number of pre-professional programs. For minimum requirements, see the Academic Affairs section on pre-professional programs. The chemistry faculty along with other departments has developed recommended course sequences that give students the needed background to continue studies in professional schools. A major in chemistry, biochemistry, or forensic chemistry is a strong preparation for professional schools in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy.

Description of Majors


Chemistry is the study of the structure and behavior of atoms, compounds and their properties, and reactions. Whether it is the development of new pharmaceuticals to treat disease, new materials, or reduction of environmental hazards, chemists are at work in many industries and related disciplines such as geology and biology. A degree in chemistry can open the door to almost any scientific or technological field, as well as careers in medicine, business, and law.


Biochemists apply chemistry to understand biological processes at the cellular and molecular level. Biochemists seek to understand the structure and function of molecules found in living organisms. The interdisciplinary nature of biochemistry and molecular biology are blurring the traditional boundary lines between biology and chemistry.

Forensic Chemistry

Forensic chemists apply modern instrumental methods of analysis to criminal investigations. The forensic chemistry major equips students with a well-rounded, multi-disciplinary experience necessary for careers and advanced graduate work in forensic science, law, chemistry, and associated fields of science and engineering.

Majors in chemistry, biochemistry, and forensic chemistry are provided with broad training in chemistry and biochemistry and extensive, hands-on laboratory training, along with the opportunity to conduct independent research with one of our faculty. Our graduates have been successful in continuing their education in graduate and professional schools, and in obtaining positions in chemical and pharmaceutical companies, and government laboratories.

Degree Requirements

Assessment – The assessment of student learning outcomes for chemistry, biochemistry, and forensic chemistry majors includes both internal and external assessments in selected courses, typically culminating in the CHEM 497 Laboratory and Field Research course or the CHEM 493 Internship course.

Chemistry Courses and Descriptions

See Course Descriptions section of catalog.