Classes at VWU are small and interactive. Required courses in the major include: Introductory Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry II, Instrumental Methods, Principles of Biology: Cell Biology & Genetics, Calculus II, and Physics. Electives include: Advanced Biochemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Plant Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Topics in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Advanced Chemistry Topics, and Research in the Natural Sciences.
BIO 132 Principles of Biology II: Cell Biology and Genetics (4)
Completes the introduction to the biological sciences for biology and EES majors. Lecture topics include biochemistry, cell structure and processes, cell respiration, fermentation, photosynthesis, cell division, Mendelian genetics, gene expression, cancer biology, and animal physiology.
$50 lab fee. Offered every spring.
BIO 288 Genetics (4)
Principles of heredity as applied to both plants and animals. Prerequisites: CHEM 120 and BIO 130 and 132. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Offered every spring.
CHEM 120 Introductory Chemistry (4)
An introduction to chemical principles, including atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, and chemical equilibria. Most of the work is quantitative in nature. Emphasizes development of problem solving skills. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Prerequisites: CHEM PL or PHSC 100 and math placement H, A or B, or MATH 104 with a grade of C- or higher. $50 lab fee. Offered every semester.
CHEM 200 Inorganic Chemistry (4)
Integrated lecture and laboratory experience introducing the concepts of inorganic chemistry in light of modern theory. Topics include chemical periodicity, bonding, kinetics, descriptive chemistry, coordination chemistry, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, and solid-state structure, as well as techniques for synthesis and characterization of inorganic compounds. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Prerequisite: CHEM 120. $50 lab fee. Offered every spring.
CHEM 210 Analytical Chemistry (4)
Applies analytical techniques to inorganic, organic, and biochemical systems. The experimental methods include volumetric and gravimetric analysis, chromatographic, and spectroscopic techniques. Prerequisite: CHEM 120. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Offered every fall.
CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I (4)
A comprehensive survey of the chemistry of carbon compounds, including their structure, properties, reactions, reaction mechanisms, spectroscopy, and stereochemistry, with a focus on hydrocarbons, haloalkanes, and alcohols. Introduces modern organic laboratory techniques, including purification methods, organic synthesis, and product analysis. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Prerequisite: CHEM 120. $50 lab fee. Offered every fall.
CHEM 222 Organic Chemistry II (4)
A comprehensive survey of the chemistry of carbon compounds, including their structure, properties, reactions, reaction mechanisms, spectroscopy, and stereochemistry, with a focus on aromatic, amine, and carbonyl compounds. Development of organic laboratory skills, including microscale techniques, organic synthesis, product analysis, and spectroscopy. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Prerequisite: CHEM 221. $50 lab fee. Offered every spring.
CHEM 330 Biochemistry (4)
A survey of the chemistry within biological systems, including the structure and function of biomolecules, molecular components of cells, enzymes, and cellular metabolism. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Prerequisites: successful completion of ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher and CHEM 222. Offered every fall
CHEM 347 Physical Chemistry II (4)
A comprehensive survey focusing on thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and kinetics from single molecules to the bulk, in gases and in the condensed phase. Experiments include instrumental-based studies of gas laws, equilibrium, mixture analyses, and kinetics. Prerequisite: Any 200-level Chemistry course, MATH 172, and PHYS 222. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.
CHEM 425 Medicinal Chemistry (4)
A comprehensive, yet balanced introduction, to medicinal chemistry with an emphasis on the chemical and pharmaceutical principles related to understanding structure-activity relationships and molecular mechanisms of drug action. The course will cover the discovery and design of drugs, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, natural product discovery and isolation, organic synthesis, as well as drug development from the research stage through to marketing of the final product. Prerequisites: CHEM 222 and 330. Offered spring of even-numbered years.
CHEM 438 Advanced Biochemistry (4)
A comprehensive study of complex biochemical processes, with an emphasis on cellular metabolism and its regulation, cellular signaling, and cellular information transfer. Prerequisite: CHEM 330. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.
CHEM 480 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4)
A study of the instrumental methods used in characterizing chemical systems. Topics include optical methods, electroanalytical methods, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, and chromatography methods. Examines analytical techniques from an instrumental and chemical point of view. Prerequisites: CHEM 210 and 8 additional semester hours in chemistry. Three lecture hours, three laboratory hours each week. Offered every spring.
BIO 308 Molecular Plant Physiology (4)
A study of the molecular nature of how plants survive and respond to their environment. Topics include hormone regulations, carbon metabolism, plant cell identity, fluid transport and response to stress. Common techniques used in molecular biology will be introduced. Groups will design a short research project utilizing these techniques. Prerequisites: BIO 132 and sophomore status or higher, and ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher. Corequisite: BIO288. Offered on demand.
BIO 420 Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
A study of the structure and function of prokaryotes and eukaryotes at the cellular and molecular level. Emphasizes the molecular nature of cellular structure, metabolism, and physiology.
Prerequisite: BIO 288 (grade of C or higher). Offered on demand.
BIO 424 Topics in Molecular Techniques (2 or 4)
A focused study on molecular techniques necessary for research and biotechnology applications. Students’ conceptual understanding, troubleshooting and lab-skills will develop on given topics. Topics vary with offerings and may include: gene cloning, gene expression analysis or characterization of protein expression and activity. May be repeated as topics vary. Prerequisite: BIO 288 or consent. Offered in selected semesters.
BIO 482 Microbiology (4)
Teaches basic microbiological concepts and the role of microorganisms in various applied areas. Topics include microbial physiology, cell structure, microbial genetics, pathogenic microorganisms and disease, and environmental and applied microbiology. Students practice aseptic technique, isolation and identification of bacteria, staining, and determination of microbial numbers. Prerequisite: BIO 288 (grade of C or higher). Offered every fall.