The Mercyhurst University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is committed to the education and training of the next generation of scientists. Because the nature of scientific endeavors evolves, the most important skills students in all scientific disciplines can possess are independent reasoning and problem-solving abilities. The development of these skills in our programs and courses is facilitated by the following tenets:
- A student-centered approach to scientific inquiry within our Department. This immersion of students in the scientific process extends to all phases of our scholarly pursuits, including experimental design, data acquisition, data analysis and communication to the scientific community.
- A focus upon the core scientific principles that constitute the foundation of all applications of science and technology. This focus is coupled with an experience-based knowledge of career related fields that are attractive to students.
- A commitment to working with students of all experiences and backgrounds, including those who are under-represented in the sciences. An emphasis is placed upon mentoring, including the processes of academic advisement, research mentoring and sophomore review. The firm adherence to a clear set of academic standards that is necessary for the success of our students in current scientific disciplines.
These standards are upheld while providing the guidance and mentoring necessary for each student to have the opportunity for success. Students in our courses should acquire the core knowledge in the physical sciences necessary to be successful in their field and as thoughtful citizens. Graduates from our programs have the skills and flexibility to succeed in graduate or medical school, or in an applied science career such as forensics or research.
Students will graduate from our program with:
- An understanding of the fundamental concepts in chemistry.
- The ability to plan and conduct scientific experiments, using appropriate techniques and procedures.
- Effective communication skills, including interpersonal communication (both oral and written).
- The ability to locate and understand peer-reviewed scientific literature and critically evaluate technical information.
- The ability to recognize hazards, conduct experiments safely and to manage chemicals, including chemical wastes.
Our department continually assesses its curriculum to ensure that students receive the best education that we can provide. The metrics that we use to assess curricular effectiveness include student's ability to:
- Increase their test score on the American Chemical Society's General Chemistry Exam
- Apply previously learned information in new contexts and situations, including using introductory information in upper-division coursework
- Demonstrate an increased score, between matriculation in the program and the term of graduation, in the four sub-disciplines of chemistry covered on the ETS Chemistry Exam (Physical, Organic, Analytical, Inorganic).
- Prepare for scientific experiments with appropriate background information and use the most appropriate procedures and analytical techniques for results.
- Present scientific information in a well-organized manner and communicate in both written and oral formats.
- Use modern scientific literature to contribute to class discussions and to complete a research-based thesis
- Independently conduct scientific experiments in a laboratory using universally accepted safety protocols, under faculty supervision