Analyze forensic evidence and solve problems in the pharmaceutical, environmental science, government and military fields.

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Chemistry/Physics

Chemical Microscopy

Questions?

Undergraduate Admissions

(630) 637-5800

admissions@noctrl.edu

Why pursue a chemical microscopy degree at North Central College?

Chemical microscopy involves the use of microscopes to solve chemical problems. Scientists use chemical microscopy to analyze forensic evidence and to solve problems in the pharmaceutical, environmental science, government and military fields, among others.

You’ll study for three years at North Central College and gain a solid liberal arts education. For your fourth year you’ll study and work alongside expert faculty at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences in nearby Westmont. You’ll finish with a bachelor’s degree in chemical microscopy and have the education and experience to give your career a distinct advantage.

You can also:

  • Participate in the first partnership between a four-year institution and Hooke College of Applied Sciences—a world leader in the study of chemical microscopy—resulting in a chemical microscopy degree..
  • Learn techniques and applications using state-of-the-art microscopes and other instruments at Hooke College of Applied Sciences.
  • Be flexible: Your first three years of study at North Central will prepare you for a major in chemistry. You can wait until your junior year to choose to major in chemical microscopy.

More Department information

Chemical Microscopy, B.A.

For additional information on this program, see Chemical Microscopy.

Required Prerequisites

Introductory Biology

  • BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Introductory Chemistry

  • CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    3.75 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems, such as simple organic compounds, synthetic polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, bonding energies, hybridization, acid/base chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, steroechemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One year of high school chemistry; two years of high school algebra or MTH 095.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles within the context of the environmental issues of fuel and energy, water treatment and acid rain. Major chemical topics include gas laws, thermochemistry, redox, electrochemistry, aqueous reactions and solubility, equilibria, acid/base and buffers.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 141.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Organic Chemistry

  • CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    2.75 credit hours

    Survey of the various classes of carbon compounds, emphasizing molecular structure, stereochemistry and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Techniques for isolating and purifying organic compounds are learned in the laboratory. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 and CHM 220.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    2.75 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 220, emphasizing the chemistry of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing functional groups and alcohols. The synthesis and chemical transformations of organic molecules is studied in more depth. Laboratory work focuses on synthetic techniques as well as physical and spectroscopic methods for molecular structure determination. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 or CHM 216 and CHM 221

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 220.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 221, with emphasis on the synthetic transformations of carbonyl containing functional groups, nitrogen containing compounds, biomolecules and pericyclic reactions. Laboratory work involves an 8–9 week research project, poster presentation and formal written report. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 216 and CHM 222.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 221.

    Schedule Of Classes

Analytical Chemistry

  • CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    3.75 credit hours

    Quantitative analysis including theory and techniques for gravimetric, volumetric and spectrophotometric methods. Two laboratory sessions per week. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Descriptive Inorganic

  • CHM 205 - Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry

    CHM 205 - Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    Theoretical concepts of bonding, acid/base and redox chemistry. Descriptive chemistry of the elements highlighting their relationship to the biological world. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Physical Chemistry

One of the following:

  • CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of the relationship of temperature to other properties of matter, using both macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints. Applications to chemical equilibrium, phase transitions and thermal properties of gases and solids. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    4.00 credit hours

    Survey of experimental and theoretical physical chemistry, including methods for determining rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions, quantum theory of atomic structure and chemical bonding and spectroscopic methods used to determine molecular structure. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry; MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

Statistics

  • PSY 250 - Statistics

    PSY 250 - Statistics

    3.00 credit hours

    A course stressing the methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing and "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS 241/ECN 241 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 118 or higher.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 902

    Schedule Of Classes

Calculus

  • MTH 151 - Calculus I

    MTH 151 - Calculus I

    3.00 credit hours

    Fundamental concepts of calculus including limits, continuity and differentiation with applications. The Calculus I, II and III sequence is recommended for students in science as well as for students in other divisions desiring a strong preparation in mathematics. Students may not receive credit for MTH 151 and any of the following: MTH 130, MTH 140 or MTH 141.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 121 and MTH 122; or four years high school math including algebra, geometry and trigonometry.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 900

    Schedule Of Classes

Introductory Physics

  • PHY 141 - Physics I

    PHY 141 - Physics I

    3.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of introductory physics courses. The study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation laws for energy and linear momentum. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142, and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141/MTH 151 or concurrent enrollment.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 142 - Physics II

    PHY 142 - Physics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 141. Static equilibrium, rotational motion, conservation of angular momentum, oscillatory and wave motion, sound, geometric and physical optics. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. May not take PHY 142 after PHY 116.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 141 or PHY 115; MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Introduction to electrical circuits. Other topics include fluid mechanics, heat, temperature, phases transitions and radioactive decay. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Upper-Level Chemistry Coursework

  • A minimum of three additional credit hours in chemistry coursework at the 300-level or higher.

Major Coursework

Upper-level coursework taken during the 12-months at Hooke College of Applied Sciences in Westmont, Illinois includes courses such as Modern Polarized Light Microscopy, Techniques of Optical Crystallography, Scanning Electron Microscope, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Infrared Microscopy, Raman Microscopy, Introduction to Forensic Trace Evidence and Microscopic Particle Handling. In addition, with advisor approval students select 3-4 elective courses such that their total for CMC courses is between 31.0 and 34.0 credit hours. For details, please contact a professor in the Chemistry department.

Chemical Microscopy. B.S.

For additional information on this program, see Chemical Microscopy.

Additional Requirements for the B.S. Degree

  • MTH 153 - Calculus III

    MTH 153 - Calculus III

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of Calculus II with an emphasis on infinite series.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 152.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 900

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:

  • CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of the relationship of temperature to other properties of matter, using both macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints. Applications to chemical equilibrium, phase transitions and thermal properties of gases and solids. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    4.00 credit hours

    Survey of experimental and theoretical physical chemistry, including methods for determining rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions, quantum theory of atomic structure and chemical bonding and spectroscopic methods used to determine molecular structure. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry; MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • (Choose the one not taken as part of the prerequisite course work)

Required Prerequisites

Introductory Biology

  • BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    BIO 152 - Biological Investigations II

    4.00 credit hours

    The second in a two-course integrated study of the major principles at the core of modern biology: information, evolution, cells, emergent properties and homeostasis. These principles will be examined by exploring current biological problems from the perspective of molecules, cells, organisms, populations and ecological systems. Includes investigative, hands-on laboratory and field experience and development of skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing and presentation. The course is intended for first-year biology and biochemistry majors. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    BIO 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Introductory Chemistry

  • CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    CHM 141 - General Chemistry I: Bio-organic Molecules

    3.75 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles through examples from the chemistry of carbon compounds and the molecules found in living systems, such as simple organic compounds, synthetic polymers, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Major topics include atomic and electronic structure, ions, molecules, bonding energies, hybridization, acid/base chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics, steroechemistry and polymer chemistry. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One year of high school chemistry; two years of high school algebra or MTH 095.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    CHM 142 - General Chemistry II: Environmental Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    An introduction to chemical principles within the context of the environmental issues of fuel and energy, water treatment and acid rain. Major chemical topics include gas laws, thermochemistry, redox, electrochemistry, aqueous reactions and solubility, equilibria, acid/base and buffers.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 141.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

Organic Chemistry

  • CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    CHM 220 - Organic Chemistry I

    2.75 credit hours

    Survey of the various classes of carbon compounds, emphasizing molecular structure, stereochemistry and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Techniques for isolating and purifying organic compounds are learned in the laboratory. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 and CHM 220.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    CHM 221 - Organic Chemistry II

    2.75 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 220, emphasizing the chemistry of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing functional groups and alcohols. The synthesis and chemical transformations of organic molecules is studied in more depth. Laboratory work focuses on synthetic techniques as well as physical and spectroscopic methods for molecular structure determination. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 215 or CHM 216 and CHM 221

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 220.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    CHM 222 - Organic Chemistry III

    3.00 credit hours

    Continuation of CHM 221, with emphasis on the synthetic transformations of carbonyl containing functional groups, nitrogen containing compounds, biomolecules and pericyclic reactions. Laboratory work involves an 8–9 week research project, poster presentation and formal written report. Laboratory required. Students may not receive credit for both CHM 216 and CHM 222.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 221.

    Schedule Of Classes

Analytical Chemistry

  • CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    CHM 210 - Chemical Analysis

    3.75 credit hours

    Quantitative analysis including theory and techniques for gravimetric, volumetric and spectrophotometric methods. Two laboratory sessions per week. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Descriptive Inorganic

  • CHM 205 - Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry

    CHM 205 - Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry

    4.00 credit hours

    Theoretical concepts of bonding, acid/base and redox chemistry. Descriptive chemistry of the elements highlighting their relationship to the biological world. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    CHM 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Physical Chemistry

One of the following:

  • CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    CHM 340 - Thermodynamics

    4.00 credit hours

    A study of the relationship of temperature to other properties of matter, using both macroscopic and microscopic viewpoints. Applications to chemical equilibrium, phase transitions and thermal properties of gases and solids. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    CHM 341 - Kinetics, Quantum Theory and Spectroscopy

    4.00 credit hours

    Survey of experimental and theoretical physical chemistry, including methods for determining rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions, quantum theory of atomic structure and chemical bonding and spectroscopic methods used to determine molecular structure. Laboratory required.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Seven credit hours in chemistry; MTH 152; one of PHY 143A or PHY 143C.

    Schedule Of Classes

Statistics

  • PSY 250 - Statistics

    PSY 250 - Statistics

    3.00 credit hours

    A course stressing the methods, concepts and logic underlying the statistical evaluation of research data. The course stresses descriptive and inferential statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing and "why" as well as "when" to use various statistical methods. A working knowledge of basic algebraic techniques is necessary. Only one of PSY 250 and BUS 241/ECN 241 may be taken for credit.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 118 or higher.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 902

    Schedule Of Classes

Calculus

  • MTH 151 - Calculus I

    MTH 151 - Calculus I

    3.00 credit hours

    Fundamental concepts of calculus including limits, continuity and differentiation with applications. The Calculus I, II and III sequence is recommended for students in science as well as for students in other divisions desiring a strong preparation in mathematics. Students may not receive credit for MTH 151 and any of the following: MTH 130, MTH 140 or MTH 141.

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 121 and MTH 122; or four years high school math including algebra, geometry and trigonometry.

    Core

    Mathematics.
    IAI

    M1 900

    Schedule Of Classes

Introductory Physics

  • PHY 141 - Physics I

    PHY 141 - Physics I

    3.00 credit hours

    The first in a sequence of introductory physics courses. The study of motion using Newton's Laws and the conservation laws for energy and linear momentum. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142, and 143 (PHY 143A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    MTH 141/MTH 151 or concurrent enrollment.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 142 - Physics II

    PHY 142 - Physics II

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 141. Static equilibrium, rotational motion, conservation of angular momentum, oscillatory and wave motion, sound, geometric and physical optics. Calculus is used. Laboratory required. May not take PHY 142 after PHY 116.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 141 or PHY 115; MTH 141 or MTH 151.

    Core

    Science (Lab).

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    PHY 143A - Physics III (Algebra-Based)

    3.00 credit hours

    A continuation of PHY 142. Electrical and magnetic forces and phenomena are described using the concept of the field. Introduction to electrical circuits. Other topics include fluid mechanics, heat, temperature, phases transitions and radioactive decay. Laboratory required. Credit may be earned for only one of the following sequences: PHY 115 and PHY 116 or PHY 141, PHY 142 and 143 (A or PHY 143C).

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHY 142.

    Schedule Of Classes

Upper-Level Chemistry Coursework

  • A minimum of three additional credit hours in chemistry coursework at the 300-level or higher.

Major Coursework

Upper-level coursework taken during the 12-months at Hooke College of Applied Sciences in Westmont, Illinois includes courses such as Modern Polarized Light Microscopy, Techniques of Optical Crystallography, Scanning Electron Microscope, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Infrared Microscopy, Raman Microscopy, Introduction to Forensic Trace Evidence and Microscopic Particle Handling. In addition, with advisor approval students select 3-4 elective courses such that their total for CMC courses is between 31.0 and 34.0 credit hours. For details, please contact a professor in the Chemistry department.

Chemical Microscopy Internships and Jobs

A North Central education integrates career preparation with rich academic study. Our faculty encourages you to refine and apply your knowledge in an interconnected world. Here you'll learn to think independently and work globally to solve problems and lead.

Careers

  • Research scientist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Trace evidence analyst
  • Pharmaceutical researcher
     

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