Department of Chemistry

Introduction to the Chemistry Department

The Department of Chemistry offers courses of study leading to a Bachelor of Science degree (61-65 semester hours), Bachelor of Arts degree (44-48 semester hours) or a minor in Chemistry (20-24 semester hours). Students satisfying the requirements of the Bachelor of Science degree will be certified by the American Chemical Society.

Elon’s chemistry program provides the opportunity for students to engage with faculty in undergraduate research and to gain direct experience with new instrumentation using today’s state-of-the-art technology. The results of the research projects are presented at local, regional, and national scientific meetings.

Another key feature of the program is the introduction and use of instrumentation has a continued emphasis throughout the chemistry curriculum. Student participation in assisting in laboratory and recitation instruction is strongly advised and supported.

Department Mission Statement

The mission of Department of Chemistry is to act upon the following commitments:

  • We nurture an intellectual community characterized by collaborative mentor-student relationships in research and other scholarly pursuits.
  • We provide a dynamic and challenging curriculum as outlined by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training that serves not only our majors and related disciplines but also reaches out to all students interested in a well-rounded liberal arts education.
  • We encourage students to put their knowledge into practice through research, teaching assistantships, and internships in order to enter either graduate studies or the workforce as informed, productive participants.

In addition, we continually support the overall mission of the University and the General Studies program of liberal education.

Department Facilities and Instrumentation

Elon Chemistry majors experiment and learn in the state-of-the-art McMichael Science Center, which is designed to foster experimentation in class and in spacious research laboratories. Students work with modern computer hardware and software, and with sophisticated instrumentation that is rarely found at the undergraduate level. For example, students can operate the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer in the instrument suite or from remote sites such as classrooms, research labs and faculty offices.

In addition to fully-equipped teaching laboratories, modern research laboratories are available for faculty members and undergraduate researchers. The department is equipped with a variety of chemical instrumentation including:


  • Varian Mercury VX 300 MHz NMR w multinuclear probe
  • (C,H,F,P)/pulsed field gradient with Exceed, a remote access program for operation and data analysis (Kresge Foundation)
  • Perkin-Elmer AAnalyst 300 atomic absorption spectrometer (Kresge Foundation)                  
  • Nicolet Magna 560 FT-IR w HATR accessory
  • Hewlett-Packard 8452A UV/Visible (diode array) spectrometer
  • Durrum Gibson D 110 stopped-flow UV-Visible


  • Fisons MD800 GS/MS/ITD equipped with remote access software
  • Varian 3380 Megabore GC/FID (capillary column)            
  • Varian 3400 Megabore GC/FID (capillary column)
  • Dionex 2000i Ion Chromatograph                          
  • Perkin Elmer Series 4 HPLC
  • Varian Polaris HPLC
  • Gow Mac Series 150 GC/TCD

Other Equipment

Labconco Model 50601 Controlled Atmosphere Glove Box Parr Model 1455 Solution/Bomb Calorimeter         
Rudolph, Model 51 Polarimeter National Appliance Model 5831 Vacuum Oven

We are also equipped with more traditional teaching equipment:

Mettler Toledo Analytical Balances (AB104-S) Mettler Toledo Toploading Balances (B203-S)
Fisher Model XT 210 Balances Fisher Accumet AB15 pH Meters
Fisher Model AR25 pH Meters Fisher Model 910 pH Meters
Genesys Spectronic 20 visible colorimeters B&L Spectronic 20 visible colorimeters

Department Electronic Resources

In addition to chemical instrumentation, the following equipment and services are available:

  • Computer facilities
  • Library which subscribes to the ACS online archives and over 85 Chemical journals in print
  • SciFinder Scholar, an abstract database for literature searching
  • ACD ChemSketch, chemical drawing software capable of searching spectra and physical properties
  • PC Spartan Pro, molecular modeling program
  • CSD: Cambridge Structural Database, crystal structure database
  • Olis, spectral fitting program
  • Excel Solver, curve fitting routine
  • WebAssign, web-based homework delivery system
  • CIS Pro, chemical and equipment inventory
  • Gaussian, molecular computational program
  • Raswin, protein visualization software
  • Microsoft Office suite: Power Point, Excel, Word

Chemistry Seminar

The department of chemistry maintains an active series of presentations from outside the Elon community.  Speakers from other institutions and related industries visit our department to present and discuss aspects of chemistry.  These seminars are very important to the education of students and faculty alike because they provide exposure to a variety of chemistry related topics.  The seminars are open to all.  Please check the bulletin board each semester for a list of the seminars planned.

Departmental Achievement Awards

The CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Awards

Two awards consisting of a Certificate of  Achievement and a current volume of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics which are awarded to the most outstanding student completing General Chemistry I and II and to the most outstanding student completing Advanced General Chemistry. They are provided by the Chemical Rubber Publishing Company. 

Recent past awardees include:

2008   Amanda Clark & Caroline Peckels
2007 Carly Fabrizio & Alexandra Fersner   
2006 Katie Crittenden & Meaghan Hollenbeck
2005 Alyssa Morley & Brittany Shonts

Heidi A. Burton & Nicole R. Miller

ophomore Organic Achievement Award

The recipient of this award is the highest achieving sophomore regardless of major in the full year sequence of organic chemistry.  This award was established by the Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society.

Recent past awardees include:


Margeaux Corby  

The American Institute of Chemists’ (AIC) Award

The recipient of this award from the American Institute of Chemists is selected as the most outstanding graduating senior in the area of analytical chemistry. Recipients receive a free one year’s membership as an associate member status in the society and a years subscription to the societies publication along with an invitation to participate in a celebratory banquet and other benefits.

Recent past awardees include:

2008 Ashley Black
2007 Kyle Lunsford
2006 Mary Caruso
2005 Rachel Marie Naumann
2004 Brian Lee Conley
2003 Ryan Jonas Fairchild
2002 Joseph Daniel Azzato
2001 Melanie Anne Ross
2000 Natalie Karla Veronica Metz

Other awards chemistry majors have received:

Barry M. Goldwalter Scholarship

This scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, this award toward undergraduate tuition and fees is to foster and encourage excellence in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Competition for this award is nation wide.

2005 Geoffrey Lynn

Rawls Scholarship

The purpose of the Rawls Undergraduate Research Scholarships and Grants is to encourage and support the efforts of students in any discipline engaged in research with a faculty mentor.

2007-2008 Ashley Black
2006-2007 Ashley Black, Geoffrey Lynn
2005-2006 Mary Caruso, Kyle Troester
2004-2005 Geoffrey Lynn
2003-2004 Brian Conley

Departmental Endowed Scholarships

The Cheek Scholarship

The endowment, established in 1982 by Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society and other former chemistry alumni in honor of Professor Paul Cheek, provides merit based scholarships to chemistry majors who have completed a minimum of General Chemistry I and II holding a minimum GPA of 3.5 in chemistry and 3.0 overall.

The J. Mark and Kate Strader McAdams Scholarship

The endowment was created in1991 in honor and memory of Kate Strader McAdams '25 and J. Mark McAdams '24. It is to provide scholarships for outstanding high school students or college students majoring in chemistry, or education with a concentration in chemistry, holding a minimum GPA of 3.00 in chemistry and overall.

The Eugene B. and Jo McAdams Grimley Scholarship

Established in 1991 in memory of Jane Stevens Grimley, the endowment provides scholarships for students with majoring in chemistry or in education  with a concentration in chemistry holding a minimum GPA of 3.25 in chemistry and overall.

The Ned F. Brannock Scholarship

Established in 1950 by former students and friends of Professor Ned F. Brannock, the endowment provides a scholarship to a senior student, majoring in chemistry, who engages in research during the senior year.

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