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Topic: Life as a chemistry major? how is it?  (Read 10389 times)

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Offline SheffieldWednesday4ever

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Life as a chemistry major? how is it?
« on: December 17, 2009, 01:10:01 AM »
I am a biology and most likely moving into becoming a chemistry major next term. I took organic chemistry which I surprisingly thoroughly enjoyed, understood, and of course, used problems to build up on my concept rather than ever memorizing. However, I do admit, it was still quite a demanding course, though not necessarily tough.
I also like physics very much and excelled at it and will be taking physical chemistry along with the next level of organic chemistry. However, I'd like to know how the material compares in Organic chem to inorganic chem, analytical chem, physical chem, quantum physics? Does it generally take as much effort for say, inorganic chem to get the same grade as in organic?



Offline stewie griffin

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Re: Life as a chemistry major? how is it?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 10:29:39 AM »
If you can do fine in organic and are good at math then you will do just fine in the other courses.  :)  In my opinion, general chemistry taught in college is really just a smattering of different ideas/theories/etc from inorganic, physical, and analytical. So in a way you're already familiar with some of what lies ahead. I personally found physical to be the most boring followed by analytical. Inorganic is cool.
In analytical you'll probably study stuff like equilibrium, electrochemistry, instrumentation, titrations, etc.
Physical will be thermodynamics (boring  ;) IMHO) and quantum mechanics.
Inorganic will expand upon the main group chemistry you learned in gen chem, discuss periodic trends, the d block, d orbitals and organometallic bonding, acid/base chemistry, symmetry operations, etc.
If you're like me (I really like organic) then the classes after organic are kind of a let down. I learned stuff, got A's, and didn't find the classes too challenging but I didn't find it near as interesting as organic. I only say that b/c I too starting out in bio/medicine as a freshman, only to see the light after being in organic for just three weeks.

Offline Grundalizer

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Re: Life as a chemistry major? how is it?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 03:45:32 PM »
I'm a Jr. now in college just finished Descriptive Inorganic, Physical Chemistry I (quantun mehanics), quantitative analysys, and Physics III (wave mechanics/light/AC current).

I'd say Chemistry major is the only way to go, but we are all biased on these forums.  I personally found quantun mechanics in Pchem I to be one of my favorite courses, as quantum physics rules and it's awesome to finally be able to understand Schrodingers equation and wave equations for electrons.

Inorganic is awesome, whereas in Organic there were rules which usually always worked, and mechanisms that one had to memorize, and only certain ways atoms could bond, Inorganic is a lot different.  In Inorganic you learn that every rule has an exception (usually more than one) but I found I liked it because you realize how much chemistry there is in our everyday lives that is Inorganic.  I still have to take advanced inorganic which is more metal complexes and bioinorganic and stuff, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'd say Inorganic is easier than organic, but that is just my personal finding.

Quantitative analysys is the class prior to instrumental analysis, which I personally was not huge on.  It's pretty much a lot of titrations, except being REALLY accurate and using your 5 sig figs from analytical balances this time around.  We did get to make our own electrochemical electrodes and do an electric titration which was pretty cool.  I'd say its a worthwhile class to have under your belt, but not as fun as orgo/inorgo and the theoretical stuff

Oh yeah, the reason I mentioned Physics III was because as an ACS approved option for my BS in Chemistry, I have to take up to Physics III, and in my school if you take one more class (modern physics) you get a Minor.  So most chem majors I know pretty much are 1 or 2 classes away from a Physics Minor, and usually Math minor as well.

I'd say switch over if I were you.  I think most companies would rather have a chemist then a biologist on their team.

Furthermore, Chemistry students get their pHds PAYED FOR, tuition waved and a 25-30k stipdent to help TA a class, whereas no other major gets that (not even biology).

Switch it up, you wont regret it, and you'll probably have an easier time finding a job/getting to grad school for free

 

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