Jan 19, 2022  
ARCHIVED 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
ARCHIVED 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Physics


Department Chairperson: Dr. Paul F. Brandt
Chemistry and Physics Faculty

Mission Statement

The Department of Chemistry and Physics is home to a variety of disciplines and majors.  Its collective mission is to prepare students for the even greater variety of career paths that exist for those trained in the physical sciences by teaching, demonstrating and instilling the skills and attributes necessary to be a competent, practicing scientist and a responsible, ethical citizen.

Chemistry

Chemistry faculty are dedicated to providing a challenging and supportive environment for students to: i) learn chemical principles and laboratory skills; ii) develop their critical thinking and communication skills through course work and collaborative research; and iii) become informed and principled citizens. Within the Chemistry department, the Biochemistry program is dedicated to providing a challenging and supportive environment for students to: i) integrate principles and laboratory skills from the disciplines of biology and chemistry to address real-world problems; ii) develop their critical thinking and communication skills through course work and collaborative research; and iii) become informed and principled citizens.

Chemists study the structure and transformations of matter, and create entirely new substances such as pharmaceuticals, conducting polymers and synthetic fibers. A degree in chemistry can prepare a student for employment in a private or government laboratory; medical, dental, veterinary or law school; secondary school teaching; a position in a scientific firm; or graduate study and research in the sciences or engineering.

The Chemistry department's curriculum has been approved by the American Chemical Society and provides courses covering the five major areas of chemistry (analytical, biological, inorganic, organic and physical). The laboratory experience is an important component of each course where students receive hands on experience with the department's wide range of research quality instrumentation. Students are encouraged to participate in ongoing research supervised by the faculty during the school year or over the summer. Research experience is one way for students to distinguish themselves when they continue on into industry, research or graduate school. In addition to the research opportunities on campus, students can explore undergraduate research opportunities at nearby Argonne National Laboratory or industrial companies.

Physics

Physics faculty are dedicated to providing a challenging and supportive environment for students to: i) learn physical principles, analytical and computational skills and laboratory methods; and ii) develop their critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills through course and laboratory work and through collaborative learning and research, iii) acquire technical skills relevant for a large range of career paths, including engineering, data science, education and advanced studies in STEM fields.

Physics is the science which deals with nature at its most fundamental level, describing phenomena ranging from the interactions of subatomic particles to the folding of proteins to the dynamics of planets and galaxies.  Much of the theoretical framework of chemistry, engineering and even biology is provided by discoveries made by physicists.  Practical applications of physics include the aerodynamics of flight, medical imaging and the properties and behavior of electronic materials.

Biochemistry

Biochemists study the molecules of life: proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. One need only scan a list of recent Nobel Laureates to see that biochemistry is one of the "cutting edges" of modern science and medicine. North Central's biochemistry major is offered jointly by the chemistry and biology departments. The curriculum is modeled after typical undergraduate biochemistry curricula identified by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. A degree in biochemistry can prepare a student for employment in a private or government research laboratory; medical, dental, veterinary or law school; a position in a biotechnology or other scientific firm; or graduate study and research in both basic and applied sciences. 

Special Programs

Chemical Microscopy

The Chemical Microscopy program is dedicated to providing students with a solid liberal arts education with solid foundations in general, organic, physical and analytical chemistry, calculus and physics and specialized training in analytical instrumentation and microscopy techniques through hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment.

The Chemical Microscopy program provides students a hands-on experience using state-of-the-art microscopes and techniques. Students learn how to apply the necessary skills and analytical judgment to a wide variety of microanalytical problems including: pharmaceutical contamination, forensic trace evidence, white powder identification to detect weapons of mass destruction, failure analysis of plastics and polymers and cleanroom techniques including particle isolation and specialized sample preparation. By using light and electron microscopy along with infrared and Raman spectroscopy students learn how each of these microanalytical tools can be used to solve a wide variety of materials analysis and particle identification problems.

North Central College's 3+1 program in Chemical Microscopy prepares students for a career as a Chemical Microscopist. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by 12 months of course work, research, practicums and internship at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences, Westmont, Illinois. The student then graduates from North Central College with a liberal arts degree in Chemical Microscopy. Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the program at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences in the second term of the junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. Student admission to the program at McCrone Associates' Hooke College of Applied Sciences is not guaranteed.

Students intending to major in Chemical Microscopy must apply for admission into the North Central College program at the end of their second year of study.

Nuclear Medicine Technology

The Nuclear Medicine Technology Program is committed to providing a challenging and supportive environment for students to: i) learn scientific principles and laboratory skills; ii) develop their critical thinking and communication skills; and iii) become informed and principled citizens. The program also dedicates itself to providing and promoting academic and clinical excellence that ensures high quality instruction that ultimately contributes to the delivery of quality patient care. The curriculum is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of continued learning and rewarding careers, and it helps students become leaders in the nuclear medicine community.

Nuclear medicine is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine in using radiation to diagnose and treat disease. Though there are many diagnostic techniques currently available, nuclear medicine uniquely provides information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. It is this ability to characterize and quantify physiologic function which separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities, such as x-ray. Nuclear medicine procedures are safe, they involve little or no patient discomfort and do not require the use of anesthesia.

North Central College's degree program in Nuclear Medicine Technology prepares students for a career as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The first option is a 3+1 program with Northwestern Medicine School of Nuclear Medicine Technology. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by a 12 month program of study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a liberal arts degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to Northwestern Medicine School of Nuclear Medicine Technology  in the second term of the junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Student admission to the program is not guaranteed.

Another option is for the student to complete a four-year B.S. or B.A. degree at North Central College in chemistry, biology or biochemistry, and then apply for admission to Northwestern Medicine for a one-year certificate program in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Students intending to major in Nuclear Medicine Technology must meet with the Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator for the most recent information. Prerequisite courses and other requirements are subject to change.

Radiation Therapy

The Nuclear Medicine Technology Program is committed to providing a challenging and supportive environment for students to: i) learn scientific principles and laboratory skills; ii) develop their critical thinking and communication skills; and iii) become informed and principled citizens. The program also dedicates itself to providing and promoting academic and clinical excellence that ensures high quality instruction that ultimately contributes to the delivery of quality patient care. The curriculum is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills needed for a lifetime of continued learning and rewarding careers, and it helps students become leaders in the nuclear medicine community.

Nuclear medicine is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine in using radiation to diagnose and treat disease. Though there are many diagnostic techniques currently available, nuclear medicine uniquely provides information about both the structure and function of virtually every major organ system within the body. It is this ability to characterize and quantify physiologic function which separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities, such as x-ray. Nuclear medicine procedures are safe, they involve little or no patient discomfort and do not require the use of anesthesia.

North Central College's degree program in Nuclear Medicine Technology prepares students for a career as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The first option is a 3+1 program with Northwestern Medicine School of Nuclear Medicine Technology. Students spend three years at North Central College, where they complete their liberal arts general education core along with prerequisite science and math courses. This is followed by a 12 month program of study at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a liberal arts degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to Northwestern Medicine School of Nuclear Medicine Technology  in the second term of the junior year. Student applicants are considered and evaluated solely by the faculty/staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Student admission to the program is not guaranteed.

Another option is for the student to complete a four-year B.S. or B.A. degree at North Central College in chemistry, biology or biochemistry, and then apply for admission to Northwestern Medicine for a one-year certificate program in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Students intending to major in Nuclear Medicine Technology must meet with the Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator for the most recent information. Prerequisite courses and other requirements are subject to change.

Degrees offered: B.A. and B.S.

Special Opportunity

Hooke College of Applied Sciences — The College maintains this affiliation through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area. Located nearby in Westmont, Illinois, Hooke College of Applied Sciences offers courses in microscopy and related areas in which North Central students may enroll for credit. Detailed Information is available from either the Chemistry or Physics Departments. Registration is arranged through the Office of the Registrar.

Programs

    MajorMinor

    Courses

      BiochemistryChemistryPhysics