Sep 26, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog

Chemistry and Physics


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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, biochemical, 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

Nuclear Medicine Technology

Nuclear medicine is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and computer technology to uniquely provide 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.  With the development of new radiopharmaceuticals, treatments and the exciting technology of PET/MRI, PET/CT and SPECT/CT hybrid imaging, the nuclear medicine field has grown significantly over the past years and is expected to grow even more in the future.

Daily tasks of a nuclear medicine technologist include: Prepare and administer radioactive chemical compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals; perform patient imaging procedures using sophisticated radiation-detecting instrumentation; perform computer processing and image enhancement functions; provide images, data analysis and patient information to the physician for diagnostic interpretation; prepare patients for imaging procedures and radioactive therapy; apply knowledge of radiation physics and safety regulations to radiation safety; and, utilize quality control techniques as part of the quality assurance program.

North Central College's degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology prepares students for a career as a nuclear medicine technologist through a 3+1 program with NM School of Nuclear Medicine Technology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 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 13-month program of study (35 credits) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the NM School of Nuclear Medicine Technology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January of 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.

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

Degree offered: B.S.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is an interdisciplinary field that combines chemistry, physics, biology, radiobiology, radiation safety, anatomy, and patient care to administer targeted doses of ionizing radiation to treat cancer and other diseases. Radiation therapists work for hospitals, clinics, and technical companies within the industry. Advanced career opportunities exist in fields including education, administration, and research.


Daily tasks of radiation therapists include: Reviewing prescription and diagnosis; preparing patients for daily radiation treatments; delivering daily radiation treatments; evaluating and monitoring treatment-delivery equipment; performing radiation dose calculations; assisting in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization; providing high-quality patient care; and, collaborating with physicians and other members of the healthcare team.

North Central College's degree in Radiation Therapy prepares students for a career as a radiation therapist through a 3+1 program with NM School of Radiation Therapy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 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 14-month program of study (35 credits) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The student then graduates from North Central College with a degree in Radiation Therapy.

Admission to the final year of the program is based upon successful application to the NM School of Radiation Therapy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in January of 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.

Students intending to major in Radiation Therapy must meet with the Pre-Professional Health Program Coordinator or the Chemistry Department Chair for the most recent information. Prerequisite courses and other requirements are subject to change.

Degree offered: B.S.

Programs

    MajorMinor

    Courses

      BiochemistryChemistryPhysics

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