Apr 17, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments



Brian M. Cullum


Brian M. Cullum
B.A., Frostburg State University, 1994; Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1998

Chris Geddes
B.Sc., Lancaster University (England), 1992; Ph.D., University of Wales, 1996

William R. LaCourse
B.S., Charter Oak College, 1982; Ph.D., Northeastern University, 1987

Joel F. Liebman
B.S., Brooklyn College, 1967; M.A., Princeton University, 1968; Ph.D., 1970

Zeev Rosenzweig
B.Sc., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), 1986; Ph.D., 1992

Katherine L. Seley-Radtke
A.S., St. Petersburg Junior College, 1983; B.A., University of South Florida, 1992; Ph.D., Auburn University, 1996

Michael F. Summers
B.S., University of West Florida, 1980; Ph.D., Emory University, 1984

Associate Professor

Songon An
B.S., Yonsei University (Korea), 1997; Ph.D., University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2005

Bradley R. Arnold
B.S., Dalhousie University, 1983; Ph.D., University of Utah, 1991

Marie-Christine Daniel-Onuta
B.S., University of Rennes (France), 1998; M.S., 2000; Ph.D., University of Bordeaux (France), 2003

Lisa A. Kelly
B.S., State University of New York at Geneseo, 1988; M.S., University of Rochester, 1989; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 1993

Minjoung Kyoung
B.S., Ewha Womans University 1998; M.S., 2000; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2008

Marcin Ptaszek
Ph.D., Jagiellonian University (Poland), 2002

Aaron Smith
B.A., Boston University, 2007; M.Sc., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012

Paul J. Smith
B.S., State University of New York Brockport, 1988; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1993

Assistant Professor

Joseph Bennett
B.S., Drexel University, 2003; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2009

Chengpen Chen
B.S., Ocean University of China, 2011; Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2015

Deepak Koirala
B.Sc., Tribhuvan University (Nepal), 2002; Ph.D., Kent State University, 2014

Herana (Kamal) Seneviratne
B.S., University of Peradeniya (Sri Lanka), 2011; Ph.D., Washington State University, 2017

Principal Lecturer

Tara Carpenter
B.A., Thiel College, 1999; Ph.D., Duquesne University, 2005

Tiffany Gierasch
B.S., Trinity University, 1997; Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002

H. Mark Perks
B.S., Bucknell University, 1970; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1980

Senior Lecturer

Allison Tracy
B.S., University of Delaware, 2001; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2005


Sarah Bass
B.A., Notre Dame of Maryland University, 2006; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2017 

Diana Hamilton
B.S., University of Virginia, 1986; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1993

Marie van Staveren
B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2007; M.S., Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2012

Adjunct Faculty

Wuyuan Lu
B.S., Nanjing University (China), 1984; M.S., 1989; Ph.D., Purdue University, 1994

Margarita da Silva Miranda
B.S., University of Porto, 1996; Ph.D., 2001

Maja Ponkivar-Svet
Ph.D., University of Ljubljana, 2002

Jason M. St. Clair
B.A., Colby College, 2000; Ph.D., Harvard University, 2007

Glenn M. Wolfe
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 2004; Ph.D., University of Washington, 2010

Affiliate Faculty

Linda Hodges
B.S., Centre College of Kentucky, 1972; Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 1979

Matthew Pelton
B.A.Sc., University of Toronto (Canada), 1996; Ph.D., Stanford University, 2002

Ana Prados
B.A., New College of Florida, 1992; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2000

Katherine Squibb
B.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1971; M.S., Rutgers University, 1974; Ph.D., 1977

Professor Emeritus

C. Allen Bush
B.A., Cornell University, 1961; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Arthur S. Hyman
B.S., City College of New York, 1955; Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1964

Richard L. Karpel
B.A., Queens College, 1965; Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1970

Ralph Pollack
Sc.B. Brown University, 1965; Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1968

Dale L. Whalen
B.S., Loras College, 1961; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Associate Professor Emeritus

James S. Vincent
B.S., University of the Redlands, 1957; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1963

Instructor Emeritus

Suzanne Rottman

Courses in this program are listed under CHEM.

The undergraduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry offer students the opportunity to study in a program tailored to meet their career objectives in a department that is large enough to provide excellent training and research facilities and small enough to encourage a close working relationship with professors. The experienced, dynamic faculty of the department present outstanding credentials, with advanced degrees and post-doctoral training from some of the most prestigious schools in the world. They are devoted to both teaching and research. Their scientific and scholarly achievements attract close to $4 million in funding per year, resulting in many opportunities for students to participate in undergraduate research in faculty labs and to gain exposure to cutting-edge science in their classrooms.

The department offers three major programs: the Chemistry, B.S. , a rigorous program certified by the American Chemical Society; a Chemistry, B.A. , which provides the option of an increased number of electives so the student may combine a solid background in chemistry with other areas of interest, such as law, education, business management or environmental sciences; and a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, B.S.  (jointly with Biological Sciences ). A combined chemistry B.S./M.S. and or a Chemistry Minor  are also available to qualified students. In conjunction with Education , a program leading to a Chemistry Education, B.A.  with an emphasis in either biochemistry or physical chemistry may be pursued.

Outside of the major and minor programs, the chemistry curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students with diverse goals. Biological sciences majors, as well as students preparing for entrance into schools of dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, or programs in medical technology should complete CHEM 101 , CHEM 102 , CHEM 102L , CHEM 351 , CHEM 351L , CHEM 352  and CHEM 352L . Students preparing for programs in dental hygiene, nursing and physical therapy should complete CHEM 123 , CHEM 124  and CHEM 124L .

The programs of the chemistry and biochemistry department periodically are reviewed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the professional organization that sets the standards for chemical education, and UMBC chemistry students consistently place at, or above, the norm in their standardized examinations. The Chemistry, B.S.  is accredited by the ACS and has received continued approval since first attaining this status in 1970. In a recent report, the ACS commended the UMBC Chemistry Discovery Center, noting its innovative approach to team learning in a chemistry lab setting.

Career and Academic Paths

More than 60 percent of the department’s graduates pursue further education (graduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry) or professional training (medical, dental, pharmacy, nutrition, veterinary medicine, and environmental science) at such distinguished schools as Harvard; MIT; Oxford; The Johns Hopkins University; Stanford; University of Virginia and University of Maryland, Baltimore. Many students choose to continue post-baccalaureate studies at UMBC, enrolling in the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in chemistry, the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in biochemistry (joint with UMB) or molecular and cell biology, or the M.S. program in applied molecular biology (joint with Biological Sciences ).

Academic Advising

The department assigns students to faculty advisors based upon the student’s declared major of either chemistry or biochemistry. After filing a Declaration of Major form, students should contact the department office.

Honors Program

The department does not offer an honors track, however specific honors sections of chemistry courses are offered. CHEM 101H - Principles of Chemistry I - Honors (4)  and CHEM 102H - Principles of Chemistry - Honors (4) , are offered in the fall and spring, respectively. In addition, upper-level honors courses are offered in selected topics. Departmental honors are awarded to graduates in chemistry or biochemistry who achieve scholastic excellence, which is defined as a GPA of 3.5 or better in all chemistry and biochemistry courses, combined with an overall GPA of at least 3.5. At least 18 credit hours in the Chemistry or Biochemistry major must be completed at UMBC and no course may be repeated in the major for a better grade.

Special Opportunities


Undergraduate research performed under faculty mentors within the department is encouraged. Participating students may receive credit toward graduation for this research through two upper-level courses. CHEM 399 , provides an introduction to research and may be taken for one to three credits. CHEM 499  is an approved elective for the American Chemical Society-certified Chemistry, B.S. and requires preparation of a formal paper based on the student’s original research. A maximum of six credits of CHEM 499  or a maximum of eight credits from the combination of BIOL 398 , BIOL 399 , BIOL 499 , CHEM 399  and CHEM 499  may be taken. The department also offers industrial internships with various partners for additional hands-on experience. The Vitullo Award is presented each year to a junior or senior student working in a faculty member’s laboratory excelling in undergraduate research in the department.


The department offers CHEM 396 .  This service-learning course is designed for undergraduate learning assistants in non-laboratory chemistry courses. Students must be recommended in writing by the faculty member teaching the course and be approved by the department. Student work must be performed in a course taught by the Chemistry and Biochemistry department and must have a significant learning component. In addition to their classroom responsibilities, students will participate in a weekly session on effective learning methods and pedagogy taught by a member of the chemistry faculty. P/F grading only, credit will be earned for the mandatory weekly session and for the preparation for and interaction with students in the classroom. A maximum of eight credits of CHEM 396 is allowed. Permission of the instructor is required. Recommended Preparation: A grade of B or higher in the course that they will serve as a Learning Assistant.

Honors and Awards

A number of awards are conveyed to deserving students each spring. Among them are the Vitullo Award, Mittino award, Creighton award and Satterfield award.

Chemistry Tutorial Center

The Chemistry Tutorial Center is staffed by a full-time chemistry instructor and 25 advanced undergraduates who provide free tutoring for students in introductory and intermediate chemistry courses. Small group tutoring and computer-assisted, special topics lessons are available.

Student Organizations

American Chemical Society Student Affiliate (ACSSA) Chapter Chemistry/Biochemistry Council of Majors. An American Chemical Society (ACS) student affiliate chapter supports an active lecture and tour program to acquaint UMBC students with various career options. The ACSSA outreach program into local elementary schools involves mentoring young students, as well as providing a program of science demonstrations to assist instructors in teaching chemical principles. The ACS affiliate chapter also sponsors the presentation of several undergraduate research projects at the student session of the national ACS meeting each year.





      Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Departments