The Big Picture

Course Goals

Chem 260 provides an introduction to several core concepts in physical chemistry and in analytical chemistry. Because these areas, even at an introductory level, are too broad to cover in a single semester, our content-specific goals are relatively modest; they are to...

In addition to these content-specific goals, we also have several growth-oriented goals that are important to your development as a student in STEM; these are to...

Working Toward Success in Chem 260

Whatever your background in chemistry and biochemistry, specifically, and in STEM disciplines, more generally, and in addition to your usual academic commitments—attending class and lab, completing assignments, and preparing for exams, to name a few items—commit yourself to...

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Textbook and Other Resources

The textbook for this course is the second edition of Chemistry: Atoms First, a free textbook available from OpenStax. You may choose to access the textbook through a browser, but you may also download it as a pdf file, download it to a Kindle, or order a print version. Visit the textbook's website to explore your options.

The class schedule provides daily reading assignments and suggested end-of-chapter problems, which provide practice in the basic calculations necessary for success in this course. You should use these end-of-chapter problems to test your facility with these calculations; answers to these problems are included at the end of the textbook and more detailed solutions are available on the course's archive page. We will spend much of our time in class working on more comprehensive and more integrative problems that build on these basic calculations and that better reflect typical exam questions.

No textbook is a perfect match for a course: you will find our textbook explores some topics at a greater depth than will we and explores other topics more superficially than will we. As needed, we will supplement the textbook with additional resources. Your textbook and these other resources provide you with an additional perspective on the material we cover in class. Exams and other assignments draw only on the concepts we cover in class and not on additional concepts that appear only in the textbook or in other resources.


This section of Chem 260 is designated as a Q-course. A signficant portion of our time in class and in lab is spent solving quantitative problems and using other forms of quantitative reasoning. A course grade of C or better is required to receive Q-certification.


Your final grade is determined as follows:

Letter grades are assigned using the following scale:

A (≥93.0) A- (90.0-92.9)
B+ (87.0-89.9) B (83.0-86.9) B- (80.0-82.9)
C+ (77.0-79.9) C (73.0-76.9) C- (70.0-72.9)
D+ (67.0-69.9) D (63.0-66.9) D- (60.0-62.9)
F (<60.0)

Final averages are not rounded; to earn a grade of B instead of a grade of B-, for example, you need a final average of ≥83.0. These ranges are fixed with the following caveats:

Office Hours

Feel free to stop by my office (Julian 364) without an appointment at any of these times:

Office hours on Tuesday are by appointment only as I am in lab all day. If you wish to schedule an appointment at another time, please catch me before or after class or lab, send me an email, or drop by my office.

Due Dates

Because I value thoughtful, well-written, and well-reasoned work more than absolute deadlines, the due dates for most assignments allow for some flexiblity.


A textbook is a poor substitute for the active learning that takes place in a classroom. Although attendance at class sessions is not required, I encourage you to take advantage of our time together by engaging fully with the material and with your classmates during class. Class begins promptly at its scheduled time, so please plan to arrive and to settle in promptly so you are ready to work. Should you miss class, it is your responsibility to know and to understand the material covered that day; ask a classmate for a copy of his or her notes and visit the course website for copies of handouts.

You are expected to attend all lab sessions, arriving on time and ready to work; arriving late and unexcused absences will affect your final grade in lab. If you need to miss lab for any reason (travel to athletic events, academic conflicts, illness, etc.), then we will find an alternative time when you can make appropriate contributions to your group's lab work.

Selected DePauw University Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

Although you may make frequent use of external resources when completing an assignment, it is important that the work you submit represents your understanding of the assignment. A failure to do so is unethical and a serious breach of academic integrity. Be sure to review DePauw's guidelines for academic integrity, which are included in the Student Handbook; in particular, review the examples of plagiarism. Although often unintentional, plagiarism nevertheless is a serious violation and may result in a significant reduction in your grade for an assignment or for the course. Be sure to consult with me if you are unsure about any issue concerning academic integrity.

Student Accessibility Services

It is the policy and practice of DePauw University to provide reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities. Written notification from Student Accessibility Services is required. If you are eligible to receive an accommodation and would like to request it for this course, please contact Student Accessibility Services. Allow one week advance notice to ensure enough time for reasonable accommodations to be made. Otherwise, it is not guaranteed that the accommodation can be provided on a timely basis. Accommodations are not retroactive. Students who have questions about Student Accessibility Services or who have, or think they may have, a disability (psychiatric, attentional, learning, vision, hearing, physical, medical, etc.) are invited to contact Student Accessibility Services for a confidential discussion. Student Accessibility Services is located in Union Building Suite 208 and can be reached by phone at 765-658-6267. Please feel free to reach out to me privately and confidentially if you have questions about the nature of our course assignments.

Religious Accomodations

DePauw accommodates students who are adherents of a religious tradition and wish to fulfill obligations of that religious tradition on holy days. Students are expected to notify their instructors of their intent to fulfill the obligations of their religious tradition well in advance of these days. For the sake of this policy, “holy days” are defined as periods of time in which either activities required by normal class participation are prohibited by a religious tradition, or a special worship obligation is required by a religious tradition.