Course Goals

Chem 353 provides an introduction to instrumental methods of analysis with a focus on selected methods in the areas of spectrscopy and electrochemistry, as well as an additional area determined in consultation with the class (past topics include surface analysis and kinetic methods of analysis; other possibilities include mass spectrometry and microfluidics). As we move through the semester, we will:

Textbook and Other Resources

The primary text for this course is Analytical Chemistry 2.1, a free digitial textbook that provides a broad introduction to analytical chemistry. You can download the text, or selected chapters, using this link. Additional resources are available on the course's archive page.

Course Structure

The course consists of three units, each approximately equal in length and each ending in a final exam. The first unit covers spectroscopic methods of analysis with a particular focus on molecular and atomic absorption and emission of ultraviolet and visble light. The second unit covers electrochemical methods of analysis with a particular focus on voltammetry. Finally, the third unit covers a topic chosen in consultation with the class.


Your final grade is determined using the following percentages:

Letter grades are assigned using the following scale:

A (>92) A- (92-90)
B+ (89-87) B (86-83) B- (82-80)
C+ (79-77) C (76-73) C- (72-70)
D+ (69-67) D (66-63) D- (62-60)
F (<60)

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 caveat:

Office Hours

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

If you wish to schedule an appointment at another time, please catch me 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 are intentionally flexible. Unless otherwise specified, there is no penalty for turning in an assignment late if I am still in the process of grading the assignment; however, once I finish grading a set of assignments, any missing work receives a grade of zero (no exceptions).

Flexibility in due dates is not a license to procrastinate. To make this policy work requires communication. If you need additional time, then you must meet with me before the assignment's due date so that you can show me the work you have completed and explain what work remains and when you believe you will be prepared to turn in the assignment. Together we will work on a reasonable extension.


A textbook is a poor substitute for the active learning that takes place in classroom. Although attendance for 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. Whether you miss class for a legitimate reason or simply need a day off, 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 any handouts. Please note that we cannot take class time to review material for students who miss class.

Academic Integrity

Although you may make frequent use of external resources (e.g. the internet, the library, other students) when an completing assignment it is important that the work you submit represents your understanding of the assignment and your work. 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 can 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.

Disability Services

It is the policy and practice of DePauw University to provide reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities. Written notification from Student Disability Services is required. If you are eligible to receive an accommodation and would like to request it for this course, please contact Student Disability 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 Disability Services or who have, or think they may have, a disability (psychiatric, attentional, learning, vision, hearing, physical, medical, etc.) are invited to contact Student Disability Services for a confidential discussion in Union Building Suite 200 or by phone at 658-6267.

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.