Submitted by Betsy Jamieson / Smith College on Tue, 06/04/2019 - 15:49
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Specific Course Information
Course Area and Number
CHM 363
Smith College
Northampton, MA USA
Inorganic Chemistry, (5th edition), Miessler, Fischer & Tarr
Course Meetings and Time
Number of meetings per week
3 meetings / week
Time per meeting (minutes)
70 min / meeting
Number of weeks
13 weeks
Lab Associated
Average Class Size
15 to 25
Typical Student Population
This course is typically taken by junior and senior chemistry majors.


Chemistry 363 will teach you about the field of Inorganic Chemistry which addresses some of the most pressing challenges of our time.  Whether the problem involves making new materials to harness solar energy, drawing inspiration from nature to convert methane to methanol, or developing metal-based pharmaceuticals and catalysts, inorganic chemistry is fundamental to the solutions.


In this course, you will develop the skills and tools you need to understand the properties and reactivity of inorganic molecules.  More importantly, we will devote class time to examining current research in order to learn what the big questions are in inorganic chemistry and what motivates leading researchers in this field. 

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Learning Goals

The learning goals for Chemistry 363 are for you to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of coordination chemistry
  • Learn how to use symmetry and group theory for chemical applications
  • Construct molecular orbital diagrams for molecules with more than 2 atoms
  • Understand the effect of ligands on the splitting of d orbitals in transition metal compounds
  • Be introduced to the structure, bonding, and properties of solids
  • Appreciate how the energy levels in transition metal complexes lead to their vibrant colors
  • Predict bonding preferences based on hard-soft acid base theory
  • Investigate reaction mechanisms of inorganic compounds
  • Understand how and why metals are used in biological systems
  • Discover how metals can be used in medicine
  • Understand the bonding in organometallic compounds
  • Investigate reactions common in organometallic catalysis
  • Read and discuss current literature in inorganic chemistry
  • Refine your presentation skills
How the course is taught
Mostly taught in lecture and working in small groups
Grading Scheme
Exams (3) 60%, Homework/Lit Discussion Assignments 20%, Chemist/Article Presentations 10%, Attendance/Participation 10%
Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA