Department of Chemistry

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit


The Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society.

Richard (Rick) E. Norman


The Department of Chemistry is committed to providing an educational environment conducive to scholarship, intellectual development, and the acquisition of a foundation of knowledge and techniques required of professional chemists. This goal requires the effective representation of the fundamental areas of chemistry, a dedicated and creative faculty, and support for the many functions of the department.

Contact Information
(936) 294-1532


Academic Program

General Information

Advisory Committee

For students completing a thesis, a thesis research project will begin in the first or second semester of graduate work. The student and the thesis director, with approval from the chair, will select two additional faculty members to serve as the thesis committee. Once enrolled in a thesis class, a student must be continually enrolled until graduation.

Period of Study

Students taking 9 semester hours of coursework each long semester and 3 semester hours each summer session will typically finish their graduate program in two years. A minimum of three long semesters and two summer sessions is required.

Comprehensive Exam and Oral Thesis Defense

An oral presentation of the thesis to the faculty in a seminar format is required, and the thesis must be defended before the student's thesis committee. All graduate students are required to pass an oral comprehensive exam based on their coursework. The oral comprehensive exam is typically concurrent with the thesis defense. Students must be enrolled the semester that they take comprehensive examinations.

Senior Courses Open to Graduate Students

CHEM 4440Instrumental Analytical Chem4
CHEM 4442Air Quality4
CHEM 4443Structural Spectroscopic Methd4
CHEM 4448Physical Chemistry I4
CHEM 4367Advanced Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 4449Physical Chemistry II4

A maximum of six hours of 4000-level courses may be taken toward the completion of the master’s degree. Course requirements in 4000-level courses will be appropriately modified for graduate credit. 


  • The Department of Chemistry moved into an impressive new facility (the Chemistry/ Forensic Science Building) during the Fall semester of 2005 greatly expanding and improving the laboratory facilities.
  • The Department of Chemistry has recently purchased an X-ray diffractometer and continually looks for ways to improve and enhance our research equipment.


Scholarships are available from the College of Sciences and from the Office of Graduate Studies to support students’ studies. Please check the websites for the College and Graduate Studies for more information.

CHEM 5001. Independent Study In Chemistry. 1-3 Hours.

This course is intended to provide an avenue for selected graduate students to engage in independent studies. Registration is on an individual basis and is restricted to students in residence. Variable Credit (1-3).
Prerequisite: Approval of department chair.

CHEM 5100. Chemical Literature & Seminar. 1 Hour.

Students will participate in the departmental seminar program. This participation will require the preparation and presentation of current research material in a format acceptable to the American Chemical Society.

CHEM 5361. Physical Organic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

This course consists of a study of the effect of structure upon reactivity of organic compounds. The qualitative and quantitative relationship of structure to acidity and basicity in organic chemistry is developed. In addition, reactive intermediates (carbocations, carbanions and free radicals) are studied.
Prerequisite: CHEM 2325, CHEM 2125.

CHEM 5362. Organic Reaction Mechanisms. 3 Hours.

Current models for mechanisms of organic reactions are discussed and applied. The mechanisms and applications of synthetically important reactions are also surveyed. Literature searching for less often utilized but historically important transformations are integral to the course. The methods of determining reaction mechanisms are surveyed along with applications to individual reactions.
Prerequisite: CHEM 2325, CHEM 2125.

CHEM 5368. Analytical Spectroscopy. 3 Hours.

Theory and application of selected areas of spectroscopy commonly used in qualitative and quantitative analysis are covered. Topics include atomic and molecular spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, laser analytical methods, fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence and their application to environmental, atmospheric, and bioanalytical problems.
Prerequisite: CHEM 4440.

CHEM 5372. Advanced Biochemistry I. 3 Hours.

The chemical structure and the biological functions and controls of proteins are reviewed. Proteins to be considered include enzymes, transport proteins and structural proteins. Protein biosynthesis and recombinant DNA technology are also discussed.

CHEM 5373. Drug and Toxin Biochemistry. 3 Hours.

This course examines biotransformations of drugs/toxins, mechanisms of drug interactions with biological systems, and selective toxicity. Students will gain insight into the design of therapeutic agents and the destruction of harmful toxins/bacterial invaders in living systems. Attention will also be given to how molecular structure is related to solubility and permeability and how to design systems for drug delivery within the human body.

CHEM 5374. Chem Of Coordination Compounds. 3 Hours.

The chemistry of compounds containing metal ions is discussed. Emphasis in placed on the complexes of transition metals. The electronic configurations of these ions in various bonding environments are considered in interpreting their chemical and physical properties.
Prerequisite: CHEM 4367 and CHEM 4448.

CHEM 5375. Organometallic Chemistry. 3 Hours.

The course examines organometallic chemistry through a detailed presentation of structure and bonding. In addition, this course focuses on these principles with in-depth discussions of organometallic reaction mechanisms, advances in catalysis, carbene complexes. metathesis reactions, application to organic synthesis, and cluster compounds.
Prerequisite: CHEM 4367.

CHEM 5381. Adv Physl Chem Thermodynamics. 3 Hours.

Principles are stressed including the three laws of thermodynamics, thermochemistry and statistical thermodynamics. Applications of the principles to gases, solution, mixtures, solids and interfaces are given.
Prerequisite: CHEM 4448.

CHEM 5382. Symmetry and Spectrscopy. 3 Hours.

Quantum theory and symmetry are studied in detail and applied to the interpretation and prediction of spectroscopic data. Infrared, Raman, and electronic spectroscopic methods are examined in depth.
Prerequisite: CHEM 4448 or departmental approval.

CHEM 5385. Selected Topics In Adv Chem. 3 Hours.

This course is adaptable to the needs and interests of the individual graduate student majoring in Chemistry. Modern developments in specific subdivisions of the field of chemistry are considered. It may be repeated for credit, provided the repetition is not in the same subdivisional field. The subdivisional fields offered are: analytical, biochemistry, environmental, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Chemistry.

CHEM 6099. Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

CHEM 6398. Graduate Research In Chemistry. 3 Hours.


Chair: Richard E. Norman

Benny E. Arney, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., Rice University; B.A., University of St. Thomas

Thomas G. Chasteen, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Colorado; M.S., East Texas State University; B.S., East Texas State University

Dustin E. Gross, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin; B.S., The University of Arizona, Tucson

Donovan C. Haines, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., Wichita State University, Wichita, KS; B.S., Wichita State University, Wichita, KS

Richard E. Norman, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Chair, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Washington; M.S., University of Washington; B.S., University of Washington

Ilona Petrikovics, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Medicine, Debrecen, Hungary; Ph.D., Kossuth Laos University, Debrecen, Hungary; M.Sc., University of Debrecen, Hungary

David E. Thompson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison; B.A., Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Rick C. White, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., University of Iowa; M.A., Sam Houston State University; B.S., Sam Houston State University

Darren Lee Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Ph.D., Oregon State University; B.S., The University of Texas at Austin