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Hindered by the overcrowded facilities which are becoming the normal state of affairs in the teaching of the sciences, the Chemistry Department has nevertheless managed to weather the war years and is gradually reaffirming its former reputation as one of the top departments in the University.

An arrangement which is rapidly becoming unique in times of increasing stress on research has leading professors, many of them ranking men in their fields, teaching undergraduates the fundamentals of chemical phenomena.

Arthur B. Lamb, editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, has been giving Chemistry A for years, and Louis P. Fieser, author and prominent research worker in organic chemistry, is slated to handle Chemistry 2, elementary organic chemistry, next fall. Top man in the field, however, is George B. Kistiakowsky, chairman of the department, whose name few concentrators even learn to pronounce by their senior year.

Labs Replace Tutorial

The tutorial situation in the field is simply stated--there don't any. The official explanation is that the time spent in labs under the supervision of young instructors amounts to the same thing, but a more logical reason is that, with labs taking up most of the afternoons of the concentrator, there just isn't time enough left in the student schedule for a tutorial program worth its salt. Add to that the already tremendous teaching and research loads carried by most members of the department, and the story is fairly complete.

The courses in the field are generally stiff and thorough. Men with a sizeable background in chemistry usually breeze through their first courses, but the pace gets progressively faster and the competition, notoriously grade-hungry, is enough to keep even a Conant on his toes.

The material, both the theory presented in the lectures and the practical laboratory work, is generally more inclusive than that in similar courses at other colleges, a fact which may hurt at the time but which pays dividends when the neophyte lands his first job in industry.

That first job, incidentally, usually depends to a large extent on college grades in chemistry and whatever mathematics and physics has been squeezed in, but most estimates place the starting salary for a graduate with a good record at about $3000.

Dilettantes Beware

Chemistry is no place for the man who wants to dabble; a concentrator must like the subject well enough to be willing to spend most of his waking hours on it. Beside the basic requirements for the degree, it is considered a good idea to have an extra year of math and physics for a substantial grounding.

Since the chemistry courses follow a definite sequence, the program is pretty well laid-out for the first three years, with the senior year left as a chance for following particular interests.

A final advantage of the field is that there are no generals, specials, or theses to worry about. Honors are granted strictly on the quality of work turned out in the field, which also adds to the competition for grades. In short, if you have a sincere interest in chemistry, you can't go wrong; but he wary if you are a more dilettante.

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