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Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Lab Safety Agreement


Click here to fill out the Lab Safety Agreement.


While in a Chemistry & Biochemistry Department lab, I will:

  1. Be alert and responsible at all times.
  2. Wear safety glasses whenever there is a danger of a chemical splash, spill, or broken glass hazard.
  3. Follow the laboratory dress code:
    • Long pants or skirts/dresses that end at or below the ankle are required.
      • The garments should be in good conditions with no rips, tears or otherwise damaged.
    • Closed-toed shoes that fully cover the top of the foot are required.
      • No ballet slippers, mesh, TOMS/BOBS or shoes that show any skin below the ankle.
      • Proper footwear includes: running/hiking shoes, utility shoes, rubber soles, leather or sturdy cloth shoes.
    • Short or long-sleeved shirts that cover the entire midriff area (front and back) are required.
    • Baggy or loose clothing should be secured or removed.
    • All clothing must be made of natural fibers; synthetic material is inappropriate to wear in a laboratory setting.
      • A lab coat can be worn in lieu of natural fibers.
    • Long hair must be tied back.
    • Wear gloves when instructed to do so, however gloves should never be worn outside of the classroom.
    • Optional: Laboratory coats can be worn during lab to keep clothing from being ruined during experiments.
  4. NEVER eat or drink while in the laboratory! All food items and drink containers will be stored away.
  5. Know the location and the proper use of all safety equipment including the eye wash, safety shower, fire extinguisher and first-aid kit.
  6. Use proper techniques demonstrated by the instructor and follow the procedures in the lab manual.
    • Have the laboratory instructor verify that a reaction set-up is acceptable prior to beginning experiment.
  7. Never perform any unauthorized experiments or use chemicals that are not part of the laboratory experiment.
    • NEVER taste or directly inhale chemicals or biological specimens!
  8. Use the fume hoods when using any toxic, volatile, flammable, or corrosive chemicals.
    • Keep the fume hood sash as low as possible while in use.
  9. Dispose of all chemical waste in the proper designated canisters.
    • Organic solvents/compounds go in the ORGANIC waste container.
    • Aqueous waste that doesn’t contain any organic solvents go in the AQUEOUS waste container.
    • Solid compounds and used disposable lab supplies go in the SOLIDS waste container.
    • Items contaminated by bacterial, fungal or tissue culture go in the BIOHAZARD bags.
    • Needles and Capillary tubes go in the appropriately labeled SHARPS container.
    • NEVER pour anything down the drain without permission from the instructor!
  10. Immediately notify the instructor of any chemical spill, broken glassware, fire or personal injury.
    • Report all accidents/injuries to the laboratory instructor, no matter how minor they may seem. Fill out accident report form before leaving lab for the day.
  11. Report any defective equipment to the laboratory instructor.
  12. Return equipment and clean glassware to their proper places.
  13. Keep lab area clean and free from clutter that may present a tripping hazard or other accidents related to clutter.
    • Store backpacks in designated spaces and away from all safety equipment.
    • Remember that stools do not belong in front of the fume hoods and must be out of the way of walkways and aisles so that they do not present tripping hazards.
  14. Follow any additional safety instruction, beyond those appearing above, given by the Instructor, Laboratory Manager, Teaching Assistant or other authorized employee.


The current COVID-19 pandemic requires additional precautions to maintain the safety of students, staff, and faculty.


I agree to follow these conditions to help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 while attending in-person classes:

If feeling unwell, sick, or potentially exposed to a known case of COVID-19 I will contact the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999 for a phone consultation and will not come to campus unless cleared to do so.

  • I will perform the daily health evaluation as required by university policy and if I answer "yes" to any questions I will contact the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999 for a phone consultation.
  • In accordance with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment order “22 April CDPHE Order”, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment order “Face Covering Order” and Metropolitan State University of Denver policy I will wear a cloth face covering that covers both my mouth and nose at all times while working in the laboratory.
  • I will arrive at the teaching laboratory no earlier than fifteen minutes prior to my designated start time and will maintain six feet of social distancing while waiting to get into the laboratory.
  • I will go directly to my assigned work station when allowed into the laboratory.
  • I will disinfect my work station with the provided supplies at the start of laboratory and when I have finished for the day.
  • I will work within my designated work station and endeavor at all times to maintain six feet of distance between myself and other individuals.
  • If it is necessary for me to move outside of my designated work station I will use the designated passage routes; I will be mindful to maintain six feet of distance between myself and other individuals, and I will not group around the shared equipment.
  • I understand that due to the ongoing pandemic I will be unable to borrow any personal protective equipment from the department and if I fail to meet the dress code I will be asked to leave the laboratory.

Additional Considerations

  • It is recommended, but not required, that you notify your Laboratory Instructor or Laboratory Manager of any medical condition that you feel may put you at an increased risk when working with the instrumentation or chemicals.
  • Some teaching laboratories do use chemicals that are considered teratogens, compounds that effect fetal development. If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding you are strongly advised to speak to your physician about the possible risks.

Individuals who normally wear contact lenses:

Contact lenses, especially soft lenses, can trap irritating vapors against the eye. For certain labs, it is highly recommended that prescription glasses be worn instead of contacts when in the laboratory, please consult with your instructor about this policy.

When I am in the laboratory I will: (please select your choice)

  • I do not wear corrective lenses or glasses.
  • Wear safety goggles over my prescription glasses during the laboratory period.
  • Wear safety goggles over my contact lenses during the laboratory period. I take full responsibility for my action going against the recommendation of the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department.


I have read and fully understand all of the safety precautions and rules summarized above. I recognize that it is my responsibility to observe all precautions and rules throughout the laboratory course. Furthermore, I understand that failing to follow the precautions and rules summarized above may result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination (for employees of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department) or removal from the laboratory environment, temporarily or permanently, which may result in a negative impact on my grade and ability to complete the course.

All Chemistry students are also required to watch a Lab Safety Video before taking Chemistry Laboratories.  The instructors will select the video and show it during the first day of class or they may assign it to be watched outside of class.  

The lab safety video was developed by our academic colleagues at UC Denver and is available here:

Hellmann Family Chemistry Endowed Scholarship

To benefit female, non-traditional students majoring in Chemistry, through the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at MSU Denver.  


  • Must be female
  • Majoring in Chemistry
  • Have financial need based on FAFSA 
  • Must be enrolled full-time
  • Must be age 25 or older

Award Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1st, 2021

Apply here:


Dr. Eric Stephen Ball Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Eric Stephen Ball embodied excellence in teaching and exemplified the way that a professor can impact, inspire and guide students—which he did with tremendous success. Dr. Ball believed that, as a professor, he was responsible for supporting his students indefinitely. Once a student crossed the classroom threshold, they were his student for life. It is our hope that, by creating a scholarship, we will be able to continue to support students in their academic pursuits of chemistry, the STEM fields and undergraduate research for many years to come, as Dr. Ball did during his time with us.

The Department of Chemistry and Dr. Ball’s family wish for his vision and passion for education to endure through the establishment of an endowed scholarship. An endowed scholarship lasts into perpetuity, allowing contributions to help permanently honor his legacy and continue to affect positive change for students, both present and future.


  • Have a declared major in Chemistry or Biochemistry
  • Have completed the core chemistry courses
  • Have demonstrated improvement in their overall understanding of core chemistry concepts from chemistry courses, via grades and GPA
  • Upload a one page essay of no more than 500 words that summarizes how the student is improved and deserving of the scholarship. Essay points should include:
    • Why have you stuck with the major despite the initial difficulty with the coursework?
    • What tactics and tools have you used to improve your performance in chemistry courses?
    • What was the difference in your attitude between the time that you first became a chemistry major and now?
    • How has this experience helped you grow as an individual, as well as a scientist?
    • What are your future plans after graduation with your degree?
  • Upload a recommendation letter from a Chemistry professor who is not a member of the Chemistry Department Scholarship Selection Committee
  • Upload a copy of your transcript 
  • There is a preference for Juniors, but Seniors may apply.

Award Amount: Funding amount varies (~$1500)

Deadline: March 1st, 2021

Apply here:


To research and apply for other scholarship opportunities offered by the University, please visit

Department Tutoring


While our student tutors aren't physically on campus right now due to COVID-19, the 'Chem Closet' is still up and running in a virtual capacity. If you're looking for some extra help, first check our tutoring schedule below to confirm that someone will be available, then join our MSU Chem Tutoring team, via Microsoft Teams.  Our tutors will be standing by (during their assigned shift) to connect with you!

For any questions or concerns about department tutors or how to get connected to our online tutoring program, please contact Dr. Andy McMillan at


Spring 2021 - Online Tutoring Schedule


General Chemistry

Monday:          Mariah Schroeder - 9am-10am / Sarah Dukmak - 9am-1pm

Tuesday:          Mariah Schroeder - 4pm-5pm

Wednesday:    Mariah Schroeder - 9am-10am and 4pm-5pm / Sarah Dukmak - 11am-2pm

Thursday:        Mariah Schroeder - 1pm-5pm

Friday:            Sarah Dukmak - 9am-1pm


Organic Chemistry

Monday:        Mariah Schroeder - 9am-10am

Tuesday:        Mariah Shcroeder - 4pm-5pm

Wednesday:   Mariah Schroeder - 9am-10am and 4pm-5pm

Thursday:      Mariah Schroeder - 1pm-5pm            


STEM Learning Center


The Center for Advanced STEM Education (CASE) is home to the STEM Learning Center which offers online tutoring.

CASE is also the home of CO-WY AMP (Colorado-Wyoming Alliance for Minority Participation) which, in addition to providing STEM tutoring support, also provides scholarship opportunities and paid summer research experiences that will better prepare you for a STEM life after graduation. Learn more about CO-WY AMP membership and how it can support you in your educational and professional pursuits.


Supplemental Instruction (SI)


Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a program that supports students enrolled in traditionally difficult courses by offering free, regularly scheduled group study sessions that are facilitated by SI Leaders (current students who have previously succeeded in the course). SI Leaders support faculty by preparing weekly collaborative sessions that help students develop effective learning strategies while engaging with the most difficult course material.

Click here for more information on the current Chemistry SI Session Schedule



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