The introductory chemistry sequence consists of four courses that are typically taken in the order Atoms and Molecules (CHEM 181), Organic Chemistry 1 (CHEM 221), Organic Chemistry 2 (CHEM 222), Equilibrium and Reactivity (CHEM 231). Most students begin the sequence in the fall semester of either their first or second year. It is recommended that potential chemistry majors and potential biology majors interested in cellular and molecular biology enroll in CHEM 181 in the fall of their first year. There will be a limited number of seats in CHEM 181 available in the spring semester for students to begin the sequence in an alternative order (CHEM 181, CHEM 231, CHEM 221, CHEM 222) in which general chemistry precedes organic chemistry. Incoming students concerned about the demands of taking multiple laboratory science courses in their first semester of college are encouraged to consider this option.
Advanced Placement: Students who have received a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam will earn credit for Atoms and Molecules (CHEM 181) and can start the introductory chemistry sequence with Equilibrium and Reactivity (CHEM 231) in the fall or Organic Chemistry 1 (CHEM 221) in the spring. Students will forfeit their AP credit if they opt to take CHEM 181. Students are invited to contact the department chair to discuss this option.
Majors: Students considering a major in chemistry should enroll in Atoms and Molecules (CHEM 181) in the fall of their first year. Chemistry majors must take one year of college calculus or the equivalent (see the listing under Mathematics for further guidance) and are encouraged to complete the calculus requirement as soon as possible.
Atoms & Molecules
Common Area: Natural Science
This introductory course will lead students to explore in depth the scientific method through the formulation and testing of hypotheses in the laboratory. Laboratory experiments (using modern instrumentation) will lead students to discover basic principles, i.e., stoichiometric relationships, electronic configuration and molecular structure. Lectures will explain and expand upon lab results. It is the first course in the introductory chemistry sequence for science majors and students interested in health professions.