Placement Guidelines

Students planning to enroll in introductory chemistry courses should be aware that there are a number of options open to them.

I. Chem 1000 - Introductory Chemistry
(2 credit hours)

Introductory course for students with no high school background in chemistry. Covers fundamental principles of scientific measurement, stoichiometry, solutions, basic atomic structure, gases. No credit if taken after CHEM 1100. Prerequisites or Corequisites: MATH 1100 or MATH 1120

II. Chem 1100 - Atoms and Molecules
(3 credit hours, includes laboratory)

Target audience
Students planning to major in a subject that requires only a brief chemistry survey course or students taking chemistry in order to fulfill a general education requirement

No chemistry background is presumed; not a prerequisite for other chemistry courses and thus is not an appropriate course for students who need additional chemistry. (Those students instead should enroll in the General Chemistry sequence for science majors, Chem 1310, 1320, and 1330.)

III. Chem 1320 and 1330 - College Chemistry I and II
(1320 and 1330 are each 4 credit hours including laboratory)

Target audience
Students majoring in a science or needing more than one semester of introductory chemistry

(a) Math:
Certain math skills are required for success in Chem 1320, and 1330. Enrollment in Chem 1320 or Chem 1330 requires that the College Algebra graduation requirement have been satisfied, either by completing College Algebra or by placing out of it. (Both these chemistry courses have been designated as "math reasoning proficiency" courses, for which College Algebra is a pre-requisite.)

(b) Chemistry: To enroll in Chem 1320, a student must obtain a "C-" or better in Chem 1000 or have a sufficient background in high school. (See the placement guidelines that are given below.)

Placement in Chem 1320
Placement into Chem 1320 is encouraged for students who did well in high school chemistry courses (grades of "A" or "B") or who had more than one year of high school chemistry. Note that it is not necessary to have taken more than a single year of chemistry in high school to be able to start in Chem 1320!

In deciding whether or not enrollment directly in Chem 1320 is appropriate for them, students are advised to examine the list of Chem 1000 and Chem 1320 topics given below. If they are indeed familiar with the Chem 1000 topics, then Chem 1320 probably is the correct starting course. Note also that students with previous AP or college credit in general chemistry may even be able to go directly into Chem 1330. Those students should contact the Chemistry Department for specific advice concerning placement.

CHEM 1000 Topics
The metric system; conversion of units; density; moles; atomic weights; molecular weights; symbols for the elements; chemical formulas; naming chemical compounds (in particular, inorganic compounds); oxidation numbers; ions; the basic structure of the atom; atomic numbers; isotopes; writing and balancing chemical reactions; net ionic equations; stoichiometry (including solution and gas-phase stoichiometry); limiting reactants; gases; the ideal gas law.

CHEM 1320 Topics
Thermochemistry; heat and work; enthalpy; Hess's law; standard states; enthalpies of formation; entropy; free energy; reaction spontaneity; equilibrium; electronic structure of atoms; aufbau principle; quantum numbers; the periodic table (relation to electron configurations of atoms); atomic orbitals; periodic properties; electronegativity; covalent bonding; shapes of molecules (VSEPR); molecular polarity; hybridization; ionic bonding; lattice energies; intermolecular forces; vapor pressure; crystal structures; colligative properties of solutions.