What Chemistry Course Should I Take?
First-year students may be placed into a chemistry course by their home department prior to arriving at Michigan Tech, but this can be adjusted during orientation or within the first few weeks of class.
Students who have difficulty with introductory chemistry courses generally have weak math skills or have not taken chemistry for several years. The guidelines below can help you choose your first chemistry course. When selecting your course, consider the grades you earned in your last semester of high school chemistry and algebra, and the number of years since you last studied chemistry.
Guidelines for Chemistry Course Selection
|Math Course Placement||High School Chemistry and Algebra Grade||Recommended Fall Chemistry Courses|
|MA1030 College Algebra I||-||CH1000^ Introductory Chemistry|
|MA1032 Data, Functions, Graphs Plus or higher||< B||CH1000^ Introductory Chemistry|
|MA1032 Data, Functions, Graphs Plus or higher||≥ B||Required:
CH1150* University Chemistry 1 Lecture and
CH1151* University Chemistry 1 Laboratory
Recommended; required for some majors:
CH1153 University Chemistry 1 Recitation
|^ CH1000 Preparatory Chemistry is for students who didn’t take chemistry in high school or want to review chemistry fundamentals before enrolling in University Chemistry 1.|
|* University Chemistry 1 requires a working knowledge of high school chemistry, proficiency in algebra, and good problem-solving skills.|
|Note: If three or more years have passed since taking high school chemistry, enroll in CH1000 Preparatory Chemistry|
We're dedicated to helping you succeed in chemistry. Browse our frequently asked questions for answers to questions that you may have. The Chemistry Learning Center (CLC) is a valuable resource that we encourage you to explore. Students who participate in the CLC typically earn one-half to one full grade higher than students who don't. Contact us to learn more about the CLC and other chemistry advising resources available to first-year students:
Earning Advanced Placement Credit
Students who took the chemistry advanced placement test in high school can earn credits prior to coming to Michigan Tech. If you did not take the AP test but are interested in earning credits, refer to the CLEP exam information on our Admissions website.
Department of Chemistry Students
Are you a first-year student who is pursuing a degree within the Department of Chemistry? The Studio Lab, located in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building, is dedicated to you. Thought-provoking lectures and lab sessions in the Studio Lab provide students with independent creative-thinking opportunities. You'll develop excellent lab skills while getting to know your fellow classmates.
Frequently Asked Questions
This collection of frequently asked questions is designed to assist first-year students in selecting an appropriate chemistry course. If you need additional assistance, please contact us, and we'll be happy to help:
How do I know if my math is ready for college-level chemistry?
Research by the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Tech and other universities indicates a strong correlation between a weak background in mathematics and failure to complete first-year chemistry with satisfactory grades.
A good understanding of basic math and advanced algebra along with word-problem-solving skills are required to succeed in Tech's college-level chemistry courses and laboratories: CH1150 General Chemistry and CH1151 University Chemistry 1 (lecture and lab). Specifically, you should have mastery in working with the following:
Logarithms, Exponential Equations, Quadratic Equations, Radicals, Straight Lines, Fractional Equations, Evaluating Expressions, Linear Inequalities, Linear Equations, Scientific Notation, Metric Conversions, Exponents, Ratio and Proportion, Decimals and Fractions
This means that most students should be placed in a calculus course or should have completed MA1032 before beginning college-level chemistry courses.
What if I don't have these math skills?
Is high school chemistry required?
What if I have a weak background in chemistry?
If you did not take chemistry in high school, if you have a weak background in chemistry, or if three or more years have passed since you have taken high school chemistry, you should enroll in CH1000 Preparatory Chemistry. CH1000 is offered during Fall Semester or Track B of the Summer Session only. CH1000 is not offered during Spring Semester.
How can I find out what is required for my major?
What if I have received Advance Placement credits for chemistry?
Students who have taken the Chemistry Advanced Placement exam in high school—and had their official score sent to the Michigan Tech Admissions Office from the College Board—will be sent a letter from the Admissions Office indicating if they will be receiving credit. The guidelines for receiving Chemistry Advanced Placement exam credit are as follows:
The credits will automatically be recorded on your transcript. If the student had already registered for a chemistry class during web registration, when the Advanced Placement credits are received, the chemistry class will automatically be dropped from their schedule.
In some cases, a student may decide to turn down the advance placement credits. This may occur when a student feels that they want to build a stronger foundation in chemistry and/or take the same sequence of courses as the other students in their major. Advance Placement Chemistry doesn’t always cover everything that is covered in first-year chemistry. If a student decides to turn down the advance placement credits, the student must go to the Registrar's Office to sign a form waiving the credits before enrolling in the chemistry class.
What if I didn’t take the Advanced Placement test, but I now wish to receive advanced placement credit in chemistry?
The only option would be to take the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) in chemistry. A minimum score of 50 is required to receive credit for CH1150, CH1151, CH1153, CH1160, CH1161, and CH1163 (10 credits). The CLEP is given online at various testing locations. Complete information about taking the CLEP exams is available on the College Board website.
The test can be taken at any open testing site. There are a number of sites throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other states. Arrangements must be made in advance, and there is a fee.