Students may begin their study of chemistry with one of two courses:
- Chemistry 101, General Chemistry I, is usually the first course for an entering student who has taken fewer than two years of high school chemistry. It covers the foundations of reaction chemistry, thermochemistry, electronic structure, chemical bonding, and acid-base chemistry.
- Chemistry 201, General Chemistry II, is usually the appropriate choice for students who have taken two years of high school chemistry, completed A-level chemistry or the International Baccalaureate, taken the Advanced Placement examination in chemistry with a score of 4 or 5, or taken the Achievement Test in chemistry with a score of 650 or higher. This course covers electronic structure, equilibrium, spontaneity, electrochemistry, and some descriptive chemistry of the elements.
- Students with advanced preparation in general chemistry prior to college, as described above, should take the General Chemistry II placement exam. Students who perform well on this exam will enter General Chemistry II in the Spring semester.