Eastern Michigan University
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Which Chemistry Course Should I Take for General Education?

CHEM 115/116 (lecture/lab) is our chemistry course that is designed for students who are not planning to take any more chemistry and are taking the course to satisfy a science general education requirement.  It does not assume any high school chemistry background (although it assumes some basic background in physical science).

Our largest enrollment courses are CHEM 121/122 and CHEM 120.  These courses are primarily taken by students who are required to take them for their major (although they also count as general education science courses).  If you are not sure of your major and think you might be interested in a major in science, then you would be better off taking CHEM 121/122 (if you had a solid course in high school chemistry) or CHEM 117/118 (if you did not take high school chemistry or do not feel you have a good background in chemistry).  CHEM 117/118 and CHEM 101 also count as general education science courses.

In summary:

Take CHEM 115/116 Chemistry & Society if...

  • you want a general education course which explores the relationship of chemistry to current affairs, BUT which will not prepare you to go on to CHEM 120 or 121/122.  This course does not count towards a chemistry major or minor.

Take CHEM 121/122 General Chemistry I if...

  • you have had high school chemistry and place at math Level 4.
  • you are a chemistry, biology, pre-med, or pre-dentistry major (or CHEM 121/122 is required for your major).
  • you want our best first course that will keep all of your options open and count towards a chemistry major or minor.
Take CHEM 117/118 Fundamentals of Chemistry if...
  • you have no chemistry background (or a weak one), but place at math Level 3, and want an introduction comparable to a one-year high school course.
  • you need to prepare for either CHEM 120 or CHEM 121/122.  This course does not count towards a chemistry major or minor.

Take CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Organic and Biochemistry if...

  • you are in the pre-nursing or sports medicine curricula.
  • you have had high school chemistry and would like to learn something new and interesting, requiring little math.  Warning:  despite the lack of math, this is a very difficult course that covers a lot of new material very quickly.  We do not recommend taking this course if you are taking it only to satisfy a general education requirement.  This course does not count towards a chemistry major or minor.
Take CHEM 101 Chemistry for Elementary Teachers if...
  • you are planning to teach elementary school.  This course is only open to students in the elementary education program.  This course does not count towards a chemistry major or minor.

The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold