Advice for first-year students
Students enroll in chemistry courses for many reasons: an interest in majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology; an interest in majoring in Biology or Neuroscience (which require Chemistry courses - see program requirements for details) or other science majors (which may recommend chemistry or for which chemistry is required for post-baccalaureate programs); to fulfill the pre-med requirements of medical schools, or to fulfill the Kenyon diversification requirement in the Natural Science Division.
Where should you start?
For those students who anticipate studying chemistry beyond the introductory level, we encourage you to begin the study of chemistry in your first year. To take any advanced chemistry course (including organic chemistry), you must complete the year sequence of introductory chemistry (two lectures and two lab courses). This sequence fulfills requirements for chemistry & biochemistry majors (as well as some other majors) and the pre-med program.
OPTION 1: Introductory Chemistry (two choices)
Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 121) is designed for students who desire a thorough coverage of the chemistry fundamentals. Most, but not all, students have taken high-school chemistry. The course typically has larger enrollments than CHEM 122, and includes some upper-class students.
Honors Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 122) is designed for students who have a particularly strong background in chemistry (e.g. at least two years of high-school chemistry, AP scores of 4 or 5, and calculus); it provides a faster-paced approach to the introductory material, and coverage of more special topics. Enrollment is limited to 1st year students.
Students planning to continue beyond one year of chemistry and students enrolled in CHEM 122 must also enroll in Introductory Chemistry Lab (CHEM 123).
OPTION 2: Organic Chemistry
For highly-motivated and well-prepared students, we recommend beginning with Organic Chemistry (CHEM 231,232/CHEM 233,234). Discuss this option with us.
OPTION 3: "Non-majors" courses
If you are interested in a one-semester or one-year introduction to special topics in chemistry, we offer CHEM 108: Solar Energy, CHEM 109: Neurochemistry and CHEM 110: Environmental Chemistry. These courses do not serve as pre-requisites for higher-numbered courses in the department.
First-year students considering options 1 or 2 must take the Chemistry Readiness Test and Survey during Orientation Week. The department will notify your Faculty Advisor about which course is best for you (note that CHEM 121, 122 and 231 all meet at the same time). After the first year, all students begin with CHEM 121.