Chemistry Advising Guide
The Chemistry department
provides students with knowledge and understanding of the composition,
structures, properties, and transformations of natural and man-made
substances through classroom work, laboratory work, and seminars. Advanced
courses offered by the department are designed to meet the needs of students
who are preparing for graduate work in chemistry or related areas, for
medical or dental school or related health professions, for high school
teaching of chemistry, and for a wide variety of chemistry-related positions in
industry and government.
Introductory course appropriate for
CHEM 111, Topics in
Chemistry, is designed for students who do not intend to pursue
additional study in the sciences; it does not count toward the Chemistry major
or any other major in the sciences and is not accepted by medical schools. A
student starting with this course who later decides to take chemistry at the
200-level or to become a major will need to take CHEM 131/132 or CHEM 141
and consult immediately with the department chairperson to plan the rest of
his/her course work.
Introductory courses appropriate for
prospective majors, science majors, and pre-health students
Those students planning to continue with Chemistry MUST take the
Chemistry Placement Exam.
There are two introductory level
chemistry courses are offered in the fall semester of the first year, but it
is essential to understand the difference between them:
131/132, General Chemistry with Lab, is a two-semester introductory
sequence for science majors or pre-health students. These courses include
lecture and lab, and students must select a lab that corresponds to the
CHEM 141, Accelerated General Chemistry with
Lab, is a one-semester introductory course for especially
well-prepared science majors or pre-health students. Students place into this
course by their performance on the Chemistry Placement Exam given in the
summer before the first year.
It is highly
recommended that science students take CHEM 131/132 in the first year,
especially those who want to study abroad during the junior
year. CHEM 131 is offered only in the fall and is a pre-requisite
for CHEM 132, which is offered only in the spring.
MATH 170 & 171,
Single Variable Calculus and Multivariable Calculus, should be taken as
early as possible to allow a wider choice of chemistry electives in
Chemistry/Math Placement Information
Chemistry Placement Exam: The Chemistry Placement Exam is a
63-question, 75-minute exam assembled by Dickinson's chemistry department. Its
purpose is to allow the department to determine your readines for college-level
chemistry by assessing your comprehension in three basic areas: General
Mathematics, General Chemistry Knowledge, and Specific Chemistry Knowledge.
Who should take the exam?
All students who plan to take Chemistry
courses must take the exam. Many majors (including Biology, Biochemistry &
Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, and Earth Sciences) require Chemistry courses,
and all Pre-Health students must take Chemistry courses regardless of
Where do I find the Chemistry Placement Exam?
placement exam can be found on the Student Forms tab of the Dickinson Gateway.
Placement Exam: The Chemistry department has found that there is a strong
correlation between a student's high school math background and their future
success in Chemistry. Consequently, all students planning to take Chemistry
must take the Math Placement Exam.
If you receive a score of 5 or
below, you will not be able to request CHEM 131 or CHEM 141 until you obtain a
passing score on the Math Placement Exam. If you receive a score on the
Math Placement Exam between 6-10, the Chemistry department highly recommends
that you purchase the book Essential Algebra for Chemistry Students by
David W. Ball (ISBN: 978-0-495-01327-3) for use during the summer and once you
enroll in CHEM 131.
Placement Information page contains a list of entry-level Mathematics
courses at Dickinson, an interactive placement guide, and other useful
information. The Mathematics Placement Exam can be found on the Student Forms
tab of the Dickinson Gateway.
Placement: course credit and/or placement: Students who earn 4 or 5 on
the Chemistry AP Exam will receive General College Credit. Those students
planning to continue with Chemistry must take the Chemistry Placement Exam.
Students who place into CHEM 141 will have the General College Credit
changed to Chemistry General Credit upon successful completion of 141.
You can call the Chemistry department at 717-245-1296, or email the
department coordinator (Jann Ernst) at firstname.lastname@example.org for more
Transfer students planning to
major in Chemistry should confer with the chairperson as early as possible in
order to assess the student's background and plan future chemistry courses.
It is necessary that the student bring a course description, and a course
syllabus for the department chairperson to fully evaluate courses. For
Dickinson students who wish to take chemistry courses at another
institution, the department strongly recommends that students have those
courses approved by the department as eligible for transfer prior to
Introductory courses that fulfill
III: CHEM 111; CHEM 131; CHEM 132; CHEM
For course descriptions and requirements for the
major, refer to the Academic
Suggested curricular flow through the
|Possible Routes through the CHEM
Major||Track 1 - two semesters of introductory chemistry||Track 2 - one semester of accelerated general chemistry||Good option for both tracks|
|First Year||131, 132||141, 243||Math|
Year||241, 242 and 243||241, 242 (and possibly 244||Physics|
|Junior Year||341, 347 and 244||341, 347 and 244|| |
342||490, 342|| |
The above are suggested, but other options exist. Track 2 students can
take 244 in the second year and a 490 or 342 in the third year, for example.
The first course before the comma is the Fall semester course and the
courses(s) following the comma are taken in the Spring. Students who plan to
study abroad should plan their course sequence early and consult with their
A research experience may be fulfilled by completion of an
approved laboratory-based research project at Dickinson (eight weeks during
summer or a two-semester research project) or at an off-campus site.
Students interested in graduate study in chemistry should consult with their
advisor to select additional course(s) in chemistry and related sciences as
Independent study or research
Independent study or research is available to students who are prepared for
it. Normally this requires the completion of CHEM 131/132 or CHEM 141 as a
minimum. More advanced courses are required for most independent research
projects. Interested students should talk with faculty members in the
department to arrange a topic for independent work
Chemistry majors who
desire a degree that is certified by the American Chemical Society are
required by the Chemistry department to complete an approved research
experience. This experience gives the researcher an insight and depth of
understanding of Chemistry that can be obtained in no other way. Some
students fulfill their requirement with approved off-campus industrial or
Club: The Chemistry Club is a student-run organization that is open to
all students interested in Chemistry. The Chemistry department and the
Chemistry Club schedule a variety of programs such as outside speakers,
trips to Chemistry meetings and graduate schools, seminars, field trips, and
picnics. Most activities are open to all students and faculty. In addition,
many majors are active in the Pre-Health Society.
Careers: Currently one third of our majors are planning
careers in the health professions. Many Chemistry graduates continue their
studies in graduate schools and obtain advanced degrees that qualify them
for responsible positions. A significant number of graduates attain jobs in
the chemical and pharmaceutical industries immediately after graduation