General Chemistry

Course Descriptions

General Chemistry as Dartmouth College consists of several different courses, which can be selected based on a students previous study in chemistry. A majority of our students enroll in Chemistry 5-6. In addition, there is a fall honors section, Chemistry 10, for especially well-prepared, first-year students. Admission to Chemistry 10 is based on performance on a placement exam given during the First-Year Orientation. Finally, there is Chemistry 2, a course for students with little or no chemistry or quantitative science background. The descriptions of these courses, taken from the ORC, are given below, along with a few more descriptive words on Chemistry 2 from its instructor, Professor Milde.

Chem 5-6. General Chemistry
5. 14F: 10 15W: 9L, 10 15F: 10 16W: 9L, 10; Laboratory: Arrange
6. 14F: 9L 15S: 9L, 10 15F: 9L 16S: 9L, 10; Laboratory: Arrange
An introduction to the fundamental principles of chemistry, including chemical stoichiometry; the properties of gases, liquids, and solids; solutions; chemical equilibria; atomic and molecular structure; an introduction to thermodynamics; reaction kinetics; and a discussion of the chemical properties of selected elements. The laboratory work emphasizes physical-chemical measurements, quantitative analysis, and synthesis.
An outline of topics for review of secondary school background in preparation for college general chemistry is available from the Department of Chemistry.
Students who are eligible to receive advanced placement credit for Chemistry 5-6 may not enroll in Chemistry 5-6 or Chemistry 10 for credit without permission of the Department. Advanced placement credit for Chemistry 5-6 will be withdrawn for students who subsequently enroll in Chemistry 5-6 or Chemistry 10. Students with credit for Biology/Chemistry 9 may not enroll in Chemistry 5.
Prerequisite for Chemistry 5: Mathematics 3, or Mathematics 1 and 2, or Mathematics 1 and Chemistry 2. (First year students taking Mathematics 1 will be placed in Chemistry 2). Prerequisite for Chemistry 6: Mathematics 3 (or Mathematics 1 and 2) and Chemistry 5 or Biology/Chemistry 9.
Supplemental course fee required. Dist: SLA.

Chem 10. Honors First-Year General Chemistry
14F, 15F: 10; Laboratory M or Tu 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Chemistry 10 is a general chemistry course for students with a strong background in chemistry and mathematics who may have an interest in majoring in the sciences. The course will cover selected general chemistry topics important for higher level chemistry courses. These include thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, quantum mechanics, and bonding. Laboratory work will emphasize physico-chemical measurements and quantitative analysis.
Chemistry 10 is open only to first-year students, and enrollment is limited. Admission is by satisfactory performance on a general chemistry proficiency test given during Orientation. Adequate mathematics preparation, equivalent to Mathematics 3, is also required. Chemistry 10 is offered in the fall term and is the prerequisite equivalent to Chemistry 5/6. Students who successfully complete Chemistry 10 will also be granted credit for Chemistry 5, if they have not already been granted such credit.
Prerequisite: Satisfactory performance on the general chemistry proficiency test and credit for Mathematics 3 or equivalent. Supplemental course fee required. Dist: SLA.

Chem 2. Quantitative Reasoning in Chemistry
14F, 15F: 10
A course for students who intend to take Chemistry 5-Chemistry 6, but who need additional preparation for quantitative and analytical aspects of general chemistry. Chemistry 2 develops the quantitative basis of chemistry relationships and the skills to solve chemistry problems. Much of the course will be devoted to mathematical manipulations and functional relationships that are integral to the quantitative applications of chemistry concepts. In-class experiments will introduce the analysis, interpretation and presentation of chemical data. Students are placed into Chemistry 2 based on their pre-matriculation mathematics and science record. Dist:SCI

The Chemistry 2 instructor, Prof. Siobhan Milde, (who also is in charge of the Chemistry 5-6 laboratory) has added the following comments about Chem 2:

Chemistry 2 is offered in the fall to prepare students for the rigors of Chemistry 5 in the winter and Chemistry 6 in the spring. Even though students enrolled in Chemistry 2 who continue to Chemistry 5/6 will take chemistry the entire year, Chemistry 2 does not have the laboratory component that Chemistry 5 and 6 have.

Although the course was designed primarily for first year students with an interest in a science/pre med track but deficient or no chemistry skills due to their high school experiences, any student from any class can be given permission to enroll in the course. To obtain permission to add the course, you can either meet with me in person or send me an email, and I will give you permission via the Banner system.

In recent years, the enrollment has varied from approximately 10 to 30 students. Several of the upperclassman in the course have been students who unfortunately had to drop Chemistry 5 the year before and wanted to take Chemistry 2 before giving Chemistry 5 another shot. Some of these students I selected in Chemistry 5 lab after seeing them struggle. I have also had some seniors in the course who were fulfilling the SCI requirement for graduation.

The main goals for the course are these: learn chemistry, learn how to study effectively, learn how to tackle word/math problems, and learn how to work with one another. I also will request that you become responsible for your own learning outside of the class. The students in the course are encouraged to bond and help each other, not only in Chemistry 2, but also in Chemistry 5/6. Mandatory study groups are held two times a week and are run by a student I have selected personally to help you all out. These study groups will facilitate this bond making.

So, if you want to peruse chemistry, are not confident of your skills, or never took a chemistry class before, consider Chemistry 2, offered in the fall terms in the Department of Chemistry.

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If you have concerns about your preparation for Chemistry 5, you should feel free to talk to a Chem 5 or 6 instructor or to Prof. Milde for further advice. In addition, you may find our Self Test (available on this page) useful as a simple way to measure your skill level in some very basic areas that will be used throughout your General Chemistry career.