CHEM 101 (3 credits): Introductory Chemistry. Selected principles and applications of chemistry. Students may receive General Education credit.


CHEM 101 is an introductory chemistry course that incorporates lectures, readings, problem-solving and laboratory experiments in developing an understanding of chemical concepts and practices.  Prior study of chemistry is not assumed, but you should have taken at least one class in algebra before taking CHEM 101. For some students, CHEM 101 provides the chemistry required by their major area of study. For other students, CHEM 101 provides review and preparation for subsequent Chemistry classes such as CHEM 110 (Chemical Principles I) and CHEM 202 (Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry). 

The goals for this course are that you (1) understand the nature of science using chemistry as an example, (2) understand the basic principles of chemistry, (3) are able to perform standard laboratory procedures in a safe and accurate manner, and (4) are able to apply the basic principles of chemistry through real world problem solving.

To achieve these goals, you will study chemistry at an introductory level, using some basic mathematics and algebra for problem solving. You will also perform home-scaled chemical experiments to get direct experience with chemical phenomena. The course covers the following topics:

  • The vocabulary of chemistry
  • Matter and measurements
  • Molecules and molecular compounds
  • Ions and ionic compounds
  • Chemical bonding
  • Chemical reactions
  • The periodic table
  • States of matter and properties of materials
  • Mole ratios
  • Nomenclature
  • Molecular geometry
  • The basics of acids and bases

Course Objectives

When you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the structure and behavior of atoms
  • Extract data and information from the periodic table of the elements
  • Predict the properties and behavior of elements based on their position in the periodic table
  • Understand the process of chemical bonding and predict what type of bonds will form between different substances
  • Determine when chemical reactions will take place between substances, the ratio in which the substances will combine, what new products will be formed in the reaction, and the amount of product formed from a given amount of starting materials
  • Correctly name chemical substances based on the ratio of the elements in the compound and the type of bonding between the atoms
  • Identify the intramolecular forces that can exist between atoms within a chemical compound or molecule and the intermolecular forces that occur between molecules
  • Describe and compare the properties of gases, liquids and solids