Course Planning

Chemistry - Where to Start?

The course planning advice here is limited to completing this major which is just one piece of the overall Hendrix College degree requirements.  For a full description of degree requirements see the Catalog.

Where should I start if I am just sampling this subject as a non-major?

  • Concepts of Chemistry (CHEM 100) or Chemistry of the Environment (CHEM 101).
  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) might be appropriate for some interested students and necessary for some majors. Please check with your advisor.

Where should I start if I might use this as part of a major or as a potential major?

Students considering a major in Chemistry typically complete the following in the first-year through coursework or advanced placement credits.

  • General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) and General Chemistry II (CHEM 120);
  • Calculus I (MATH 130) and usually Calculus II (MATH 140), some students delay Calculus II (MATH 140) until the second year.


  • First-year student are strongly encouraged to limit themselves to 2 science / mathematics courses per semester (3 - 4 science/mathematics courses during the first year).
  • Success in the General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) and General Chemistry II (CHEM 120) is highly correlated with algebra skills. If your MATH placement is MATH 130 or above, or ACT score is 24 or above, you are ready for General Chemistry I (CHEM 110).  If your algebra skills are weak, strongly consider taking Precalculus (MATH 120) concurrently with Chemistry or consider delaying General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) for a year. Honor where you are. Data shows that some additional math experience and experience in college greatly improves the likelihood of a positive outcome. Please consult your Academic Advisor or a member of the Chemistry Department.

Where should I start if I have some experience in this discipline before college?

  • For AP or IB credits – please refer to Advanced Placement Credits or International Baccalaureate Credits” in the College Catalog.
  • Students with an AP Chem score of 3 should start in General Chemistry I (CHEM 110).  
  • Students with an AP Chem score of 4 or better should start in General Chemistry II (CHEM 120).  Please consult with the department chair or a General Chemistry II (CHEM 120) instructor.
  • For concurrent high school / college credits – please consult with the Department.

When should I declare a major?

  • All students must declare a major by March 1st of their sophomore year.