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 ACT is 23 or below, strongly consider delaying General Chemistry I (CHEM 110) for a year. 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.