Chemistry 1091 is the first semester of a two-semester general chemistry sequence. It covers the same content as Chemistry 1101/1102 with additional instruction focused on developing quantitative reasoning and problem-solving skills in the context of learning chemistry. Students enrolled in Chemistry 1091 would go on to take Chemistry 1092 in the spring.
Whether you intend to major in chemistry or need to complete chemistry courses for another major or for pre-health requirements, we offer the following steps to get started with an appropriate first chemistry course.
Complete the Placement Exam:
The Bowdoin chemistry department offers three options for introductory chemistry courses, which depend upon your level of preparation in high school. To help you determine the most appropriate starting chemistry course, we require that all students planning to take chemistry courses at Bowdoin take a placement exam. Even if you have AP credit, you will still need to take this exam. This will not affect your ability to receive AP credit, but will help us determine the best placement option.
What if you never took the placement exam and want to take a chemistry course? It’s not too late! Simply find the placement exam on blackboard for your class year, complete the exam, and notify our academic coordinator that you have completed the exam. You and the registrar will be notified about your placement within one or two days of reporting to us that you have completed the exam.
Chemistry 1109 is the introductory chemistry course taken by the majority of students entering Bowdoin. This course is intended for students who have a reasonably strong background in high school chemistry. Material that you are expected to be proficient with includes:
- Units of measurements and unit conversions (familiarity with metric units for length, mass, volume)
- Stoichiometry and moles (equation balancing, calculations of molecular mass and moles, determinations of limiting reactants)
- Some exposure to acid/base, precipitation, and oxidation/reduction reactions.
- Gases (properties of gases, Ideal Gas Law)
- Liquids and solutions (properties of liquids, calculations of solution concentrations)
- Thermochemistry (heats of reaction)
Chemistry 1101 is the first semester of a two-semester general chemistry sequence. It does not assume a rigorous high school background and is taken by students wishing to strengthen their foundation in chemistry. It also serves non-science majors who would like to take an introductory laboratory science course. Students enrolled in Chemistry 1101 would go on to take Chemistry 1102 in the spring.
Students with Chemistry AP scores of 4 and 5 and a small number of other students who have mastered the topics we will cover in Chemistry 1109, based upon their placement exam results, will have the option of starting with an advanced level chemistry course such as Chemistry 2100, 2250, or 2400. If a student has an AP score of 4 or 5 that student must meet with a member of the chemistry department during Orientation to discuss your placement exam and course registration. Also, the student must get the signature of the professor teaching the 2000-level course on their registration card to be allowed in the class.