CHEM-131: Principles of Chemistry

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Physical Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Principles of Chemistry
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
77.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
77.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take a gateway MATH course at HFC or a satisfactory score on the Math placement exam, and ENG-131 eligible.
Catalog Course Description

Introduces general inorganic chemistry. Major topics include measurements, atomic structure, bonding, chemical periodicity, stoichiometry, gas laws, solution chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and acid/base chemistry. May meet requirements in Nursing and Health Careers programs. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

The purpose of this course is to illustrate through classroom instruction and laboratory experiments some of the fundamental principles and laws governing general chemistry. The curriculum is designed to provide a chemistry foundation that prepares students for further careers including Nursing and Health Careers programs and assist students develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Core Course Topics
  1. Matter, Energy, and Measurements
  2. Atoms, Atomic Structure, and the Periodic Table
  3. Chemical Bonds and Nomenclature
  4. Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry
  5. Properties of Gases and the Gas Laws
  6. Solutions, Concentration Units, and Intermolecular Forces
  7. Nuclear Chemistry
  8. Acids, Bases, and pH
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Associate the correct units with measurements of length, mass, volume, temperature, density, and heat.
  2. Perform unit conversion and problem solving using the dimensional analysis method.
  3. Identify the names of elements based on their elemental symbol.
  4. Differentiate between elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  5. Use the periodic table as a tool to explain and predict trends in atomic structure and properties.
  6. Convert between the names and the chemical formulas of compounds and molecules.
  7. Draw Lewis structure for atoms, molecules, and ions.
  8. Determine the polarity of bonds.
  9. Perform calculations using Avogadro’s number.
  10. Balance chemical equations.
  11. Use stoichiometry to calculate mass relationships in a chemical reaction.
  12. Use the Gas Laws to calculate how changes in pressure, temperature, and/or volume affect an ideal gas.
  13. Relate the nature and importance of intermolecular forces to characteristic physical properties.
  14. Distinguish between solutes and solvents.
  15. Characterize a solution as saturated, unsaturated, or supersaturated.
  16. Calculate the concentration of solutions.
  17. Distinguish electrolytes from non electrolytes.
  18. Define the properties of acids and bases.
  19. Calculate pH and pOH of solutions.
  20. Perform titration calculations.
  21. Distinguish among alpha, beta, and gamma radiation and the appropriate shielding for each.
  22. Calculate the amount of radioisotope remaining after a given number of half-lives.

Major Lab Objectives:

  1. Recognize the presence of chemistry and its application to the environment, careers and daily life.
  2. Apply laboratory rules and know the location of safety equipment.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of chemical instrumentation.
  4. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills in the analysis of experimental data.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Students will be assessed in lecture using exams, assignments, quizzes, and a comprehensive final. Students will be assessed in lab using reports, quizzes, and lab-exams. The overall course grade is determined using the categories and values listed below.

Category Percentage
Lecture Exams (4) 40%
Laboratory (reports, quizzes, lab-exams) 25%
Assignments/Homework 10%
Quizzes 5%
Final Exam (cumulative) 20%

No student will receive a passing grade in CHEM 131 unless that student has earned at least a 65% in the laboratory.


General Education Categories
  • Natural Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Scientific Reasoning
MTA Categories
  • Category 6: Natural Sciences (Lecture and Lab)
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Portfolio Review
Portfolio Review Details

A student may receive credit for CHEM-131 by earning a score of 4 or higher on the AP Chemistry Exam and providing a portfolio that demonstrates 30 hours of appropriate college level chemistry laboratory experience. An interview may also be required.

Other Details

A student may receive credit for CHEM-131 by earning either:

  1. A score of 4 or higher on the AP Chemistry Exam and providing a portfolio that demonstrates 30hr of appropriate college level chemistry laboratory experience. An interview may also be required.
  2. A score of 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate-Higher Level (IB-HL) Chemistry Exam.
  3. A score of 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate-Standard Level (IB-SL) Chemistry Exam.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2023
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2023