Prerequisites for General Chemistry 111A and General Chemistry 112A:

Students who plan to register for General Chemistry 111A must have taken two years of high school math, in addition to two years of high school chemistry, or a year of high school chemistry and a year of high school physics. You should also be familiar with the following topics and skills at an 11th or 12th grade level:


  • Kinetic energy, potential energy, forces (F=ma), velocity, a conceptual idea of momentum;
  • Vectors and how to graph them; Skills:
  • Factoring simple polynomials;
  • Use of the quadratic equation;
  • Multi-step problem solving.

*Students who wish to explore the possibility of taking General Chemistry without a physics background need to contact either Dr. Jia Luo (314-935-4163, JLUOA@WUSTL.EDU) or Dr. Megan Daschbach (314-935-3372, DASCHBACH@WUSTL.EDU)

Students who plan to register for General Chemistry 112A must have all of the same requirements for General Chemistry 111A (listed above). In addition, you should also be familiar with the following topics and skills at an 11th or 12th grade level:


  • Mechanical energy: work (force x distance)
  • Thermal energy: heat
  • Ideal gas law and Dalton's law of partial pressures


  • Multi-step problem solving
  • Interpretation of graphical data and information
  • Integrals and derivatives

You should also be proficient in the following topics and skills at an 11th or 12th grade level: Topics:

  • Stoichiometry, balancing chemical reactions, determining the limiting reagent
  • Compounds, chemical formulas
  • Unit conversions, including grams  moles
  • Determining molarity and dilution calculations
  • States of matter
  • Fundamental acid/base reactions in water
  • Writing net ionic equations
  • Balancing redox reactions


  • Algebraic manipulation of equations and relationships

All students should review the pre-requisite knowledge and skills for General Chemistry I and II (Chem 111A/112A) during the registration process, if they are considering taking an introductory course in chemistry. 

When reviewing, students should note key differences when something is designated with “proficiency” vs. “familiarity.” Proficiency is used when a concept or skill will not be taught directly in class, but will be tested. For example, understanding simple trigonometric relationships such as sin⁡θ=0 when θ=0,π,2π,… is tested in Chem 111A, but not taught directly. Familiarity is used when having been exposed to a concept would be generally beneficial, but those concepts will be taught directly in a lecture before being tested. Review of the General Chemistry II (Chem 112A) prerequisite topics is especially important regarding fall registration. If a student self-assesses as not proficient in the skills/knowledge listed, those topics will be taught directly in Introductory General Chemistry I (Chem 105) and we recommend enrollment in this sequence (Chem 105/106).

Students should also note that the majority of topics listed as prerequisite knowledge for General Chemistry II (Chem 112A) will be reviewed in the General Chemistry Laboratory course (Chem 151/152). Thus, students will have the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves with these ideas prior to the start of Chem 112A.