Cornell's Chemistry 2150 is an honors introductory course for students with a strong interest in chemistry.
- Chemistry background: To succeed in the course, you should have considerable prior experience with chemistry. By prior experience I mean two years of high school chemistry, preferably with AP credit; Cornell awards you 4 college chemistry credits for scoring a 5 on the AP chemistry exam or a 6 or 7 on the IB chemistry exam [link]. You need to have mastered the elementary concepts of atoms, molecules, moles, balancing chemical equations, and applying the ideal gas law.
- Math background: It is assumed that you have a firm foundation in trigonometry. A calculus course at the level of Math 1110 or 1910 is a co-requisite.
- Versus the standard sequence: CHEM 2070 (Fall) and 2080 (Spring) is the standard Chemistry sequence. Because of course material overlap, you cannot get credit for CHEM 2070, 2080 or 2090 after taking 2150. If you take CHEM 2070 or 2090 then you forfeit any AP Chemistry credit.
- Continuing in the accelerated sequence: Following CHEM 2150, you continue in chemistry by enrolling in Honors Organic Chemistry, CHEM 3590, in the spring.
To be admitted to Chemistry 2150 you need to have earned a 5 on the AP chemistry exam, a 6 or 7 on the IB chemistry exam, or obtained the permission of the instructor. I will grant you permission to enter the course if you have a strong interest in majoring in chemistry and have earned at least a 4 on the AP chemistry exam. If you are a premedical student, then I additionally require that you read and understand the following section.
Traditionally, to be admitted to medical school you needed to take a year of general chemistry, with lab, plus a year of organic chemistry. While medical school admission requirements are evolving, organic chemistry questions remain a particularly challenging component of the MCAT exam. For this reason, our department strongly advises premedical students to take a full year of organic chemistry, either CHEM 3570 + 3580 or 3590 + 3600.
The majority of premedical students at Cornell have taken CHEM 2070 + 2080 -- a full year of general chemistry with laboratory. With CHEM 2150, students have the opportunity to complete university-level general chemistry in one semester.
Does CHEM 2150 alone satisfy premed requirements?
For U.S. medical schools, yes. Chemistry 2150 is a condensed survey of CHEM 2070 and 2080 and completing CHEM 2150 satisfies general-chemistry requirements for the chemistry major at Cornell. In our department's professional opinion, therefore, completing CHEM 2150 demonstrates a mastery of general chemistry equivalent to a full year of university general chemistry. If requested, I will provide a letter stating this for you to submit along with your medical school application.