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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: CHEM133 Course ID: 4634 Credit Hours: 4 Level: Undergraduate

This is the first course of a two-course general chemistry sequence that introduces students to the principles, terminology, methodology and worldview of chemistry. Lecture and lab topics are both descriptive and mathematical and include matter, measurement and problem solving, atomic theory and structure, the periodic table, nomenclature, physical properties of gases, liquids, and solids, molecular bonding and geometry, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, types of chemical reactions, and solution chemistry. The laboratory component of this course is hands-on and designed for science students to learn how to make qualitative and quantitative observations about physical and chemical phenomena, make calculations, and test their own reasoning. Students will acquire skills in laboratory techniques designed to help reinforce and build upon the concepts presented in the lecture portion of the class. Students must have a safe work area available to perform laboratory activities, including working with an open flame. Students must be able to document their laboratory work using digital pictures and/or video. Students must also have room temperature storage available in order to maintain laboratory materials through both CHEM133 and CHEM134. Lab material for this course will only be provided once. If you need replacement lab equipment for any reason or need to retake the course later, you will need to purchase your own lab refills. This is a time and resource-intensive course. Students intending to use this course to satisfy prerequisites for pre-professional programs should verify that the CHEM133 and CHEM134 course sequence meets the requirements of their intended program prior to enrollment. In order to be successful in this course, it is recommended that students will have completed high school chemistry or a basic college equivalent, and be comfortable with basic algebra, including manipulation of equations.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
11/30/20 - 04/30/21 05/03/21 - 08/22/21 Spring 2021 Session K 16 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 09/26/21 Spring 2021 Session C 16 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 10/24/21 Summer 2021 Session A 16 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 11/21/21 Summer 2021 Session K 16 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 12/26/21 Summer 2021 Session C 16 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 01/23/22 Fall 2021 Session A 16 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives, and upon completion of this course, should be able to:

CO-1 Demonstrate basic knowledge of problem solving, measurement, dimensional analysis, matter, energy, physical vs. chemical changes/properties, and the principles, methods, history, and terminology of general chemistry.

CO-2 Describe/define atoms vs. elements, early ideas about matter vs. modern atomic theory, atomic structure, subatomic particles and their properties, periodicity on the Periodic Table, and the relationship of Avogadro’s number to calculations involving atoms and mass.

CO-3 Demonstrate basic knowledge of chemical formulas, molecular modeling, bonding (ionic vs. covalent), elements vs. compounds, chemical nomenclature, compositional calculations, and writing and balancing chemical equations.

CO-4 Apply concepts of reaction stoichiometry, percent yield, solution concentration, types of aqueous solutions, and types of chemical reactions in chemical calculations and related product formation.

CO-5 Solve mathematical and chemical problems related to pressure, temperature, volume, and moles as related to Simple Gas Laws, the Ideal Gas Law, Molar Mass and Molar Volume, STP, Dalton’s Law, Gas Stoichiometry, the Kinetic Molecular Theory, Mean Free Path, and the van der Waal’s equation.

CO-6 Demonstrate a basic knowledge of heat, work, and energy as related to calculations involving the First Law of Thermodynamics, thermal equilibrium, heat capacity, pressure-volume work, calorimetry, and enthalpies of reaction and formation.

CO-7 Describe/define the nature of electromagnetic radiation, atomic spectroscopy and emission spectra, the Bohr model, the de Broglie Wavelength, the Uncertainty Principle, Indeterminacy, quantum mechanics, and atomic orbitals as related to calculations involving energy, amplitude, wavelength and frequency.

CO-8 Predict, using the Periodic Table and knowledge of its development, electron configurations, valence electron numbers and behavior, periodic trends in size, effective nuclear charge, magnetic properties, ionization energy, electron affinities, metallic character, and behavior of some of the main group elements.

CO-9 Apply Lewis Theory and VSEPR Theory to ionic and covalent chemical bonding, dot structures, Lewis Structures, lattice energy, the Born-Haber cycle, electronegativity, bond and molecular polarity, resonance, formal charge, incomplete octets, expanded octets, odd-electron species, bond energies, bond length, The Electron Sea Model, molecular geometry and shape, overlap and hybridization of atomic orbitals, and electron delocalization.

CO-10 Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the properties (and related calculations) of liquids, solids, gases, intermolecular forces, vaporization and vaporization pressure, sublimation/fusion, phase diagrams, heat of fusion/vaporization, the unique properties of water, crystalline solids, and Band Theory.

Several types of graded assessments/activities will be assigned to enhance your understanding of chemistry principles. Participation in all of the activities is essential for developing problem solving skills and concepts presented in the course. Your course grade is based on your performance on the following activities:

Discussion Forums:

There will be Discussion Forums each week in this course (the length of each Lesson is 2 weeks). There will also be a required introductions discussion forum during the first week of the course, as well as a required study forum during the weeks of the midterm and final. You are to post a thoughtful post after reading the instructions for each forum, expressing critical thought and analysis. You are then required to post a response to the post of at least 2 of your classmates as well. There will be a total of 9 discussion forums and 2 study forums. Please do not plagiarize your answer (i.e. do not copy paste directly from the internet or any other source) or you will not receive credit. There are many tools available for instructors to help catch this, so please don’t try it.

NOTE: Brief statements, saying something very vague, or congratulatory or acknowledgement-type postings will not count towards adequate participation credit. They do not contribute to an understanding of the material, raise important issues regarding the material, or forward the conversation about the content.

See the link in the Lessons area for due dates and a rubric to see expectations and how the discussion forums will be graded.

Lesson Quizzes:

There will also be quizzes in the Tests & Quizzes area of the classroom. These quizzes will help you and your Professor assess your comprehension of the Lesson material. There are 7 quizzes, each worth 100 points. You will have 90 minutes to complete each quiz—after 90 minutes, the assessment will be submitted automatically and you will only be able to receive credit for what you have completed at that time.


After completing the labs for each lesson, you will complete an assignment in the Tests & Quizzes area of the classroom. Though they are being delivered in the Tests & Quizzes area, they are not technically quizzes. You should think of them simply as assignments that accompany the lab exercise that happen to be delivered in a quiz format. Each lab assignment will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions, as well as the requirement of uploading pictures and your own data (see instructions within each lab). These lab assignments are not timed. You will not be able to answer the questions without performing the lab and generating your own individual data. Follow the directions in each lab, save your answers, data, and pictures as the instructions indicate, and use those answers to complete the questions on the lab assignments. There are 10 Laboratory Assignments in the Tests & Quizzes area.


There will be a Midterm Exam and a Final Exam for this course, both consisting of short-answer/essay questions. The Midterm Exam and the Final Exam are each worth 100 points. That means that collectively, they comprise 20% of your grade for this course, so please take the preparation for the exams in the forms of the previous assignments (and practice homework) very seriously. They are meant to help prepare you for these exams. The format of both of these exams is short answer/essay, so they will naturally be longer than your quizzes, and they are open book/notes. However, they are timed. You MUST show your work in order to receive any partial credit. You will have 2 hours to complete each exam. After 2 hours, the exam will be submitted automatically and you will only be able to receive credit for what you have completed at that time. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy.

Midterm Exam: This exam is cumulative/comprehensive and will cover Lessons 1-3, including labs.

Final Exam: This exam is cumulative/comprehensive but will only cover Lessons 4-6, including labs—everything since the Midterm. However, as you will learn, chemistry is a very cumulative/comprehensive subject whereby the material in subsequent chapters builds off material in previous chapters. So, there will certainly be information from the Midterm material found on the Final Exam that is inherent to the content. It’s just that you will not be directly tested on the Lessons 1-3 material.

Please see the student handbook to reference the University’s grading scale.

*NOTE*: This book will be used for both CHEM133 General Chemistry I and CHEM134 General Chemistry II, and it is available as an electronic book (e-book) that is free of charge to AMU/APU students. Please see Lesson 1 in the course for directions regarding how to access the text within the classroom.

Required Technology

  • See the Technology Requirements section of the undergraduate catalog for the minimum hardware and software requirements.
  • You will also need a scientific calculator with scientific notation and logarithmic functions. If you do not already own one, Microsoft® Calculator comes with windows PP or you may access an online calculator.
  • Microsoft Office 365 is available to APUS students for free. To sign up, visit If you have questions about accessing the software, please contact Classroom support at

Required Lab Materials:

The laboratory activities in this course will consist of a hybridized experience involving both virtual and hands-on components. Students will receive a laboratory kit from the university that they will use for the hands-on portion of the laboratory procedures, and will receive specific directions within each lesson regarding how to access any virtual components. Students will perform laboratory exercises that will teach laboratory techniques, as well as cultivate problem solving strategies in a laboratory setting, including generating and analyzing their own data and testing their own hypotheses.

Book Title:If you received a kit for a previous registration of this course, a 2nd kit will not be provided. Please contact for any questions.
ISBN:eScience Note 2
Book Title:Lab kits ship w/o any action needed, so your shipping address must be current. You may need to obtain items on your own (ex. gloves)
ISBN:eScience Note
Book Title:CHEM133 Lab Kit
Publication Info:eScience
Unit Cost:$103.98
Book Title:Chemistry - e-book available online, links provided in the classroom
Unit Cost:$51.78
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.