Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Take Physics before Chemistry in College?

  1. Nov 5, 2005 #1
    I hope this isn't a silly question...but i was wondering

    Academically would it make sense to take Physics prior to Chemistry while having only minimal knowledge on either subject?
    Do Physics rely on concepts from Chemistry?
    Could i take Physics and do well without knowing Chemistry?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2005 #2
    I am:biggrin:
  4. Nov 5, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Chemistry is based upon physics, not the other way around, so of course you don't have to study it first.
  5. Nov 5, 2005 #4
    thank you both very much for your responses
  6. Nov 5, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You're quite welcome. Don't overlook the possibility of taking them both at the same time, but it might be a bit confusing because atoms tend to be thought of differently in the two fields. If you're trying to get the basics down, I'd go for the physics first. Since you didn't specify, I'm guessing that you're in early high-school or below.
  7. Nov 5, 2005 #6
    I'll be senior (credit wise) next semester and I will take freshmen chemistry. I took physics every semester and neglected chemistry because chemistry was not a requirement for comp sci/engr. Now that I switched to electrical engineering, I have to take it. It will be an odd experience since I will take quantum mechanics at the same time. In short, it's okay to delay chemistry, but don't wait 'til junior/senior year. By then you might complain about how certain ideas are taught and most likely your school won't let you take physical chemistry as substitute (since you need analytical chem first).
  8. Nov 5, 2005 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I would concur with Danger - if possible, take both introductory physics and chemistry concurrently. Much of physics - e.g. statics and mechanics/dynamcis - is quite independent from basic chemistry, which is closer to atomic physics, so if they cannot be taken concurrently, take introductory physics first and chemistry concurrently with 2nd year physics.
  9. Nov 6, 2005 #8


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    A related question : My primary interest is Physics andd I wish to continue studying it after high school. Is it ok if dont take chemistry at all in high school? Will that lessen my chances of getting into a good university?
  10. Nov 6, 2005 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I wouldn't take them at the same time. Im now taking chem and i already took physics and I bet if i were taking them at the same time, I would have been so confused in chemistry.
  11. Nov 6, 2005 #10
    I am taking Chemistry this semester with no physics classses, mostly because my math isn't up to par yet. At least once every couple classes, Physics is brought up.

    I've taken both the intro classes years ago, I don't think it really matters much which you take first. Although, I'd get them out of the way before you start taking upper level classes (like 2000+ type courses) because it will still teach you the basics which you should know.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook