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Usefulness of General Chem II?

  1. Jan 21, 2007 #1
    I'm currently attending a community college and I'll be transferring to one of the UC schools after this spring semester as a physics major. Of the 5 schools I'm applying to, only 1 of them requires General Chem II, and that school is one of my lower priorities. I'm currently enrolled in Gen Chem II but I'm hesitating about dropping it because I heard that its a pretty difficult class and the school I transfer to probably won't require it. But then again, it may be useful if I decide later on to pursue biology or chemistry, even though I don't like them as of now. Also, if I drop it, I'll only be taking 3 classes and 11 semester units. Is this class useful for physics majors?
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2007 #2

    symbolipoint

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    The course will very likely include studies of chemical bonds and a brief but involved study of quantum chemistry and the theory of molecular orbitals. Also present will probably be the study of energy interactions of stucture and bonds. My advice is to study Chem 2.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2007 #3
    Do you have the syllibus? Because without looking at the course layout, it is difficult to judge.

    However, I do know that in my neck of the woods (not the UC system), physics majors are required to complete a year of gen chem, and are encouraged (though not required by any means) to take O-Chem (for biophysics).

    So I would say, finish the class, it can't really hurt you too much. And besides you never know, those schools that you are looking at may change their requirements next cataloge year, and having the class already taken care of can be useful if you need to swich cataloge years (believe me this does happen).
     
  5. Jan 22, 2007 #4
    Which UC schools are you applying to? Does your community college offer any sort of transfer agreements or transfer contracts with UC schools?

    Why do you think General Chemistry II will be difficult? If it is difficult, shouldn't that be more motivation for you to complete it? Physics is going to get much more difficult, especially once you transfer so I would think getting accustomed to an intense chemistry class, might be beneficial to you.

    Also, it might be beneficial for you to start working through some alternate physics/math texts (and if possible) try to work ahead, independently to get a feel for the class before you officially take it. From talking with a few friends in the UC system, they have stressed the importance of being responsible enough to study completely independently through difficult subjects because the transition from community college professors to university professors, is a drastic difference.

    Atleast at San Diego City College I have found that the professors make the course easier for the student, instead of the student making the course easier for themselves through hard-work and they tend to help people through problems to much.

    Perhaps I just over analyze the entire cirriculum but I honestly feel that working through different texts for the same math/physics class, gives me a much better understanding than I would gain from simply following the syllabus.

    I am not that smart though, so I have to explain things to myself a few different ways before I feel confident enough that I understand it.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2007 #5
    The syllabus: this course covers kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. The relationship between these subjects is studied through acid-base chemistry, solubility, electrochemistry, and the chemistry of transition metals. Study of these systems highlights the connection between structure and function. Written reports emphasize communicating the lab results while applying the course concepts. Course objectives: demonstrate knowledge of kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, enthalpy, entropy, and free energy, electrochemistry, transition element chemistry, and nuclear chemistry.

    I'm applying to Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSB, and UCI, and only UCSB requires this class.

    "Does your community college offer any sort of transfer agreements or transfer contracts with UC schools?"
    I'm not doing TAP or anything like that, I check what courses I need through assist.org

    "Why do you think General Chemistry II will be difficult? If it is difficult, shouldn't that be more motivation for you to complete it? Physics is going to get much more difficult, especially once you transfer so I would think getting accustomed to an intense chemistry class, might be beneficial to you."
    I heard that its much more difficult than Gen Chem I. I'm completely aware that physics will get much more difficult, which is why I'm currently self-studying Mathematical Methods from Boas.
     
  7. Jan 22, 2007 #6
    Any reason that you aren't doing the TAP? I haven't found much of a reason not to do TAP -- is there something that I don't know? I have a transfer contract with UCSD into Revelle, so long as I complete the requirements. Is this not as good as it sounds or something? I use assist.org as well, but it synchronizes with my tap agreement.

    That makes sense, homie. You'd rather devote time to studying the relevant physics and maths, then Chemistry (assuming it won't be necessary later).

    EDIT: Hey dude, I am a retard. I also decided not to take General Chem II if I don't have to. For some reason, I thought you were asking about General Chem I.

    Stoner moment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  8. Jan 22, 2007 #7
    "Any reason that you aren't doing the TAP? I haven't found much of a reason not to do TAP -- is there something that I don't know? I have a transfer contract with UCSD into Revelle, so long as I complete the requirements. Is this not as good as it sounds or something?"

    Well I didn't know about TAP until a few months ago I think, so I had already completed about half of my classes by the time I heard about it. I had a 3.91 gpa at the time, so I felt pretty sure that I would get accepted into any school. Also, I heard that students who do TAP are forced to take certain GE classes instead of having a choice. Like you have to take US history Honors instead of the regular US history. But I'm not sure about this.
     
  9. Jan 22, 2007 #8
    The only GE's that I am required to do, are those required by the university, although, all of my classes are honors classes (if the option is available) because the courses seem to be designed for people who don't plan on transferring to a university. I took honors english, philosophy, psychology, history and a few others of my own volition. I am actually the only person in any of my physics or math classes that actually wants to do mathematical physics. Everyone seems to be an engineer.

    I know at San Diego City if you are transferring to UCSD, you aren't required to take honors classes. In fact, we don't have honors physics or math, I think you have to speak with the department head who then speaks with your instructor to give you more work to do to be considered 'honors'.

    I am actually going to find out about honors maths and physics this week because I am confused. I just have a terrible fear of transferring into UCSD and not being on the same level as the others, since my education has been through a community college system (although, primarily on my own), especially since some PFers have indicated that UCSD has one of the top mathematics programs in the country.

    I like talking to other physics majors at CC to get an idea of our situations. I always feel like the only person that actually loves physics at CC.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  10. Jan 22, 2007 #9
    "I am actually the only person in any of my physics or math classes that actually wants to do mathematical physics. Everyone seems to be an engineer."
    That's the same with me. When I told some of them I'm majoring in physics instead of engineering, they said something like "Whoa! You like physics?" probably because they're just doing engineering for the money and job, not because they like it.

    "I just have a terrible fear of transferring into UCSD and not being on the same level as the others, since my education has been through a community college system (although, primarily on my own), especially since some PFers have indicated that UCSD has one of the top mathematics programs in the country."
    I have the same fear. However, the UCs use the same textbooks for most of the classes I've taken that are transferable (such as Stewart's calculus text), so we might not be as behind as we think.

    So any more opinions on whether I should take Gen Chem II or not? The deadline for dropping the class is coming up soon for me so I need responses asap.
     
  11. Jan 22, 2007 #10
    Sounds to me like an introductory course on some of the topics that should be more or less "common sense" to physics majors by the time they are junior/seniors :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  12. Jan 22, 2007 #11

    t!m

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    I'd say take it. At the very least, it will boost your class load and make you a more desirable transfer student. An early exposure with thermodynamics would probably be useful for physics, and depending on what field you go into (i.e. biophysics, nanotechnology, medicinal), other chemistry topics may prove to be useful as well. The sciences are extremely interdisciplinary, and if you have the room, taking another science course will never hurt you.
     
  13. Jan 23, 2007 #12
    "it will boost your class load and make you a more desirable transfer student"
    I'm pretty sure that I'll be accepted into any school I desire (except Berkeley is a 50-50 shot, but I don't really care about going there anyway) so taking this class probably will have little if any impact on my admission chances since my gpa is far greater than the average gpa of previous physics admits.

    "taking another science course will never hurt you."
    Yeah that's true but I don't want to spend like 15 hours/week learning material that will have little use for me, especially if I can use that time to self-study for my upper-div classes.

    "And besides you never know, those schools that you are looking at may change their requirements next cataloge year, and having the class already taken care of can be useful if you need to swich cataloge years (believe me this does happen)."
    Can someone else confirm this? I just want to have a second opinion.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, as I don't know if this has any importance or not, but UC Berkeley and Irvine don't even require me take the 1st semester of Gen Chem.
    Also, I'm most like transferring to either UC Irvine, UCSD, or UCLA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  14. Jan 23, 2007 #13
    "And besides you never know, those schools that you are looking at may change their requirements next cataloge year, and having the class already taken care of can be useful if you need to swich cataloge years (believe me this does happen)."

    --Maybe I should explain this a little more.

    At my university, after my freshmen year the requirements for the physics major changed (for the new cataloge year). One of the courses that I didn't really want to take was switch out in favor of another course, which granted was a little more difficult, had more of a direct connection to the physics department I am in. Because I had taken the course that had become the new cataloge year's requirement, as an elective already, and my university allows me to change my catalogue year to any catalogue year following the catalogue year I entered in at anytime (and swich back if I want), I was able to avoid the not so interesting class.

    Granted this is rare, but if it is a second course in a sequence than, at least in my school, it would be likly to be up for grabs to be a new requirement added in place of an older one.

    See what I am getting at?

    Sorry if that confused you even more.
     
  15. Jan 23, 2007 #14
    Yeah I see what you mean. Does switching the requirements happen very often at universities?
     
  16. Jan 25, 2007 #15
    can I get more advice from you guys?
     
  17. Jan 25, 2007 #16

    symbolipoint

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    Usefulness of General Chem II

    Diversify your undergraduate education; study part 2 of General Chemistry. You are already uncertain about needing this course for various schools to which you want to transfer. Pass this course and you will not need to worry about earning its credit any further - and in case you bend your interests more toward Chemistry or study of materials, having the rigorous chemistry studied may be helpful.
     
  18. Jan 29, 2007 #17
    I'm in the same boat, but not only does the curriculum I'm transferring to not require Chem II (current semester), but it does not require Chem I (which I took in Spring 06). I decided to left it on the schedule, namely because I like chem, and secondly I couldn't drop/add it for anything else.

    From one Community College attendee to another, keep it and learn from it. After a lengthy conversation with my chem professor and the importance and cross linking between chem and physics it's what I've decided to do.
     
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