Frequently Asked Questions & Links

Below are some of the frequently asked questions that students pose as well as some useful links.  You are encouraged to read through the answers to these questions as well as consult the Moorpark College homepage for further guidance.  Please note that the Chemistry Department faculty and staff as well as Counseling Department are also available for additional assistance and mentorship.      

Question 1: What preparation or prerequisites are needed for chemistry?
A student entering Chem M11/M12 should be competent in elementary algebra.  Go to the pretest on the website to test your expected skills.  A student entering Chem M01A is expected to have previously taken high school or introductory chemistry.  Once again, go to the pretest on the website to test your skills.  All other chemistry classes offered have the prerequisite of prior courses.
Question 2: Which chemistry class should I take?
For most students with a background in high school chemistry and/or introductory chemistry, Chem M01A is the place to begin.  If you have little or no chemistry background but are competent in elementary algebra, then begin with Chem M11/M12.  If you are in the allied health sciences and need only one semester of chemistry, begin with Chem M11.  For entering students with an Advanced Placement (AP) score of 3 or higher in chemistry, Chem M01A is still recommended because many transfer universities/colleges require successful completion of both lecture and laboratory components, and the AP exam measures mainly lecture content.
Question 3: What majors require chemistry?
Most science and health related majors require one or more semesters of chemistry.  Examples include pre-med, biology, physics, engineering, nursing, environmental studies, geology, and computer science.  Students are encouraged to consult with their counselor and transfer university/college for specific advising and requirements.
Question 4: Where on campus can I get help in chemistry?
Free tutoring is available on campus at the Moorpark College Library/Learning Resource Center (third floor).  Various students tutor in chemistry at assigned times (subject to change each semester).  Anyone interested should check with the LRC for the current semester’s schedule.  Moreover, you can visit with any full-time chemistry instructor during their office hours.  If you require special learning and testing accommodations, please consult the ACCESS Center, (805) 378–1461.
Question 5: Where on the internet can I get help in chemistry?
There are several online sites that can serve as great tutorials for the various topics outlined in chemistry.  Check the Chemistry Links portion of this website for a listing of suggested sites.
Question 6: Is it necessary to buy the textbook?
Yes.  You need a textbook.  Lectures are limited for time and you can get all the detailed information you need from the text.  In addition, there are plenty of practice problems that will build your knowledge.  It is expected that all students will have the assigned textbook.  If money is an issue, speak to your instructor.  Many times, a book may be available for borrowing.  Books are also on reserve in the Reserve Section of the Moorpark College Library.
Question 7: Do we need to buy the study or solution manuals that go with the textbook?
Study or solution manuals from the textbook are optional and not necessary for most students.  They can also be found in the reference section of the Moorpark College Library.
Question 8: How much study time is required to do well in chemistry?
As in most college classes, you are expected to study 2-3 hours outside of class for each hour of lecture.  Chemistry knowledge takes a great deal of practice and memorization.  This is a cumulative knowledge course, and it is especially important to keep up.  Take time to study often.  Work out the problems assigned by your instructor.  Ask for help often so you do not get behind.  If you miss lecture, it can be difficult to catch up since new information is given at most lectures.
Question 9: Are the labs dangerous?
Labs at a two-year college are specifically chosen to avoid most dangers.  If you follow directions and use common sense, you should avoid injuries, burns, or other related incidences.  Most of the chemicals will not cause problems when used correctly.  If you are pregnant or have special medical problems like respiratory illnesses, please let your instructor know.  The instructor will be ready to advise you and may choose an alternative assignment if a particular lab may cause you potential problems.
Question 10: What are my responsibilities regarding the lab drawer assigned to me?
In the laboratory, every student is assigned a lab drawer with basic equipment to be used during the course.  The keys for each drawer are kept in locked boxes that are only opened during the class time.  They should be returned to that box at the end of each class.  Equipment in the drawer is checked in at the beginning of the course and must be checked out at the end.  If you drop the course, check out of your drawer, even if you share a drawer.  You should always officially check out.
Question 11: Can I make up a lab that has been missed?
It may be possible to make up a missed lab if that same lab is scheduled for another class section.  Most instructors are willing to allow students from a different class to attend their section for a make-up.  You must arrange this ahead of time and get approval from both instructors, yours and the one you will visit.
Question 12: Are there any scholarship possibilities available in chemistry?
Absolutely.  Please check below for opportunities and with the Scholarship Office at Moorpark College for more information at (805) 378–1418.  Award amounts listed below have actually increased in recent years.

David K. Murphy Scholarship                                                 Award: $500     --Deadline: mid April
Criteria: GPA 3.6 and above; science major; must have taken Chem M01A at Moorpark College and earned an "A" within the last 24 months; transferring to a UC fall semester; minimum of 24 units completed at the end of spring semester at Moorpark College

David Wagner Scholarship                                                     Award: Varies   -Deadline: mid April
Criteria: GPA 3.6 and above; science major; must be earning an "A" in Chem M01B within the last 12 months; must complete 24 units at Moorpark College by the end of spring semester; be a continuing student at MC or transferring to a four-year college or university fall semester

Kavli Scholarship – Chemistry                                                Award: Varies    Deadline: mid April
Criteria: GPA 3.6 and above; science major; must be earning an "A" in Chem M07B; minimum of 24 units taken at Moorpark College overall; transferring fall semester to a four-year college or university

Distinguished Faculty Chair, Gene Berg Scholarship             Award: $250     --Deadline: mid April
Criteria: GPA 3.0 and above; science major; transferring to a four-year college or university fall semester; must demonstrate financial need, and be a full-time student

Chemistry Links of Interest

  • The following ACD/ChemSketch 11.0 Freeware site is useful for downloading in order to draw molecular structures for Chemistry 1A formal lab reports and beyond: http://www.acdlabs.com/
  • Another database containing information on compounds is: http://chemfinder.cambridgesoft.com/
  • A wonderful introduction to the various topics covered in General Chemistry can be found at the following site: http://library.thinkquest.org/10429/high/indexh.htm
  • The following site provides "math-oriented" chemistry fundamentals for students with gaps in their algebra or science preparation: http://www.ChemReview.Net
  • Safety information for various compounds can be found at the following MSDS site: http://www.hazard.com/msds/
  • A useful site for understanding fundamental chemical principles in General Chemistry can be found at: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/index.shtml
  • A vast spectral database for Organic Compounds (SDBS) can be found at the site: http://www.aist.go.jp/RIODB/SDBS/cgi-bin/cre_index.cgi
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a site containing thermodynamic data, IR spectra, Mass spectra, UV-VIS spectra, and Gas Chromatography data for select organic and inorganic compounds at: http://webbook.nist.gov/
  • Summer research opportunities, referred to as Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm.  Students are encouraged to begin searching as early as December in order to meet forthcoming summer application deadlines.