Should I take CM2110 if I’m a first-year student?

Students who have advanced placement in math and chemistry may consider taking the first two chemical engineering courses, CM2110 Fundamentals of ChE I and CM2120 Fundamentals of ChE II, during their first year at Michigan Tech.  The advantage of taking CM2110 and CM2120 early is that you then may have an easier time fitting a co-op, research, advanced topics, or junior chemical-engineering classes into your second year.  Also, by completing CM2110/CM2120, you get an early experience with chemical-engineering topics and can better decide if this major is for you.  A disadvantage, however, is that you will be taking these courses based on your high school preparation, which may or may not be sufficient to succeed in CM2110.  In addition, taking CM2110/CM2120 in your first year may leave a time gap between when you take these courses and when you take the junior classes, which build on this material.  The junior chemical engineering sequence is challenging; you must have all your math, physics, and most of your chemistry courses completed before you begin the chemical engineering junior course sequence.

The prerequisites for CM2110 are CH1150 University Chemistry I and CH1151 University Chemistry I Laboratory; at a minimum you must have credit for these courses to take CM2110, which is offered in the fall and in the summer.  In addition, the expectation for CM2110 is that you will have problem-solving skills.  In the standard course sequence in our department, students develop problem-solving skills in the first physics class, PH2100 University Physics I, which covers elementary mechanics (force equals mass times displacement).  If you are considering taking CM2110 but you have not yet completed PH2100, you may find that the problem solving tasks in CM2110 are challenging, especially later in the course.  If you had a strong physics program in high school, however, you are likely ready for the problem-solving in CM2110.

If you have credit for the following and received an A or a B in these classes, you are a candidate for taking CM2110 during your first year (* indicates that I  recommend you to complete this course before taking CM2110, but the course is not a prerequisite):

  • MA1160 Calculus with Technology I*
  • MA2160 Calculus with Technology II*
  • CH1150 University Chemistry I (prerequisite)
  • PH2100 University Physics I*

You do not need an advisor’s or instructor’s permission to enroll in CM2110; if you have the prereqs, you may sign up during orientation.  The course is offered with an online section to allow students who have a time conflict to watch videos in lieu of attending the on-campus lectures.

If you have questions about your particular case and whether you should take CM2110, please talk to an advisor during orientation or contact the CM2110 instructor, Dr. King (  Dr. King is a strong advocate of advanced students taking CM2110 in the first year.