Asee peer logo

Evaluation Of One Semester Freshman Chemistry Course For Civil And Environmental Engineers

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.474.1 - 6.474.12

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Matthew Morley

author page

Jody Redepenning

author page

Bruce Dvorak

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session # 2793

Evaluation of One-Semester Freshman Chemistry Course for Civil and Environmental Engineers

Bruce I. Dvorak, Jody Redepenning, and Matthew C. Morley University of Nebraska-Lincoln


At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the current required chemistry component for the Civil Engineering program is a four-credit hour, “Chemistry for Engineering and Technology” course (Chem 111). This course has three hours of lecture and a one-hour laboratory. Students in the Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs are also required to take Chem 111. This intensive course covers the most important chemistry topics, especially those related to environmental engineering and materials engineering. UNL is one of the few Universities in the United States to offer such a course. UNL’s Civil Engineering program is one of the few programs in the United States that does not require two semesters of general chemistry. This course originated in 1995 as part of an effort by the UNL Engineering College reduce the number of credit hours for its B.S. degrees. Some engineering disciplines (e.g., Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Industrial Engineering) require just the first semester of chemistry, allowing either Chem 109 (General Chemistry I) or Chem 111, whereas programs where some chemistry may be needed (Agricultural, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering) require this new course (Chem 111).

For the past five years, students in the Civil Engineering program have had the option of taking several different combinations of chemistry courses. Prior to 1998, Civil Engineering students were given the option of taking either Chem 111 or Chem 109 (first semester of general chemistry), and students who took Chem 109 were given the option of taking the second semester of general chemistry (Chem 110) instead of the second semester of physics. Since 1998, students can take the intensive one semester course (Chem 111), or take the slower-paced traditional two-semester general chemistry series (Chem 109 and Chem 110) but only receive credit for the second four-credit course toward their degree. In addition, a few students transfer to Civil Engineering from majors that require the two-semester chemistry series, Chem 113 and 114 (Fundamental Chemistry I and II), that is primarily targeted at Chemistry majors. Consequentially, the students in Civil Engineering have a wide range of chemistry backgrounds. The main goal of this paper is to examine the impact of these backgrounds.

This paper has two main objectives. The first is to examine differences in student performance on the chemistry components of the junior-level Introduction to Environmental Engineering course based on the students’ chemistry course background. Specifically of interest is whether the intense single semester course (Chem 111) and the two-semester series (Chem

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Morley, M., & Redepenning, J., & Dvorak, B. (2001, June), Evaluation Of One Semester Freshman Chemistry Course For Civil And Environmental Engineers Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015