Chemistry (CHEM) 217

Chemical Principles I (Revision 9)

CHEM 217 Course cover

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If you want to test yourself before you register to see if you have the required skills for this course, try Am I Ready for CHEM 217?

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook) with a home lab. Order the laboratory kit online.

CHEM 217 lab exemption

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: Chemistry 30 or an equivalent high school chemistry course is strongly recommended but not required. This course is open only to students with previous chemistry experience.

Precluded Course: CHEM 209 (CHEM 217 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for CHEM 209.)

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

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CHEM 217 is not available for challenge.

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Note: Home lab kits can be shipped within Canada only. Students who live outside Canada are required to attend supervised laboratories on site at Athabasca University, Alberta. This course is charged a lab fee.


CHEM 217 provides an introduction to chemistry from both a theoretical and practical point of view. Topics covered include a review of nomenclature, the mole concept, and stoichiometry; thermochemistry; atomic and molecular structure; periodic relationships; the gas laws; and the properties of solids, liquids, and solutions. The combination of CHEM 217 and CHEM 218 is the equivalent to first-year university chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • name chemical compounds and interpret chemical formulae.
  • solve problems in chemical stoichiometry.
  • describe the properties of gases and perform calculations using gas laws.
  • use thermochemical data to solve chemical problems involving heat, work, and enthalpy.
  • detail the quantum mechanical model of the atom and the historical atomic models that preceded it.
  • recognize the periodic properties of the elements and explain them using the quantum mechanical model of the atom.
  • discuss chemical bonds using the Lewis theory, valence bond theory, and molecular orbital theory, and predict molecular shapes using the valence shell electron pair repulsion theory.
  • describe intermolecular forces and apply them to explain the properties of liquids, solids, and gases.
  • summarize the properties of solutions in terms of intermolecular forces and perform calculations involving the colligative properties of solutions.
  • perform qualitative and quantitative chemical experiments and record and interpret results.


To receive credit for CHEM 217, you must complete all of the course work, and achieve at least 50 percent on each of the two examinations, and an overall course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Midterm Examination 20%
Final Examination 40%
Assignments 20%
Laboratory Work 20%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes electronic textbooks. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to the eText Initiative site.

Tro, Nivaldo J., Travis D. Fridgen, & Lawton E. Shaw. Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, First Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson, 2014.

Tro, Nivaldo J., Travis D. Fridgen, & Lawton E. Shaw. Selected Solutions Manual for Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, First Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson, 2014.

A print version of the eTexts may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbooks on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

The Athabasca University course resources also include an online Study Guide and Course Information, as well as a Home Lab Kit (to be borrowed from the AU Library) with print Home Laboratory Manual.

The items listed below are not supplied; you should purchase them before you begin to work on the course. You will need

  • an electronic calculator capable of handling logarithms and exponentials. Remember: Take your calculator with you whenever you write an examination or attend a laboratory session.
  • other stationery, including paper for assignments, pens, pencils, a ruler, etc.

Special Instructional Features

You must complete 32 hours of laboratory work, using a home-study laboratory kit, to obtain credit in this course. Order the laboratory kit online. If you cannot make your request online, please

Note that your laboratory work accounts for 20% of your overall course mark. You must satisfactorily complete and write up a specified minimum number of experiments in order to obtain credit for this course (see the section of the course manual titled “Assessment”).

Note: We strongly recommend that you complete Units 1 and 2 before attempting any laboratory work.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 9, January 16, 2015.

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