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Honors Chemistry

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Prerequisites: Qualifying math score and completion of Algebra I

Course Format: Individually paced

Course Length: Typically 6 months

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Course Code: HCH

Course Description


CTY Online Programs' individually paced high school science courses help students learn complex scientific concepts using a dynamic online environment that includes graphics, animations, video, and audio-narration. Students review and apply new knowledge through interactive activities. Students use methods of scientific inquiry to learn via interactive web-based lectures and applications. Knowledge is assessed through quizzes, tests, and projects. Unit tests provide feedback and help students prepare for comprehensive midterm and final exams. The laboratory component includes both hands-on experiments using common household materials and virtual exercises. Students work with expert science educators. 

Honors Chemistry covers topics typically covered in a high school chemistry course and prepares students for Advanced Placement Chemistry.

Topics include:

  • atomic structure
  • states of matter
  • solutions
  • the periodic table
  • chemical reactions and transformations
  • chemical bonding
  • acid and base chemistry
  • energetics

Materials Needed

Materials are required for the Honors Chemistry lab assignments:

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Introduction to Chemistry

  • The Atom
  • Ions
  • Matter and Mass
  • Mass and Weight
  • Properties of Matter
  • Elements and the Periodic Table
  • Compounds and Mixtures
  • States of Matter
  • Measurements
  • Density
  • The Metric System
  • SI Units
  • Conversion Problems
  • Significant Figures
  • Scientific Notation
  • Avogadro's Number
  • Percents and Percent Error
  • Lab 1: Volume Graphs

Atomic Structure


  • Philosophers Contemplate Matter
  • Dalton 's Atomic Theory
  • Looking At Atoms
  • Investigating Atomic Structure
  • The Planetary Theory of Atomic Structure

Modern Atomic Theory

  • Subatomic Particles
  • The Atomic Nucleus
  • The Bohr Model of Atomic Structure
  • Quantum Theory
  • The Schroedinger Model of Atomic Structure

Atomic Particles

  • Atomic Number
  • Ions
  • Isotopes
  • Atomic Weight

Nuclear Chemistry

  • Radioactive Decay
  • Alpha Radiation
  • Beta Radiation
  • Gamma Radiation
  • Fission
  • Fusion
  • Bombardment

Electronic Structure

Atomic Structure

  • Atomic Number
  • The Discovery of the Electron

Electronic Orbits

  • Evidence for Electron Transitions
  • Photon Emission
  • The Electromagnetic Spectrum
  • Wavelengths and Frequencies
  • Contributions to Quantum Theory
  • Planck's Contribution
  • Einstein's Contribution [The Photoelectric Effect]
  • Bohr's Contribution

Quantum Theory

  • Electron Energy Levels
  • Sublevels Explained
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Orbital Shape
  • Electrons as both Particles and Waves
  • Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
  • Wave/Particle Duality
  • Electrons In Orbit

Adding Electrons to Atoms

  • The Pauli Principle
  • Hund's Rule
  • Characterizing Electrons
  • Electron Energy Level Values
  • The Electron Energy Diagram
  • The Aufbau Principle

Building the Periodic Table

Periodic Table and Trends

Historical Steps Behind the Periodic Table

  • Early Tables were Based on Atomic Mass
  • Dobereiner's Triads
  • Newlands' Octaves
  • Mendeleev – The Father of the Modern Periodic Table
  • Moseley Determined Atomic Number
  • The Modern Periodic Table Based on Atomic Number

The Modern Periodic Table

  • Each Element is Depicted by Its Symbol
  • Boxes, or Tags, Give Information About Elements
  • Occurring Isotopes
  • Periodic Table Arrangement

Periodic Trends

  • State of Matter and Metallic Character
  • Atomic Radii
  • Ionic Radii
  • Ionization Energy
  • Electrons from Closed Shells
  • Electron Affinity
  • Electronegativity

Naming Chemical Compounds


  • Atomic and Molecular elements
  • Chemical Nomenclature

Naming the Elements

  • Appearance and Source
  • People and Places
  • Properties and Mythology

The Periodic Table

  • Categories of Elements
  • Atomic Structure


  • Monoatomic Cations
  • Monoatomic Anions
  • Stock System
  • Classical Method


  • Chemical formulas
  • Compound names
  • Organic compounds
  • Inorganic compounds
  • Ionic and Molecular compounds

Naming Compounds

  • Naming Molecular compounds
  • Naming Ionic compounds

Polyatomic Ions

  • Naming Oxyanions
  • Naming Polyatomic Compounds

Naming Acids


A Review of Orbital Diagrams

  • Electron Configurations, and Valence Shells
  • The Octet Rule

Ionic Bonds

  • Lewis Dot Diagrams
  • Types of Ions
  • Naming Ions
  • Binary Ionic Compounds
  • Empirical Formulas
  • Properties of Ionic Compounds

Metallic Bonds

  • Properties of Metals

Covalent Bonds
Molecular Formulas
Lewis Structures
Multiple Bonds
Resonance Structures
Properties of Covalent Bonds
Lewis Structures
The Octet Rule
Common Molecular Shapes and Bond Angles
VSEPR Theory and Lone Pairs
Hybrid Orbitals
Sigma and Pi Bonds
Intermolecular forces: London Dispersion, Dipole Interactions, and Hydrogen Bonding
Intermolecular Forces Affect the Three States of Matter

Properties of Acids, Bases, and Salts

Macroscopic Perspectives

  • Introduction/Safety
  • Properties – taste
  • Properties – litmus indicators
  • Properties – reactivity
  • Properties – conductivity

Molecular Concepts

  • Atomic Structure of Hydrogen
  • Solutions

Acids and Bases Defined

  • Arrhenius Model
  • Ionization – hydroxide and hydronium ions
  • The Chemistry of Water
  • Ion Product Constant Kw
  • Equilibrium Expression Molarity
  • Arrhenius Limitations
  • Bronsted-Lowry Model
  • Lewis Model
  • Classes of Acids
  • Acid Effects on Ion Concentrations


  • Molarity and pH
  • The pH Scale
  • Calculating pH

Interactions of Acids & Bases

  • Strong Acids
  • Acid Dissociation Constant Ka
  • Strong Bases
  • Base Dissociation Constant Kb
  • Neutralization
  • Amphoteric Compounds
  • Conjugate Acids & Bases


  • Salt Formation
  • Characteristics of Salts
  • Properties of Salts - crystalline structure
  • Properties of Salts – melting point
  • Properties of Salts – conductivity
  • Common Salts

Acids & Bases & the Environment

  • Acid Rain Formation
  • Effects of Acid Rain

Lab 2: Acid-Base Titration

Chemical Reactions


  • Terminology
  • Solubility
  • Solutions Make Reactions Easier to Study
  • Ions Dissociate in Aqueous Solutions
  • Solutions of Molecular Compounds

Chemical Equations

  • Word Equations
  • Balancing Equations

Types of Reactions

  • Combination Reactions
  • Decomposition Reactions
  • Single-replacement Reactions
  • Double-replacement Reactions
  • Combustion Reactions

Formulas, Equations, and Stoichiometry

Atomic Mass

  • Atomic mass unit (AMU)
  • Isotopes
  • Molar mass

Determining Chemical Formulas

  • Percent composition
  • Empirical formulas

The Mole

  • Avogadro's number
  • Molecular weights
  • Formula weight
  • Atomic vs. Molecular mass

Conversion Equations

  • Moles to grams
  • Grams to moles
  • Particles in a sample

Balancing chemical equations


  • Mass to mass stoichiometry
  • Mass to volume stoichiometry
  • Volume to volume stoichiometry
  • Limiting reactants
  • Yield
  • Theoretical yield
  • Actual yield
  • Percent yield

Reaction Rates

Rates of Reactions

  • The Concept of Rates
  • Reaction Rates

Factors Affecting Reaction Rates

  • Nature of Reactants
  • Temperature
  • Catalysts
  • Surface Area
  • Concentration

Collision Theory

  • Kinetic Energy
  • Activation Energy
  • Why Increasing Temp. Increases Reaction Rates
  • The Activated Complex
  • Catalysts

Rate Laws

  • Rate is Proportional to Concentration of Reactants
  • Definition of Rate Law
  • Calculating the Rate Constant
  • Reaction Order

Reaction Mechanisms

  • Reactions Occur in Multiple Steps
  • Rate Laws and Elementary Processes*
  • The Rate-Determining Step
  • Evaluating Reaction Mechanisms

Lab 3: Chemical Change



  • Heterogeneous Mixtures
  • Homogeneous Mixtures
  • Components of a Solution

Types of Solutions

  • Liquid and Aqueous Solutions
  • Solid Solutions
  • Gas Solutions

How Solutions Form

Factors That Affect the Dissolving Rate

  • Temperature
  • Stirring
  • Surface Area

Solution Concentrations

  • Relative Terms
  • Molarity
  • Molality
  • Mole Fraction
  • Percent Solutions
  • Solution Dilution

Colligative Properties

  • Vapor Pressure Reduction
  • Boiling Point Elevation
  • Freezing Point Depression
  • Osmotic Pressure

Determining Molar Mass

Chemical Equilibrium

Chemical Equilibrium

  • Chemical Equilibrium and Reversible Reactions
  • Concentration vs. Time Graphs
  • Achieving Chemical Equilibrium
  • Dynamic Process
  • Law of Mass Action

Equilibrium Constants

  • Equilibrium Constant Expressions
  • Heterogeneous Equilibria
  • Calculating Equilibrium Constants
  • Reaction Quotients

Le Chatelier's Principle

  • Disturbing Equilibrium
  • Le Chatelier's Principle
  • Effect of Changes in Concentration
  • Effect of Changes in pressure
  • Effect of Temperature on Equilibrium

Solubility and Precipitation

Factors That Affect Solubility

Dissolution and Precipitation of Ionic Compounds

  • Equilibrium and Balanced Equations
  • The Equilibrium Expression
  • Solubility Product Constant (Ksp)

Factors Affecting Ionic Compound Solubility

  • The Common Ion Effect
  • pH

Precipitation Reactions of Ionic Compounds

Rules of Solubility

Separating Substances from Mixtures

  • Filtration
  • Crystallization
  • Distillation
  • Chromatography
  • Lab 4: Solubility

States of Matter

Key Characteristics of Each State A. Gases

Attractive Forces and Energy

  • Chemical Bonds
  • Intermolecular Forces
  • Kinetic and Potential Energy

The States of Matter

  • Gases
  • Liquids
  • Solids

Changes of State

  • Vapor Pressure and Boiling Point
  • The Phase Diagrams
  • Heating Curves

Gases and Their Properties

Physical Properties of Gases

  • Moles
  • Volume
  • Temperature
  • Pressure

Gas Laws

  • Boyle's Law
  • Charles's Law
  • Combined Gas Law
  • Avogadro's Law
  • Ideal Gas Law
  • Dalton 's Law of Partial Pressure
  • Graham's Law of Effusion

Kinetic Molecular Theory

  • Assumptions
  • Kinetic Molecular Theory and Gas Laws
  • Real Gases
  • Applying Gas Laws

Lab 5: Gas Volume – Pressure; Absolute Zero


Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

This course requires that the student use a web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin. Note that many tablets and handhelds (particularly the iPad) do not support Flash and cannot view the lessons.

This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Adobe Connect Add-in or Adobe Flash plugin, and also tablets or handhelds that support the Adobe Connect Mobile appStudents who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Adobe Connect Add-in or Adobe Flash plugin installed to watch recorded meetings. The Adobe Connect Add-in, Adobe Flash plugin, and Adobe Connect Mobile app are available for free download. Students who do not have the Flash plug-in installed or enabled on their browsers will be prompted to download and install the Adobe Connect add-in when accessing the virtual classroom.




CTY Online Programs Science - Comments and Feedback from Students, Parents, and Teachers



"CTY's Honors Chem has effectively helped me 'clear the hurdle' in several chem topics that I initially found to be very confusing and abstract, such as bonding hybridization and equilibrium constants. I felt my instructor was a great teacher; her explanations were both thorough and really helpful."

"It was a very good course; it covered an amazing amount of subject matter in a short amount of time very effectively. I learned a huge amount of chemistry while taking this course."

"Our son has been involved with JHU/CTY for six years; CTY has been very important in augmenting his education. CTY has enhanced him not only academically, but also from visioning what he can achieve. Thank you!"