Ideally, a career in chemistry should begin with a college preparatory high school education. Mathematics preparation is very important. High school students should take all the available college preparatory elective courses in mathematics and the sciences.
High school graduates should have completed one year each of chemistry and physics, a minimum of two years of algebra, geometry, one semester of trigonometry, and at least two years of a modern foreign language and English in order to enter directly into the chemistry major curriculum. Although deficiencies can be made up by taking extra courses or by independent study, students entering the chemistry program with only minimal preparation in any of the above areas may run the risk of having their academic progress delayed.