What courses should I take in high school to be prepared to major in chemistry?

Students interested in majoring in chemistry, or any science, should have a strong foundation in math and science in high school. Generally students who take a college prep course in high school that includes 4 years of math and science will be adequately prepared for college chemistry. A good foundation in math that includes algebra, geometry, and trigonometry is critical for success in college chemistry. While taking calculus in high school is helpful, it is not necessary to succeed in freshman chemistry. The most important math skills for potential majors are the ability to set up algebraic equations from word problems, be able to manipulate exponentials, and know the basics of plotting data. Students should take as much high school chemistry as possible to help ease the transition to college chemistry. High school physics and biology are also helpful.