Selecting a Chemistry Course

There are two general chemistry sequences: CHEM 105-106 and CHEM 111-ENGR 145. CHEM 113 is the general chemistry lab associated with the CHEM 105-106 sequence. Students should consult the schedule development recommendations for their intended major to learn whether or not CHEM 113 is required. Note that all students completing pre-health requirements must earn credit for CHEM 113.

Students pursuing a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences that requires general chemistry should complete the CHEM 105-106 sequence. Students pursuing a degree in the Case School of Engineering and the BS in computer science should complete the CHEM 111-ENGR 145 sequence. Both sequences fulfill pre-health requirements, so students planning to fulfill these requirements should pursue the chemistry sequence required for their major.

The process of selecting a chemistry course begins with reviewing the schedule recommendations for all majors of interest. If a student has not decided between a degree in the School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, the student should select the appropriate course from the CHEM 111-ENGR 145 sequence as this provides the greatest flexibility in satisfying requirements for both degrees.

Choosing the appropriate level of chemistry course

  • Students with no college-level credit for general chemistry will begin in either CHEM 105 or CHEM 111.
  • Students who have earned college-level credit for a chemistry course (AB/IB exams or college-level coursework being the most common means) may be eligible to take the next course (CHEM 106 or ENGR 145) in the sequence depending on the credit earned. See AP and IB credit information within this guide or refer to college credit evaluation correspondence from Undergraduate Studies.

We encourage eligible students with credit to attempt the next course in the sequence. Those who are concerned about the strength of their background or would like to review the material of the first course in the sequence are permitted to repeat the course if desired. However, students should feel comfortable attempting a higher level course at the beginning of the semester. The first two weeks of each semester comprise the drop/add period, during which students in higher-level courses may opt to change their enrollments to a lower-level course if they feel that the initial course is too challenging. It will be easier for students to move to a lower-level course after beginning in a higher-level course.

Note: choosing to enroll in a course for which one already has AP, IB, or transfer credit means forgoing credit for the AP, IB, or transfer course.

Students who are completing pre-health requirements should review AP and IB credit in the Recommendations for First-Year Students Interested in Pre-Health section of this guide.

Criteria for awarding of chemistry credit:

  1. AP Chemistry – Score of 4 or 5 earns a student credit for CHEM 111; students may enroll in either CHEM 106 or ENGR 145.
  2. IB Chemistry – Score of 5, 6, or 7 (HL exam only) earns a student credit for CHEM 111; students may enroll in either CHEM 106 or ENGR 145.
  3. General chemistry coursework taken at an accredited college or university – Course credit awarded after review in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Placement to be determined by credit earned. Students who wish to earn credit for college-level coursework should have completed and submitted the college credit evaluation form, available on the New Student Checklist.
  4. Proficiency exams in chemistry – The department of chemistry will offer proficiency exams for CHEM 105, 106, and 111 during new student orientation. All students will have the option to sit for an exam if desired. Students who pass a proficiency exam will earn CWRU credit for that course and be permitted to take the next course in the sequence. More information can be found in the placement and proficiency exams section of this guide.