Advising Handbook 2023-2024 
    Jul 21, 2024  
Advising Handbook 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Academic Bulletin

Area of Study: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Program: Major and Minor
Major/Minor Exclusions: A student minoring in Chemistry may not major in Biochemistry

General Principles to consider in advising a student for Chemistry:

The Chemistry Major is a highly hierarchical major and requires 64 credits (17 courses) to complete. This means that students interested in Chemistry for their major will need to begin the foundational Mathematics and Natural Sciences courses early in their academic career. The Introductory Math sequence (MATH 151, 152), and General Chemistry (120, 122) are all prerequisites to intermediate and advanced courses in the Major and should be completed by the end of fall semester in a student’s sophomore year. The first introductory chemistry course (CHEM 120-Chemical Concepts I) has a Math prerequisite of testing into MATH 151 through the Allegheny College Math placement test. If students test into MATH 151, they should be advised to take MATH 151 and CHEM 120 in the Fall of their first year and CHEM 122 in the sprong of their first year. If they do not test into MATH 151, they should be advised to take MATH 140 and consider taking CHEM 119. On successful completion of either MATH 140 or CHEM 119, they can register for CHEM 120 in the Spring of their first year.If students take CHEM 120 in the spring of their first year, they should plan to enroll in CHEM 231 for the fall semester of their sophomore year and then take CHEM 122 in the spring semester of their sophomore year.

It is very important to indicate to students who come in with weaker academic backgrounds (not testing into Math151 would be an indication of this) should be cognizant of the need to complete prerequisites in a timely manner so that they do not end up with schedules in their junior and senior year that are unrealistic or impossible to schedule due to time constraints and conflicting course times. Also please keep in mind that many courses in the major have a grade prerequisite (C or better) to continue on to the next course.

In general, if a student does not feel ready to take more than one Natural Science course in a given semester they are not likely to be able to handle three or four such courses in their Junior and Senior years. A 17 course major equates to an average of just over two courses each of eight semesters. Thus advising a student to take only one NS course a semester, puts this student in an impossible position to complete the Chemistry major in four years. In some cases, students may need to consider taking summer courses for transfer, or planning for an extra semester or year to complete the major. This will be the case if a student takes only one NS course for the major in each of their first 2-3 semesters, or if they start the courses for the major later than the sophomore year. Students should be made aware of this reality if they are advised to limit their NS courses to one per semester in the first three to four semesters.

If a student expresses an interest (due to minor choice or other) in a Junior Year abroad experience it is very important that they speak with a member of the Chemistry Dept., or the Chair for guidance during their first year or early in their sophomore year. Depending on the experience they wish to pursue it may be important for them to consider taking their Jr. Seminar in the sophomore year, but this and other options need to be discussed with Chemistry Dept faculty.

Finally, any student considering a Chemistry major is strongly encouraged to meet with a member of the Chemistry faculty, or the Chair of the department prior to scheduling classes for their Sophomore year, or in their Sophomore year to help minimize issues as the student progresses through their intended path.

Timing of Courses

Most courses are taught each year and some are taught each semester as indicated in the following table. 

Table 1: Typical timing of chemistry course offerings by semester through the sophomore year.

Course Fall Semester Spring Semester
CHEM 119* Yes, Module B only No
CHEM 120 Yes Yes
CHEM 122 No Yes
CHEM 231 Yes No
CHEM 332 No Yes
CHEM 222 No Yes
CHEM 242 Yes No
CHEM 253 Yes Yes
FSCHE 201 Yes No

In some cases staffing may necessitate changes to this schedule, so please consult Self-Service, or the Dept Chair for the exact timing of courses taught each semester

Important Notes to Consider

  • Students who do not place into MATH 151 should register for MATH 140 in their first semester, and /or consider registering for CHEM 119 to meet the Chem120 pre-req. 
  • Placement into MATH 151 is a pre-requisite for starting in CHEM 120 in the first semester. Although students do NOT need to co-enroll in math and chemistry, co-enrollment is HIGHLY recommended so that pre-requisite courses can be finished in a timely manner.
  • Enrollment in PHYS 110 (Fall semesters) is restricted to freshmen & sophomores. When scheduling constraints necessitate it, PHYS 110 may be replaced by PHYS 101; PHYS 101 is open to students in any class.
  • In planning, students should pay attention to pre-requisites for core and upper-level courses.
  • CHEM 584-Junior Seminar must be taken before the senior year and it is only offered in the fall for chemistry majors. This informatin is also relevant to biochemistry majors who may do their senior project with faculty who are dual listed in chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Students declaring their major in Chemistry may ask any faculty member in the chemistry department to be their advisor. Faculty are generally good about knowing their limits and will point students to the Department Chair if their advising load is too high.