Chemistry and Biochemistry

Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry are required for the MCAT and for many health professions schools as well.  For questions on Chemistry courses and placement, see the Chemistry Department Guidelines.   Below is some general information on Chemistry courses:

  • Chem 99D is an introduction to Chemistry and problem-solving; it is for students with limited background in Chemistry.  99D is only taught in the Fall Semester.  If you begin with 99D, you would go on to Chem 101DL in the spring.
  • Chem 101DL and 210DL are the two semesters of Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Chem 110DL is Honors Chemistry and involves applications of Inorganic Chemistry; this course is recommended for students who have a 4 on the AP Chemistry exam (Chem 20 credit).  Chem 110DL substitutes for Chem 101DL and 210DL (although see the section on AP credit).
  • Chem 201DL and 202L are the two semesters of Organic Chemistry.  There is a first-year-student-only section of Chem 201DL offered in the fall (Chem 201DL.002).
  • Bch 301 is Biochemistry; you can enroll once you have completed both semesters of Organic Chemistry.

When you enroll in Chemistry, you need to enroll TWICE ... once in the lecture/discussion section AND separately in the lab, e.g. Chem 101DL and the lab Chem 101L9. The sequencing of Chemistry courses is a little unusual, as you begin with one semester of Inorganic Chemistry (101DL), continue into the two semesters of Organic Chemistry (201DL and 202L) and then complete the second semester of Inorganic Chemistry (210DL).  This is why the second semester of Inorganic Chemistry has a course number of 210DL.

If you do not have AP or IPC credit, you are expected to enroll in both semesters of Inorganic Chemistry (101DL and 210DL).  Students occasionally believe that although they do not have AP credit in Chemistry, their background is sufficient to allow them to go into Chem 110DL or Chem 201DL rather than begin in Chem 101DL.  This can be problematic for several reasons.  Students often place themselves inappropriately and then find they do poorly in the course or need to withdraw.  And while some health professons schools may accept fewer than four Chemistry courses (2 semesters of Inorganic Chemistry and 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry), not all will; students can find themselves deficient in Chemistry and this may affect admissions to a health professions school.  Our advice is to follow the Chemistry Department placement guidelines.

Note that there are a few medical schools that will not accept AP credit; if you have AP credit and begin in Chem 201DL and need more Chemistry classes, you can add Chem 210DL or Biochem 302 as additional courses.  See the section on AP credit.