Choosing a First Course
There are several ways for a student to enter the chemistry curriculum at Wellesley.
A decision regarding the appropriate first course should be based primarily on the advice of the Chemistry Department, and students are urged to contact Professor Carla Verschoor with any questions. Other factors to consider include a student’s performance on the chemistry placement exam (see below) and AP or IB scores, if any. Here are the options available to a student wishing to take one or more chemistry courses at Wellesley.
1. Students with one year of high school chemistry begin in CHEMISTRY 105, followed by either CHEMISTRY 205 or CHEMISTRY 211. All three courses are offered in both fall and spring semesters. Students who wish to enroll in CHEMISTRY 105 do not need to take a Chemistry placement exam.
2. Students who do not meet the prerequisites for CHEM 105 and students who, because of their previous chemistry and math experiences, require additional academic support for the study of introductory chemistry should contact Professor Julia Miwa to discuss enrolling in CHEM 105P. The course is open by permission to students who have not fulfilled the QR basic skills requirement but are taking QR 140 concurrently.
3. Students who have a score of 5 on the AP Chemistry exam or an IB score of 5 or above on the Chemistry IB (upper level) may enroll in CHEMISTRY 120, an intensive, one-semester fall course instead of the two-semester sequence (CHEMISTRY105 and CHEMISTRY 205). Students with these scores do not need to take a placement exam to enroll in CHEMISTRY 120. Students with two years of chemistry but without the requisite AP or IB who perform sufficiently well on the Chemistry 120 Placement Exam may also enroll in CHEMISTRY 120. Try a practice PLACEMENT exam. Students who score 5 on the AP exam or 5 or higher on the IB higher level examination may count one unit of AP or IB credit towards graduation even if they enroll in CHEM 120.
4. Students with exceptional preparation (including extensive laboratory work) in chemistry should contact Professor Carla Verschoor about the possibility of placing out of Chemistry 120 and directly enrolling in Chemistry 211, although this option is generally not recommended.
5. CHEMISTRY 102, Contemporary Topics in Chemistry, is also offered as an introductory course but does not count towards the major or minor or toward the premedical requirements in chemistry. This course is only offered during the spring semester.
The Chemistry Placement/Exemption exams will be administered during orientation.
A student following the premedical sequence should be aware that four semesters of college chemistry with laboratory are required by all medical, dental and veterinary schools, and an increasing number of these institutions are also requiring one or more semesters of biochemistry.