Choosing a First Chemistry Course

Below are potential first chemistry courses a student can take at Wellesley.


CHEM 105: This is typically the first course students take in chemistry and is offered in both the Fall and Spring semesters. It serves as a prerequisite for any subsequent courses in chemistry. Students must have passed the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) basic skills requirement to enroll in CHEM 105. 


CHEM 105P: This Fall course provides identical content to CHEM 105 with additional academic supports through an emphasis on study skills and strategies for quantitative problem solving, dedicated lab section and a smaller class size. Students with no high school chemistry or who have not passed the QR basic skills requirement should enroll in this course.  Admission to the course for all students is by permission of instructor; to enroll you should add your name to the waitlist and contact Professor Julia Miwa.


BISC/CHEM 116: Incoming first-year students with a strong interest in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, or Biochemistry should consider enrolling in our Integrated Introductory Biology and Chemistry 116 course offered in the Fall. This "double" course melds the two disciplines and is co-taught by faculty from both departments; it counts in lieu of CHEM 105 and BISC 110. To learn more about the summer application process for this course please contact Professor Don Elmore.


CHEM 120:  This course is an intensive, one-semester Fall course that serves as the equivalent of CHEM 105 and CHEM 205 designed for students who have more extensive high school chemistry coursework. Students who have a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam or an IB score of 5 or above on the Chemistry IB exam (upper level) should enroll in CHEMISTRY 120. To learn more about CHEM 120 please contact Professor Chris Arumainayagam.


CHEM 103:  This course, Elements and the Environment is offered as an introductory course but does not count towards the Chemistry major or minor or towards the premedical requirements in chemistry. This course is only offered during the Fall semester in the 20-21 academic year. To learn more about CHEM 103 please contact Professor Rachel Stanley.