If you are considering a major in Chemical Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, or Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, you must complete a year or more of chemistry (with laboratories) as a prerequisite to the major. Similarly, it is common for most students intending to go to medical school to take a year of general or organic chemistry, including the associated laboratories, in their freshman year to stay on track with the remaining requisite course work.

Most incoming students interested in chemistry begin their study with a general chemistry course, and the Chemistry Department offers two general chemistry course sequences:

  • CHEM 161, General Chemistry I and CHEM 165, General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 163, Comprehensive University Chemistry I and CHEM 167, Comprehensive University Chemistry II

Courses in organic and physical chemistry also are open to sufficiently well prepared freshmen. For more complete information about these and other courses suitable for freshmen, see Programs of Study: Chemistry.

Chemistry Preregistration and Placement

If you wish to take a chemistry course during freshman year, you must complete the High School Math and Science Survey during the summer (see Important Placement Information) and also preregister for a chemistry course by answering two chemistry-related questions in the survey. The process of chemistry placement and preregistration comprises several steps; students must complete all steps to receive a permission key for any chemistry course.

  1. Fill out the High School Math and Science Survey. Preregister for a course by answering yes to the question on whether you plan to take chemistry in your freshman year, then indicate your preferred course placement by answering the question that follows.
  2. Based on your admissions records and on the information you submit for the High School Math and Science Survey, the department will place you in the most appropriate general chemistry course. This initial placement will be accessible through the “Chem Placement 2017” site on Classes*v2 in mid-August.
  3. Students who miss the initial deadline for completing the High School Math and Science Survey (July 31) still must complete the survey and the preregistration process to obtain a permission key for any chemistry course. Late placements will be added to the “Chem Placement 2017” site on Classes*v2 prior to the beginning of the fall term.

Students with placement questions, or those wishing to change their initial placement, should attend the department’s orientation meeting prior to the placement examination. Freshmen wishing to take a higher-level course than their assigned placement are required to take a placement examination on the first day of registration week in the fall term. Students who feel they have been placed incorrectly at too high a level may discuss changing their placement with a chemistry placement adviser and do not need to take the examination.

Students entering with an advanced science background or a particularly strong interest in chemistry are encouraged to take the examination. Students uncertain about their placement, and especially international students, also are encouraged to sit for the examination, as it provides the best measure of a student’s readiness to enter the wide variety of courses offered to freshmen.

The department advises that you review general chemistry before taking the placement examination. Times and places for the examination are published in the Calendar for the Opening Days of Yale College. Students must bring a nonprogrammable, nongraphing calculator and a #2 pencil with them to the exam.

Students who have taken the placement examination are given the opportunity to adjust their preliminary placement by consulting with a Chemistry department placement adviser during registration week. Final placement information will be available on the “Chem Placement 2017” site on Classes*v2 the evening before classes begin, thereby allowing students to check their placement prior to attending the first regularly scheduled class meeting.

If you have questions about chemistry placement and preregistration after reading this material, consulting the departmental Web site, and consulting the “Chem Placement 2017” site on Classes*v2, call 203 432-3916.