Guide to Chemistry Placement & Introductory Courses

The placement exam will open on July 13, 2021.

Chemistry Placement Exam

The placement exam will open on July 13, 2021.

Please note: The placement exam is offered every semester during advising, pre-registration and registration periods. 

Please access the link through the secure student portion of self-service banner web. The results of this exam will be available immediately and will determine your course placement in Chemistry. You must score a minimum of 8 in order to enroll in CHEM0330. 

Register for CHEM-Web tutorial, a free, noncredit tutorial that helps incoming students review general chemistry. CHEM-Web covers stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, solutions, chemical reactions, and thermochemistry.  CHEM-Web is a voluntary non-credit tutorial that is offered only during the summer and in the month of January. The CHEM-Web tutorial is now open and will close on August 15, 2021.

updated 6/15/2021

The CHEM-Web tutorial is now open. Registration will close on August 15, 2021. After that date, you will not be able to join.  The tutorial remains open through shopping period and then is closed.

Incoming students with Brown usernames and passwords can register for CHEM-Web .

Completion of CHEM-Web tutorial is optional and does not replace taking the Chemistry placement exam. The goals of CHEM-Web tutorial are to review general chemistry and help students prepare for the placement exam.

Introductory Courses

The Chemistry Department offers two introductory level chemistry courses: CHEM0100 and CHEM0330. 

CHEM0100 (Introductory Chemistry) is designed for students with little or no background in Chemistry.  This course meets twice a week, plus a weekly problem session. This course does not have a lab and can only be taken for S/NC (Satisfactory/No Credit). Students who successfully complete CHEM0100 should be well prepared to enroll in CHEM0330 in Semester II. CHEM0100 will be offered in  Spring 2021.  Prof. Charles Morton is the instructor. This course will be online only.

CHEM0330 (Equilibrium, Rate and Structure) is a one-semester course with lecture, conferenc and laboratory portions.  It serves as the foundation course and entry point for all of our other Chemistry courses, and is intended for students who have a solid preparation in Chemistry and have met the mandatory prerequisites. CHEM0330 will be offered in Spring and Summer 2021. The lecture will be co - instructed by Prof. Brenda Rubenstein and Prof. Ou Chen. The conferences/problem sessions will be led by Prof. Eric Victor. Prof. Li Qiong Wang is the lab instructor. All components will be online only.

*All students who plan to take chemistry are required to take a short placement exam that will be offered online through Banner. To enroll in CHEM0330 students must:

  • score an 8 or higher on the placement exam, or 
  • have successfully completed CHEM0100, or 
  • have a minimum score of 4 on the AP Chemistry exam or minimum score of 5 in IB Chemistry exam

Please note, the official test scores must be on file with the Registrar’s office. Placement out of CHEM0330 is generally appropriate only for students who have completed IB-Higher Level Chemistry exams with a 6 or higher, British A-level Chemistry with a B or higher, or equivalent courses at another university.


updated 1/7/21

Yes, in order to successfully register for CHEM0330, you must register for each component in the same registration session.

The four components are: Common Meeting – this component is a tool the Registrar utilizes to organize the enrollment.  Despite the name, this component does not actually meet. Primary Meetingthis component is the lecture section of the course. There is one lecture section: S01 (Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 - 11:50 am). Conference – this component is a group problem session it meets once per week. Lab – this component meets once per week and is offered up to 10 times each week. The start time is either 1:00 pm Monday – Friday or 2:00 pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday 2:30pm.

In order to successfully register for CHEM0330, you must register for all four components.  

Students with British A-level exams, scores of 6 or 7 on the IB-Higher Level Chemistry exam, or a grade of C or better in an equivalent college course at another university or college may start with CHEM0350.  They are also able to transcribe transfer credit for CHEM0330. Please contact Dean Maitrayee Bhattacharyya regarding CHEM0330 credit for IB/A-Level courses.  All transfer credit request are processed through ASK.

You will need a course override to enroll in CHEM0350, please contact [email protected].

Concentrating in Chemistry

Yes,  you can start independent research with a faculty member at any stage of your time at Brown, but most students wait one or even two semesters. Numerous opportunities and funding sources are available for carrying out research over the summer. A significant number of Chemistry Department concentrators graduate with more than the required 2 semesters of independent research experience. Students are encouraged to speak directly with faculty with whom they would like to do research, discuss opportunities with concentration advisors or explore research opportunities here  and complete the research interest form .

Learn more about our concentrations on the Undergraduate Program page.

Concentration Advisors:
Chemistry:  Amit Basu
Biochemistry: Christopher SetoArthur Salomon, Gerwald Jogl, Louis_Lapierre, Alexandra Deaconescu
Chemical Physics: Brenda Rubenstein


updated 6/10/19

No. While it is possible to start the Chemistry sequence in your second year and still complete all of the requirements for a degree in four years, it is best to take CHEM0330 in your first year, if you are considering Chemistry, Chemical Physics or Biochemistry as possible concentrations.