A Guide to Chemistry Placement & Introductory Courses

Introductory Courses

What introductory classes do you offer?

The Chemistry Department offers two introductory level chemistry courses: CHEM0100 and CHEM0330. CHEM0100 is only available in Semester 1.

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. Prof. Vicki Colvin will instruct CHEM0100 in Fall 2017.

CHEM0330 (Equilibrium, Rate and Structure) is a one-semester course with both lecture 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. Two sections of CHEM0330 will be offered in Semester I and one section in Semester II.  In Fall 2017, Prof. Richard Stratt will instruct CHEM0330 S01 (MWF) and Prof. Eunsuk Kim will instruct S02 (TuTh).

*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.

Chemistry Placement Exam

When can I take the Chemistry online placement exam? 

The placement exam be open on August 20, 2017.    Please note: The placement exam is offered every semester during advising, pre-registration and registration periods.

How do I register for the Chemistry placement exam? 

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. 

How can I prepare for the Chemistry placement exam? 

Register this summer for CHEM0100-web, a free, noncredit tutorial that helps incoming students review general chemistry. Chem0100-web covers stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, solutions, chemical reactions, and thermochemistry.  CHEM0100-web is a voluntary non-credit tutorial that is offered only during the summer. The CHEM 0100 web tutorial will open on June 15, 2017. 

How do I register for the CHEM0100-web tutorial? 

The CHEM0100 web tutorial is open.  Incoming students with Brown usernames and passwords can register for CHEM0100-web through August 15, 2017.

Completion of CHEM0100-web tutorial is optional and does not replace taking the Chemistry placement exam. The goals of CHEM0100-web tutorial are to review general chemistry and help students prepare for the placement exam.

To learn more about CHEM0100-web, contact Professor Sandra Russo-Rodriguez.

Registering for Introductory Chemistry Classes

I notice when I register for CHEM0330 there are four components of this course, do I need to register for all of these components?

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 are two lecture sections: S01 (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 - 10:50am) and S02 (Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30 - 11:50am). Conference – this component is the pre-lab instruction, it meets once per week and is offered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 12:00 pm. Lab – this component meets once per week and is offered 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.  

I completed IB exams (or college level course work) in Chemistry. Can I place out of CHEM0330 and start with CHEM0350?    

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 transcript transfer credit for CHEM0330.   You will need a course override to enroll in CHEM0350 in Semester II, please contact Sheila Quigley.

Concentrating in Chemistry

What Chemistry concentrations are available at Brown?

Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Physics.
Students may earn either an A.B. or a Sc.B. in Chemistry. The core for both degree programs is seven courses in general, inorganic, organic, and physical Chemistry. The A.B. requires two electives in addition to the core, while the Sc.B. requires a year of independent study and several additional electives, including math and physics. There are three tracks for the Sc.B degree in Chemistry – the Chemistry track, the Chemical Biology track and the Materials Chemistry track.
In addition, there are two interdisciplinary concentrations - Chemical Physics (co-advised with the Physics Dept.) and Biochemistry (co-advised with the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Dept.) 

Concentration Advisors:
Chemistry                 Amit Basu, Sandra Russo-Rodriguez
Biochemistry           Christopher SetoArthur Salomon, Gerwald Jogl 
Chemical Physics    Brenda Rubenstein

I'm not sure I want to concentrate in Chemistry. Do I need to take CHEM0330 in my first year? 

 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.

Can I do research during my first year?

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 concentrators graduate with more than the required 2 semesters of independent research experience.

updated 5/31/2017