Academic Procedures

Academic Procedures for the Department of Chemistry

General academic procedures for the university can be found in the Academic Procedures Dictionary and in the Academic Catalog

The following procedures are additional policies for courses within the Department of Chemistry.

Chem 111 Placement exam

All students interested in a science field (Biology, Earth and Environmental Science, Geology, pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, etc.) and intending to enroll in General Chemistry (CHEM 111) are required to take a placement examination to advise you on the best sequence of chemistry courses for you.


The chemistry placement exam is offered annually at New Student Orientation and at least once a semester. Students failing to complete the placement exam during the announced exam times will have to wait until the next testing date (possibly the following semester).

Based on your score on the placement exam, we will provide you with a recommendation to register for CHEM 101 (Foundations in Chemistry) or CHEM 111 (General Chemistry). The point of a CHEM 101 recommendation is to maximize your chances of success in CHEM 111.  Students earning a score of 35 or higher will be recommended into CHEM 111. Students earning a score of 34 or lower will be recommended into CHEM 101.


These recommendations are not binding, but you should be aware that in the past, students with a score of less than or equal to 34 had an average success rate of 23% in CHEM 111. We really do want you to succeed, so please seriously consider our recommendation.


Incomplete Grades

            An incomplete (I) is given only when the work of a course is not completed for reasons of extensive illness or serious emergency in the final three weeks of the semester. The request for an incomplete can be made by a student, faculty, or academic advisor to the Department Chair. The Chair shall contact the faculty member to determine if an incomplete is appropriate. The incomplete cannot be used merely to extend the semester. If approved, the incomplete grade must be removed from the student’s record no later than the last day of the semester following the one in which the incomplete was given. Incompletes not removed by this deadline will change to a grade of F.

Students who are in military service (active duty, reserves, or National Guard) may request an incomplete grade for military deployment, mobilizations, or duty changes occurring in the final three weeks of the course. A copy of the military orders must be provided to the Department Chair as documentation. The deadline for removing an incomplete given on the basis of military service is the last day of the semester following the one in which the incomplete was given. Every effort will be made to work with the student and the faculty member to facilitate completion of the incomplete. Should military service commitments prevent the student from fulfilling the requirements for removal of the incomplete, a grade of W will replace the incomplete.

As soon as the emergency is over, the student should attempt to make up the incomplete by working directly with the instructor. If the course is of such a nature that it cannot be completed until the opening of the next semester (for instance, if the work requires laboratory facilities), the student may use the first two weeks of the next semester for completion of his or her incomplete coursework. Within two weeks after receiving the work, the instructor must file a Removal of Incomplete form with the Office of the Registrar and assign a permanent grade for the student’s performance in the course. If these conditions are not met, the grade will be changed to an F.

Lab attendance

For laboratory courses, laboratory attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than two laboratory classes will automatically receive a failing grade in the course. Students should not count on “making up” any laboratory sessions. In most courses, make up labs are not possible due to safety considerations, time and space constraints.

Prerequisite Courses and Grades

Effective Fall 2014, the following minimum grades are required for continuing in higher level chemistry courses:

  • CHEM 112 requires a grade of C- or better in Chemistry 111.
  • CHEM 211, CHEM 253, CHEM 254, or CHEM 343 require a grade of C or better in CHEM 112.
  • CHEM 212 requires a grade of C or better in CHEM 211.
  • CHEM 317 requires a grade of C or better in CHEM 212.
  • CHEM 383, 384 Prerequisites: MATH 122, PHYS 105 and 106 or 101 and 102, and a grade of C or better in CHEM 112.
  • CHEM 453 is open to graduating majors only with a major GPA of 2.0 or higher

Effective Fall 2014, students who have received credit for CHEM 111 may not enroll in Foundations of Chemistry (CHEM 101)