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General chemistry is a core requirement for many science majors and professional training programs and is central to your success in these programs; therefore, it is essential that students are conscientious in learning the course material. We have information available to help you in Choosing Introductory Courses. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the various resources that can help you be a success, such as the Chemistry Study Center. Often students will find temporary use of tutoring services provided by either upperclassmen or professional firms to be helpful. You can obtain a list of possible tutors from the advisors' offices in Bagley Hall Room 303.

Prospective Student?

We encourage prospective students to come for a visit, talk with an advisor and perhaps sit in on a typical first year course. Another way to check out the school and the department is by visiting the UW website or the Chemistry Department's site.


Some high school students choose to take advantage of the Running Start Program. Running Start allows 11th and 12th grade students to enroll in  courses at certain local community colleges for college credit, which also count towards high school graduation (see the section on high school opportunities).

Many students may also take advanced courses at their high school, then take the AP Chemistry exam or IB Chemistry exam at the end which may result in college credits in General Chemistry. Students who score a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam or a 4, 5, 6, or 7 on the IB (HL) Advanced Chemistry exam are awarded credits in the general chemistry sequence (CHEM 142, 152 and 162). However, these students are strongly encouraged to consider taking the honors general chemistry sequence, CHEM 145, 155, and 165. Many students who have opted to take the honors general chemistry sequence have found themselves to be challenged and ultimately better prepared for the more advanced chemistry and biochemistry courses. The honors general chemistry sequence offers small class size and more individual interaction with instructors.

Course Registration Problems

Hopefully, you have attended an orientation session for new or transfer students and have learned the ins and outs of registration. There are several possible reasons why you are not able to register such as your measles immunization records aren't on file, the class is restricted to a specific group of students, or you do not have the prerequisites as a part of your UW record. Web registration checks your prerequisites but if you are an incoming student there's a chance that your credits are not yet on the UW computer database.


What can you do? Go to an adviser and ask for help. We can override some restrictions for prerequisites for chemistry courses, provided you have proof of taking them at another school. We have drop-in hours from 900-1130am and 130-400pm. Most registration problems are easy to diagnose. Be prepared to hear that you need to keep trying to check for space availability in classes because students drop courses every day and the opening you are looking for can happen at anytime.

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