Frequently Asked Questions For New Students
I have a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry Exam (or 7 or 8 on the IB Chemistry Exam) — what should I do now?
If you have submitted your test scores to the Registrar’s Office, then you will receive credit at Wake Forest for CHM 111 (3 hr), CHM 111L (1hr), and CHM 280 (3 hr). You do NOT have to take the Chemistry Exemption Exam to receive this credit. You will also be invited to register for a special freshmen-only section of Organic Chemistry I in the fall semester of your first year. This course is designated “CHM 123 & 123L” and is aimed at students interested in pursuing a science or technical degree. While the content is the same as in 122/122L, the class is generally smaller and usually has the same professor for lecture and lab. There are also opportunites presented in the class to meet other chemistry faculty. CHM 123 affords students extra scheduling flexibility in the long run (to study abroad or complete the requirements for a double-major, for example). If you receive AP chemistry credit, look for an email or letter about CHM 123 before you arrive on campus. Please contact Dr. Paul Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
I’m not sure if I want to begin my study of Chemistry in the fall of my freshman year, but I definitely want to take College Chemistry I (CHM 111 & 111L) at some point…. What are my options?
CHM 111 is the starting point for your study of chemistry at Wake if you do not have AP or IB credit. CHM 111 only offered in the fall semester, and is either directly or indirectly a pre-requisite for many courses in the sciences and for the pre-health tracks. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged that you enroll in your first semester freshman year if you are considering a chemistry major.
I had a late registration time and I am registered for a lecture section of CHM 111 but I could only manage to get wait-listed for a lab section (or vice versa). Now what should I do?
You should contact the professor of the lab or lecture you wish to add (this is general advice for all courses at WFU). Spots open up and, occasionally, professors know of open spots. Professors receive POI (Permission of Instructor) numbers at the end of the first week of every semester and may add students to open seats. CHM 111 and CHM 122 have very high enrollments and you may simply have to take the lab or lecture at a time that isn’t ideal. We wish it weren’t so, but many friendships have been hatched over an 8 am coffee or pizza after a night lab.
I took an AP Chemistry class in high school but never took the test (or I didn’t take AP Chemistry but my high school had a really awesome chemistry program and I think I am pretty well prepared for college chemistry). What options do I have?
You can take the Chemistry Exemption Exam, which will be offered during the first week of classes. Go ahead and register for CHM 111/111L, and then your professor will make an announcement in the first class meeting with more details about the exemption exam option. If you do well on this exam, then you will automatically receive credit on your WFU transcript for College Chemistry I (CHM 111 (3 hr) & 111L (1hr)), and you will drop your CHM 111/111L class, with the option of being moved into the CHM 123/123L class instead.
Frequently Asked Questions for (Prospective) Chemistry Majors
I am a chemistry major who would like to study abroad. Can I?
Yes! In fact, recently chemistry has simplified the course requirements specifically to help students study abroad.
The Department of Chemistry offers three courses in the United Kingdom on a rotation. Tentatively, the rotation is set:
- CHM 280 Summer 2020
- CHM 223 Summer 2021
- CHM 370 Summer 2022
Additional department chemistry programs have been held on an ad hoc basis – keep an eye out on the walls of Salem Hall or on the webpage of the Global Programs Office. There is ample space in the curriculum to spend a semester abroad at one of WFU’s summer houses or with an independent program.
If you hope to study abroad as a chemistry major, or if you wish to take one of Chemistry’s summer offerings, you should contact your adviser or the department chair.
Are all chemistry courses offered every semester?
Generally, no. CHM 111 is primarily a Fall course. Occasionally, it is offered in the Spring but there is no guarantee. CHM 122 is primarily a Spring course. CHM 123 is offered in the Fall but is reserved for new first year students. CHM 223 is a Fall course. One section is usually offered in the Spring but seats are limited and CHM 123 students have priority. CHM 280 is only offered in the Spring.
All of the above courses are typically offered in the summer but vary as to which session.
- CHM 334 is offered in the Fall.
- CHM 341 is offered in the Fall.
- CHM 342 is offered in the Spring.
- CHM 361 is offered in the Spring.
- CHM 370 is offered both semesters.
- CHM 373 is offered in the Spring.
I see that CHM 334 has a class limit of 24. Will I get in?
The first four semesters of chemistry at WFU have very high enrollment. They are in high demand because they are required not just for Chemistry majors but for several other majors and for admission to medical school and other professional schools.
On the other hand, 300-level chemistry courses are almost exclusively taken by chemistry majors. (CHM 370 is a major exception to this rule). In these classes, you will get to know your fellow chemistry majors very well. Additionally, before registration, the Department will “pre-register” you for the courses you need.
Thus, you don’t need to worry about fighting for space in CHM 334. But you do need to have a conversation with your major adviser.
My friends say all my chemistry classes will be downtown. Is that true?
No. The Department of Chemistry is housed in Salem Hall and Wake Downtown. About half our faculty have offices in each location, though they teach in both. Both buildings were completely renovated over 2016-2018 and provide state of the art accommodations. The upper level courses for majors are split about 50-50 across the two buildings and the lower level courses alternate.
As a chemistry major, you’ll spend significant time in both buildings.
I want to work in a research laboratory.
Great! Learn more here.