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Individual courses of study will obviously vary a great deal, but it is important to plan ahead as far as possible. The following points should be considered:

  • Many advanced courses have prerequisite courses, so we advise you to take core chemistry courses early.
  • Students intending to take the MCAT or GRE exams are advised to complete all core courses before sitting for the exam(s).
  • Students interested in conducting research or an honors project need to complete Organic Chemistry (CHEM 131 and CHEM 132), Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 140), and Physical Chemistry (CHEM 260) by their junior year.
  • It is important to take Calculus (MATH 120 and MATH 121) early, as it is a prerequisite for Physical Chemistry (CHEM 260).
Student measuring liquids in tube

Carving out Time for Research

By working with your academic adviser and developing your plan of study, you can make time for research opportunities during the academic year and over the summer.

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If you start in your first year (encouraged):

We encourage you to take Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 101 and 102) or Accelerated Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 103). However, even if you delay taking these courses, you still can complete a chemistry major in three years at Clark.

  • Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 101 and 102) or Accelerated Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 103)

  • Calculus (MATH 120 and 121)

If you start in your second year:

Many courses are taught only in the fall or spring, so you must carefully plan the courses you will be taking.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Most chemistry courses have labs. For some students, more than two labs a week can prove to be difficult. Although it is not essential to follow the suggested order, each student should follow a general plan.
  • Take your core courses early. This will give you more flexibility in your senior year to choose courses that interest you, as you will have completed all the prerequisites.
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 132) will be your first advanced chemistry course.
  • Physical Chemistry I and II (CHEM 260 and 262) are highly mathematical and require Calculus (MATH 120 and 121) as prerequisites.  Students are advised to take CHEM 260 and 262 in their junior year because the concepts taught are used in advanced chemistry courses.
  • Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 250) can be taken at any time after Analytical Chemistry (CHEM 140), and after or concurrently with Physical Chemistry I (CHEM 260).
  • More specialized courses are generally left until the senior year, or are used to fill out a schedule. A possible exception is Directed Study (CHEM 299), which can often be started in the spring of your junior year.
Contact Information

Gustaf H. Carlson School of Chemistry

Contact Us
  • Sackler Sciences Center, Room S134
    950 Main Street
    Worcester, MA 01610
  • 1-508-793-7116
  • 1-508-793-7117 Fax