Freshman and Sophomore Years

The first year of chemistry (Chem 103 and 206) is taken in relatively large class settings with many students having other scientific interests, followed by the second year in smaller classes where the curriculum is designed for chemistry majors (Chem 209 and 305). During this time there are a number of other courses which should be completed as prerequisites for advanced chemistry courses at the junior and senior levels. College wide requirements should be mostly completed at this time as well. The initial planning and understanding of College requirements falls upon you and your advisor, who can be an important asset for the successful planning and development of your course selections. If you explicitly expressed an interest in being a chemistry major on your freshman survey sent to the advising office prior to arriving at William and Mary, then you hopefully have a chemistry professor as an advisor. Those students with an expressed interest in chemistry traditionally take the following courses during the first two years:



Year 1

Chem 103 Gen Chem I (3 credits)
Chem 103L Gen Chem Lab I (1 cr)
Math 111 Calculus ( 4 cr)*

Chem 206 Org Chem I (3 credits)
Chem 206LOrg Chem Lab I (1 cr)
Math 112 Calculus  (4 cr)*

Year 2

Chem 209 Org Chem II (3 cr)
Chem 353 Org Chem Lab II (1 cr)
Physics 101 and Lab (4 cr)*
Math 212 or Math 213 (3 cr)*

Chem 305 Inorg Chem and Gen Chem II (3 cr)
Chem 354 Gen Chem Lab II (1 cr) OR
Chem 356 Inorg/Quant Lab (1 cr)
Physics 102 and Lab (4 cr)*

*These courses are recommended and are prerequisites for junior level chemistry courses.

There are other variations of the above listings which may occur, especially for those entering with college credit for chemistry classes. Many individuals with exceptionally strong math backgrounds tend to receive academic credit for Math 111 and/or 112 from AP scores. We strongly recommend that these students continue with Math 212 or Math 213 in the freshman year. Additional math courses such as linear algebra or differential equations may also be useful for those with strong math aptitudes and interests in physical/theoretical chemistry or engineering. Introductory computer science courses such as CS 141 are useful as well to those wanting to develop or improve computer literacy and programming skills.

You may have noticed that we do not follow the more traditional tracking of chemistry courses in the first two years; namely that General Chem I is followed by Organic Chem I in the Spring of the first year. While this may seem a bit unusual, we strongly believe that this gives students the broadest possible exposure to the many areas of chemistry in the shortest time possible; thus allowing for a more balanced background for students with respect to selecting an appropriate major.

Chem 307 (Organic Chem II for Life Sciences) and 308 (General Chem II for Life Sciences) may be used as substitutes for Chem 209 and 305 respectively. These courses are intended primarily for those in other disciplines; however, the course materials are similar and the courses count as credit towards the chemistry degree. We still strongly encourage that chemistry majors take Chem 209 and 305 as these courses are intended to provide a better preparation for the more rigorous chemistry courses at the junior and senior levels. Chem 356 is intended for sophomores who plan to major in chemistry. Chem 356 students enjoy more sophisticated laboratory experiments and greater faculty attention than are offered in Chem 354.

There are also opportunities for students to become involved in research starting in the spring semester of the freshman year.

You should declare a chemistry major though the department chair or designated representative prior to the spring registration session of the sophomore year. At this time you will outline course needs for completing general requirements as well as courses for the chemistry major. This is only a tentative schedule for your junior and senior years and you may substitute other courses at any time provided they meet graduation requirements.

Course descriptions can be found in the undergraduate catalog.