This page is intended primarily for transfer students from colleges or universities who wish to major in chemistry at Oregon State University. This page is targeted to Oregon community colleges and universities, but also serves as a guide for transfer students from other colleges or universities from other states. In general, you should look at the other pages on the Advising home page that contain information about the chemistry curriculum.

Basic Principle:

If you are planning to transfer to OSU and wish to obtain your degree at OSU in the minimum possible time, you should try to complete, where possible, the course work that a chemistry student at OSU would have taken in the first two years. This includes a year of general chemistry with lab, a year of organic chemistry with lab, and at least 3 terms of calculus (including differential, integral, and calculus of many variables), and a year of physics with lab. Additionally you should take liberal arts courses that fulfill the baccalaureate requirements at OSU (skills and perspective courses). The most common reason that transfer students are behind in course work compared to "equivalent" chemistry majors at OSU is the lack of Calculus.

Specific Courses:

A typical chemistry major at OSU pursuing a BS or BA chemistry degree would take at a minimum the following chemistry, math, and physics courses the first two years at OSU.

Year Fall Winter Spring
CH 231 CH 232 CH 233
MTH 112 MTH 251 MTH 252
CH 334 CH 335 CH 336
CH 361 CH 362  
PH 211 & 221 or PH 201 PH 212 & 222 or PH 202 PH 213 & 224 or PH 203
MTH 254    

There are actually ten options possible with the B.S. degree. The required coursework in the first two years varies slightly for each option in terms of the number of math courses required and the level of physics required. For example, for many options, only MTH 251, 252, and MTH 254 are required and the Physics sequence, PH 201-203 is allowed (see the specific curricula for the options). For options such as advanced chemistry, advanced biochemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science, the PH 221-223 sequence is required as well as MTH 256 and MTH 253 in some cases.

In general, the courses numbers for general chemistry (CH 231-233), mathematics (MTH 112, 251-256), and physics (PH 211-223) are the same at both OSU and Oregon community colleges.

The organic chemistry sequence at OSU is somewhat unique. It includes three 3-credit lecture courses (CH 334-336) and two 3-credit laboratory courses (CH 361-362). The laboratory courses are the first two terms of a 6-term experimental chemistry laboratory sequence and the emphasis is on organic chemistry although other types of chemistry are included in the courses. In general, the organic chemistry sequence at community colleges (CC) is based on three courses (usually CH 241, 242, 243) with both a lecture and laboratory component and is not equivalent to OSU courses. For a student who has taken and performed adequately in a complete CC organic chemistry sequence, we generally waive the requirement that the student take CH 334-336 and CH 361 at OSU. Hence, the student must still take CH 362. The judgment about what courses a student must take is made on a case-by-case basis. See the Organic Chemistry Transfer Policies page for more information.

Note that when the organic chemistry courses from Oregon Community Colleges (CH 241, 242, 243) are transferred to OSU, the student normally receives lower division credit. The course work may appear on the transcript as various combinations of CH 331, CH 332, CH 337, and unspecified LDT credit. A student may receive upper division credit (300 level) if they perform at an adequate level on the ACS organic exam.

A transfer student who has followed the path described above and has accumulated about 90 credits that are transferred can often graduate in 6 to 7 terms at OSU. One possible program for the ACS-certified B.S. degree with an advanced chemistry option is shown below. The student must also complete all other chemistry (career supportive electives), College of Science, and University requirements.

Year at OSU Fall Winter Spring
CH 440
CH 441
CH 442
CH 421
CH 422
CH 463
CH 461
CH 362
CH 411
CH 412
CH 464
CH 462
BB 490
BB 491

The required courses will vary considerably depending on the particular option chosen,
but all chemistry students in any option or the BA would take at a minimum all the courses shown above in red, or more specifically:

one year of physical chemistry (CH 440-442),
one or two terms of inorganic chemistry (CH 411 and/or CH 412),
one or two terms of analytical chemistry (CH 421 & 422 or CH 324),
one or more advanced chemistry laboratory courses (CH 461-CH 464), and
at least one Writing Intensive Course (WIC) which is CH 462 or CH 463 or CH 464 in chemistry. See the specific curricula for the options.

Other Courses for Specific Options or B.A.

For some of the options, it can be advantageous to take some other courses during the first or second year because these courses are required courses for the option and also prerequisites for other courses. Here are a few suggestions. Many but not all of these courses can be taken at a community college.

Option or Degree Possible Option Courses for the First Year Possible Option Courses for the Second Year
Advanced Biochemistry

BI 212

MTH 253, BI 314 (recommended elective)
Advanced Chemistry Biochemistry   MTH 253, MTH 256
Biochemistry BI 211 a , BI 212, BI 213 BI 314
Business ECON 201 BA 215, BA 230 or 347, CH 324
Chemistry Education   CH 324
Chemical Engineering   MTH 256
Environmental Chemistry BI 211a , BI 212, BI 213 BI 314
Forensic Science BI 211 BI 212, BI 213 BI 314
Materials Science   MTH 256
Pre-Medicine BI 211a , BI 212, BI 213 BI 314
B.A. Degree language courses language courses

BI 211 is not a requirement for the Forensic Science option but it is an enforced pre-requisite for BI 314 (beginning S07) and hence is effectively required.

For transferring courses see:

OSU Transfer Credit Home page

Organic Chemistry Transfer Policies

Course equivalencies for OSU colleges

Chemistry Department Transfer Page

last updated 04/01/2010