This page is intended primarily for transfer students from Oregon Community Colleges who wish to major in chemistry at Oregon State University. However, much of this information can serve as a guide for transfer students from 4-year colleges or universities or community colleges from other states. In general, you should look at the other pages on this Advising home page that contain information about the chemistry curriculum. For example, see the webpage for entering first year students to check that you have taken all the normal courses for the first year at OSU in chemistry.

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
  • At least 3 terms of calculus (including differential, integral, and calculus of many variables)
  • A year of physics with lab

Additionally you should take 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 1:

Fall Winter Spring
CH 231/261 (previously 221/224) - General Chemistry CH 232/262 (previously 222/225) - General Chemistry CH 233/263 (previously 223/226) - General Chemistry
MTH 112 - Elementary Functions MTH 251 - Differential Calculus MTH 252 - Integral Calculus

Year 2:

Fall Winter Spring
CH 334 - Organic Chemistry AND CH 361 - Experimental Chemistry I CH 335 - Organic Chemistry AND CH 362 - Experimental Chemistry I CH 336 - Organic Chemistry
PH 211 & 221 - General Physics with Calculus and Recitation OR PH 201 - General Physics PH 212 & 222 - General Physics with Calculus and Recitation OR PH 202 - General Physics PH 213 & 223 - General Physics with Calculus and Recitation OR PH 203 - General Physics
MTH 254 - Vector Calculus I  -  -

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 221-223), 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. More information is available here: https://chemistry.oregonstate.edu/content/organic-chemistry-transfer-policies.

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. The student must also complete all other chemistry (career supportive electives), College of Science, and University requirements.

One possible program for the ACS-certified B.S. degree with an advanced chemistry option is shown below (assumes the student has completed the transfer courses listed above):

Transfer Year 1 at OSU:

Fall Winter Spring
CH 440 - Physical Chemistry CH 441 - Physical Chemistry CH 442 - Physical Chemistry
CH 421 - Analytical Chemistry CH 422 - Analytical Chemistry CH 463 - Experimental Chemistry II
CH 461 - Experimental Chemistry II CH 462 - Experimental Chemistry II -

Transfer Year 2 at OSU:

Fall Winter
CH 411 - Inorganic Chemistry CH 412 - Inorganic Chemistry
CH 464 - Experimental Chemistry II BB 491 - Biochemistry 2: Metabolism
BB 490 - Biochemistry 1: Structure and Function -

Required courses will vary considerably depending on the particular option chosen. All chemistry students in any option, or students pursuing a Chemistry BA, will be required to take all courses listed above in bold. The specific courses required for ALL chemistry tracks and degrees are the following:

  • 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)
  • At least one Writing Intensive Course (WIC) (CH 462 or CH 463 or CH 464 for chemistry courses)

See the specific curricula for the differences in the options offered.

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 First Year Options Possible Second Year Options
Advanced Biochemistry BI 212 MTH 253, BI 314 (Recommended Elective)
Advanced Chemistry   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 211 a, BI 212, BI 213 BI 314
Forensic Science BI 211 a, BI 212, BI 213 BI 314 
Materials Science   MTH 256 
Pre-Medicine BI 211 a, BI 212, BI 213 BI 314 
Bachelors of Arts Degree Language Course Language Course 

a BI 211 is an enforced pre-requisite for BI 314 (beginning S07) and hence is effectively required regardless of option if the track requires BI 314.

For more information about transferring courses, click here: https://chemistry.oregonstate.edu/content/test-transfer-information-page