Biology Department photograph montage

Selecting the appropriate Chemistry classes to meet your Biology Major requirements

Chemistry course prerequisites must be completed with a C or better

Although the Biology Department accepts the completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of C- or better, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry requires completion of prerequisites with a grade of C or better.

 

IMPORTANT:  The Chemistry & Biochemistry Department is making changes in prerequisites for CHEM 115, CHEM 343, & CHEM 349.  Please download this information if you plan on taking these courses.

Changes in Chemistry prerequisites for Fall 2015 (PDF) 

 Here are the recommended sequences for taking the Chemistry courses for each Biology Major (PDF, NEW for Fall 2016)

Recommended Sequence of Chemistry courses

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has provided a RECOMMENDED SEQUENCE for taking Chemistry/Biochemistry courses for Biology Majors:

Recommended Chemistry Sequence (pdf) UPDATED MARCH 2015

Obtaining equivalency for transfer Chemistry courses

If you plan to enroll in a Chemistry course, for example:

Chem 130, General Organic Chemistry,
Chem 233, Organic Chem I,
Chem 335, Organic Chem II,
Chem 340, Biochemistry I,
Chem 349, General Biochemistry

and you completed the prerequisites at a non-SFSU school, you may be BLOCKED from registering for the class online (during Early or Final Priority Registration).  If you completed the course at a non-DARS campus, the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department does not have on record that you have completed the prerequisite.  You must fill out a Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Transfer Equivalency Form and submit it to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Office (Thornton Hall 806) along with supporting documentation.

The instructions for submitting the Equivalency Form to the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department are here:

http://www.chemistry.sfsu.edu/undergrad_prereq_enforce/0layout.php

Once the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department is aware that you have completed the prerequisites, you should be able to enroll in your desired Chemistry class online (during Early Priority, Final Priority, or Open Registration).

After the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department has approved the equivalency, please meet with your Biology Major Advisor so that Biology can approve the equivalency for use in your Major degree requirements.

Chem 115 and the placement exam

Students planning to take Chem 115 are required to take a placement exam prior to taking the exam  The placement exam may be taken before registering for Chem 115.  You can find more information about the the placement exam here:

http://www.chemistry.sfsu.edu/placement_chem115/0layout.php

 

Beginning January 2015, the passing score for the Chem 115 Placement Exam will be 22.  This means that with a score of 22 or better, you will meet the Chem 115 Placement Exam prerequisite and be able to take Chem 115. 

Beginning Spring 2015, Chem 100 (Preparation for Chemistry) taken in Spring 2015 or later may be used to meet the Chem 115 Placement Exam requirement.  The Chem 100 course, as of Spring 2015, will be structured as an appropriate preparation course for Chem 115.  Chem 100 must be completed with a C or better to be used in lieu of the Chem 115 Placement Exam, as a prerequisite for Chem 115.

 

Organic Chemistry: Chem 130 or Chem 233/333?

All Biology majors are required to take at least one semester of organic chemistry. Students who are pre-health professional or who are planning on attending graduate school may choose to take the organic chemistry courses Chem 233 (Fall 2010 replaces Chem 333) and Chem 335, instead of Chem 130.   Chem 233 may be used to meet the Chem 130 requirement for the purpose of the Biology degree requirement only - the Chemistry Department DOES NOT ACCEPT Chem 233 as equivalent to Chem 130.  Students planning to take Chem 349 (General Biochemistry) must complete either Chem 130 OR BOTH Chem 233 AND Chem 335.  Directions for Biology students to obtain approval to use Chem 233 to meet the Chem 130 requirement are discussed on this web page:

Using Chem 233/333 Organic Chemistry I instead of Chem 130 General Organic Chemistry

Pre-health profession students or students planning to go to graduate school may choose to take the Organic Chemistry laboratories:  Chem 234 (Organic Chemistry I Lab) and Chem 336 (Organic Chemistry II Lab).

Which Organic Chemistry Course Should I Take?
Biology Major (Concentration) Appropriate Organic Chemistry Course
General Biology, Botany, Ecology, Marine Biology and Limnology, Physiology, Zoology, Microbiology (on Clinical Science Track) Chem 130 General Organic Chemistry
Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and pre-health profession* students Chem 233/333 Organic Chemistry I and Chem 335 Organic Chemistry II

 

 

 

 

 

 

*pre-health students should also take the organic chemistry labs CHEM 234/CHEM 336 to meet their targeted post graduate program requirements.

Biochemistry 340 or Biochemistry 349?

Which BIOCHEMISTRY course should I take?

It is critical to pay attention to the prerequisites for each course.

  • For Chemistry Department courses, Chem 130 is NOT equivalent to Chem 233/333.
  • If you plan on taking Chem 349, Chem 233/333 Organic Chemistry I is NOT ACCEPTED as a prerequisite.
  • If you plan on taking Chem 340, Chem 130 is NOT ACCEPTED as a prerequisite.

 Chem 349 General Biochemistry

Prerequisites for Chem 349 are Chem 115, and either Chem 130 OR Chem 335 with a grade of C or better  (you cannot take Chem 349 with only Chem 233/333 completed).

Which majors will likely take Chem 349?

  • General Biology (meets cell biology requirement)
  • Microbiology (option of taking Chem 349 or Chem 340)
  • Physiology (option of taking Chem 349 or Chem 340)
  • Cell & Molecular Biology (required)

Chem 340 Biochemistry I and Chem 341 Biochemistry II

Prerequisite for Chem 340 is Chem 215, and Chem 233/333, and Chem 335 with a grade of C or better (you cannot take Chem 340 with only Chem 130 completed).

Prerequisite for Chem 341 is Chem 340 with a grade of C or better.

Which majors will likely take Chem 340?

  • Microbiology (option of taking Chem 349 or Chem 340)
  • Physiology (option of taking Chem 349 or Chem 340)
  • Cell & Molecular Biology (in conjunction with Chem 341 to meet Biochemistry requirement)

  Back to Undergraduate Advising for Biology Students