Explore your interests in chemistry at Lawrence.

Academic advising at Lawrence seeks to empower each student to craft and pursue a transformative liberal arts experience that prepares them for impactful and personally fulfilling lives. Faculty advisors support students in planning and achieving their educational goals, facilitate connections to campus resources and communities, and guide students to make informed decisions as they pursue their academic interests and aspirations. 

Course Planning for New and Exploring Students

Chemistry-interested students should begin exploring the chemistry major through the following courses:

  • CHEM 113: Mathematical Practices in Chemistry (a 3-unit class that's recommended if you’d like to develop your math foundations)
  • CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity
  • CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics (Note: CHEM 116 requires instructor permission to register)

Additional Introductory Requirements 

The major requires MATH 140: Calculus and MATH 155: Multivariable Calculus, which must be taken before the junior year. Chemistry-interested students should begin taking the calculus sequence in their first year, and the ALEKS Placement Assessment will help determine where to start in the sequence for calculus. The major also requires PHYS 141: Introduction to Physics I and PHYS 151: Introduction to Physics II. We suggest taking these courses before the junior year, or talking with Professor Allison Fleshman about when best to take them to be prepared for Physical Chemistry (CHEM 370: Thermodynamics and Reaction Kinetics and CHEM 470: Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy).

Next Steps in Major

The next courses after CHEM 116 are generally CHEM 210: Analytical Chemistry and CHEM 250: Organic Chemistry I. We also suggest taking CHEM 380: Seminar: Perspectives on Chemistry in the fall of the second year. The remaining core courses can be taken in an order best suited for the student’s interests, junior and senior year schedule, and if a study abroad program is pursued. Our chemistry major advisors can assist with course planning.  

AP/IB Credit and Advanced Placement

Students with a strong background in chemistry who pass the online chemistry placement exam can skip CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity and begin with CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics. Students with AP/IB credit or an otherwise strong high school chemistry background are strongly encouraged to take the online placement exam.

Declare a Major/Minor

All students are expected to declare a major before the end of sophomore year. Ideally, sophomore students will declare a major (and switch to an advisor in the major) before advance registration advising begins in spring term.

Major Advising

All students will transition to a major advisor upon declaration. The major advisor will help students plan their coursework to satisfy requirements for the major, select courses in other areas to complement the major or satisfy personal interests, and prepare for their Senior Experience. Prospective chemistry majors can consult with any of the following chemistry faculty about serving as a major advisor:

Add a Major Advisor

Need help identifying an advisor in the major? Students can contact advising@lawrence.edu for assistance with advisor matching.

Minor Advising

Students do not need an official advisor for the chemistry minor. Instead, chemistry minors are encouraged to consult with the department chair or other department faculty for advice on course selection and satisfying minor requirements.

Additional Student Resources

If you still have questions about advising support related to the chemistry program, we invite you to contact the department chair.