Quick facts about introductory chemistry and advanced placement:

  • A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam entitles the earner to six college credits.
  • The introductory chemistry sequence at Lawrence includes Chem 115 and 116.
  • Students with experience in IB/AP chemistry, or with other strong chemistry backgrounds, may consider starting the introductory sequence at Chem 116.
  • Students who wish to place out of 115 and proceed to 116 must take a placement exam (see below) on Canvas and score a minimum of 75% (18.75/25) on that test.
  • Students who place into 116 without AP/IB exam scores will not earn college credit for Chem 115, and Chem 115 will not appear on their college transcripts. 
  • Medical, dental, and pharmacy schools typically require two "inorganic" chemistry courses on applicants' transcripts. Students that proceed directly to Chem 116 by placement exam may consider fulfilling this requirement by taking Inorganic (320) or Analytical (210) Chemistry in addition to Chem 116. In some cases, a letter from our department chair explaining our introductory chemistry policy is sufficient.

Chemistry Placement Examination

The placement exam is a set of 25 questions available on the Lawrence Canvas site. To take the placement test you must be manually enrolled in the Canvas course. Please email the 115 or 116 instructor AND the department chair requesting permission. Please note that over the summer it might take a week to be enrolled in the placement test Canvas course.

Department Chair: Deanna Donohoue - deanna.l.donohoue@lawrence.edu

CHEM 115 
Fall 2024 – Graham Sazama - graham.t.sazama@lawrence.edu
Winter 2025 – Mike Gesinski - mike.gesinski@lawrence.edu
Spring 2025 – Kelly Culhane - kelly.j.culhane@lawrence.edu

CHEM 116
Fall 2024 – Tim Quincy - timothy.quincy@lawrence.edu
Winter 2025 – Kelly Culhane - kelly.j.culhane@lawrence.edu
Spring 2025 –  Allison Fleshman - allison.m.fleshman@lawrence.edu

Notes on the placement exam:

  • Since the exam score may allow a student to go directly to CHEM 116, the questions deal with topics that are covered in CHEM 115, including atomic and molecular structure, periodic properties, general stoichiometry, and simple reaction identification.  Review of those or related topics before taking the exam is likely to be helpful and is strongly encouraged.
  • You will need a periodic table of the elements, values of some constants, and other information and equations. For these purposes you should consult a general chemistry textbook while you are working on the quiz. You may use the free open-source textbook Openstax Chemistry Atoms First 2e (links to an external site).
  • You will also require a non-programmed calculator and some scratch paper.
  • Questions allow only a single answer.
  • You may retake this exam as many time as you like.
  • Only registered, enrolled users can take graded quizzes.