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Online Chemistry Courses Offered by Top Colleges and Universities

Many leading colleges and universities offer chemistry classes online. Chemistry classes taken online can be useful, because some chemistry credits are often a requirement for many scientific majors, including biology, engineering and, of course, chemistry.

Essential Information

Students planning to earn a degree may find that some chemistry classes taken online can help them meet the general education requirements for many majors. The classes can be taken at the convenience of the student, who may have a full-time job or personal commitments. Many online classes offer a similar educational experience to traditional classes completed on campus. Students of these online programs may be required to attend labs and workshops on campus.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University (OSU) offers three online chemistry courses that can satisfy prerequisites for many majors. In some classes, students are not required to take lab classes on the OSU campus. OSU charges the same tuition and fees for its online chemistry courses for both in-state and out-of-state students. Credits earned in the course are transferable.

  • General Chemistry:The general chemistry course at OSU is a prerequisite for many science- and health-related majors. Students study atoms, elements, molecules and ions. Coursework includes study in stoichiometry, gases and their properties, as well as chemical reactions in aqueous solutions. Students learn chemical structures and atomic electron configurations.
  • Higher-Level General Chemistry:This online course is geared toward students pursuing a degree in pharmacy or chemical, environmental or biological engineering. The class is offered in a hybrid format, with optional lab clinics completed on campus.
  • Organic Chemistry:Designed for pre-professional students in the fields of optometry, dentistry, medicine and other health fields, this course focuses on the studies of bases and acids, cycloalkanes and alkanes, stereochemistry, alkyl halides and alkynes. Also studied are alcohols, ethers, ketones, carbohydrates, carboxylic acids and spectroscopy.

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin offers several online certificate and undergraduate degree programs. Online courses include those in anthropology, economics, algebra, psychology, women's studies, history and sociology.

Two online courses in chemistry offered by this university are:

  • Chemistry and Society: This online course focuses on the impact chemistry has on the everyday lives of people around the world. Students are taught to approach chemistry in a problem-solving manner so that they can understand societal problems that result due to various chemical reactions. Individuals study the ozone layer, global warming, acid rain and nuclear energy. No lab components are required.
  • Survey of Biochemistry: This foundational course explores the chemical structures and metabolism of living organisms. There is no lab element associated with this course.

Other College Resources

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Students interested in studying chemistry who do not wish to earn a degree may take OpenCourseWare (OCW) programs offered by several colleges. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a broad range of chemistry courses online. The courses feature the same material as those taught at MIT, with the exception that they are not scored or graded, and a student does not receive college credit for taking the course.

These online courses include:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Laboratory Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Principles of Chemical Science
  • Principles of Inorganic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Experimental Chemistry

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University's Learning Initiative is similar to that of OpenCourseware. The school offers two chemistry courses online: introduction to chemistry and biochemistry. Students in these online chemistry courses study matter, elements, molecules, compounds, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, atomic structure and more. While many online chemistry courses require students to complete an in-person lab component, Carnegie Mellon's program provides digital labs. The school's chemistry courses are designed for advanced learners, but the university does not provide verification of completion or certification.

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