Online Chemistry Courses Offered by Top Colleges and Universities

Many leading colleges and universities offer chemistry classes online. Students may be required to attend labs and workshops on campus. 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.

Online Chemistry Classes Available at Top Colleges and Universities

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.

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

The second, more advanced, chemistry course at OSU 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

The third course, organic chemistry, is designed for pre-professional students in the fields of optometry, dentistry, medicine and other health fields. The program 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 a unique online chemistry course on 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. The program does not focus on mathematical approaches to chemistry, and no lab components are required.

Other College Resources

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.

Additionally, Carnegie Mellon University's Learning Initiative 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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