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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. View article »

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  • 0:04 Online Courses in Chemistry
  • 2:52 Program Information

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Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemical Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry

Online Courses in Chemistry

Online chemistry courses offered through reputable schools may be taken individually or as part of a degree program. Some individual courses are meant for students studying particular science fields, while others can be taken for general purposes. Additionally, enrollees may have to attend on-campus lab sessions, depending on the complexity of the topic. The most commonly offered classes are:

  • General Chemistry: The general chemistry course 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 also 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 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.
  • Chemistry and Society: This online course focuses on the impact chemistry has on people's everyday lives 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.
  • Analytical Chemistry: This course provides an overview of chemical analysis techniques, including mass spectrometry, chromatography, and spectroscopy. Students learn to set up and run experiments and to interpret the data that they generate.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: In this course, students learn about atomic structure, acid/base chemistry, oxidation-reduction reactions, and metal-ligand complexes. Transition metal complexes and solid state chemistry may also be covered.

Program Information

There are many well-respected institutions that offer online chemistry courses, and the credits students earn may be applied toward general education requirements for degrees in many different subjects. In addition, there are schools that offer online bachelor's degrees for aspiring chemistry teachers, non-thesis online master's degrees in this subject, and graduate certificates in specialized areas of chemistry, like forensic chemistry.

Students interested in studying chemistry who do not wish to earn a degree may take open courseware (OCW) programs offered by several colleges. Online chemistry classes can often 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.


Regardless of a student's major, there are online introductory and advanced chemistry courses that can provide relevant education and college credit. Some chemistry-focused degree and certificate programs are also available.

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