Frequently Asked Questions for Current Students

Congratulations - You’re a chemistry or biochemistry student at the U of L! Now what?

You need to decide what courses to take and make sure they are offered when you need to take them. You may find you need some help with this process and we are here to answer your questions and provide support as you complete your degree.

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is located in the Science Commons and the Department office is SA8464, so please stop by.

Other valuable resources include our Program Planning Guides.  These provide guidelines for determining what courses you need to take and when. Please download them and start working with them today. For additional advice visit our department office at SA8464 or A&S Advising in Markin Hall, M2102.

Some courses can be taken out of sequence, but many cannot. For advice visit our department office at SA8464 or A&S Advising in M2102.

You can find additional information on our Future Students page or Grad Students page.

While pursuing your degree at the UofL there are opportunities to determine which area of Chemistry or Biochemistry best suits you. You can work in a research lab on an Independent Study (IS) or Applied Study, as a research assistant or even full-time as a Co-op student. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has many advanced instruments to enable cutting-edge research. These tools include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infra-red, Raman, UVvisible, atomic absorption spectrometers, macromolecular x-ray diffractometer, isothermal titration calorimeter, and a surface plasmon resonance spectrometer. Students learn to use such instruments as a part of several undergraduate courses and during research opportunities. A list of all our department members and their research is available here.

Student opportunities include:

  • Co-operative Education
  • Applied Studies
  • Independent Studies
  • Involvement with professors on research projects
  • Co-authorship of papers/publications
  • Participation in conferences such as:
    • CSC (Canadian Society of Chemistry)
    • WCUCC (Western Canada Undergraduate Chemistry Conference)
    • RiboWest Conference (Biochemistry only)

FAQ's to answer the most common questions.

FAQ answers

What if I can’t get into my course when I am trying to register?

  • You may not be able to register because the course is full or you are trying to register in a course that’s not in your major (some courses have reserves on them so majors can get courses they require), or if there is a conflict with one of your other courses.

  • Go online to A&S Advising (their office is in M2102) where you can register for the wait list for your class.

  • Keep trying to register in the course.

  • You can also visit the Dept office, SA8464, for advice or to find out if the course is full but we cannot put you on the wait list. You must complete the A&S Advising form online to be put on the wait list. The wait list is important, so that we know how many people cannot get into the course. Then we decide if we need to increase the course size and open more labs so students can register.

  • Valid Reasons for Registration Assistance:

    • The course must be required for your current major.
    • You must have the prerequisite for the course (or you must bring a signed Prerequisite Waiver form to Arts and Science Student Program Services in M2102 before you submit your request).
    • The course must  fit your schedule. (If there is a time conflict or registration in the course will cause you to exceed the maximum credit hours allowed you will be removed from the wait-list, unless you have indicated which course to drop).
    • You must have previously attempted to register yourself in the course.

    Invalid Reasons for Registration Assistance:

    • Day, time or section preference
    • Courses in a minor or concentration
    • GLER or elective courses


What if I pass my lab but fail my course (CHEM or BCHM) and need to retake the course?

  • Lab waivers are NOT being issued for any Chemistry courses as of May 1, 2022. If you are repeating a class in Fall 2022 or later, you will have to retake the lab portion also.

NOTE - Biochemistry & Biological Sciences do NOT give lab waivers

[top of page]

Why do prerequisites matter and how are they different from recommended courses?

  • Prerequisites are the courses listed in the course description that you must take before enrolling in the current course. You need to pass the prereq course to get credit for it.

  • They are required background, as without the prereq you will not have an adequate knowledge of related course material to be successful in the current course.
  • If you do NOT have the prerequisites and do not contact the professor teaching that course for a waiver, you will not be able to register in the class. 
  • Waivers are not automatically given to students missing prereqs. They are given on a case by case basis.
  • Recommended background courses are not required but can make your comprehension of the current course much easier. You do not have to take them before taking the current course. They can be taken at the same time as the course they are recommended for.
  • Substantially similar are courses that are similar to other courses and you will not be granted credit for both courses.
    • Eg. Chem 2500 is similar to Chem 2100 and you can only get credit for one of the courses


CHEM 2500


Organic Chemistry I



Tu Th



Dibble P

NOTE: Partially reserved.
NOTE: Students MUST register for the SEC and one LAB.
NOTE: Some familiarity with calculus and physics is recommended.
NOTE: Course designation: Science.
PREREQUISITE(S): Chemistry 2000
RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: Mathematics 2560 AND Physics 1000
SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR: Chemistry 2120; Chemistry 2100 (prior to 2007/2008)

[top of page]

What if I am a transfer student or have changed my major to Chem or Bchm and don’t have all the prerequisites?

  • This is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

  • If you do NOT have the prerequisites you will not be able to register in the class. 
  • You need to visit the Professor teaching the course you want to take and discuss your options. Some may waive the prerequisite or allow you to take it as a co-requisite but it does depend on what other courses you have already taken and passed.
  • You can also visit A&S Advising, M2102, for advice.
  • The Department Chair needs to sign the waiver form before you take it to A&S Advising, M2102.
  • You need to take the waiver to A&S Advising BEFORE Add/Drop ends so they can register you in the class.

How can I get course credit for research experience?

  • Independent studies are for course credit only, but Faculty do hire students as research assistants, too.

  • Research opportunities are available for students during the school year and summer.
  • Contact the faculty member that you would like to do research with, to find out if they are taking students that semester or in the summer.
  • Many grant applications, etc. deadlines are months before the summer begins (May), therefore you are more likely to be accepted into a lab for the summer if you ask in Dec. or Jan.
  • Full details are available here.

What if I need a tutor?

  • The Department of Chem & Bchm has a list of private tutors they can send you. It does vary from semester to semester.

  • Use your account to email with your name, class you are taking and we will send you a list of tutors to contact. The tutors will also be copied on the email, so they know whom their names have been given to.
  • Contact the tutor(s) on the list for assistance.
    • It is your responsibility to contact the tutor, arrange the rate of pay, payment method, tutoring times and location.
    • The Dept of Chem & Bchm only provides the names of tutors.
    • If you have questions talk to your prof too. They are there to help you!

[top of page]

What Chem & Bchm 4000 classes are offered each semester?

  • Chemistry or Biochemistry 4000 courses are usually offered each semester and offerings will normally not be repeated within a two-year cycle (e.g. Practical Spectroscopy and Advanced Molecular Modeling were offered in Winter 2008 and will not be offered again until at least 2010).

  • Advanced Chemistry or Biochemistry courses can be taken more than once provided the content, as identified by the title, is different in any two offerings.
  • These are tentative course outlines and are subject to change.

Click on the text for a PDF of the course outline or contact the professor for more information about the course. Some courses are scheduled to be taught in the next calendar year. This is indicated by the semester and year in brackets after the professor's name.

Winter 2024

  • Chemistry 4000A: Medicinal Chemistry - Dr. Susan Findlay

  • Chemistry 4010A: Introduction to NMR: Theory and Practice - Dr. Paul Hazendonk

  • Biochemistry 4000A: Principles Protein Structures - Dr. Steve Mosimann

  • Biochemistry 4000B - Hydrodynamic Methods - Dr. Borries Demeler

Fall 2024

  • NOTE - this is a proposed list and may change before Winter 2024. Check with the online calendar to make sure it is offered.

  • Chemistry 4000A: Advanced Chemistry (Series)
  • Biochemistry 4000A: Studies in Biochemistry (Series)

[top of page]

Potential Chem & Bchm 4000 classes

Biochemistry of Antibiotic Activity
Cellular and Molecular Medicine - Dr. Nehal Thakor
Contemporary Methods in Biochemistry - Drs. Mosimann, Patel, Thakor
Molecular Immunology - Dr. Trushar Patel
Principles of Protein Structure - Dr. Steven Mosimann
Bioinformatics - 

Advanced Computational Chemistry – Dr. Stacey Wetmore
Advanced Contemporary Chemistry - Dr. Peter Dibble
Advanced Kinetics and Reaction Dynamics – Dr. Marc Roussel
Advanced Organic Chemistry – Dr. Peter Dibble
Chemical Applications of Group Theory – Dr. Michael Gerken
Chemical Crystallography - Dr. René Boeré
Foundations of Chemical Kinetics - Dr. Marc Roussel
Fluorine Chemistry - Dr. Michael Gerken
Introduction to Molecular Modeling – Dr. Stacey Wetmore
Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry – Dr. Paul Hayes
Medicinal Chemistry - Dr. Susan Findlay
Modelling Biochemical Reaction Networks - Dr. Marc Roussel
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy – Dr. Paul Hazendonk
Principles of Electrochemistry and EPR Spectroscopy - Dr. René Boeré
Organometallic Chemistry – Dr. Paul Hayes
Statistical Mechanics – Dr. Marc Roussel

[top of page]