College of Science & Engineering

Registration, Policies and Procedures

Registration Policies

  • All Chemistry courses (except independent study, research, teaching practicum, certain upper division courses and graduate-level courses) will be part of Western's automatic waitlist system and adhere to registration repeat policies.  For more information on this policy, please see the current catalog, under University Academic Policies/Repeating a Course.  The Chemistry Department will adhere to the university policy regarding registration in repeated courses for which a passing grade has already been achieved. 
  • Requests to declare a major in the Chemistry Department are not processed during registration times.  Declarations and assignment of faculty advisors takes place during intercessions only.  Declaring a major/minor in the Chemistry Department will not solve your registration issues, please plan ahead.
  • The Chemistry Department reserves the right to revise these policies at any time without prior notice.  The Chemistry Department reserves the right to reprioritize waitlists at any time without prior notice; in an effort to accommodate majors requiring the course(s) and/or to avoid delays to graduation.
  • Students MUST receive a C- or above in all chemistry courses in order for that course to continue on in a series. Students who do not receive a C- or above in a prerequisite course will be required to drop the next course in the series. For example: students who get below a C- in CHEM 161 are unable to take CHEM 162 until a C- or above is achieved in 161.

Course Details

CHEM 161/MATH 114 and ALEKS Math Placement Assessment 

Students MUST complete MATH 114 OR score a 70+ on the ALEKS Math Placement Exam in order to enroll in Chemistry 161. CHEM 161 and MATH 114 can not be taken concurrently.

Additionally, there is only ONE exception to this rule:  Due to the Math Department policy for pre-calculus transfer credit, students transferring in with PC1 credit on their Transfer Equivalency Report (or TER) will be eligible for enrollment in CHEM 161, concurrently with MATH 114.  To obtain an override, please call or visit the Chemistry Department Office.  

The Chemistry Department will not otherwise issue an override to allow concurrent enrollment in MATH 114 and CHEM 161

CHEM 161-163 

Students (regardless of their major) who have been on the waitlist for the same course for two consecutive quarters will be given priority. Any waitlisted students declared in Chemistry or Biochemistry Pre-Major (Phase I) will be given waitlist priority.  

CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry with Lab 

This course will not be restricted. Students declared in majors requiring this course (not as an elective option) will be given waitlist priority.  Registration will be open to all students during all phases of registration.  Any students waitlisted in said majors will be given waitlist priority.  Waitlists are evaluated and reprioritized during Phase II of registration.

CHEM 333 – Analytical Chemistry

This course will be restricted. Registration will be open to Phase I/Phase II Chemistry and Biochemistry students during Phase I of registration. The major restriction will drop at Phase II of registration and any student meeting the prerequisites will be able to register and waitlist for the course. Phase I and Phase II chemistry and biochemistry students will be given waitlist priority.

CHEM 351-353 

Organic Chemistry Lecture Series (CHEM 351-353): Courses in the lecture series will not be restricted.  Students declared in Phase I or II of chemistry and biochemistry are given waitlist priority followed by majors requiring courses. 

CHEM 354 

Organic Chemistry Lab I: This course is major restricted during Phase I of registration during the academic year. Chemistry and biochemistry majors in Phase I or II are able to register during Phase I of registration. Outside majors requiring the course for their majors or pre-health are able to register beginning at Phase II of registration. We will not issue overrides to any students for 354 during Phase I of registration. Courses are not major restricted during summer quarter. 

CHEM 355/356 

Organic Chemistry Lab II: CHEM 355 is major restricted to BA/BS Chemistry majors. CHEM 356 is not major restricted and designed for pre-health students requiring it for graduate/medical school.

CHEM 375 – Elements of Biochemistry

This course is not major restricted.  Students declared in the BA or BS chemistry major will be given waitlist priority. Waitlists are evaluated and reprioritized during Phase II of registration.

CHEM 471 – Biochemistry Lecture I 

Course is offered Fall and Winter Quarters. Each offering will be split into two CRN’s, each CRN will be restricted to Phase II majors, one for Biochemistry majors and the other for Biology-Cellular & Molecular Emphasis majors through Phase I of fall registration.  The last week of Phase I of registration, remaining seats will be allocated to students declared pre-health, chemistry minor, or another major requiring CHEM 471 that have filled out our access request form. All other students must wait until Phase II of registration, at which point all restrictions on the Biochemistry sections will be lifted. Please see the Registrar’s Important Dates & Deadlines listings for specific information on when the registration Phases begin and end. 

For Biology Sections & All Biology Majors:  The sections restricted to Phase II Biology-Cellular & Molecular Emphasis majors are managed by the Biology Department.  Waitlist management, overrides, special circumstances, and any other issues for Biology majors are to be handled by the Biology Department.  Their office is in the Biology Building, on the third floor (BI 315).  The Biology Advisors can be reached by phone at 360-650-3627 or by email at BiologyAdvising@wwu.edu.  Biology majors (aside from the Cellular & Molecular Emphasis) that are also declared pre-health or chemistry minors, should contact the Chemistry Department Program Coordinator (chemistry@wwu.edu) several weeks prior to registration to discuss options for seat placement.

Upper Division Lab Courses (Specifically CHEM 436, 464, 465 & 474) 

These courses are major restricted and space in these courses is allocated to Phase II chemistry and biochemistry students. In the event that there are additional seats, prioritization will be based primarily on GPA and students who are close to graduation. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the Department as soon as possible for assistance if they are unable to get into a required course as specified on their approved graduation checklist.

Note: Requests to declare a major in the Chemistry Department are not processed during registration times. Declaring a major/minor in the Chemistry Department is not immediate and will not solve your registration issues, please plan ahead.

CHEM 464 - Here is the form for B.S. Chemistry Phase II majors to Request Access to CHEM 464 (Winter Quarter 2020)

CHEM 474 - Here is the form for outside majors to request access to CHEM 474.  Biochemistry majors DO NOT USE this form!

CHEM 471 - Here is the form for outside majors to request access to CHEM 471.  NOT FOR BIOLOGY OR BIOCHEMISTRY MAJORS!

Independent Research Credit Permission Form:  Use to request an override for enrollment in Independent Research and Variable Credit Courses for Graduate and Undergraduate students.  Pay close attention to the instructions.

Transfer Courses

If you have transfer credits from an in-state, public institution, please review our transfer equivalency guide

If you have transfer credits from private in-state institutions or out-of-state institutions please submit syllabi for review through our transfer equivalency review form

University Policies

Understanding and knowing the policies and procedures of the department and the university is important to succeeding in Chemistry.

It is the responsibility of the student to be aware and familiar with university and departmental policies. 

If you are not familiar with the current university policies, please review the updated list on the University Policies & Procedures web page.