Fall 2020 FAQs

FAQs on Fall 2020 Course Offerings

Dear Duke Chemistry Students:

We recognize the high level of stress and uncertainty brought on by the constantly shifting circumstances of the Covid pandemic. Please know your faculty and staff in Chemistry have been working diligently to develop an academic plan that considers the disruptive changes and tries to accommodate students in so many different situations. We cannot solve everything, but we are doing our best! The nature of the pandemic means that in many cases, faculty learn of new policy changes the same time students do, so please bear with us as we respond to the shifting landscape.

We have made several substantive changes to our course offerings this Fall that we want you to know about. These include:

  • Increased number of sections for large classes: CHEM 101, 110, 201, 202 and 210. The lecture portions of these classes will all be delivered remotely. This change provides more class times to accommodate students residing in different time zones. It also lowers the instructor:student ratio to enhance interaction, even in a remote format.
  • CHEM 202 Lab (Chem202L) is now a separate course from lecture and is worth 0.25 units. The Lecture/Discussion course (Chem202D) will be worth one full credit and will meet fully online this Fall. The Lab course requires in-person lab; there is no on-line component. The dissociation of lecture and lab means that you can take the lab the same semester as lecture or during a future semester if you need the laboratory component. This is a change to our curriculum and is being implemented to provide more flexibility for students.
  • CHEM 210 Lab (Chem210L) is now a separate course from lecture and is worth 0.25 units. The Lecture/Discussion course (Chem210D) will be worth one full credit and will meet fully online this Fall. The dissociation of lecture and lab means that you can take the lab the same semester as lecture or during a future semester if you need the laboratory component. This is a change to our curriculum and is being implemented to provide more flexibility for students.
  • CHEM 101DL and 110DL remain combined Lecture+Lab courses. The labs have been redesigned for a remote format and will not include any required in-person meetings this Fall.
  • CHEM 201DL also remains a combined Lecture+Lab course. Both components will be delivered remotely; there is no in-person 201 Lab offered for Fall 2020.
  • What about independent study? Undergraduate research placements are at the discretion of a faculty supervisor, just like in every other semester. Given social distancing and lab capacity requirements, every researcher, including undergraduate researchers, must be accommodated in their Lab’s research work plan. Remote projects may also be available. If you already have an independent study supervisor, please contact them about the options for completing independent study. If you are searching for an advisor, check the MUSER site for potential new listings or reach out directly to faculty members who have research topics on their online faculty profiles that interest you.
  • I am a junior or senior and need to be on campus for a specific reason. We too are upset that the unstable situation means that juniors and seniors are more restricted from on campus activities this Fall than anyone wants. If you secure off-campus housing, you will be able to take in-person classes or access research laboratories for independent study. If you cannot secure off-campus housing, there is a process to apply for campus housing because of personal or academic situations. Contact Student Affairs and see the FAQ’s at https://keeplearning.duke.edu.
  • I am a junior or senior and need / was planning on taking 310L this Fall. Now what? This laboratory-intensive class is intended to be in-person and thus is currently coded in-person only. We are exploring possibilities of a remote section or off-cycle Spring offering given the latest restrictions for juniors and seniors. If you are interested in this course, please email dus@chem.duke.edu with the subject line “concerned about 310L”.
  • I am a junior or senior and need / was planning on taking 401L this Fall. Now what? Analytical laboratory is intended to be in-person due to the intense focus on analytical skill and hands-on instrumentation. The 401L Lab will be offered this fall as an in-person lab.  Should this cause difficulties for you considering the change in residency on campus, it will also be offered in the spring.

We hope these explanations answer some of your questions. If you do not find answers to your situation, we encourage you to contact your academic advisor or academic dean for further guidance, or email your query to dus@chem.duke.edu.