Placement Guidelines

Below is a chart that provides placement recommendations based on high school background, math SAT (or ACT) score, and your score on the chemistry AP examination or its equivalent (if taken). Once you have determined your recommended course, click on that course link for details concerning that course such as catalog description, registration information for both lectures and labs, option to drop to a lower level if you encounter difficulty, and requirements that the course fulfills such as general education, major, minor, and medical school admissions.

High School Chem Math SAT (ACT) Chem AP Score Entrance Credit Placement Recommendation
<1 year and/or 
≤650 (27)
None None CHEM 99D
1 year >650 (27) None or <4 None  CHEM 101DL and its lab, CHEM 101L9 (available fall, spring and summer).
> 1 year >650 (27) 4 CHEM 20 CHEM 110DL and its lab, CHEM 110L9 (available fall only); OR CHEM 101DL and its lab, CHEM 101L9 (available fall, spring and summer). Students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about starting at CHEM 101DL below.*
>1 year >650 (27) 5 CHEM 21

If starting chemistry fall semester: CHEM 201DL.002 (special section of organic chemistry for first-year students only, available fall only) and its lab, CHEM 201L9; OR CHEM 110DL and its lab, CHEM 110L9 (available fall only). CHEM 101DL is NOT an option in the fall semester for students having credit for CHEM 21.

If starting chemistry spring semester: CHEM 201DL and its lab, CHEM 202L9 (available fall, spring and summer), OR CHEM 101L9 (available fall, spring and summer). Students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about starting at CHEM 101DL below.*

*The Office of Health Professions Advising strongly recommends that students who begin at CHEM 101DL also take CHEM 210DL, which results in the loss of entrance AP credit for either CHEM 20 or 21. Students needing assistance in selecting a chemistry course should contact DUS.

Course Information

CHEM 20 General Chemistry Credit Pre-matriculation credit awarded for a score of 4 on the College Board AP chemistry examination (or the equivalent). Recommended placement is CHEM 110DL, but a student may choose to take CHEM 101DL without loss of credit. Students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about starting at CHEM 101DL above.*
CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit. Pre-matriculation credit awarded for a score of 5 on the College Board AP chemistry examination (or the equivalent). Recommended placement is CHEM 201DL, but a student may choose to take CHEM 110DL (or, in some cases, CHEM 101DL) without loss of credit. However, students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about starting at CHEM 101DL above.*
CHEM 99D Catalog description: CHEM 99D. NS. Introduction to Chemistry and Chemical Problem Solving. Introductory course for students with limited background in chemistry emphasizing chemical problem solving. Topics include atoms, molecules, ions, compounds, and the periodic table, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, reactions in solution, and an introduction to chemical bonding, thermochemistry, and gas laws. To be followed by CHEM 101DL. Not open to students who have credit for CHEM 20, 21 or 101DL. (1 cc)
Semesters taught: Fall only
Registration: register for a discussion section found in DukeHub under CHEM 99D and numbered either 11D or 21D. DukeHub then automatically enrolls you in that discussion section AND the corresponding lecture section, CHEM 99D.001.
General Information: CHEM 99D counts as one course toward NS area of knowledge, but does NOT fulfill any requirements for a chemistry major, a chemistry minor, medical school admissions, or the general chemistry requirement for engineers.
Next course: CHEM 101DL
Placement: Guidelines
CHEM 101DL Catalog description: CHEM 101DL. Core Concepts in Chemistry. Emphasizes core concepts required for organic chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibrium with applications to acids and bases, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and reaction mechanisms. Relevance and integrated nature of these concepts illustrated through applications to a modern theme in chemistry, e.g. in biological, materials, or environmental chemistry. Laboratory illustrates experimental applications of these core concepts. Students may not receive credit for both CHEM 101DL and 110DL. (1 cc)
Semesters taught: Fall and Spring
Registration: First register for a discussion section found in DukeHub under CHEM 101DL. DukeHub then automatically enrolls you in that discussion section and in the corresponding lecture section: CHEM 101DL.001 or CHEM 101DL.002. Second, you now need to register separately for any lab section found under CHEM 101L9 in DukeHub.
Change in course level: A first-year student experiencing difficulty in CHEM 101DL may petition to drop back to CHEM 99D for an additional 2-3 weeks following the end of regular Drop/Add provided his/her schedule can accommodate the change without impacting the scheduling of the rest of his/her courses. 
General information: This course counts as one course toward NS area of knowledge, one course toward a chemistry major or a chemistry minor, and as one (of two) "general chemistry courses with laboratory" required for medical school admissions.
Next course: CHEM 201DL or CHEM 210DL.
CHEM 110DL Catalog description: CHEM 110DL. Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in Context. Emphasizes core concepts required for organic chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibrium with applications to acids and bases, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and reaction mechanisms. Strong emphasis on applications of these concepts in context of large, interdisciplinary scientific challenge, e.g. in cancer biology or nanoscience. Laboratory illustrates experimental applications of these core concepts. Students may not receive credit for both CHEM 101DL and 110DL. (1 cc)
Semesters taught: Fall only
Registration: First register for the discussion section found in DukeHub under CHEM 110DL and numbered 10D. DukeHub then automatically enrolls you in that discussion section and in the corresponding lecture section: CHEM 110DL.001. Second, you now need to register separately for any lab section found under CHEM 110L9 in DukeHub.
Change in course level: A first-year student experiencing difficulty in CHEM 110DL may petition to drop back to CHEM 101DL for an additional 2-3 weeks following the end of regular Drop/Add provided his/her schedule can accommodate the change without impacting the scheduling of the rest of his/her courses. This change in course level does not result in the loss of entrance credit for CHEM 20 or 21. However, students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about CHEM 101DL above.*
General information: This course counts as one course toward NS area of knowledge, one course toward a chemistry major or a chemistry minor, and as one (of two) "general chemistry courses with laboratory" required for medical school admissions.
Next course: CHEM 201DL or CHEM 210DL
CHEM 201DL Catalog description: CHEM 201DL: Organic Chemistry. NS, STS. The structures and reactions of the compounds of carbon and the impact of selected organic compounds on society. Laboratory: techniques of separation, organic reactions and preparations, and systematic identification of compounds by their spectral and chemical properties. Prerequisite: CHEM 101DL, 210DL, or 21. (1 cc).
Semesters taught: Fall, spring, and summer
Registration: First select a discussion section 21D-28D found in DukeHub under CHEM 201DL.002. Following selection of a recitation section, DukeHub will automatically enroll you in that discussion section and the lecture section, CHEM 201DL.002. To complete your registration, you now need to register separately for a lab section found under CHEM 201L9 in DukeHub.
Change in course level: A first-year student experiencing difficulty in CHEM 201DL may petition to drop back to CHEM 110DL (fall) or CHEM 101DL (spring) for an additional 2-3 weeks following the end of regular Drop/Add provided his/her schedule can accommodate the change without impacting the scheduling of the rest of his/her courses. This change in course level does not result in the loss of entrance credit for CHEM 20 or 21. Students considering Health Professions see cautionary note about CHEM 101DL above.*
General information: This course counts as one course toward NS area of knowledge, one course toward STS mode of inquiry requirement, one course toward a chemistry major or a chemistry minor, and as one (of two) "organic chemistry courses with laboratory" required for medical school admissions.
Next course: CHEM 202L or CHEM 210DL
CHEM 210DL Catalog description: CHEM 210DL. Modern Applications of Chemical Principles. NS. Modern applications of chemistry in context of larger scientific theme, e.g. in biology, materials science, or environmental chemistry. Revisits core concepts from CHEM 101DL or 110DL, incorporating additional topics including intermolecular interactions, phases of matter, solutions, quantitative treatment of aqueous equilibria, electron transfer reactions, and inorganic and coordination chemistry. Laboratory illustrates experimental approaches to modern problems in biological, materials, and environmental chemistry, as well as analytical and synthetic techniques. Prerequisite: CHEM 21, 101DL, or 110DL. (1 cc)
Semesters taught: Fall, spring and summer
Registration: This course is not open to first year students in fall semester
Change in course level: This course is not open to first year students in fall semester.
General information: This course will count as one course toward NS area of knowledge, one course toward a chemistry major or a chemistry minor, and as one (of two) "general chemistry courses with laboratory" required for medical school admissions. Students completing both CHEM 101DL and 210DL or both CHEM 110DL and 210DL forfeit entrance credit for CHEM 20 or 21.
Next course: CHEM 201DL or CHEM 202L or CHEM 301 or CHEM 310