Placement Requirements

We have found that performance in General Chemistry is correlated with performance on a number of standardized exams. To ensure you are prepared to meet the demands imposed by the CHE 2A, CHE 2AH, and CHE 3A courses at UC Davis, revised prerequisites for these courses have been put into effect for Fall 2016 and beyond.

For more information about the Chemistry Placement Exam, please refer to our Chemistry Placement Exam FAQ page. To learn more about the Math Placement Exam, please refer to the Math Placement Exam FAQ page. If you still have questions after reviewing these webpages, please email chemplacement@ucdavis.edu.

 

Placement into General Chemistry (CHE 2A or CHE 3A)

You may place into CHE 2A or CHE 3A via standardized test scores or via preparation. A score equal to, or higher than, the threshold value on any of the five standardized exams listed below qualifies you to enroll in CHE 2A or CHE 3A.

CHE 2A Workflow Chart

  • Qualifying Path #1: SAT Math score of 600+
  • Qualifying Path #2: ACT Math score of 27+
  • Qualifying Path #3: AP Chemistry score of 3+
  • Qualifying Path #4: SAT Chemistry score of 700+
  • Qualifying Path #5: Chemistry Placement Exam score of 24+

If you do not meet Qualifying Pathways #1-5, there are two preparatory pathway options that will also satisfy the prerequisite to ensure enrollment in CHE 2A or CHE 3A:

  • Preparatory Path #1: Completion of ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry with a 100% "Pie Mastery."
  • Preparatory Path #2: Completion of WLD 41C with a grade of "Pass" or "C" or better; this course is only offered in the Fall quarter and is open to students who do not meet Qualifying Pathways #1-5.
Students registered in CHE 2A or CHE 3A without satisfying these requirements will be administratively dropped from their course by the Department of Chemistry regardless of what anyone else may have told them, including an adviser or an instructor. There are no exemptions to the Chemistry Placement Requirements.

 

Placement into Honors General Chemistry (CHE 2AH)

CHE 2AH is the "honors" version of General Chemistry. It covers the same material as CHE 2A, but in more depth and with more complex examples. This course is for students who feel confident in their foundational chemistry knowledge. Although not required, it is also advisable for you to have completed a year of high school physics and be ready for a calculus-level mathematics course.

To ensure you are capable of meeting the demands imposed by the Honors General Chemistry sequence, revised prerequisites for CHE 2AH have been put into effect beginning in Fall 2016 and beyond. A score equal to, or higher than, the threshold value on any of the standardized exams listed below qualifies a student to enroll in CHE 2AH, space permitting.

CHE 2AH Workflow Chart

  • Qualifying Path #1: SAT Math score of 670+
  • Qualifying Path #2: ACT Math score of 30+
  • Qualifying Path #3: AP Chemistry exam score of 4+
  • Qualifying Path #4: SAT Chemistry subject test score of 700+
  • Qualifying Path #5: Chemistry Placement Exam score of 33+ on first attempt
  • Qualifying Path #6: Chemistry Placement Exam score of 30+ and Math Placement Exam score of 45+

If you do not meet the criteria outlined in Qualifying Pathways #1-6 above, you are encouraged to take CHE 2A, rather than Honors General Chemistry, assuming you meet the criteria for CHE 2A.

Students registered in CHE 2AH without satisfying these requirements will be administratively dropped from their course by the Department of Chemistry regardless of what anyone else may have told them, including an adviser or an instructor. Exemptions to the Chemistry Placement Requirements are not granted.

 

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry

OVERVIEW

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is designed to test for individualized knowledge gaps and to fill the gaps through computerized adaptive learning software. Students take an initial assessment which the software uses to gauge your current content mastery level. Your mastery level may go up or down based on your subsequent interactions with the software. The goal of this preparatory course is to fill the "pie" to 100%, which is the mastery level.  

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is an online, self-paced, minimally supervised course. We encourage you to take this preparatory course before your freshman year in order to remain on-sequence with required coursework, especially if General Chemistry is a key part of your lower-division major requirements.

ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is open to all students, regardless of exam scores or current/previous coursework. In this way, ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry may also be used to refresh your skill set in General Chemistry or supplement your learning of chemistry.

FOR USE AS A PREPARATORY PATHWAY TO PLACE INTO CHE 2A, CHE 2AH, or CHE 3A

Complete ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry as a pathway to ensure enrollment in CHE 2A, CHE 2AH, or CHE 3A. Students who opt to take this online, self-paced, minimally supervised course must earn a 100% Mastery "Pie" Level. The topics in the course were selected by faculty members in the Department of Chemistry who teach general chemistry. 

Additional information about ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry:

  • Course Credit. ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is a not-for-credit course. There is no course registration number associated with this option.
  • Cost. A fee of $35.29 will be billed to a student's UC Davis account as part of the Inclusive Access Program for digital course materials (much like online textbooks or online homework). For students completing ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry over the summer, billing will be deferred until Fall quarter (late-September), after financial aid funds have been distributed. 
  • Completion Time. Since ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is an adaptive learning program, time to completion will vary based on a student's interactions with the course. Time to complete the course ranges from 8 hours to 120 hours, with an average of 25 hours, of work in the online modules. The student license to access the course is twelve weeks, starting when students first complete their registration. It is the student's responsibility to complete ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry before his or her license expires, or before the specified deadline to finish, whichever occurs first. 
  • Enrollment. Students seeking to ensure their placement in CHE 2A, CHE 2AH, or CHE 3A for Winter 2018 may enroll in ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry via Canvas. To access this latest online course, go to https://canvas.ucdavis.edu/enroll/8WR6AL. After enrolling via Canvas, students will be able to read more about the course and how it works prior to starting their paid access.
  • Recommendations. Taking ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is recommended for students who have reliable internet access from a computer or tablet (sorry, no smart phones), have the time-management skills necessary to complete an online, self-paced course, and feel that limited interaction with peers and an instructor is sufficient. Students are encouraged to create an "ALEKS Notebook" to take notes on how to complete problems and to review notes prior to taking the periodic assessments in the course. Students should set aside time each day towards completing the course. Additionally, students are encouraged to consult outside resources (i.e. Chemistry LibreTexts) before clicking the "explain" button. Frequent use of the "explain" button will extend the time spent in the program. Long gaps between sessions to solve problems can trigger a re-assessment of a student's mastery level.
  • Supervision. ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is minimally supervised by a designated faculty member in the Department of Chemistry. Students taking the course will be able to communicate with other students and the faculty member via an online forum.

WINTER 2018: DEADLINES TO ACCESS ALEKS PREPARATORY CHEMISTRY

  • First Day to Sign Up: 12:00 AM on Wednesday, November 10 (note: student license is 12 weeks from date of sign-up)
  • Last Day to Sign Up: 11:59 PM on Friday, December 22
  • Last Day to Complete with 100% Mastery: 11:59 PM on Friday, January 12
  • Student Accounts Billed: Friday, January 12

It is your responsibility to complete ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry before your license expires or before the specified deadline to finish, whichever occurs first. 

Any questions or concerns that may not be addressed by this page or our FAQs page should be directed to chemplacement@ucdavis.edu.

 

Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C)

FOR USE AS A PREPARATORY PATHWAY TO PLACE INTO CHE 2A

This is a standard course taught by Sacramento City College instructors on the UC Davis campus. Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C) is only offered during the Fall quarter. You must achieve a grade of "Pass" or "C" or better to register for CHE 2A. This option is for students who prefer to have a standard course with face-to-face instructor time, homework, and exams.

Additional information about Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C):

  • Course Credit. Workload Chemistry provides 3 units of credit towards minimum progress and full-time enrollment status but not credit towards graduation.
  • Cost. The cost for Workload Chemistry is covered by a student's tuition. Students are also expected to purchase any course materials assigned by the instructor including textbook and online homework system access (estimated at $99.00).
  • Completion Time. A 3-unit course is expected to take 6-9 hours of work per week in addition to time spent in-class. This course is only offered in the Fall quarter which causes a (minimum) one-quarter delay towards starting the general chemistry series (CHE 2ABC). That delay may cause further delays in courses that require the completion of general chemistry. 
  • Enrollment. During UC Davis class registration times for the Fall quarter, register for Workload Chemistry (WLD 41C).
  • Recommendation. This preparatory course is intended for students who do not satisfy the criteria of Qualifying Pathways #1-5 to ensure enrollment in CHE 2A and who want a traditional in-person course with deadlines and assignments set by an instructor.

 

Chemistry and Math Placement Exams

These exams are only available online. Students choosing to take the online placement exams may take them twice per quarter but only once per testing session. As with any exam, if special accommodations are needed due to a disability, please contact the Student Disability Center.

Upcoming testing sessions to take these online placement exams are:

  • Testing Session #1 for Winter 2018: December 13 (Opens at 1:00 PM PST) thru December 19 (Closes at 1:00 PM PST)
  • Testing Session #2 for Winter 2018: January 8 (Opens at 1:00 PM PST) thru January 16 (Closes at 1:00 PM PST)

If you wish to take the Chemistry Placement Exam and/or the Math Placement Exam, you must request access by completing the Manual Registration Form per the following links:

 

Additional Course Suggestion in Chemistry

Concepts in Chemistry (CHE 10). This is a lecture-based, 4-unit survey course that takes you through basic concepts and applications in chemistry. It is only offered in the Fall quarter. While this course's primary function is to serve non-science majors, CHE 10 can help science majors refresh their interest in chemistry.

Students who take CHE 10 may enroll in CHE 2A or CHE 2AH during a later quarter. If you do this, you are still subject to satisfying the Chemistry Placement Requirements. Additionally, CHE 10 should not be viewed as a preparatory course for CHE 2A or CHE 2AH. If you are seeking to re-establish your skill set in chemistry, ALEKS Preparatory Chemistry is recommended.