Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Academic Policies

Majors may count no more than one grade of D in chemistry courses toward meeting degree requirements. Chemistry courses taken more than eight years prior to the proposed date of graduation are subject to review by the department and, at the discretion of the department, such courses may not be allowed for application to a degree program. Students potentially affected by this policy should meet with the department chair.


No grade lower than a C (i.e., C- and below) may be applied toward a chemistry minor. Credit toward the minor will not be allowed for both CHEM 220 and CHEM 241.

Non-chemistry Majors

Non-chemistry majors who seek rigorous preparation in chemistry for medical school, graduate school in other fields, or research positions should consider the sequence CHEM 121, 122, 241, 241L, 242, 242L, and possibly CHEM 421 and 474-475.

Chemistry 121 Placement Exam

The exam used by the UNLV chemistry department for placement in general chemistry CHEM 121 is the California Chemistry Diagnostic Test. This is a multiple-choice test, consisting of 34 questions which will assess the student’s level of preparation in chemistry, as well as basic mathematics skills. In order to register for CHEM 121, the student must achieve a score of 24 correct.

The time allotted for the exam is 45 minutes. There is no fee to take the test, and no advanced registration is needed. Please bring a calculator and your own pencils and erasers. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so it is better to guess than to leave an answer blank.

If a student does not achieve a score of at least 24 on the test, the student will be required to take CHEM 103 and achieve a grade of at least C (not C-) in order to satisfy the prerequisite for CHEM 121.

The co-requisite for CHEM 121 is MATH 127 or MATH 128 or higher.

The student may not repeat the Chemistry Placement Exam within three months of taking it. After waiting at least three months, the exam may be repeated once only.