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Waiting Lists

Add, Drop, Changes

Please see your college advisors about adding, dropping and petitioning deadlines.

Waiting List for Lab Courses

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology has created an electronic waiting list for lab courses that have reached their enrollment limits.

The electronic waiting list system is accessible only at The electronic waiting list system will become available on Monday, October 31, 2016, and will remain open until 11:59pm on Thursday, January 26, 2017.  At that time, we will take the existing waiting lists and fill in lab spaces as available.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Waiting List

Why are there waiting lists?

Enrollment limits have been placed on chemistry courses that include laboratories because of the fixed number of student stations in our laboratory rooms. Courses with enrollment limits in Spring 2017 are CHEM 2080, 2090, 2510, 2900, 3010 and 3030.

What should I do during pre-enrollment for Spring 2017?

During the online pre-enrollment periods for Spring 2017, laboratory sections will close as they fill. Because lab sections close, you are advised to arrange more flexible parts of your class schedule around your chemistry laboratory section. If your preferred choices for laboratory times are already closed but you are able to find an open laboratory section that could fit your schedule, you are strongly encouraged to take the open slot and adjust the rest of your class schedule accordingly! If, however, when you pre-enroll you cannot find any open laboratory section that you could take, you must use the waiting list.

Students pre-enrolling in Chem 2080:

Do not sign up on the waiting list if you're only trying to change your Chem 2080 lecture time! Lectures do not close. Once you find a lab section that fits your schedule, you should be able to sign up for the lecture you want. However, once you lock in your schedule, you cannot use Student Center to change Chem 2080 lectures. If you need to change your Chem 2080 lecture time, this can be done starting Wednesday, January 25th by bringing an add/drop form (available from your College's Registrar's Office) to 131 Baker Lab.

Chem 2080 has a MANDATORY discussion section.  Go to to enroll in a discussion section.  

What should I do after pre-enrollment has concluded?

If you wish to enroll in a chemistry laboratory course but did not do so during pre‐enrollment or if you wish to change a lab time, you must use the waiting list. You cannot use Student Center to add or switch lab sections in Chem 2080, 2090, 2510, 2900, 3010 and 3030 after Spring pre‐enrollment is over, even if Student Center shows that there are spaces available in a section! The "swap" feature in Student Center cannot be used for chemistry courses with a laboratory. It is possible to drop a chemistry course in Student Center, but this should be done solely for the purpose of dropping the course altogether. If you drop a chemistry course in Student Center in order to try to add a different section, you will lose your space in the course and must use the waiting list to attempt to add the course back to your schedule.

How do I get on the waiting list?

The waiting list is  available at When you first create your waiting list and as you add sections to it, confirmation messages will appear. Your list is automatically saved whenever a change is made. While the waiting list is open, you may log back on at any time to make changes. The waiting list will close at 11:59pm on Thursday, January 26, 2017.

In what order will names be taken from the waiting list?

Names of students will be taken from a queue. Your place in the queue is determined by the time at which you first sign up and will not change if you make changes to your waiting list. Please note that we cannot give out any information about your place in the queue.

How will students be admitted to courses from the waiting list?

Laboratory sections will begin meeting during the week of Monday, January 30, 2017. Anyone enrolled in a lab section who is not present at the first meeting of that section will lose their place in that section and hence in the course. That place will then be offered to a person on the waiting list. During the first week of labs, you should report to your course's designated location 15 minutes before the scheduled start of each lab time you have selected on the waiting list. These locations are: Baker Lobby (outside of 131 Baker Lab) for Chem 2080, and 2090, in the Physical Sciences (PSB) Atrium for Chem 2510, and outside G19 Baker Lab for Chem 2900 and 3030. Once the teaching assistants have taken attendance in the labs, any empty places will be immediately filled by students on the waiting list who are present at the designated location for their course. If you do not get into a particular lab section, you should return to your course's designated location at the next lab time you indicated on the waiting list. You must be present at your course's designated location and signed up on the waiting list to be admitted to a lab section.

Advanced Standing

Requirements for Receiving Advanced Standing (Advanced Placement) in Chemistry

CEEB AP Examination in Chemistry: Earning a 5 (4 does not qualify) on the CEEB AP Examination in Chemistry entitles a student to four credits of introductory chemistry. The credits are forfeited if the student takes Chem 1560, 2070 or 2090. A student with a strong interest in chemistry may take Chem 2150 and retain the four credits. Another option is to proceed directly to Chem 2080 (see below).

GCE “A”-level Examination: Earning an A on the GCE “A” Level Examination entitles a student to eight credits of introductory chemistry. Earning a B on that examination entitles a student to four credits of introductory chemistry.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examination: Earning a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Examination entitles a student to four credits of advanced chemistry.

Cornell Chemistry Advanced Standing Examination: The Cornell Chemistry Advanced Standing Examination for Chem 2070/2090 is administered on Monday, January 23, 2017, at 1 p.m. in 135 Baker Lab. The Cornell Chemistry Advanced Standing Examination for Chem 2080 is administered on Monday, January 23, 2017, at 1 p.m in 135 Baker Lab. No registration is required. Depending on the grade received on either examination, a student may be eligible for four credits of introductory chemistry.

After Receiving Advanced Standing, Then What?

Four credits: In general, four credits of advanced standing in chemistry is equivalent to the successful completion of either Chem 2070 or Chem 2090. If you are required to take only one semester of chemistry, you are finished! If you need a full year of chemistry, you have two options:

  • Skip Chem 2070/2090 (Fall) and enroll in Chem 2080 in the Spring. This option is usually chosen by students without a particular interest in chemistry. You will forfeit your credits if you enroll in Chem 1560, 2070 or 2090.
  • Enroll in Chem 2150 (Fall) and retain four credits.

Eight credits: In general, eight credits of advanced standing in chemistry is equivalent to the successful completion of Chem 2070/2090 and 2080. You can skip introductory chemistry altogether and enroll in organic chemistry (Chem 3570 or 3590).

Introductory Courses

Students enter Cornell with a wide range of interests and high school background in chemistry.  The list below describes recommendations and requirements for your initial chemistry course.

Important Enrollment Note: Each introductory course includes a laboratory component. Enrollment in our laboratory sections is limited, so you may wish to build your schedule around your chemistry laboratory section. If you wish to place your name on our waiting list for a closed laboratory section, please follow the procedure described at

One-Semester Courses

Students who require only a single semester of introductory chemistry should enroll in one of the following options. Credit for two semesters of introductory chemistry is required for a premedical or preveterinary course of study.

Engineers: ALL engineers must take Chem 2090, Engineering General Chemistry. Students majoring in C&BE, however, are required to take two semesters of introductory chemistry (see below).

Other students: Students needing only one semester of chemistry (except engineers) should take Chem 1560, Introduction to General Chemistry, which includes a broader range of topics than Chem 2070.

Two-Semester Courses (including premedical and preveterinary)

There are three primary tracks for students requiring two semesters of introductory chemistry, Chem 2150 (Fall) + AP credit, Chem 2070 + 2080 (Fall + Spring) and Chem 2090 + 2080 (Fall + Spring). The best option for you is determined by your preparation in chemistry and your college.

CEEB AP Credit: Students with a 5 on the CEEB AP exam will receive four credits for Chem 2070.  This credit is retained if a student enrolls in Chem 2150 but is forfeited if a student completes Chem 1560, 2070 or Chem 2090.  A student who has earned the AP score of 5 typically chooses among three options: (1) If only one semester of general chemistry is required, that requirement has been met.  (2) The student accepts credit for Chem 2070, and takes Chem 2080 in the Spring.  (3) The student accepts credit for Chem 2070 and takes Chem 2150 in the Fall.  Cornell University advises medical schools that AP credit, together with completion of Chem 2150, is the equivalent of eight credits of introductory chemistry.

Strong preparation: Students with an AP Chemistry score of 5 or comparable preparation may enroll in Chem 2150, an honors general chemistry course that requires calculus or concurrent enrollment in calculus.  This course is designed for students with a particular interest in chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering.  Students completing Chem 2150 in the fall may then proceed in the spring to Chem 3590, the first semester of the honors organic chemistry sequence.  The sequence Chem 2150-Chem3590-Chem 3600 permits well-prepared students to complete general and organic chemistry sequences in three semesters.

Solid preparation: Students with a single year of high school chemistry or those with AP score below 5 should take Chem 2070 + 2080 (Fall + Spring), General Chemistry. These courses satisfy the introductory chemistry requirement for most medical and veterinary programs. Students intending to major in chemistry may take either the Chem 2070-2080 sequence or Chem 2150. Engineers needing a two semester sequence should enroll in Chem 2090 + 2080.

None or very weak preparation: Students who have never taken a chemistry course or who have very weak preparation sometimes decide to take Chem 1560 + 2080 (Fall + Spring), although Chem 2070 is still appropriate and recommended for those continuing on to Chem 2080. Chem 1560 is not recommended for premedical or preveterinary students. Students who have had an AP chemistry course should not enroll in Chem 1560. Students planning to take 2070/2080 should also consider taking 1070/1080 concurrently. These two-credit S/U courses provide basic training in quantitative thinking and problem solving and are meant to complement 2070/2080. Chem 1070/1080 are especially recommended for students with less than 630 on the SAT 1 Math exam. 

Transfer Credit

The Best Advice: Get Approval Before Taking the Course!

Before You Take the Course

If you want to take a chemistry course at an institution within the U.S., make sure the chemistry department is ACS-certified. If you would like to take a course at a foreign institution, you must contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies and review the checklist in the Cornell Chemistry Department's Memorandum: Receiving Cornell chemistry course credit for a chemistry course taken elsewhere

To receive credit for Chem 1560, 2070, 2080, 2090 or 2150, the course you take must also have an accompanying laboratory.  

How to Apply for Credit

Complete the following and bring them to 131 Baker Lab for approval:

  1. Your college's Application for Credit from Other Institutions (Example: College of Arts and Sciences Application for Credit from Other Institutions)

  2. Department of Chemistry Transfer Credit Application.

  3. A copy of the course syllabus for the class you're applying to take.

After you complete the course, an official transcript of your grade must be sent to your college registrars office. A minimum grade of “C” is required to receive transfer credit.

Please Note

Chemistry majors seeking transfer credit for courses outside of chemistry for distribution or pre-requisite requirements should contact the specific department at Cornell for approval transfer credit.

Courses taken outside of the United States are not accepted for credit by the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Grade Center FAQ

Login to the Grade Center here using your NETID credentials

If you find an error in our prelim grade(s): please bring the original exam paper to 131 Baker Lab

The office is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

If you find an error in your lab or homework grade(s) (if applicable): please contact your TA.

Advising Guide

Click here for the advising guide to chemistry course and typical course squences.