Chemistry Classes That Can Be Taken Online: Class Descriptions

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Distance-learning chemistry classes range from beginning college chemistry to advanced graduate-level chemistry. Some chemistry classes may be completed entirely online; however, some classes require tests or laboratory work to be completed on campus.

Introductory and General Classes

Many colleges and universities offer beginning basic chemistry courses online. Introductory courses cover the basic subjects and are often a prerequisite for more advanced classes.

Introductory Chemistry

Students study the most basic aspects of chemistry in this distance-learning class. Areas of study include:

  • Measurement
  • Elements and compounds
  • The periodic table
  • Energy and matter
  • Nomenclature
  • Writing equations
  • Solutions
  • Pneumatics

General Chemistry I and II

The first general chemistry course (Chemistry I) introduces a wide range of topics that include the following:

  • Matter
  • Elements and atoms
  • Molecules and ions
  • Chemical equations
  • Gases
  • Reactivity principles
  • Transition elements

The second online general chemistry class (Chemistry II) usually introduces concepts such as the following:

  • Chemical reactions and bonding
  • Molecular geometry
  • Scientific theory
  • Thermochemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Nuclear chemistry

Biochemistry Survey

The metabolic processes and chemical makeup of living organisms is introduced in this online course. Other topics that may be discussed include the following:

  • Molecules
  • Protein function
  • Nutrition
  • Molecular biology

Advanced Classes

There are a number of advanced undergraduate and graduate chemistry courses online. Many of these classes are available as part of a larger degree program; however, several schools also offer single, not-for-credit classes as well.

Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry is the study of carbon-based chemical compounds. Online courses in this area cover these topics:

  • Stereochemistry
  • Alkenes and alkanes
  • Ethers and alcohols
  • Ketones
  • Aromaticity
  • Spectroscopy

Inorganic Chemistry

Inorganic chemistry is the study of non-carbon-based chemical compounds, those not containing hydrocarbon radicals. Topics studied in distance-learning courses generally include the following:

  • Atomic structure
  • Symmetry
  • Metal-ligand complexes
  • Solid-state chemistry

Lab Course Details

Many distance-learning chemistry classes have lab requirements. These laboratory courses may be presented in several ways. Some universities offer virtual labs online for basic chemistry courses. Students may utilize programs that offer instruction through computer simulations.

Other schools have students complete the lab work on their own. In this case, a school may provide a laboratory handbook that gives a list of what is needed for each experiment; the items on these lists may usually be purchased at grocery or drug stores.

Another method is to have the student buy a lab kit that has everything needed for a course. Students in advanced chemistry classes are often required to take the laboratory portion of the course on campus.

Learning Details

Schools typically utilize a class website with video lectures, downloadable files and discussion boards for course for assignments and presentations. Many schools use the Blackboard Learning System format. Courses may be offered in asynchronous or synchronous format.

There are both beginning and advanced chemistry classes offered fully online or in hybrid formats. The lab components of these courses may be provided in several different ways, depending on the course content.

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