Where to Start?

Prospective students with BC high school chemistry 12 (or equivalent) normally start with CHEM 121.

Prospective students with no chemistry knowledge, or who are starting from BC high school chemistry 11, start with CHEM 110 or 111. Students wishing to continue on in Chemistry must complete CHEM 111.

Regional college students enter the chemistry program according to the student's subject knowledge. College chemistry course content can be compared to SFU chemistry courses thereby determining what other courses are required.

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Typical Course Sequence

  • Students in the major program should enroll in an average of 15 units per semester to complete the degree requirements in four years.
  • Honours students should enroll in an average of 15 units per semester in years 1 and 4 and 18 units per semester in years 2 and 3 to complete the degree requirements in four years.

Below is a typical course sequence for students with BC high school Chemistry 12, Mathematics 12, and Physics 12 (or equivalent) in their first four terms of study. Variations are possible. 

Term 1
CHEM 121-4
MATH 151-3
PHYS 120-3
PHYS 132-1

General Chemistry and Laboratory I
Calculus I     OR     MATH 150-4  Calculus I with Review
Mechanics and Modern Physics
Physics Laboratory I
Elective Course

Term 2

CHEM 122-2
CHEM 126-2
MATH 152-3
PHYS 121-3
PHYS 133-1

General Chemistry II
General Chemistry Laboratory II
Calculus II
Optics, Electricity and Magentism
Physics Laboratory II

Term 3
CHEM 230-3
CHEM 236W-3
CHEM 260-4
CHEM 281-4

Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Atoms, Molecules, Spectroscopy
Organic Chemistry and Laboratory I


Term 4

CHEM 215-4
CHEM 266-2
CHEM 283-3
CHEM 286-2
MATH 251-3
MBB 222-3

Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
Physical Chemistry Laboratory II
Organic Chemistry IIb
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
Calculus III
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

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Breadth Electives

Chemistry students must complete 24 units of breadth courses, including:

  • 6 units of Social Science (B-Soc)
  • 6 units of Humanities (B-Hum)
  • 6 units of Sciences (B-Sci)   *This is normally satisfied by PHYS 120 and 121. Please speak with the Advisor if you are unsure.
  • 6 units of undesignated breadth (i.e., any subject besides CHEM) 

A list of all Designated Breadth courses can be found on SFU's website <https://www.sfu.ca/ugcr/for_faculty/certified_wqb_courses/certified_designated_breadth_courses.html>. Courses with multiple breadth designations only count once. That is, if a course is both B-Hum/B-Soc, it will count as either B-Hum or B-Soc but not both. This does not apply to courses that are both breadth and quantitative (B-Sci/Q) or breadth and writing (B-Hum/W).

Students may select any of the upper division breadth courses linked below to satisfy both their upper division unit requirement and breadth requirement.

Upper Division Breadth Designated Elective Courses for Science Students

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