Study Abroad for Joint Chemistry and Biology Majors

Joint chemistry and biology majors should plan to go abroad during spring of junior year. Because many of the major requirements are fall semester courses (Chem 105/111, Chem 103/109, Bio 111/113 and Bio/Chem 189), the only feasible way to go away during a fall semester is to arrange in advance to substitute courses taken abroad for one or more of these required courses. Going abroad in fall of senior year also necessitates choosing a senior research project that can be conducted in two successive spring semesters, and starting that project during the junior year.

Recent Study Abroad Locations for Joint Majors

  • University College London

Department Rules Regarding Transfer Credit

You must receive departmental approval in advance for any courses you wish to transfer for credit towards the major. Petitions should be submitted to the relevant Department Chair (Chemistry Chair for chem courses, Biology Chair for bio courses).

Substitutes for biology electives B and C may be taken abroad with advance approval.

Biochem courses can be substituted with advance approval.

The colloquium requirement is waived for the semester you study abroad.

Spring Travel

If you are planning to go away junior spring, it is advisable to take at least one biology elective course (Bio 101 or 108) in sophomore spring.

Transfer Units

At many institutions, 4 courses is the maximum load you are allowed to take. This normally transfers into HMC as 16 units.

Preparing for the unexpected

It is a good idea to identify and petition for approval of more courses than you will actually take while abroad. This helps if there are unexpected changes in offerings by your host institution. Advance approval is required for your protection—it is best to avoid surprises about what will and won’t transfer when you return!

Keep in Touch

If you go away in the spring of your junior year, maintain contact with your academic advisor so that you can be kept informed about senior research opportunities.

For Further Advice

Professor Catherine McFadden has agreed to help advise biologists in consultation with the Study Abroad Committee. She can be reached via email a For more information, visit the HMC Study Abroad Program website.