Study Abroad for Chemistry Majors

When You Should Go

Chemists generally go abroad during the fall or spring of junior year. The major schedule change is often (though not always) that you will take only one of the two junior level chemistry classes (with its lab) for the semester you are away, leaving the other until your senior year.

Places Chemistry Majors Have Studied Abroad

  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • University of Sussex, England
  • University of Cork, Ireland
  • Chubu University, Kasaugi, Japan
  • McGill University, Canada

Department Rules for Transferring Credit

  • You must petition in advance for approval of the courses you wish to transfer (petition forms are available in the Chemistry Department office)
  • You should attend three seminars/talks related to chemistry and write a paragraph on each to obtain a semester of seminar credit
  • You must earn the equivalent of a B or better to earn transfer credit for chemistry courses

Frequently Given Advice

  • In sophomore spring (and junior fall if you go abroad junior spring), take the usual chemistry offerings. You need do nothing “special” to prepare for studying abroad.
  • Don’t forget to consider taking a “normal” junior-level course and Biochemistry when you are abroad.
  • At many institutions, 4 courses is the maximum load you are allowed to take. This normally transfers into HMC as 16 units.
  • Try to save several off-campus Humanities and Social Sciences courses, since your Study Abroad H/SS course can satisfy these requirements.
  • 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!
  • If you go away in the spring of your junior year, try to be in contact with the department chair so that you can be kept informed about senior research opportunities.

Further advice

For further advice, Professor Shenda Baker (Shenda_Baker@hmc.edu) has agreed to help advise chemists in consultation with the Study Abroad Committee.

Example Plan for Studying Abroad Fall of Junior Year

Freshman Fall Units Spring Units
 Chem 21 and 25 4  Chem 22 and 26 4
 Phys 23 2  Phys 24 and 28 4
 Math 11 and 12 4  Math 13 and 14 3
 CS 5 3  Bio 52 3
 Hum 1 4  Hum 2 3
  Total 17   Total 17
Sophomore Fall Units Spring Units
 Pchem 3  GQ&S 3
 Pchem Lab 2  Carbons and Carbons Lab 4
 Math 61 and 62 3  Math 63 and 64 3
 Phys 51 and 53 4  Hum/Soc #2 3
 Hum/Soc #1 3  E59 3
  Total 15   Total 16
Junior Fall – STUDY ABROAD! Units Spring Units
 Organic and Lab 4  Inorganic plus Lab 4
 Elective** 3  Instrumental plus Lab 4
 Hum/Soc #3 3  Hum/Soc #6 3
 Hum/Soc #4 3  Hum/Soc #7 3
 Hum/Soc #5 3  Hum/Soc #8 3
 Seminar 1  Seminar 0
  Total 17   Total 17
Senior Fall Units Spring Units
 Research 3  Research 3
 Analytical plus Lab 4  Biochemistry 3
 Elective 3  Elective 3
 Hum/Soc #9 3  Elective 3
 Hum/Soc #10 3  Elective 3
 Seminar 0  Seminar 0
  Total 16   Total 15

*Some countries and/or institutions allow a maximum of four courses per semester. While fewer in number than a normal HMC load, these have transferred in as 16 units for the semester.

**One might consider taking Biochemistry here as well, reducing somewhat the load in the spring semester of the senior year. In addition, technical courses in other departments could be considered.

Example Plan for Studying Abroad Spring of Junior Year

Freshman Fall Units Spring Units
 Chem 21 and 25 4  Chem 22 and 26 4
 Phys 23 2  Phys 24 and 28 4
 Math 11 and 12 4  Math 13 and 14 3
 CS 5 3  Bio 52 3
 Hum 1 4  Hum 2 3
  Total 17   Total 17
Sophomore Fall Units Spring Units
 Pchem 3  GQ&S 3
 Pchem Lab 2  Carbons and Carbons Lab 4
 Math 61 and 62 3  Math 63 and 64 3
 Phys 51 and 53 4  Hum/Soc #2 3
 Hum/Soc #1 3  E59 3
  Total 15   Total 16
   
Junior Fall Units Spring – STUDY ABROAD!* Units
 Organic and Lab 4  Inorganic plus Lab 4
 Analytical and Lab 4  Elective** 3
 Hum/Soc #3 3  Hum/Soc #6 3
 Hum/Soc #4 3  Hum/Soc #7 3
 Hum/Soc #5 3  Hum/Soc #8 3
 Seminar 1  Seminar 0
  Total 18   Total 16
Senior Fall Units Spring Units
 Research 3  Research 3
 Elective 3  Biochemistry 3
 Elective 3  Instrumental plus Lab 4
 Hum/Soc #9 3  Elective 3
 Hum/Soc #10 3  Elective 3
 Seminar 0  Seminar 0
  Total 15   Total 16

*Some countries and/or institutions allow a maximum of four courses per semester. While fewer in number than a normal HMC load, these have transferred in as 16 units for the semester.

**One might consider taking Biochemistry here as well, reducing somewhat the load in the spring semester of the senior year. In addition, technical courses in other departments could be considered.