Summer Course Approval

Are you seeking BarnardCollege credit for a Summer School course in Chemistry?

Bring the form from the registrar to the ASSISTANT DEPARTMENT CHAIR  (currently Dina Merrer ( only when you can answer yes to each question below.

No Exceptions (see below* about Columbia Courses)


  1. Is the school on the American Chemical Society list?
    Only courses from these schools are approved; see list on bulletin board by Chair's office. Also available on-line.
  2. Is each summer semester at least 5 full weeks long?
    This is a college policy. I will sign no petitions for exceptions in Chemistry.
  3. Does the course have at least 35 hours of lecture? Show me the calculation.
    Note: 35 hours means 42 x 50 minute (or 28 x 75 minute) classes
  4. If taking lab, are there at least 36 hours in lab? Ditto
  5. Do you have the current course announcement?
    Make a copy for my records of the pages which:
    • list the dates of instruction
    • list the hours of instruction
    • give the full course description
  6. Is the level of the course equivalent to the corresponding Barnard course?
    Many schools offer special courses for non-scientists, or for preparation for the allied health professions. These are not acceptable.
  7. If this is one semester of a year course, does it articulate well with the other term?
    Year-long courses in general and organic chemistry often cover the material in a different order. If you take the two terms at different schools, you must verify that the two make a good match. (Example: General Chemistry I at CU and BC do not match!) Catalog descriptions are frequently inadequate: you need to learn what book is used, and what chapters are covered in each semester.
  8. If this is not a beginning course, do you have the prerequisite? Is the course sufficiently advanced?
    Example: students who have taken any organic chemistry course may not receive subsequent credit for any first-year chemistry course.
    * Special note re Columbia courses. Questions 1-6 are automatically satisfied. You do not need a signature, but you must still consider 7 and 8.

A bit of gratuitous advice: There is a lot of material in any semester of chemistry. It is challenging enough to master and retain this in a 15 week semester. The same learning simply cannot occur in 5-6 weeks. It is also frequently true that summer courses, even at very prestigious institutions, are less rigorous than the regular courses. The regular faculty often does not teach the courses, and admission is generally open. If you really want to learn chemistry, we strongly urge you not to try to do so in the summer!