Registration, Policies & Procedures

Registration FAQs

No. You must complete MATH 114, transfer in a MATH equivalent to PC1, or score a 70 or higher on the ALEKS Math Placement Exam before you can register for CHEM 161. Please see the polices for CHEM 161 below for more information. 

CHEM 354 is major restricted. This means that only students declared into Phase I or Phase II of Chemistry, Biochemistry, or a BAE major requiring the course can register during Phase I of registration. However, all major restrictions lift at Phase II of Registration. Please see the Registrar's Important Dates for more information on Phase II of Registration. 

CHEM 471 is major restricted to Phase II Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Emphasis Biology Majors. The major restriction will lift on the 6th day of registration and anyone who meets the prerequisites can enroll in the course. 

Fill out a Pre-Application webform, on the Advising page of this website, a few weeks prior to Phase I of Registration. The Phase II Program Coordinator will then issue you an override if there are seats available. 

First, you must be sponsored by a researching Chemistry Department faculty member. You and your faculty sponsor must determine which research course you are registering for, as well as, how many credits you will be receiving. Then you must fill out the Research Credit Permission Form. Once your sponsoring faculty approves your form, you will receive an override to register. 

The Chemistry Department re-prioritizes the waitlists for certain Chemistry courses before releasing additional seats, including CHEM 351-353 and CHEM 375. For details on which students are prioritized for which courses please see the Classfinder descriptions and the registration policies below.  

Departmental Policies

Registration Policies

  • All Chemistry courses (except independent study, research, teaching practicum, certain upper division courses and graduate-level courses) will be part of Western's automatic waitlist system and adhere to registration repeat policies.  For more information on this policy, please see the current catalog, under University Academic Policies/Repeating a Course.  The Chemistry Department will adhere to the university policy regarding registration in repeated courses for which a passing grade has already been achieved. 
  • Requests to declare a major in the Chemistry Department are not processed during registration times.  Declarations and assignment of faculty advisors takes place during intercessions only.  Declaring a major/minor in the Chemistry Department will not solve your registration issues, please plan ahead.
  • The Chemistry Department reserves the right to revise these policies at any time without prior notice.  The Chemistry Department reserves the right to reprioritize waitlists at any time without prior notice; in an effort to accommodate majors requiring the course(s) and/or to avoid delays to graduation.
  • Students MUST receive a C- or above in all chemistry courses in order for that course to continue on in a series. Students who do not receive a C- or above in a prerequisite course will be required to drop the next course in the series. For example: students who get below a C- in CHEM 161 are unable to take CHEM 162 until a C- or above is achieved in 161.

Course Details

CHEM 161/MATH 114 and ALEKS Math Placement Assessment 

Students MUST complete MATH 114 OR score a 70+ on the ALEKS Math Placement Exam in order to enroll in Chemistry 161. CHEM 161 and MATH 114 can not be taken concurrently.

Additionally, there is only ONE exception to this rule:  Due to the Math Department policy for pre-calculus transfer credit, students transferring in with PC1 credit on their Transfer Equivalency Report (or TER) will be eligible for enrollment in CHEM 161, concurrently with MATH 114.  To obtain an override, please call or visit the Chemistry Department Office.  

The Chemistry Department will not otherwise issue an override to allow concurrent enrollment in MATH 114 and CHEM 161

CHEM 161-163 

Students (regardless of their major) who have been on the waitlist for the same course for two consecutive quarters will be given priority. Any waitlisted students declared in Chemistry or Biochemistry Pre-Major (Phase I) will be given waitlist priority.  

CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry with Lab 

This course will not be restricted. Students declared in majors requiring this course (not as an elective option) will be given waitlist priority.  Registration will be open to all students during all phases of registration.  Any students waitlisted in said majors will be given waitlist priority.  Waitlists are evaluated and reprioritized during Phase II of registration.

CHEM 333 – Analytical Chemistry

This course will be restricted. Registration will be open to Phase I/Phase II Chemistry and Biochemistry students during Phase I of registration. The major restriction will drop at Phase II of registration and any student meeting the prerequisites will be able to register and waitlist for the course. Phase I and Phase II chemistry and biochemistry students will be given waitlist priority.

CHEM 351-353 

Organic Chemistry Lecture Series (CHEM 351-353): Courses in the lecture series will not be restricted.  Students declared in Phase I or II of chemistry and biochemistry are given waitlist priority followed by majors requiring courses. 

CHEM 354 

Organic Chemistry Lab I: This course is major restricted during Phase I of registration during the academic year. Chemistry and biochemistry majors in Phase I or II are able to register during Phase I of registration. Outside majors requiring the course for their majors or pre-health are able to register beginning at Phase II of registration. We will not issue overrides to any students for 354 during Phase I of registration. Courses are not major restricted during summer quarter. 

CHEM 355/356 

Organic Chemistry Lab II: CHEM 355 is major restricted to BA/BS Chemistry majors. CHEM 356 is not major restricted and designed for pre-health students requiring it for graduate/medical school.

CHEM 375 – Elements of Biochemistry

This course is not major restricted.  Students declared in the BA or BS chemistry major will be given waitlist priority. Waitlists are evaluated and reprioritized during Phase II of registration.

CHEM 471 – Biochemistry Lecture I 

Course is offered Fall and Winter Quarters. Each offering will be split into two CRN’s, each CRN will be restricted to Phase II majors, one for Biochemistry majors and the other for Biology-Cellular & Molecular Emphasis majors through Phase I of fall registration.  The last week of Phase I of registration, remaining seats will be allocated to students declared pre-health, chemistry minor, or another major requiring CHEM 471 that have filled out our access request form. All other students must wait until Phase II of registration, at which point all restrictions on the Biochemistry sections will be lifted. Please see the Registrar’s Important Dates & Deadlines listings for specific information on when the registration Phases begin and end. 

For Biology Sections & All Biology Majors:  The sections restricted to Phase II Biology-Cellular & Molecular Emphasis majors are managed by the Biology Department.  Waitlist management, overrides, special circumstances, and any other issues for Biology majors are to be handled by the Biology Department.  Their office is in the Biology Building, on the third floor (BI 315).  The Biology Advisors can be reached by phone at 360-650-3627 or by email at  Biology majors (aside from the Cellular & Molecular Emphasis) that are also declared pre-health or chemistry minors, should contact the Chemistry Department Program Coordinator ( several weeks prior to registration to discuss options for seat placement.

Upper Division Lab Courses (Specifically CHEM 436, 464, 465 & 474) 

These courses are major restricted and space in these courses is allocated to Phase II chemistry and biochemistry students. In the event that there are additional seats, prioritization will be based primarily on GPA and students who are close to graduation. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the Department as soon as possible for assistance if they are unable to get into a required course as specified on their approved graduation checklist.


Check your WWU Student email for registration announcements. If you are looking for information about when registration is happening or when important registration deadlines occur, please click the Important Registration Dates Calendar on the WWU Registrar website.

Registration Restrictions:  Many courses are restricted.  These restrictions can be limited by registration date, major department and major status.  Changing your major is not a solution to registration restriction issues and will not allow immediate enrollment in major restricted courses.  Changing your major is a multi-department process and will not be immediately reflected in your student record.

Note: Requests to declare a major in the Chemistry Department are not processed during registration times. Declaring a major/minor in the Chemistry Department is not immediate and will not solve your registration issues, please plan ahead.

Transfer Equivalencies: If you have chemistry credits from another institution (outside Washington State) please see our Prospective and Transfer Student advising Page.

University Policies

Understanding and knowing the policies and procedures of the department and the university is important to succeeding in Chemistry.

It is the responsibility of the student to be aware and familiar with university and departmental policies. 

If you are not familiar with the current university policies, please review the updated list on the University Policies & Procedures web page.