Chemistry and Physics Courses

This page explains the differences between the various introductory chemistry and physics courses offered at Notre Dame. Click here for an explanation of the first-year science courses required by some colleges, schools, and majors and how AP and IB credit can and cannot be used for these requirements.

Click here to see the AP Exam Credit Table.

Click here to see the IB Exam Credit Table.

Chemistry

All Arts and Letters Neuroscience and Behavior, Arts and Letters Pre-Health, Engineering, and Science majors take Introduction to Chemical Principles (commonly known as General Chemistry or Gen Chem) in the first semester. Students in other majors who are interested in a health profession should also take this course in the first semester.

There are two different Introduction to Chemical Principles courses. These courses cover similar material, but CHEM 10181 goes into greater depth. Both courses have a required lecture, lab, and tutorial.

CHEM 10171: Most students elect to take CHEM 10171.

CHEM 10181: This course is required for Biochemistry and Chemistry majors. Students in other majors with a strong background (for instance, students who excelled in AP or IB Chemistry) and a serious interest in chemistry are welcome to take this course.
 

Physics

All Arts and Letters Pre-Health, Engineering, and Science majors must take two semesters of calculus-based physics with a lab in the first, second, or third year, depending on major. The first semester course is mechanics and the second semester course is electricity and magnetism. Students in other majors who are interested in a health profession also need to take two semesters of calculus-based physics in the appropriate year.

Architecture majors must take one semester of non-calculus based physics without a lab. This course is taken in the first semester.

PHYS 10111 (Principles of Physics I): PHYS 10111 is required for Architecture majors in the first semester. For students exploring other majors, the PHYS 10111 requirement can be satisfied with PHYS 10310 or PHYS 10411 as appropriate.

The PHYS 10111 requirement can be satisfied with AP credit for the Physics I exam or the Physics C, Mechanics exam. It can also be satisfied with IB credit.

PHYS 10310 (Engineering Physics I: Mechanics) and PHYS 10320 (Engineering Physics II: Electromagnetism): This sequence is required for ACMS, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and Statistics majors. ACMS, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Statistics majors usually complete this sequence in the first year. Engineering majors usually begin this sequence in the second semester and complete it in the first semester of sophomore year. For students exploring a Physics major, these requirements can be satisfied with PHYS 10411 and PHYS 10422.

For students not considering a health profession, these requirements can be satisfied with AP credit (with a 5 on the Physics C exams) or IB credit (with a 7 on the IB Physics HL exam).

PHYS 10411 (Physics A: Mechanics) and PHYS 10422 (Physics B: Electricity and Magnetism): This sequence is required for the Physics major. Any student considering a major in Physics should take PHYS 10411 in the first semester.

These requirements cannot be satisfied with AP or IB credit.

PHYS 20210 (Physics for Life Sciences I: Mechanics) and PHYS 20220 (Physics for Life Sciences II: Electromagnetism): This sequence is required for Biochemistry, life science, and pre-health majors. Arts and Letters Neuroscience and Behavior majors who are not on the pre-health track do not have to take physics courses. This sequence is usually completed during the second or third year. For students exploring other majors or changing majors, these requirements can be satisfied with PHYS 10310 and PHYS 10320 or PHYS 10411 or PHYS 10422 as appropriate.

These requirements cannot be satisfied with AP or IB credit.