Chemistry Placement
Looking to enroll in introductory chemistry courses at UCI? Learn about necessary enrollment criteria and your placement options, including placement exams.


Students who plan to enroll in general chemistry at UCI have six possible ways to place into the first course.

Chemistry 1A enrollment – If you satisfy any of the following paths, you’ll be able to enroll:

Path 1: SAT Math Reasoning test score of 600 or higher

Path 2: ACT Math test score of 27 or higher  

Path 3: AP Chemistry exam score of 3 

Path 4: SAT Chemistry subject exam score of 700 or higher

Path 5: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Mathematics 5A or Mathematics 2A or Physics 7C (or the Math 2A or Physics 7C equivalent from another college or AP exam score)

Path 6: Concurrent enrollment in Chem 1A and Chem 1X.

Students who do not satisfy one of the above paths may choose from two other options to place into Chemistry 1A:

Option 1 (recommended): Take Chemistry 1X concurrently with Chemistry 1A in the fall quarter. The Chemistry 1X course is designed to help the students who are not prepared to take Chem 1A pass this course.

Option 2: Take ALEKS “Preparation for Chemistry” learning module.  The ALEKS module is designed to test for individualized knowledge gaps and utilize computerized adaptive learning software to fill the gaps. This is a not-for-credit course. Cost: $30.  ALEKS information:

If you do not achieve the required 85% of mastered topics, the best option is to enroll in CHEM 1X for the Fall. If you enroll in CHEM 1X you have the option of also enrolling into CHEM 1A in the Fall. It is recommend that only students with strong math skills and high school background in chemistry enroll in 1A in addition to 1X.

Chemistry 1B enrollment: Students who receive a 4 or 5 on the Chemistry AP exam have course credit for Chemistry 1A and enroll in Chemistry 1B. (Chemistry majors must take Chemistry M2LA in the fall quarter before enrolling in Chemistry 1B and Chemistry M2LB in the winter quarter.)

Chemistry H2A (and H2LA) enrollment: Students who receive a 4 or 5 on the Chemistry AP exam, or a 700 or above on the AP Chemistry subject exam, may enroll in this course. It is the Honors version of general chemistry. It covers the same material as Chemistry 1A but in more depth and with more complex examples. Although not required, it is also advisable that students have completed one year of high school physics and be ready for at least Mathematics 2A (first quarter calculus). First-Year students admitted to the Campuswide Honors Collegium who are required by their major to complete one full year of General Chemistry (except Biological Sciences, Nursing, Math, and Public Health students) must enroll in this course.