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Information for Transfer Students

As a transfer student, you may find yourself asking one of the following questions:

Please read below for the answers to these questions and more . . . 

How will the chemistry credit I received at my prior institution transfer to Northwestern?

The course credits you earned at your prior institution(s) have been evaluated by the Registrar's Office for their transferability, in accordance with the Transfer Credit Policies.

Incoming transfer students who have previously taken chemistry courses equivalent to courses offered at Northwestern (such as General Chemistry) will likely see that credit listed on the transfer credit evaluation as CHEM 1XX (lecture course) or CHEM 1XL (lab course).

This undefined transfer credit cannot directly be used as a prerequisite for a Northwestern class. However, you can request that your credit be evaluated for potential equivalency to Northwestern Chemistry-designated courses. More on this below.

How can I use my transfer credit to meet prerequisites for classes at Northwestern?

If you are an incoming transfer student who was awarded CHEM 1XX/1XL credit based on chemistry coursework completed at your prior institution AND you would like to request that your CHEM 1XX/1XL award be evaluated for potential equivalency to Northwestern Chemistry-designated courses (e.g. CHEM 151, CHEM 161), you will need to complete the following steps:
  1. Take the Chemistry Placement Exam on the Transfer Credit and Placement Exam Canvas site. If you don't have access to this Canvas site, please email
  2. Submit a new Request for Department Review of Transfer Credit from a Previous Institution form.
    • You should have received this form via email. Contact the Office of the Registrar if you need help accessing or completing this form.
    • You will be asked to submit course syllabi with your request form.
    • You should submit one form for the full General Chemistry sequence (two semesters or three quarters, including lab courses).
  3. Await the credit evaluation decision of the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Chemistry (via online petition form). 
If you receive credit equivalent to Northwestern Chemistry-designated courses (such as CHEM 151, CHEM 161), you may use these credits as prerequisites for Chemistry classes or classes outside of Chemistry (e.g. Biology). Please attempt to enroll in the course(s) for which you have met the prerequisites. 

What if I don't know which chemistry classes to take at Northwestern?

You can find information about Chemistry course options via the presentation shown under Courses and Curriculum.

Those who transferred with chemistry credit and completed the steps above will receive the results of the credit evaluation, which will determine which Chemistry class to take. If you still have questions after receiving your credit evaluation, please email

Those who transferred to Northwestern without chemistry credit, but plan to begin chemistry at Northwestern, will need to take the Chemistry Initial Assessment prior to the Placement Exam. Students in this situation should access the Initial Chemistry Assessment on the Chemistry Placement Assessments Canvas site. If you don't have access to this canvas site, please email

Questions about the credit evaluation decision itself may be directed to Dr. Fred Northrup, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Chemistry at