Chemistry Department

Rockville Campus


chemical beaker

The Chemistry Department - Rockville Campus offers a wide array of courses to meet the needs of chemistry/biochemistry majors, life science majors, pre professional and public health/allied health programs, and non-science majors.

There are also opportunities to gain research experience through coursework or internships.

We invite you to stop by our department offices anytime to meet our dynamic and devoted faculty and staff to discuss your options to academic success.

For more information, please email Chemistry Department.

Chemistry Remote Placement Guidance 

Chemistry placement testing is currently suspended. See Chemistry Remote Placement for guidance. 

Fall 2020 Special Course Offerings

Designed for students needing additional academic support, CHEM031 (2 cr) Exploration is a support course taken concurrently with CHEM131 (4 credits).  Save time and tuition by taking CHEM031+CHEM131 in a single semester instead of taking CHEM099 Introductory Chemistry (3 cr). Email Chemistry Department for more information.

Sections offered for Fall 2020 (Choose one section and then select all 4 CRNs in that section to register)

Section A (Rockville)

Course CRN Day & Time  
CHEM131 22980 MWF 11:00 – 11:50am Lecture
CHEM131D 22981 M       12:00 – 12:50pm Discussion
CHEM131L  22982 T         11:00 – 1:40pm Lab
CHEM031 24325 WF     12:00 – 12:50pm Exploration

Section B (Rockville)

Course CRN Day & Time  
CHEM131 22980 MWF  9:00 – 9:50am Lecture
CHEM131D 21443 M       10:00 – 10:50am Discussion
CHEM131L  22444 R         9:00 – 11:40am Lab
CHEM031 24326 WF     10:00 – 10:50am Exploration

Section C (Takoma Park)

Course CRN Day & Time  
CHEM131 20943 MW   9:00 – 10:15am Lecture
CHEM131D 20946 F        9:00 – 9:50am Discussion
CHEM131L  20949 F        10:00am – 12:30pm Lab
CHEM031 24245 MW   10:30 – 11:20am Exploration

“Ancient Carbon in Modern Times: Exploring the Link between Chemistry and Climate Change.”

This section fulfills all requirements for CHEM 131 while investigating the connection between chemistry and global climate change. For more information, email Dr. Craig Benson.

Course CRN Day & Time  
CHEM131 21464 MW  12:00 – 1:15pm Lecture
CHEM131D 21465 M      1:25 – 2:15pm Discussion
CHEM131L  21466 W      2:00 – 4:40pm Lab

“Chemistry can be Rocket Science!”

This section fulfills all requirements for CHEM131 while exploring the connection between chemistry and space flight.  For more information, please e-mail Dr. Virginia Miller

Course CRN Day & Time  
CHEM131 21476 TR     9:00 – 10:15am Lecture
CHEM131D 21477 TR     10:25 – 10:50am Discussion
CHEM131L  21478 T        1:00 – 3:40pm Lab


Meet Our Faculty and Staff

Chemistry Department Information

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Student Resources

To Register for CHEM131, you need to take the Chemistry Placement Exam.  

High School Chemistry Does not count.

Walk-in anytime at the Rockville Assessment Center during Hours of Operation.

Note: you may only attempt the chemistry placement exam once.

Steps to Register for Chem131
  1. Take the Chemistry Placement Test (CPT)*
  2. If you PASS the CPT, check if you meet the additional  pre-requisites:
    1. MATH093 or MATH96 or MATH115 or MATH 117A OR appropriate score in math assessment
    2. ENGL101/101A & READ120
  3. If you do meet ALL the pre-requisites you can register for:
    1. CHEM131/CHEM131D/CHEM131L (3 linked CRN# ‘s)

*Allow one day for CPT results to be processed and uploaded to the system.

If you DO NOT PASS the CPT, then register for CHEM 099 or ask us about taking ALEKS. Contact to complete the FREE CHEM 131 Preparation Course Module and get more information.

If you have any questions, please email the chemistry department chair on your campus or contact your guidance counselor. 

To take a chemistry course via a prerequisite override or Department permission you must have:

  1. Completed the course(s) listed in the current MC catalog within the required time period and/or earned the required grade(s).
  2. Documentation, e.g., unofficial transcript, verifying you have met the pre-requisites in item 1.

You may bring the documentation to CB 215 for review by Counseling faculty, or bring it or drop it off to the Chemistry Department for review. You may also fax the documentation to the department chair's attention at 240-567-7623. If you drop off or fax your documents, please include your name, MC ID#, and email address. Allow one to two days for review. If you wish to speak to Dr. Anna about your request, please do so during her normal office hours, or by appointment.

Chemistry Honors Module

Designed for the student that would like to experience a ‘mini’ independent research project to complement and expand on the regular course curriculum. Students take the regular chemistry course and work on an independent research project under the mentorship of a faculty member.  An honors module can be taken with any chemistry laboratory course: CHEM 131, CHEM 132, CHEM 135, CHEM 203, or CHEM 204.


  • Minimum GPA 3.2, 12 MC credits (including ENGL101 or ENGL101A) and instructor permission

The following projects were conducted by various faculty advisers and chemistry students in previous honors modules.


  • Factors Affecting the Copper Concentration in Brewed Tea: Craig Benson
  • Determination of Heavy Metals in Canned Vegetable Fluids: Craig Benson
  • Correlation of Bone Density and Calcium Content among Different Livestock: Craig Benson
  • Dissolution rates of "slow-dissolve" iron dietary supplements: Craig Benson


  • Green Synthesis and 2D NMR analysis of esters: Laura Anna


  • Microwave-Assisted Esterification Reactions: Rachel Ndonye
Introduction to Research

Introduction to Research, SCIR 297, is designed for the promising science, engineering, or mathematics (SEM) student who would like to build upon general SEM skills learned from general courses in order to generate competency in scientific critical thinking and research. This course enables SEM students to pursue research topics of their own choosing with the guidance and supervision of an assigned faculty member. Students should have a strong interest in SEM and be committed toward completion of a multi-semester and interdisciplinary-spanning research project. Projects will not duplicate curriculum content, but will expand on that content. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits with consent of department.  The course is two credit hours, and is a one-hour discussion, and three hours laboratory each week. 


  • Minimum GPA of 3.0; BIOL 150, CHEM 131, MATH 180, and instructor approval
  • For more information on the Honors Module, undergraduate research opportunities and available instructors, please contact the department
Need further assistance? Visit the Chemistry Help, Tutoring, and Advising page for more information.
The chemistry department has nine chemistry labs for courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, chemistry for engineers, chemistry in society, and an introduction to organic and biochemistry class. In addition, there is an instrumentation room to support organic chemistry labs, along with recitation rooms and a project lab for faculty/student research.

These rooms support laboratory instruction in a year long sequence for general chemistry. Laboratory experiments cover measurements, synthesis, gas law relationships, activity series of cations, line spectra, and molecular geometry, Le Chatelier's principle, acids and bases, Beer's law, thermodynamic properties and Ksp, electrochemistry, and kinetics.

General Chemistry Classroom
General Chemistry Classroom

These rooms support laboratory instruction in a year long sequence for organic chemistry. Laboratory experiments cover physical properties of organic compounds, using IR and proton NMR spectroscopy in compound identification, stereochemistry and molecular models, simple and fractional distillation, gas chromatography (GC), thin layer chromatography (TLC),and column chromatography, synthesis or various organic compounds, using C-13 NMR spectroscopy in compound identification, and recrystallization.

The following instrumentation is available for the organic lab experiments:

  • 90 MHz and 45 MHz NMR
  • FT/IR and FT/IR with ATR 
  • Gas Chromatograph with autosampler
  • Gas Chromatograph with FID gas station
  • Polarimeter
Organic Chemistry Lab
Organic Chemistry Lab

This room provides space for faculty and students to work on research projects, new laboratory experiments, and demonstrations for lecture and lab.

In addition to the instrumentation mentioned above, the instrumentation room and project lab contain the following instrumentation available for faculty and student research projects:

  • HPLC with conductivity detector, UV/Visible detector, autosampler, and liquid chromatography
  • UV-visible spectrophotometer
  • Gas Chromatograph/Mass spectrometer
  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
  • Micro Spin ESR (Electron Spin Resonance)
  • X-ray defractometer
  • magnetic susceptibility balance
  • glove box
  • muffle furnace
  • stopped flow spectrometer
  • spectrofluorometer
  • capillary electrophoresis
Chemistry Project Lab
Chemistry Project Lab

Noncredit Courses and Training

Find out about WDCE's noncredit Life Sciences and Life Science Leadership Programs. MC offers a wide variety of noncredit classes designed to help you upgrade your skills, pursue career training, or learn something new.