Applying to Undergraduate Chemistry from a Canadian High School


Information relating to becoming an undergraduate student in chemistry at Memorial University is given below. If you cannot find the information you were looking for, or have any other questions please contact an academic advisor.

High School Chemistry, Math and Physics

Students attending high school in the other provinces and territories of Canada who are interested in exploring a Chemistry degree option at Memorial University can prepare themselves by ensuring that they take the highest level Chemistry, Math and Physics courses available at their high school, as seen in the table below:

Nova Scotia Chemistry 12 Physics 12 Pre-Calculus 12/Calculus 12
New Brunswick Chemistry 122 Physics 122 Adv. Math 120
P.E.I. Chemistry 621 Physics 621 Math 221
Québec Chemistry 534 or CEGEP Chemistry Physics 534 or CEGEP Physics Math 536 or CEGEP Math
Ontario Chemistry 4U Physics 4U Math 4U
Manitoba Chemistry 40S Physics 40S Appl. Math 40/Pre-Calculus 40S
Saskatchewan Chemistry 30 Physics 30 Math 30B/Calculus 30
Alberta Chemistry 30 Physics 30 Math 30 or 31
B.C. Chemistry 12 Physics 12 Prin. of Math 12/Pre-Calculus 12
Nunavut Chemistry 30 Physics 30 Math 30 or 31
N.W.T. Chemistry 30 Physics 30 Math 30 or 31
Yukon Chemistry 12 Physics 12 Prin. of Math 12/Pre-Calculus 12

Choosing Your First Chemistry Course at Memorial, St. John's Campus: CHEM 1050 or CHEM 1010?

If you achieved a 65% or greater average in level III (or grade 12) chemistry (Chemistry 3202 in NL) you should take CHEM 1050 at Memorial, even if your intended program only requires CHEM 1010 and CHEM 1011. CHEM 1050 (fall) and CHEM 1051 (winter) will provide a much stronger background in chemistry and will provide more flexibility in choosing or changing your program of study in all the sciences at the end of first year. If you were not able to take level III (or grade 12) chemistry, or achieved lower than 65%, or it has been a long time since you did level III (or grade 12) chemistry, CHEM 1010 will prepare you for CHEM 1050.

You should have a good working knowledge of all the material you covered in your chemistry and science courses and those skills you learned in your math classes. To succeed in CHEM 1050 you will need to have a good grasp of the mole concept and stoichiometry. A good example of the type of problem you should be able to find a solution to do is provided below:

Rocket candy is a mixture of potassium nitrate (KNO3) and sucrose, and is used to propel model rockets. The reaction occurs as follows:

48 KNO3 (s) + 5 C12H22O11 (s) → 24 K2CO3 (s) + 24 N2 (g) + 55 H2O (g) + 36 CO2 (g)

A typical mixture of rocket candy contains 65.0 g of KNO3 (molar mass = 101.103 g/mol) and 35.0 g of sucrose (molar mass = 342.30 g/mol). Determine the limiting reagent and the total number of moles of gases that would be produced for this reaction mixture. (Answer: KNO3 is the limiting reagent and 1.54 mols of gases will be produced)

You should also be able to rearrange mathematical equations. For example, can you solve

y 3x+9  for x to get
x 2y-9  ?

It will be assumed that you are fluent with the SI units of measure and are able to convert between, for example, L and mL and cm3 (three common units of volume). You should know and understand the metric prefixes, and be able to do calculations with logarithms and exponents.

If you do not have the prerequisite 65% in level III (grade 12) chemistry, then you can take CHEM 1010 which will cover topics such as units, atoms and elements, molecules and compounds, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, gases, thermochemistry, kinetics, equilibrium and acids and bases. These are topics that would have been covered in high school courses.

What if I want to be a chemist, I like chemistry, or my program requires more advanced chemistry?

Students who do not qualify for CHEM 1050 can first do CHEM 1010, then take CHEM 1050 and CHEM 1051.

Why take CHEM 1050/1051 rather than CHEM 1010/1011?

CHEM 1050/1051 is required for many of the sciences. Also CHEM1050/1051 fully prepares you for any of the second year chemistry courses offered at Memorial. As the Central Science, chemistry connects the physical sciences with the life sciences and applied sciences. A good background in chemistry will take you further in physics, biology, earth sciences, engineering, and medicine, etc., if these are your intended majors. Many of these majors even require some second year courses in chemistry. Many of our chemistry honours and majors go on to complete professional degrees (medicine, veterinary, pharmacy, optometry, law, education, etc.), complete graduate degrees (M.Sc. or Ph.D), or pursue careers that require the technical and problem-solving skills acquired during their program of study. Some degrees require only CHEM 1010/1011, but CHEM 1050/1051 will be accepted. If you do take CHEM 1010/1011, and you change your mind or your interests change to a new major (or minor) that requires higher level chemistry, you will have to take 1050 and 1051. Your best bet, if you can, is to take CHEM 1050/1051 or CHEM 1010/1050/1051.

Materials for Chemistry Courses, CHEM 1010/1011/1050/1051

For labs, you will require a lab coat and lab glasses that are available at the MUN bookstore. The textbook used for our first year courses is "Chemistry: A Molecular Approach" 1st CE with Mastering Chemistry by Tro, Fridgen, and Shaw. If you are planning to purchase a used textbook, it is not recommended that you do so before hearing from your instructor. If you purchase a used book, it may actually be more expensive than purchasing a textbook package from the bookstore because the package includes other materials such as Mastering Chemistry (online assignments) which is required for 1st year courses and Learning Catalytics, which allows you to use a cell phone, tablet, or laptop to participate in lectures or tutorials-a personal response system or clicker.

Instructions for setting up your wireless device and connecting to MUN's wireless network are available at:

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

Students who have Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses available at their high school can receive equivalent credit for some first year chemistry, physics and/or math courses based on their performance in the AP or IB courses.

Students taking Advanced Placement Chemistry can receive credit for Chem 1010 and 1011 with an AP grade of 3, or they can receive credit for Chem 1050 and Chem 1051 with an AP grade of 5. International Baccalaureate Chemistry students who have taken the Higher level chemistry can receive credit for Chem 1010 with an IB grade of 4, credit for Chem 1010 and Chem 1011 with an IB grade of 5, or credit for Chem 1050 and Chem 1051 with an IB grade of 6. International Baccalaureate Chemistry students who have taken the Standard chemistry can receive credit for Chem 1010 with an IB grade of 5.

Students who complete the Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC can receive credit for Math 1000 with an AP grade of 3 or better. Students taking the higher level IB Mathematics can receive credit for Math 1000 and 1001 with an IB grade of 4 or greater

Students who complete AP Physics B with a grade of 3 or greater can receive credit for Physics 1020 and 1021, while students who complete AP Physics C with a grade of 3 or better can receive credit for Phys 1050. IB students in higher Physics can receive credit for Physics 1020 and Phys 1021 with an IB grade of 4 or better.

Other Requirements and First Year Guides

More information about admissions can be found at the Memorial University Admissions webpage. The Advising Centre page also has a useful Guide to First Year. Another guide to first year with information catered towards Science students is also available through the Faculty of Science webpage.

Undergraduate Handbook

We have created an Undergraduate Handbook that provides more specific details on undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Memorial University.