Degree Programs/Advising

Undergraduate students should regularly check their Degree Progress Report (DPR) and update their Degree Planner to ensure they are on track for graduation. It is strongly recommended that all students meet with a faculty advisor once a year to check their progress and discuss elective choices and post-baccalaureate plans. Information about meeting with an advisor can be found on our Undergraduate Advising page.

See the Pre-Health website.

Students who earn a score of 3 or 4 out of a maximum of 5 on the Chemistry Advanced Placement Exam can get credit for CHEM 115 but will need to take CHEM 215 and 216. Students who earn a score of 5 do not need to take CHEM 115 or 215 but will need to take CHEM 216 (unless they can demonstrate to a major advisor that their high school chemistry course included appropriate lab experiments). Students who earn a score of 4 or 5 on either the AB or BC level Calculus Advanced Placement exam can get credit for MATH 226. Students who earn a score of 4 or 5 on the Biology Advanced Placement exam can get credit for BIO 230.

Note that it is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the testing service sends their advanced placement exam score(s) to SFSU and ensure that this information appears on their Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE) form. Note the following University policy on Advanced Placement credit. “San Francisco State University grants credit toward its undergraduate degrees for successful completion of examinations of the Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Board. Students who present scores of three or better may be granted up to six semester units of college credit. The university also recognizes advanced placement (AP) courses undertaken by high school students in conjunction with a collegiate institution in those instances where the collegiate institution has recommended credit. For additional information, the student may call or write the Admissions Office or visit One Stop in the Student Services Building.

Students who wish to change their major and/or add or change a minor can do so online through their Student Center. You will be asked to meet with an advisor before the request is approved. The procedure can be found here.

If you have already applied for graduation, you’ll need to submit a change of major form or a change of minor form.

If you believe that you have already met the prerequisite learning for a particular course, you may request Credit By Exam (CBE). Submit the form to the Chemistry Department Office once completed.

Yes, at SF State there is unlimited double counting of graduation requirements unless otherwise stated. In addition, each Bulletin entry for our degrees outlines the areas of GE that are automatically met within the major.  See the individual pages for the different undergrad programs:  B.S. Chemistry, B.S. Biochemistry, and B.A. Chemistry.

Yes, but you should be aware that many of the upper division biology course options listed in the Bulletin require BIO 240 as a prerequisite.  Students wishing to enroll in upper division Biology courses without having completed BIOL 240 must get the permission of the instructor, although most Biology instructors of BIOL 350, 355 and 612 will accept BIOL 230 plus CHEM 340 as alternative prerequisites.

Enrolling in Courses

The deadline is three weeks after the start of the semester. The exact date can be found on the Registrar’s website at this link.

After the drop deadline students have to apply to withdraw from classes they do not wish to be registered in. More information can be found here.



Students planning to take CHEM 115, General Chemistry I, must complete a Preparation Assignment. Please see the CHEM 115 website for more information.

Laboratory instructors are responsible for providing information about the availability and costs of laboratory manuals.

Yes, especially in the case where the lab section is full and there are other students trying to get into the class. In such cases, the instructor may elect to drop students who do not attend class on the first day. If you cannot attend class on the first day, you should notify the instructor ASAP.


If your GPA drops below a 2.0 you will be placed on academic probation. You will be restricted in how many units you may take in the following semester and are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the Undergraduate advising Center (UAC). Once you’ve met with a UAC advisor, you are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to discuss which courses to prioritize and how to better succeed in your coursework.

While nothing prevents you from selecting the CR/NC option, you must keep in mind that all courses required for the major must be completed with letter grades (with the exception of CHEM 693 – Cooperative Education). Hence, the only reason to select a grade of CR/NC would be when you have no intention of using this course to meet graduation requirements for the major. Once a student selects CR/NC as a grading option, this decision is irrevocable.

Yes, but there are some restrictions. For students who pursue a double major in the B.A. Chemistry and B.S. Biochemistry programs, CHEM 322, CHEM 325, and CHEM 336 cannot be used as electives for the B.S. Biochemistry program. Likewise, CHEM 343 cannot be used to meet the elective requirement for the BA Chemistry. Students must take different approved electives to meet the elective requirement.

Academic Renewal may be used for the purpose of disregarding some undergraduate coursework from graduation requirements. More information can be found in the Bulletin, at this page.

Students who repeat courses at SF State, up to the 16-unit limit, will have the lower of the two grades “forgiven” from the GPA calculation. Once the unit limit is reached, all units attempted, and all grade points earned will be included in the student’s cumulative totals.

Withdraw/Repeat Courses

See Dropping and Withdrawing.

During the first three weeks of a semester, students may withdraw from a course at their own discretion without academic penalty (dropping a class). Dropped courses do not appear on your academic transcript, do not count toward your attempted units for a given term, and do not count toward the Undergraduate Withdrawal Limit.

After the drop deadline students have to apply to withdraw from classes in which they no longer wish to be registered. The application for a withdrawal is found in the Student Center and is submitted online. More information about the withdrawal process can be found on the Registrar site at this page.

From the thirteenth week through the last week of instruction, students may only request to withdraw in cases where the withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control and the assignment of an incomplete is not possible.

To request a withdrawal after the last day of instruction you must file an appeal of the deadline to withdraw (formerly called a retroactive withdrawal). Please visit https://registrar.sfsu.edu/withdrawal for more information on this process.

Unacceptable reasons include the following:

  • Not knowing the prerequisites
  • Not doing well in the course
  • Need a good grade for medical school
  • Got a new job
  • Chronic illness which dates back prior to registration
  • Several days of illness
  • Too heavy of a course load

Acceptable reasons for withdrawal (which must be verified, include the following: 

  • Withdrawal from University
  • Extended illness that began during the semester
  • Obligations stemming from a death in the family
  • Non-voluntary and unavoidable changes in work hours
  • Serious emotional problems


Yes, you may repeat a course taken at SF State once as long as you did not receive a grade of C or better or a grade of CR. In addition, there is a repeat limit of 28 units unless the course is listed in the Bulletin as repeatable for credit. Courses that were withdrawn from as a result of withdrawing from a full semester of coursework do not count towards the 28-unit limit.

Note that there are some restrictions. If you wish to repeat a course at SF State more than once, you must petition to enroll in the course a third time. You may not repeat a course that has a grade of incomplete (I).

Students who repeat courses at SF State, up to the 16-unit limit, will have the lower of the two grades “forgiven” from the GPA calculation. Once the unit limit is reached all units attempted, and all grade points earned, will be included in the student’s cumulative totals.

Students may withdraw from a course as many times as they wish.  However, university policy states that “Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18-units of courses taken in matriculated status at SF State.”

Request an incomplete from your instructor. You will typically have needed to complete a minimum of 75% of the coursework and have a well-defined plan for completing the course. Note that you will not be allowed to enroll in a class for which you have been issued an incomplete that has not been issued a letter grade.


Your instructor will submit change of grade requests online. Speak with them about grade changes.

A student who believes they have been assigned an improper grade should meet with the instructor of record and together review the grading procedures used to determine the grade assigned on the student's transcript.

If, after careful review of the grading procedures, the student is still dissatisfied, or if the instructor of record refuses to take part in the informal process, the student should initiate an appeal with the chair of the department offering the course. The change of grade form can be found on the Registrar's Office forms page

Check the academic calendar for details.

Students will apply for graduation online through their Student Center. The link will become active once they have completed 90 units of coursework. Fulfillment of degree requirements is determined through a student’s Degree Progress Report (DPR), so it is critical that students wishing to graduate check that it is accurate.

If a student wishes to change their major or add/drop a minor after they have applied for graduation, they must email regweb@sfsu.edu and ask that their Academic Plan be changed. If they have applied for graduation but wish to move their graduation to a different term, they also must email regweb@sfsu.edu.

More information on the processes around graduation can be found on the Undergraduate Graduation page.

The answer is yes, especially when the degrees are from two different programs and/or departments. Using chemistry and biology as an example, a student can obtain degrees in both of these fields assuming they have satisfied the requirements for both degrees and they submit graduation applications for both of these degrees. If the student is choosing to apply for two degrees from the same program or department, the answer is a little more complicated. The text below lists all possible permutations of degrees from our Department along with the relevant University policy.

Students cannot earn both B.A. Chemistry and B.S. Chemistry degrees. "Double majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees and only one degree and one diploma will be awarded."

Students can earn both B.A. Chemistry and B.S. Biochemistry degrees. "Students may apply for two different baccalaureate degrees (B.A. and B.S.) during the same degree period (meaning the same semester) provided they submit separate applications for each degree and pay the $40 fee for each application. Students who complete concurrently the requirements for two or more baccalaureate degrees will be acknowledged on separate diplomas for each degree earned."

Students can earn both B.S. Chemistry and B.S. Biochemistry degrees. “Double majors leading to the same baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees and only one degree and one diploma will be awarded…Double majors within the same baccalaureate program do not constitute separate baccalaureate degrees. Only one degree with multiple majors and/or minors will be awarded and one diploma with all earned majors and minors will be issued. The student record will reflect a maximum of three majors and two minors for each baccalaureate degree. Students can designate the order in which their multiple majors and minors will be printed on the diploma by consulting with their graduation counselor in Undergraduate Admissions. Only one $40 application fee is required. A separate form must be submitted and signed for each major and minor."

See the rules for Double Majors.


Contact the Chemistry Office for current speakers.