Frequently Asked Scheduling Questions
I am a biochemistry major. Do I have to take BSC 110 before I take BSC 111?
No, BSC 111 can be taken before BSC 110. This is sometimes necessary when BSC 110 fills up quickly. Remember to schedule both the lab and lecture the same semester.
I had a lot of high school chemistry and I’m sure I know everything that is in CHE 106. Can I skip it and go on to CHE 107?
If you have AP credit or transfer credit for 106, you can go right into CHE 107. Otherwise you would need to take the CLEP test (usually at William Carey University) or take a challenge exam. See the department chair for information about the challenge exam.
I haven’t had high school chemistry but I’m sure I can pass CHE 106. Why do I have to take CHE 100?
The prerequisite is there to maximize your chances of success. It is our experience that very few students who have not had high school chemistry will do well in CHE 106. In fact, many students that took chemistry in high school did not have a good experience and choose to take CHE 100, our preparatory course, prior to taking CHE 106.
I want to take the chemistry lecture course now and the lab later. Why can’t I do that?
For almost all chemistry courses with labs, the lecture and lab are strictly enforced corequisites. This is because they are linked in their course content and, although graded separately, are really two parts of the same course. It makes no sense from a learning perspective to take them different semesters. Only the two biochemistry labs (CHE 420L and 421L) and CHE 431L are optional and can be taken later than the lecture. One of the few exceptions we make is for pregnant women. For obvious safety reasons pregnant women are asked to take the chemistry laboratory at a later time.
I took a chemistry course already and passed the lab but didn’t pass the lecture. Do I have to take the lab again when I repeat the lecture?
No, but the chemistry department secretary will have to override the corequisite.
I want to take organic chemistry I and II at the same time so I can graduate sooner, but SOAR won’t let me. Why not?
Chemistry courses, particularly general and organic chemistry, build on one another and no one can converse in a language that they can’t understand. Students who are not prepared to take a course degrade the learning environment for the other students in the class because the instructor has to keep going back to review material that the unprepared student has missed.
I’m starting USM as a chemistry major in the fall. How do I know what math course I should start with?
There are specific ACT prerequisites for beginning math courses, which you can see by clicking here for the Mathematics Placement Prerequisites. Students who have had calculus in high school and meet the ACT requirement will typically start with MAT 167, Calculus I, unless they have AP credit for this already. Students who had a precalculus course in high school, such as trigonometry, advanced math, or something similar, AND who have a score of 26 or higher on the ACT math subsection should also go directly into MAT 167. Students with an ACT math subsection score of 24 or lower should take either MAT 103 (trigonometry) or MAT 128 (precalculus mathematics) before taking MAT 167. Students with a relatively weak background in math should start in MAT 101. It is important to note here that chemistry is a math-intensive science and students having serious difficulty with mathematics or who are taking MAT 099 should consider alternative majors.
I am trying to sign up for my next chemistry course, but SOAR says “requisites not met”. What does this mean?
There are several reasons you might get this uninformative message. The most common is that you are not entering both the lecture and the lab courses before you hit “continue”. These are corequisites and the computer recognizes them as such, but fails to tell you explicitly that this is the case. The next most common reason is that the lab section you have chosen is full. Pick another one. Some transfer students get this message because their transfer courses haven’t been posted yet. They will have to come to the main chemistry office to resolve this, bringing with them some proof of the previous course. Of course, students that have not had the prerequisite courses will get this message. The department strictly enforces prerequisites, so unless you really have the prerequisite courses please don’t bother the departmental office staff with pleas to override the prerequisite.
I am working full time and cannot make the class at the time it is taught. Can you waive the class or set up another section just for me?
It is very difficult to major in chemistry and work full time. The department cannot change the class schedule for individual students. You should discuss your situation with your academic advisor or the department chair. If you are not a chemistry major, your home department would have to make the waiver decision.
Do the courses taught at USM-Gulf Park count as transfer courses?
No, they are regular USM courses and count the same as courses on the Hattiesburg campus.
I am a biology major and want a chemistry minor. What courses count?
All biology majors must take general chemistry and organic chemistry as part of their normal curriculum, leaving them with only five more chemistry hours to take to get a chemistry minor. Any 300 or 400 level course, except for CHE 332 or 409, will count towards the minor. You must also make a C or higher in all chemistry courses that you will count towards the minor.
Do the physical chemistry courses have to be taken in a particular order?
As long as you meet the prerequisites, you can take CHE 462 and 462L prior to taking CHE 461 and 461L. Chemistry majors are required to take MAT 169 prior to taking physical chemistry II. ACS chemistry majors who have to take MAT 285 would benefit from taking this course before physical chemistry.
Do I have to take physical chemistry II before I take CHE 411?
It is best to do so, but the department will allow you to take them at the same time if requested by your academic advisor.
Can I take a polymer science or forensics course as one of the chemistry electives?
As a rule, no. Students should plan for these electives ahead of time so they don’t get caught their senior year. The only routine exception is with students changing majors from polymer science to chemistry. The polymer courses are then treated as transfer credit and the department chair, in consultation with the appropriate faculty, decides what will transfer/substitute.
Can I take a summer course at a community college and transfer it back to USM?
Once you are a student at USM, the university requires permission from the deparment chair to take courses at another school. It is not encouraged by the department.
I am not an ACS-certified major. How do I decide which physics series to take?
Preprofessional students normally take the algebra-based physics, while students preparing for a career as a scientist normally take the calculus-based physics. These are not hard and fast rules, however.
I’m thinking about taking classes every summer in order to graduate sooner. Is this a good idea?
No for two reasons. First, there is a good chance you will burn out. Use the summers to work in industry, to do research at another institution, or just do something different. The second reason is pragmatic as well. Most junior and senior level chemistry courses are only offered once a year and have numerous prerequisites. Going during the summers may not get you out any sooner.
I’m going to do research in a summer REU at another university. Can this count for my senior capstone course?
Yes, but you will need to arrange this with the department chair prior to the summer. The chair will explain the details of the process.
I’m a sophomore that wants to start doing research in a research lab. What do I do?
You aren’t ready to sign up for your senior capstone course yet, but you can get into the lab. First, find a faculty member that is doing something you find interesting. You can do this by talking to your academic advisor and by looking at the faculty research interests on the departmental website. Then go to the faculty whose work you find interesting and talk to them about possible projects in their lab. You can often get paid for working in a lab or you could sign up for our newest course, CHE 392 (introduction to research) to make sure your research efforts show up on your transcript.
Can I take CHE 496 more than once?
CHE 496 is the departmental senior capstone course which requires a body of research to be completed with a formal written report and a couple of oral presentations. CHE 410, chemical safety, is a mandatory prerequisite to CHE 496. Students are not required to take more than one semester of research, but are strongly encouraged to do so. You will be much more productive and are more likely to become a coauthor on a publication or give a presentation at a scientific conference. CHE 496 may be taken twice for credit, but you can take CHE 392 in prior semesters if you want additional course credit for research. See the syllabus for CHE 496 for more information.
I’m trying to plan my schedule for each semester of the whole four years. How do I know what is being taught in future years?
Most courses do not change year to year in the class schedule guide, so you can use this year’s guide to tenatively plan for future years. Departments usually know by midfall what they will be offering the next academic year, so you can check with the appropriate department office to make sure your courses are being offered and at the expected times. Planning your schedule for the entire four years is a wise thing to do and will greatly assist your preregistration advisement each semester.
Which computer science course should I take?
The department will be expanding the available computing courses beginning in the fall of 2011. Available courses in all degree plans (except licensure) will be CSC 101 (C++), CSS 211 (Statistical Methods I), CSS 240 (Fortran Programming), CSS 333 (Problem Solving Using C. I), or PSY 360 (Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences). Preprofessional students will normally take PSY 360. Transfer students that have taken a programming course already can usually use it to meet the computing requirement.
I want to change my catalog year for graduation. What do I do?
You can normally graduate under any catalog year within six years of beginning college. Sometimes requirements change and you may find it to your benefit to change as well. There is a form in the main office to change catalog years, add a minor, or change emphasis areas. You should also be aware that, for older catalog years, the department may require substitutions for courses that were formerly required but are no longer taught. Ask your academic advisor or the department chair if you have questions about these.
I am interested in premed or prepharmacy requirements. What degree plan should I be in?
You should be in the biochemistry degree plan. All of the premed prerequisites are built into this plan, although students may wish to take an anatomy course as well. There are numerous prepharmacy requirements and an example of the biochemistry degree plan incorporating the prepharmacy requirements. All preprofessional students should be familiar with the preprofessional office within the College of Science and Technology.