Chemistry is the study of chemical reactions at subatomic levels and online courses often teach principles that intersect with other natural sciences, such as biology and physics. Specifically, college chemistry programs and open courseware focus on how chemical and atomic bonding creating new forms of energy and change the physical properties of matter. Even further, online courses will also cover additional basic chemical principles such as chemical equilibriums, molecular activity, and balancing chemical equations.
Online chemistry courses can be offered at the undergraduate and graduate level so you will have the opportunity to earn professionally viable knowledge while gauging your interest in a number of chemical sub-disciplines. However, it is best that you refine your online courses to programs that are accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) since they regulate the standards for what is considered a quality chemistry education. If you restrict your online chemistry course selection to institutions with ACS accreditation, you can be assured that you will receive an equivalent education as those enrolled in on-campus programs. However, these courses – at the most – can only provide a suitable primer for degree programs and cannot substitute for professional credentials or a degree.
Online courses in chemistry are viable options to learn about disciplines such as organic chemistry, laboratory procedure, quantum mechanics, and biochemistry. During these online courses, you will likely ask yourself the following questions:
When choosing an online chemistry class, you should choose a school with regional, national, or ACS accreditation; but more specifically, you should research your intended college and find out if your instructor has their Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field. The ACS dictates that at least 75% of a department’s faculty should have their doctorate before a university can seek accreditation. Also, you should pay attention to the finer logistics of the course offerings, such as the amount of lab time and exams it requires. Many chemistry-related careers require professionals to invest time in laboratory study and research reporting so you will need these skills when you finally search the job market. Again, it should be stated that most of these positions will require you to have at least a bachelors so open online courses can only take you so far if you have career aspirations. However, these courses are useful because they introduce you to the work requirements of more strenuous undergraduate and graduate programs.
We have compiled relevant open courseware in chemistry and organized it in the directory below. Open courseware is simply a collection of online tests, video lectures, and related course materials from mostly prestigious universities around the world. While these materials are free to access, you will have to learn independently since you cannot interact with the professor of the course. However, these courses are excellent resources if you are considering an on-campus or online chemistry degree and want to gauge your interest in the subject matter.