General Chemistry Lab Waivers

Students who pass the Penn Chemistry Placement exam(s) or Honors Chemistry, CHEM 115/116 registrants (Freshman only; AP Chem exam score of 5 and co-enrollment in MATH 114 or higher required for permission to register) may apply for a waiver for the general chemistry laboratories.  Please note you are only eligible to apply for a waiver for the lab which corresponds to the placement exam you pass, e.g., Chem 053 for Chem 101 and Chem 054 for Chem 102.  Waivers approved for Honors Chemistry students will not be posted until completion of CHEM 116.


How to apply for a waiver:


Students who are awarded Chem 053/054 laboratory waivers must have prior experience in rigorous general chemisty lab courses, such as those found in some high school AP and IB courses. 


For labs to be considered for review, you will need to submit the following information from your AP or IB chemistry lab class:

  • lab reports (showing student name and grade earned)
  • lab notebook
  • lab syllabus / list of experiments performed in YOUR high school AP / IB class [do NOT submit the generic list of labs “recommended” by the College Board]


Submit as many of your own graded lab reports and/or notebooks as possible. A syllabus listing all labs required for YOUR AP class is very helpful, but does not remove the need to submit a representative sample of your own work in lab so the level and quality of the experiments can be assessed.  


Note: use of a high school “precedent database” for chemistry lab waivers has been discontinued; ALL students are now required to submit these materials, regardless of whether their high school had been evaluated at some point in the past.


You will be contacted via e-mail after your waiver request has been reviewed.




Download the waiver application [.pdf, 63K]


For more information:


Candice Adams

Chemistry Undergraduate Coordinator
Room B12 Chem Bldg., 215-898-8311

Department of Chemistry

231 S. 34 Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323

215.898.8317 voice | 215.573.2112 fax |