Online Chemistry Courses: Bonding with Science

Chemistry is one of those subjects and disciplines that we rarely think about, even though it’s always around us or even within us. And you probably think it takes years to learn and be proficient in. That's partially true, but with online chemistry courses you’ll be able to develop a solid understanding of the discipline in a relatively short time.

There are various aspects of chemistry and therefore numerous chemistry classes online available. I went through the best online learning platforms and will present you with a selection of both premium and free online chemistry courses in this article.

Why Chemistry?

Firstly, let’s discuss why you could want to take online chemistry courses in the first place. What I like about chemistry is that there are so many opportunities.  For example, with chemistry knowledge, you could go into pharmaceuticals, different manufacturing processes, toxicology, chemical engineering, and various other fields.

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Even within a specific field, you could stick with theoretical knowledge and analyze various compounds and reactions. You could also do something more practical and interact with certain substances and see how they work

And with online chemistry courses available, learning is just so simple and so accessible.

Within only several weeks or months, you could end up absorbing the same amount of information or knowledge that would take years to study at a university. Of course, it depends on how much time and effort you invest, but that can be said about absolutely anything.

Types of Chemistry

One of the main reasons why chemistry covers so many fields, is that there are many branches of chemistry. Depending on the source, chemistry can be divided into up to 10 different types.

Most of these subtypes can be grouped into these 5: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and physical chemistry. 

Organic chemistry studies organic compounds and their structure, reactions, or other properties. Usually, organic compounds are considered to be the ones which contain carbon. More specifically, carbon bonding with hydrogen.

Organic compounds make up the base of many pharmaceuticals, petroleum products, agricultural chemicals, and similar. 

Online chemistry courses: female scientist at lab

Inorganic chemistry covers… well, inorganic compounds, as you probably have guessed. This chemistry type is basically about chemical compounds that do not contain carbon, although there can be a few more complicated exceptions.

Mostly it’s applied to the chemical industry in areas such as pigments, fuels, coatings, but also some medications and agriculture

As you can probably tell by its name, biochemistry combines two different scientific fields — biology and chemistry. This branch of chemistry studies chemical processes regarding living organisms. Or chemical processes inside the living organisms themselves. 

Biochemistry can be further divided into three types:

  • Structural biology — deals with the structure of molecules
  • Enzymology — studies certain proteins
  • Metabolism — life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms

Physical chemistry analyzes physics concepts in chemical systems. In other words, it oversees how physical principles influence the way atoms, molecules, or other chemical systems behave.

The main subtopics that physical chemistry studies are:

  • Kinetics — the way reactions happen and their speeds
  • Spectroscopy — the way light interacts with matter
  • Quantum mechanics — arrangement of electrons in atoms and molecules
  • Thermodynamics — how temperature influences energy and work

Analytical chemistry is more related to processing various substances than figuring out how they work. This branch of chemistry uses various instruments and methods to identify and quantify matter

Whichever branch you choose — or maybe several of them — there are plenty of online chemistry courses available for you to indulge in. Let’s dive right into them. 

Organic Chemistry - Bonding And Molecular Structure (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: Udemy Organic chemistry course

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Duration: 5h 50min
  • Price: €94.99 (now only €14.99)
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: All levels
  • Discount: Available
  • Apply HERE

At school, chemistry used to confuse me and I had tough time studying it. However, organic chemistry is where I got interested and realized that chemistry is not only fun, but also important.

With organic chemistry, it was all about how things actually work, interact, and influence each other. To me, it felt like it finally had real-life implications and I started to see the beauty in this science. 

This organic chemistry online course is mainly targeted towards high school students or lower-level university students to start their bonding with organic chemistry. You don't need to know any techniques or have taken other online chemistry courses. However, it would be quite helpful to have the basics of general chemistry

The class covers a number of topics. The material starts with simpler concepts. For example, the structure of atoms, the valence of electrons, or chemical bonds.

Online chemistry courses: scientist looking at a substance

Later it goes through some more complex concepts like chemical bonds or IUPAC nomenclature. By the end of it, you will know such unusually sounding notions like molecular geometry theory or factors for reaction rates

The course is directed by Dr. Mohammad Abualrub. He has completed his Chemistry education in Jordan and Malaysia, and has been working as Assistant Professor in Jordan for 4 years now.

Having many publications in the Chemistry field, he also has 2 more online chemistry courses available on the Udemy platform. He’s a believer in life-long learning, which I think is a very commendable quality in a lecturer. 

The class is divided into 92 lectures, which sections the whole duration of almost 6 hours into very reasonable bite-size pieces for you to absorb. Definitely a great feature to have for your online chemistry courses.

Online chemistry courses: pouring into a flask

The course material starts with various molecular structures, then moves onto alkanes, and finishes with more complex topics like bond rotation or stereochemistry.

The course has an average rating of 4.0, with 87% of the ratings being 4 or 5 stars (out of 5). Most reviewed users liked the division of lectures and that the information was easy to comprehend.

A couple of the reviews stated that those users used to be quite confused by the subject, but this organic chemistry online course helped them to not be afraid of it anymore.

"If you're struggling with organic chemistry, I would suggest taking this course, as its very straight forward and easy to be understood" — Bee J Hamixen

The price of €94.99 feels very reasonable for a 6-hour long course. In addition, Udemy often has various deals (sometimes up to even 80% percent off) or you can use some other available coupons as well.

After completing this course, you will:

  • Understand the chemical bonds
  • Learn the structure of organic compounds
  • Understand stereochemistry

Start the course NOW.

Basic Analytical Chemistry (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: edX Basic analytical chemistry course

  • Platform: edX
  • Duration: 18-24 hours
  • Price: €42 (free audit available)
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Introductory
  • Discount: Available
  • Apply HERE

This course teaches you about the principles of analytical chemistry and how they are applied in either chemistry, or a different related discipline. It will help you develop critical reasoning and how to apply it to the chemistry field. 

While this is considered to be one of introductory online chemistry courses, it does require you to have basic knowledge of chemistry (both organic and inorganic) and physics. Nothing you haven’t covered in high school though. 

The course focuses on evaluating the precision of experimental data and statistical methods. In addition, it teaches skills for solving analytical problems or for analytical work in the laboratory. 

The course is taught by two lecturers, currently or formerly affiliated with the University of Tokyo. Takeaki Ozawa is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry, and Liang-da Chiu is a former Project Assistant Professor of Analytical Chemistry.

The University of Tokyo is the oldest and the largest national university in Japan. Their alumni include several Nobel prize winners or even astronauts. 

Online chemistry courses: writing down equations

The course consists of 4 modules and 24 lectures. It is calculated to take 6 weeks, with 3-4 hours of self-paced learning per week. This would total the overall course duration as 18 to 24 hours. 

The edX courses do not have individual student reviews available. However, this course has about 24,500 students enrolled up to this point, which still signifies that many people find this course valuable and are giving it a go.

The course costs €42, which provides a verified certificate upon course completion. In addition, theoretical course materials would be available for you indefinitely even after you finish the course. 

If you’re looking for free online chemistry courses, the free audit option may be for you. With this option, you can still read all the course material, but you would not have access to graded assignments or exams. In addition, the course material would be available only for 6 weeks from when you enroll in the course. 

After finishing the course, you will learn:

Start the course NOW.

Dr. K's Complete First Semester General Chemistry I Course (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: Udemy General chemistry course

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Duration: 31h 33min
  • Price: €79.99 (now €12.99)
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Beginner
  • Discount: Available
  • Apply HERE

Usually, when we talk about chemistry, we think of inorganic chemistry. Atomic numbers and weights, molecular structure, chemical bonds, electrical conductivity, etc. It’s usually the chemistry you start with at school and there seems to be so much of it, doesn’t it?

This chemistry class online covers all the topics from the first semester of college chemistry. The only requirements are high school level algebra and interest in chemistry. Almost every lecture includes a practice assignment. I myself am a big fan of practice assignments, I think it's a great way to implement your new knowledge.

Course instructor Gregory Kowalczyk has a PhD in Chemistry and has been a Chemistry lecturer for 21 years. The lectures on Udemy are equivalent to the lectures that the instructor has taught in a university

This class is comprised of 104 lectures and totals to about 31 and a half hours. This averages to about 20 minutes per lecture, and most of the lectures are indeed between 15 and 30 minutes long. This is a very good division of workload and material, compared to other online chemistry courses.

Online chemistry courses: child looking through a miscroscope

The course has an average rating of 4.7/5, and 96% of the reviews are 4 or 5 stars. All the remaining reviews are 3 stars, meaning there are no dissatisfactory reviews for this chemistry class online. Most compliments in reviews are about the extensive material and a confident, competent instructor. 

Dr. K. does a wonderful job of explaining chemistry to people who have never had any previous knowledge in this field of study. He takes the material that is in the free Chemistry textbook and makes it understandable. I was very nervous about taking on the task of studying Chemistry; but, now find it very enjoyable. Thank you Dr. K.” — Robert W. Cuddihee

The course is priced at €79.99, which is the usual price for more extensive online chemistry courses on Udemy. This being the equivalent of a full semester of General Chemistry course in a university, such price tag is beyond affordable!

Throughout this course you’ll learn about:

  • Atomic structure and periodic properties of elements
  • Various chemical bonds and their interactions
  • Ionic relationships and reactions

Start the course NOW.

Introduction to Physical Chemistry (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: Coursera Introduction to physical chemistry course

This course mainly focuses on the fundamentals of physical chemistry. In other words, what happens with molecules in the atomic and sub-atomic levels. It covers the three main principles of starting points of physical chemistry: 

  • Thermodynamics
  • Kinetics
  • Quantum mechanics

The instructors for this chemistry class online are representatives of the University of Manchester. In this course, you’ll be in the hands of professor of Materials Chemistry Michael W. Anderson, lecturer Jonathan Agger, and Doctor of Science Patrick J O’Malley.

Combined, these instructors have a 4.56/5 rating on the Coursera platform. And if you become even more interested, Patrick has another course available for Introduction to Molecular Spectroscopy

The course is structured to last for 10 weeks, with a time investment of 1-3 hours per week. Thermodynamics and kinetics are designated 3 weeks each, and quantum mechanics has 4 weeks assigned. Each topic has 1 or 2 virtual lab assignments to make sure you know how to practically apply the theoretical knowledge.

93% of this course’s reviews are 4 or 5 stars, the average rating being 4.7/5. While there were some concerns about the instructors not being active in the forums or message board, most individual reviews were happy about the course materials being very easy to understand and to follow

Online chemistry courses: test tubes in a lab

An excellent course to learn about thermodynamics, quantum chemistry and other important elements of physical chemistry. The instructors explained the topics really well, and the quizzes were intense enough to make sure you truly understand the subject. The virtual experiments were pretty cool as well!” — Sheshaddri M G

The pricing of this course depends on your preferred type of financial involvement and needs a little bit more explanation. If you want to receive a certificate upon completion, there are two ways how to enroll and how much to pay. 

Enrolling in a single learning program will cost from $49 to $79 a month. A better deal would be Coursera Plus Monthly, with only $59 a month and 7-day free trial. With the latter option, you’d be able to access over 3,000 courses on the platform. Coursera also does offer financial aid, depending on your background. 

You could consider this class as one of the free online chemistry courses and simply enroll in audit mode without any payments whatsoever. In that case, do have in mind that neither graded assignments not a completion certificate would be available

Upon completion of this course, you will learn:

  • Various laws of thermodynamics
  • Various types of chemical kinetic reactions
  • Various principles of quantum chemistry

Start the course NOW.

Organic Chemistry Demystified : 12H Course + Solved Problems (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: Udemy Organic chemistry demystified course

  • Platform: Udemy
  • Duration: 12h 29min
  • Price: €89.99 (now only €12.99)
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: All levels
  • Discount: Available
  • Apply HERE

The course “Organic Chemistry Demystified” is suitable both for students who are taking their chemistry exams, and professionals in the chemistry field. The main goal of this organic chemistry online course is to make sure you understand organic chemistry, rather than just memorize the concepts and try to move along that way. 

This chemistry class online is not only filled with detailed examples, but also provides numbers of relevant problems with the solutions. This way you can get your hands onto testing your knowledge right away. 

The course covers various topics — from drawing organic molecules to different types of chemical reactions. You’ll find lectures about configurations, nomenclature, or synthesis.

The class is taught by WR Training. They are a group of professional engineers from various fields, and they have 35 courses available across several disciplines on the Udemy platform.

Online chemistry courses: pouring into a flask in a stand

What really appeals to me is that they are very active online teachers. They emphasize being there for the students, and even encourage them to send private messages, in case there are any questions or concerns. Such instructor attention is extremely useful in online chemistry courses, or in any other courses.

The course is about 12 and a half hours and consists of 82 lectures. The longest single lecture is 40 minutes. Most of the lectures are only 15-20 minutes long, so you’re able to segment it for yourself very conveniently

This chemistry class online has an average score of 4.8 (out of 5). Most users who rated this course loved the easy-to-understand material and abundance of examples.

Online chemistry courses: scientist with a miscroscope

Loved it! The explenation was well done, as well as the content presentated! The examples helped me understand it fast and easy: I am looking forward to further progress :)” — Johannes Tornes

The organic chemistry online course is priced at €89.99, which is an absolute bargain for 12 hours of material. Udemy also often has various discount deals, and you can always check our available coupons as well. 

After completing this course, you will know how to:

  • Draw organic molecules and resonance structures
  • Evaluate stability of acids and bases
  • Master various configurations and mechanisms

Start the course NOW.

Principles of Biochemistry (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: edX Principles of biochemistry course

  • Platform: edX
  • Duration: 60-90 hours
  • Price: €172 (free audit available)
  • Certificate: YES
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Discount: Available
  • Apply HERE

The Principles of Biochemistry course provides an introduction to macromolecular structures and analyzes cell functions within the biochemical realm. It also teaches about metabolic pathways and their activity, interacting with other biological networks. 

This class is presented by Harvard University, which is the oldest institution of higher education in the US. The instructors of "Principles of Biochemistry" have experience in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology — Rachelle Gaudet is a professor, and Alain Viel is a senior lecturer.

If you want to take this chemistry class online, you should have decent college-level knowledge of biology, chemistry, and the basics of organic chemistry.

The curriculum is estimated to last for 15 weeks, accounting for a workload of 4-6 hours per week. Definitely one of the longer and more extensive among online chemistry courses, but very much worth your time. It is a bit unfortunate that there is no detailed plan available, like there is in the other courses discussed in this article. 

Online chemistry courses: looking at plant material

There are no individual student reviews available, but we can see that over 305 thousand people have already enrolled in this course. 

The course is priced at €172. This would give full access to all course materials and graded assignments. It would also provide a certificate upon completion of the course. The graded assignments or the certificate are available only during the course’s duration.

However, if you want to turn it into one of the free online chemistry courses, that is possible as well. With the audit track option, you can enroll for free, and you’d be able to access the theoretical course materials anytime before the end of those estimated 15 weeks.

This course will teach you:

  • Structure and functions of biochemical building blocks
  • Metabolic pathways and their effects
  • Integration of biochemical processes from cells to whole organisms

Start the course NOW.

Drug Development Product Management Specialization (Enroll Here)

Online chemistry courses: Coursera Drug development specialization

In the current state of the world, healthcare and pharmaceuticals are highly important[1] and thus we should continue to develop these areas. It may even be a potential reason why you would want to take online chemistry courses.

Synthetic chemistry has been already improving our health[2] throughout the last few decades, therefore the pharmaceutical sector is worth considering as a prospective professional path.

This specialization will provide an overview of the drug discovery and development process. All the way from selecting a drug discovery target, through conducting clinical trials, to actually launching a new pharmaceutical product.

This specialization is offered by the University of California San Diego. Its instructors are Master of Science in Drug Development & Product Management Williams S. Ettouati and Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Joseph D. Ma.

Online chemistry courses: two scientists working

Williams has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. In addition, he has held high management positions in two biotech companies, which specialized in early-stage drug discovery.

The specialization is divided into 3 courses: Drug Discovery, Drug Development, and Drug Commercialization. As with other specializations in Coursera, it also includes a hands-on project. The specialization is estimated to take 3 months, assuming 3 hours per week for your pace.

The individual courses have user ratings of either 4.6 or 4.7 out of 5. A lot of reviews said the course was very much what the student was looking for. On the other hand, there have been some concerns that information and procedures about some of the aspects can be a little bit outdated.

Very well done and informative. I truly appreciate the Drug process in entirety being broken down into sections that are easy to comprehend. It is obvious the speakers were chosen for their knowledge.” — HG

Online chemistry courses: working with a Petri dish

On the Coursera platform, specializations are priced starting at $39 per month. This makes it around $120 as the starting point for the whole specialization. Considering the level of expertise involved, definitely very affordable, even if it's on the slightly higher end of online chemistry courses.

Coursera does offer an audit mode for this specialization, which enables most of the course material for you to read for free. This would not include the hands-on project, nor the certification

During this specialization, you will learn:

  • Major aspects and stages of the drug discovery process
  • Clinical trials and other testing requirements for a new drug
  • Marketing strategy and managing markets for launching a new drug

Start the specialization NOW.

Conclusions

As can be evident from the discussed options, there are plenty of various online chemistry courses, depending on what type of chemistry you want to learn. There are 5 main types of chemistry: organic, inorganic, biochemistry, physical, and analytical.

Chemistry classes online, chosen for this article, are priced quite fairly and in many options are even a bargain. In addition, Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, Coursera offers a free 7-day trial for their subscriptions, and edX has a refund available within 14 days after the purchase or after the course start. 

On top of that, some of these online learning platforms offer financial aid options, and some of the discussed classes do have an option to become free online chemistry courses.

I’m sure you’ll be able to choose the chemistry class online, whichever branch of chemistry you see yourself in. Revise your newly gained knowledge periodically, and you’ll excel in chemistry!


Scientific References

1. Malgorzata Kesik-Brodacka: 'Progress in biopharmaceutical development'

2. Kevin R Campos, Paul J Coleman, Juan C Alvarez, et al.: 'The importance of synthetic chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry'

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FAQ

Can I take a chemistry class online?

Yes, you can take various chemistry classes online. Even more so, you definitely should! Online learning is a much more convenient and cheaper alternative to university courses. You can use online learning platforms such as Udemy, edX, or Coursera to take various chemistry classes online to improve your chemistry skills.

Do I need to have prior chemistry knowledge in order to take online chemistry courses?

Depending on the course level, you may need to have some prior knowledge of chemistry for certain online chemistry courses. Or having such knowledge would be helpful. But for the most of the chemistry classes online that were discussed in this article, no prior knowledge is needed. Most of the online learning platforms will have at least some options available that require no prior knowledge of the subject.

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