Free Online Course on Chemistry by Rice University

Rice University is offering free online course on General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application. The class can be taken by someone with no prior experience in chemistry.

This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course. The course will start on May 14, 2018.

Course At Glance

Subject: Chemistry
Institution: Rice University and Coursera
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Course starts on May 14, 2018

Providers’ Details

Rice University is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy.

About This Course

This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course.  We will use a free on-line textbook, Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, available via Rice’s Connexions project.

The fundamental concepts in the course will be introduced via the Concept Development Approach developed at Rice University.  In this approach, we will develop the concepts you need to know from experimental observations and scientific reasoning rather than simply telling you the concepts and then asking you to simply memorize or apply them.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. Applicants can get a verified certificate.

Learning Outcomes

One reason is that most of us are inductive learners, meaning that we like to make specific observations and then generalize from there.  Many of the most significant concepts in Chemistry are counter-intuitive.  When we see where those concepts come from, we can more readily accept them, explain them, and apply them.

A second reason is that scientific reasoning in general and Chemistry reasoning in particular are inductive processes.  This Concept Development approach illustrates those reasoning processes.

A third reason is that this is simply more interesting! The structure and reactions of matter are fascinating puzzles to be solved by observation and reasoning.  It is more fun intellectually when we can solve those puzzles together, rather than simply have the answers to the riddles revealed at the outset.


The class can be taken by someone with no prior experience in chemistry.  However, some prior familiarity with the basics of chemistry is desirable as we will cover some elements only briefly.  For example, a prior high school chemistry class would be helpful.


John Steven Hutchinson, Dean of Undergraduates and Professor of Chemistry

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At Coursera
  • Select a course and Join

Apply Now

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