I have recently commenced a graduate education in mathematics. Since I am currently attending extra classes in programming, which are not included in my education, my institution will not let me attend further courses in biology. Hereby, my question is simple:

What are suitable writings for self-study in general biology/chemistry? By general, I mean somewhat of an university-level introduction of mentioned fields.

My level of knowledge is slightly above "advanced" high school chemistry/biology.

(I apologize for my bad english, I'm Norwegian.)


My personal favorite intro biology book is Campbell Biology. The new edition is a little pricy, but you can probably find one of the older editions for pretty cheap--my intro class used 9th edition, and I don't think much has changed other than some of the taxon names.

I'm not sure what branch of Bio you're interested in, but Campbell covers all of introductory cell biology, organismal/evolutionary and ecology. The "concept check" questions at the end of each chapter are fantastic open-ended responses, and I believe most (if not all) have answers in the back of the book

I'm not as solid in general chemistry, but some good ones I remember are Brown, Lemay, and Burston which got me through AP Chem, and Zumdhal which my university uses and I haven't heard any complaints. The Brown text is a pretty good intro though. It provides good information and I thought it was pretty enjoyable to read.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I have decided to go for Campbell Biology, regarding self-study in biology. In chemistry I have decided General Chemistry: The Essential Concepts by R.Chang. Perhaps you have heard of this title? $\endgroup$ – Carl Schmidt Nov 26 '17 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ That one is pretty decent--from what I remember it's a good bit shorter than most general chemistry texts. It has decent reviews though and is probably fine for self-studying. If you get stuck on any specific topics, the general chemistry Kahn Academy is outstanding. $\endgroup$ – wz-billings Nov 27 '17 at 0:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.