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.

  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – jeanquilt Nov 27 '17 at 0:15

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