Choosing Organic Courses

Which Organic Chemistry Sequence Should You Take?

 

The Department of Chemistry offers several organic chemistry pathways. Choosing the right one is a matter of meeting the prerequisites, satisfying your major requirements, and leaving your options open for professional programs and/or graduate school. The requirements for organic chemistry for your major can be found in the chart below, in the UW course catalog, or on the UW degree programs website. If your major is followed by an asterisk*, the minimum requirements are not the ones specifically recommended for that major. In all cases, when planning to graduate with a degree, check with a departmental advisor before registering to make sure you are on the right track!

This Organic Chemistry Course/Sequence Meets Minimum Requirement for these Majors/Programs
CHEM 220 Botany BA, Conservation of Wildland Resources, Fisheries Option 1, Forest Management, Urban Forestry, Wildlife Science, and the UW Nursing BSN program.
CHEM 220, 221 Biology BS Track 2, Botany BS, Fisheries Option 2, Neurobiology*, and Zoology BA* and BS*
CHEM 223, 224 Biology BS Track 1*, Microbiology, and Chemical Engineering; the pre-veterinarian program
CHEM 223, 224, Labs 241, 242 Environmental Health; pre-med/dent students sometimes take this sequence-- followed by BIOCHEM 405 and 406, but check with the particular medical or dental school for recommendations
CHEM 237, 238, 239, Labs 241, 242 Biochemistry, Chemistry (all degrees); pre-pharmacy program; pre-med/dent students often take this sequence
CHEM 237, 238 Paper Science and Engineering Major
CHEM 237, 238, 239 Oceanography (Biology or Chemical Options)
CHEM 335, 336, 337, Labs 345, 346 Honors sequence not required of any major, but recommended
for qualified students

Official Chemistry Course Description

Official course descriptions are located in UW Course Catalog.

Supplemental Organic Chemistry Course comments

1. CHEM 220, 221: Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry; Introduction to Biochemical Processes

These courses usually follow CHEM 120 (Introduction to General Chemistry), but can be taken after CHEM 142 (General Chemistry) or CHEM 145 (Honors General Chemistry). They are a two-quarter survey of organic chemistry including some biochemistry. Both courses include a laboratory. This pathway is not intended for most science majors. Prerequisites include a 1.7 in either CHEM 120, 142, or 145. Offered: CHEM 220 (winter); CHEM 221 (spring).

2. CHEM 223, 224: Organic Chemistry Short Program

A two-quarter, lecture-only series in organic chemistry, covering many of the topics from the full year, three-quarter sequence in a less comprehensive way (see below for labs). Prerequisites: a 1.7 in CHEM 152 or 155. Offered: CHEM 223 (summer, A-term); CHEM 224 (summer, B-term).

3. CHEM 237, 238, 239: Organic Chemistry Lecture

The standard three-quarter sequence of organic chemistry lecture sequence (see below for accompanying labs). Prerequisites: a 1.7 in CHEM 162 or 155 for CHEM 237; a 1.7 in CHEM 237 or 335 for CHEM 238; a 1.7 in CHEM 238 or 336 for CHEM 239. Offered: CHEM 237 (autumn, winter, summer); CHEM 238 (winter, spring, summer); CHEM 239 (autumn, spring, summer).

4. CHEM 241, 242: Organic Chemistry Laboratory

The standard two-quarter organic laboratory course sequence. CHEM 241 is designed to accompany CHEM 238 and CHEM 242 to accompany CHEM 239. However, CHEM 241 can be taken with CHEM 224 or 336. The CHEM 241 laboratory course is an introduction to the techniques used in organic laboratories, including distillation, crystallization, extraction, and chromatography. In CHEM 242, these techniques are combined with modern spectroscopy and applied to synthesis of unknown identification. CHEM 241 and 242 each have a weekly one hour pre-lab lecture and two weekly three hour lab sessions. Prerequisites: a 1.7 in CHEM 155 or 162 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in either CHEM 224, 238, or 336 for CHEM 241; a 1.7 in CHEM 224 or in either CHEM 239 or 337 (either one may be taken concurrently), and a 1.7 in 241 or 346 for CHEM 242. Offered: CHEM 241 (autumn, winter, spring, summer); CHEM 242 (autumn, spring, summer).

5. CHEM 335, 336, 337, 346, 347: Honors Organic Chemistry Lecture and Laboratory

The full year, three-quarter honors course sequence with three lecturer courses (CHEM 335, 336, 337) and two laboratory courses (CHEM 346, 347). The honors organic sequence is recommended for strong students who want to be further challenged by their chemistry courses. Laboratory courses are designed to accompany CHEM 336 and 337. Prerequisites for CHEM 335 include a 3.3 average in the regular general chemistry sequence (CHEM 142, 152, 162) or a 3.0 average in the honors general chemistry sequence (CHEM 145, 155, 165). The lecture sequence (CHEM 335, 336, 337) must be started in the autumn; the laboratory course sequence (CHEM 346, 347) begins in the winter. Please contact the Chemistry Undergraduate Advisors for registration information.

Summer Quarter Organic Chemistry Options

Many students inquire about taking a condensed organic chemistry sequence that can be completed during summer quarter. Our short organic course sequence (CHEM 223 and 224) is the only sequence can be completed in one summer session (CHEM 223 during A-term and CHEM 224 during B-term). There is great demand for this course sequence so students are advised to register early. We also refer students who are interested in taking the full year-long lecture and laboratory course equivalent of CHEM 237, 238, 239, 241, 242 to Bellevue Community College, which offers a summer intensive program covering these courses.

NOTE: Although you can begin CHEM 237 in the summer, CHEM 238, the second course in that series, is not offered again until winter, resulting in a one-quarter break between the two courses in the series if CHEM 237 is taken during the summer.

 

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