Course Description

Course Name

Organic Chemistry I (Guaranteed- Fall)

Session: VVLF3124

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.



In this course we are going to focus on the right corner of the periodic table and study how carbon-containing molecules interact. Through our discovery of these interactions, we can begin to answer questions like how do we design drugs that target specific illness, what are more effective techniques to diagnosis diseases, and even how do I make sense of ingredients on food labels. By understanding exactly how a molecule interacts in its environment, not only will we have the ability to synthesize more efficacious medicine, improve existing screening techniques and understand the ingredients in the food we consume, but we can answer the unmet needs we are facing in the environment, agriculture, medicine, and even everyday areas like clothing, paint, and soap. With the understanding of organic chemistry and its role in so many aspects of your life, you will be able to actively participate in and contribute to the scientific community in whatever career you choose.

Collaborative learning is an extremely effective way to learn organic chemistry. For this reason, you will be grouped into learning communities (LC) of approximately 40 students and assigned an Undergraduate Assistant (UA) to facilitate discussion and answer questions during interactive parts of class.


I. Introduction to Organic Chemistry
a. What concepts learned in general chemistry will help us begin organic chemistry? (chemical bonding, valence bond theory, lewis structures, formal charge, lone pairs, molecular orbital theory)
b. How do we “speak” organic chemistry? (molecular representations, nomenclature, functional groups)
c. Organic chemistry exists in three dimensions. What does this mean and how do we represent this on paper? (Newman Projections, cycloalkanes, isomers, optical activity, structural relationships, chirality (R/S), Fischer projections)

II. Organic Reactions
a. Electron movement governs organic reactions. How do we describe this phenomenon? (curved arrows, mechanisms and arrow pushing, resonance structures)
b. Can water be both an acid and a base? Discovering acid/base roles in organic chemistry. (Bronsted-Lowry acids and bases, curved arrow notation, acidity: quantitative perspective and qualitative perspective, predicting equilibrium, Lewis acids and bases)
c. Can bonding electrons be nucleophilic? (nucleophiles and electrophiles, arrow pushing/mechanism, carbocations, addition reactions of alkenes and alkynes)
d. What types of reactions do alkyl halides undergo?
(substitution reactions (SN2 , SN1) elimination reactions (E2, E1), determining predominate mechanism)
e. Do electrons always move in pairs? (radical chemistry)

III. Organic Synthesis
a. How do all of the reactions I’ve learned fit together? (synthesis, functional group transformations, retrosynthetic analysis)

IV. Spectroscopy
a. How can I elucidate a structure or prove a reaction was successful? (IR, MS)


- Apply foundational knowledge of chemistry to predict structure and reactivity of carbon-based compounds
- Explain observations or make predictions of organic reactions and chemical interactions in a concise scientific manner
- Propose efficient syntheses given a starting material and target compound utilizing retrosynthetic analysis
- Utilize spectroscopic techniques to elucidate chemical structures
- Propose plausible arrow pushing mechanisms that account for synthetic transformations
- Collaborate with classmates in problem solving and discussion of concepts, both by asking and answering questions, and gain awareness of the benefits of group work
- Develop an appreciation for organic chemistry and the role it plays in your own life


Top Hat Organic Chemistry ebook


*Course content subject to change