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Learn Organic Chemistry Online


This course provides a fundamental overview and introduction to classical organic chemistry. Students will have an opportunity to gain a general understanding of how to read chemical structures: how to draw bond-line representations of a molecule; how to identify formal charges; number of lone pairs (unpaired electrons); and, how to draw Lewis dot structures. Students will also learn what a resonance structure is and how to assess its relative importance. Acid-base reactions, chemical equilibrium, and various factors contributing to the charge stability (acidity/pKa) will also be briefly covered.

The course places emphasis on atom hybridization, bond geometry, stereochemistry, three-dimensional structure representation and nomenclature (naming) of organic compounds. Students will learn the difference between conformations (e.g., Newman projections and chair conformations); and configurations (e.g., chirality, enantiomers, diastereomers, meso-forms, R- and S- nomenclature and Fischer projections).

The first half of the course will provide an introduction of chemical reactivity and reaction mechanisms starting with nucleophilic substitution (SN1 and SN2) and elimination reactions (E1 and E2): the regiochemical and stereochemical outcome, determining the correct competing mechanism (substitution or elimination), determining the function of the reagent and predicting the products. The course will then progress to more-focused overview of addition reactions to alkenes and alkynes – in particular, covering the terminology describing regiochemistry and stereochemistry (e.g., Markovnikov and anti-Markovnikov products, syn- and anti-addition) and their chemical properties: alkylation, reduction, oxidation (ozonolysis), and many others. Students will also be introduced to alcohols and their derivatives (ethers and epoxides) and cover various synthetic methods describing their preparation (e.g., via reduction of ketones or aldehydes, Grignard reactions, etc.) and chemical reactivity: oxidation, ring-opening of epoxides, and others.

This course is designed for biology, premedical, prenursing, preclinical, prehealth students and anyone who is interested in learning introductory organic chemistry. A foundation in general chemistry is preferred to understand the topics of this course.


This course is offered in an online asynchronous format. There are no set meeting times, however, students follow a weekly schedule and there will be deadlines to meet in terms of course requirements. This course cannot be completed at an accelerated rate.

Students interested in lab component: We offer CHEM40012 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory.  This hands-on course designed to complement the theoretical concepts covered in CHEM40010:Organic Chemistry I lectures.

Contact Information:
Fiona O'Donnell-Lawson



Course Number: CHEM-40010
Credit: 4.50 unit(s)

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