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Organic Chemistry Series FAQ

Effective Fall 2022, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is excited to announce our new three-quarter organic chemistry series, tailored specifically for chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering students:

  • CHEM 41A: Organic Chemistry I: Structure and Reactivity
  • CHEM 41B: Organic Chemistry II: Reactivity and Synthesis
  • CHEM 41C: Organic Chemistry II: Synthesis, Reactivity, and Macromolecules

Please see below for important information on the new CHEM 41 series and how these changes will affect the CHEM 40 series. If you are a major in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, please make sure you read the information in each drawer carefully.

This page continues to be updated periodically. Please check back frequently for additional information. Last update 06/20/23

What is the difference between the CHEM 41 series and the CHEM 40 series?

CHEM 41 series: CHEM 41A, 41B, and 41C is a three-quarter organic chemistry sequence intended for chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering students starting in organic chemistry for the first time in Fall 2022.

The NEW CHEM 40 series: CHEM 40A and 40B is a revamped two-quarter organic chemistry sequence intended for everyone else, including life sciences majors, who will be starting the organic chemistry sequence for the first time in Fall 2022. 

The OLD CHEM 40 series: CHEM 40A, 40B, and 40C was our "old" curriculum organic chemistry sequence for students who started on the organic chemistry sequence prior to Fall 2022. Students are encouraged to finish the "old" organic chemistry sequence in 2022-23. If you have already started organic chemistry prior to Fall 2022, please carefully read through the information in the drawer below.

Should I take the CHEM 40 or 41 series?

Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Engineering majors:

  • Enroll in CHEM 41 series.

  • If you took Organic Chemistry prior to Fall 2022. Please send a VAC for further enrollment guidance.*
*NOTE: If you took CHEM 40A prior to Fall 2022 and need to enroll in CHEM 41B, please submit an EASy request for enrollment authorization.
 

All other majors:

  • Enroll in CHEM 40 series.

Please check with your major department regarding what courses are required for your major and/or Health Beat Advising if you are pre-health or pre-med student.

Refer to the following chart for guidance on enrollment. Last updated 06/20/2023.

Note for Engineering majors: This guidance is intended for students planning to complete the entire three-course Organic Chemistry Series. CHEM 41C is not required for all majors. Please check with your major department regarding which courses in the series are required for your major and/or Health Beat Advising if you are pre-health or pre-med.

Note: Please check with your major department regarding which courses in the series are required for your major and/or Health Beat Advising if you are pre-health or pre-med.

I noticed that the “new” CHEM 40 series only have CHEM 40A and 40B; why is there no 40C? How will this affect pre-health students?

The “new” CHEM 40 series is a reconstructed two-course sequence, but will still cover all pertinent content. The vast majority of pre-health programs will accept CHEM 40A, 40B, and 43A as one year of organic chemistry. Students are encouraged to follow up with their preferred professional programs directly to confirm. 

If you still have questions, visit Health Beat for guidance, resources, and workshops to help you apply to your desired program.

When will each series be offered?

CHEM 40 series: CHEM 40A and 40B will continue to be offered every quarter.

CHEM 41 series: CHEM 41A, 41B, and 41C will only be offered as follows for 22-23 and 23-24 academic years:

  • CHEM 41A: Fall 2022, Summer Session I, Fall 2023, and Winter 2024
  • CHEM 41B: Winter 2023, Summer Session II, Winter 2024, and Spring 2024
  • CHEM 41C: Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

In future academic years, the department aims to offer these courses multiple times per year depending on demand and staffing.

Is there a CHEM 41 series lab?

No, there will be no CHEM 41 series lab. CHEM 43A will serve as the Organic Lab for both the CHEM 40 and CHEM 41 series. 

Will these changes have any effect on chemistry course prerequisites?

No. Any course in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry which previously had CHEM 40A, 40B, and/or 40C listed as a prerequisite will remain, while CHEM 41A, 41B, and 41C will be added as prerequisite options.
For example, the prerequisite for CHEM 114A will be CHEM 40A or CHEM 41A.

Note that courses that require organic chemistry that are housed outside of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry may not accept the CHEM 41 series as a prerequisite.

I am a Chemistry/Biochemistry major. When will my degree audit be updated?

If you are a major in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, your degree audit was updated in summer 2022 to reflect the CHEM 41ABC series as options for your major.