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Course Syllabus: Organic Chemistry 101

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Course Description

Organic chemistry is a branch of general chemistry that focuses on carbon-based compounds. Starting with the simplest molecules, alkanes (carbon chains bound to hydrogen atoms), the course expands to examine more complex molecules, including their basic properties, how they can be synthesized, and how they interact with other molecules.


This highly qualitative course begins by laying a foundation in quantum theory, which describes how atoms interact to form bonds and, thus, molecules. In addition to considering at chemical interactions, the course also takes a brief look at stereochemistry (the arrangement of molecules in three dimensions) and spectroscopy (using light to determine the composition of materials). The course culminates with a brief look at some elements of biochemistry, which examines the behavior of chemicals in biological systems (organisms). Emphases throughout the course include IUPAC nomenclature for organic molecules, the behavior and properties of chemicals with a variety of functional groups, and conceptual methods of synthesizing different organic compounds.


 Although the course is not nearly an exhaustive examination of this highly complex subject, it provides a solid foundation for students who simply want to learn more about the subject or who want to review the material in preparation for an introductory or more advanced course in high school or college. Because the course is qualitative rather than quantitative, students do not require extensive math skills to complete the course successfully. Nevertheless, the course provides a solid conceptual understanding for those who wish to study elsewhere the quantitative aspects of the topic.

Course Requirements

It is recommended that individuals have prior knowledge of chemistry before enrolling into Organic Chemistry 101.

It is recommended that individuals have obtained a ninth grade education in order to grasp the Math information presented.

Universal Class offers Introduction to Chemistry and Chemistry 101.

Anyone over the age of 13 is welcome to join this course.

Course Topics

  1. Bonding and Molecular Structure I: Chemical Bonding
  2. Bonding and Molecular Structure II: The Structure and Representation of Organic Molecules
  3. Acids and Bases
  4. Alkanes and Cycloalkanes I: Nomenclature
  5. Alkanes and Cycloalkanes II: Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, and Functional Groups
  6. Nomenclature for Alkyl Halides, Alcohols, Alkenes, and Alkynes
  7. Alkenes/Alkynes 1: Properties and Synthesis
  8. Alkenes/Alkynes 2: Addition Reactions
  9. Nucleophilic Substitution of Alkyl Halides
  10. Stereochemistry
  11. Free Radical Reactions
  12. Aromatic Compounds (Arenes)
  13. Reactions of Aromatic Compounds
  14. NMR, Mass Spectrometry, and Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy
  15. Synthesis and Reactions of Alcohols
  16. Ethers and Epoxides
  17. Aldehydes and Ketones 1: Introduction and Nucleophilic Addition to Carbonyl Group
  18. Aldehydes and Ketones 2: Enols and Enolates
  19. Conjugated Unsaturated Systems
  20. Synthesis and Reactions of β-Bicarbonyl Compounds
  21. Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
  22. Amines
  23. Phenols and Aryl Halides
  24. Carbohydrates
  25. Lipids

Course Materials

No additional course materials required to complete this course.

Grading Policy

There are about 25 lessons that are followed by a quiz and/assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define chemical bonding.
  • Describe the structure and representation of organic molecules.
  • Describe acids and bases.
  • Describe nomenclature.
  • Demonstrate bonding, intermolecular forces, and functional groups.
  • Describe nomenclature for alkyl halides, alcohols, alkenes, and alkynes.
  • Know properties and synthesis.
  • Identify addition reactions.
  • Recognize nucleophilic substitution of alkyl halides.
  • Demonstrate stereochemistry .
  • Know free radical reactions.
  • Define aromatic compounds (arenes).
  • Define reactions of aromatic compounds.
  • Know nmr, mass spectrometry, and infrared (ir) spectroscopy.
  • Describe synthesis and reactions of alcohols.
  • Know ethers and epoxides.
  • Know nucleophilic addition to carbonyl group.
  • Describe enols and enolates.
  • Describe conjugated unsaturated systems.
  • Recognize synthesis and reactions of β-bicarbonyl compounds.
  • Describe carboxylic acids and derivatives.
  • Know amines.
  • Describe phenols and aryl halides.
  • Identify carbohydrates.
  • Describe lipids, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Lesson 1 Assignment 10
Lesson 1 Bonding and Molecular Structure I: Chemical Bonding10
Lesson 2 Assignment10
Lesson 2 Bonding and Molecular Structure II: The Structure and Representation of Organic Molecules9
Lesson 3 Assignment10
Lesson 3 Acids and Bases8
Lesson 4 Assignment10
Lesson 4 Alkanes and Cycloalkanes I: Nomenclature10
Lesson 5 Assignment10
Lesson 5 Alkanes and Cycloalkanes II: Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, and Functional Groups10
Lesson 6 Assignment10
Lesson 6 Nomenclature for Alkyl Halides, Alcohols, Alkenes, and Alkynes9
Lesson 7 Assignment10
Lesson 7 Alkenes/Alkynes I: Properties and Synthesis10
Lesson 8 Assignment10
Lesson 8 Alkenes and Alkynes II: Addition Reactions9
Lesson 9 Assignment10
Lesson 9 Nucleophilic Substitution of Alkyl Halides10
Lesson 10 Assignment10
Lesson 10 Stereochemistry11
Lesson 11 Assignment10
Lesson 12 Assignment10
Lesson 13 Assignment10
Lesson 13 Reactions of Aromatic Compounds10
Lesson 14 Assignment10
Lesson 14 NMR, Mass Spectrometry, and Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy9
Lesson 15 Assignment10
Lesson 15 Synthesis and Reactions of Alcohols10
Lesson 16 Assignment10
Lesson 16 Ethers and Epoxides10
Lesson 17 Assignment10
Lesson 17 - Aldehydes and Ketones 1: Introduction and Nucleophilic Addition to Carbonyl Group10
Lesson 18 Assignment10
Lesson 18 - Aldehydes and Ketones 2: Enols and Enolates10
Lesson 19 Assignment10
Lesson 19 - Conjugated Unsaturated Systems10
Lesson 20 Assignment10
Lesson 20 - Synthesis and Reactions of β-Bicarbonyl Compounds10
Lesson 21 Assignment10
Lesson 21 - Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives9
Lesson 22 Assignment10
Lesson 22 - Amines10
Lesson 23 Assignment10
Lesson 23 - Phenols and Aryl Halides9
Lesson 24 Assignment10
Lesson 24 - Carbohydrates9
Lesson 25 - Lipids9
The Final Exam85
Total Points:546

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