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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 chemisry 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 weekly. Please check back frequently for additional information.

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

CHEM 41A, 41B, and 41C (the CHEM 41 series) 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.

CHEM 40A, 40B (the NEW CHEM 40 series) 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. 

Pre-FA22: CHEM 40A, 40B, 40C (the OLD CHEM 40 series) is 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 here: https://chemistry.ucsd.edu/undergraduate/courses/organic-chemistry-faq.html#Should-I-take-the-CHEM-40-or-41

Should I take the CHEM 40 or 41 series? Which section should I enroll in?

Chemistry/Biochemistry majors:

  • If you have already taken CHEM 40A, or plan to in Summer Session please enroll in CHEM 40B for Fall 2022.
  • If you have already taken CHEM 40A and 40B,or plan to in Summer Session please enroll in CHEM 40C for Fall 2022.
  • If you have not started organic chemistry yet, and don't plan to take it over the summer, please enroll in CHEM 41A in Fall 2022.

All other majors:
Take CHEM 40A, 40B, or 40C (depending on which class you have completed already). Effective FA22, the NEW CHEM 40A and 40B will be set up to serve students in all other disciplines outside of chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering.

In the 22-23 academic year, there will be two versions of the CHEM 40 series offered. As such, you will need to make sure you enroll in the correct offering. Please see below for details.

Organic Chemistry Series Comparison

2022-23

CHEM 40 Series (40B, 40C) - OLD

CHEM 40 Series (40A, 40B) - NEW

CHEM 41 Series (41A, 41B, 41C)

Description

These sections will have exactly the same curriculum as in previous quarters.

This 2-quarter series has an updated curriculum to better serve the needs of majors in the biological sciences and any other major outside of chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering.

This 3-quarter series is new and intended for majors in the physical sciences (e.g. chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering).

Who should take these classes?

Any student (regardless of major) who began the CHEM 40 series before FA22 and needs to complete an organic chemistry sequence should finish up this series in 2022-23.

Majors outside of the physical sciences* majors who have not yet started an organic chemistry sequence.

*Note: Engineering majors should check with their home department to confirm which series (CHEM 40 or 41) is acceptable or recommended for their major.

CHEM majors who have not already started an organic chemistry sequence.


Note: Engineering majors should check with their home department to confirm which series (CHEM 40 or 41) is acceptable or recommended for their major.

Which section(s) should I enroll in?

FA22: CHEM 40B (O’Connor) or CHEM 40C (Lam)

WI23: CHEM 40B (Ternansky) or CHEM 40C (Godula or Ternansky)

SP23: CHEM 40C (Tor or Ternansky)

FA22: CHEM 40A (Albizati, Schmidt, Yang or Lam)

WI23: CHEM 40A (Klosterman or Albizati), CHEM 40B (Burkart, Weizman or E. Romero)

SP23: CHEM 40A (Albizati), CHEM 40B (Klosterman or Weizman)

FA22: CHEM 41A (Ternansky)


WI23: CHEM 41B (Klosterman)


SP23: CHEM 41C (N. Romero)

 

What are the course descriptions and prerequisites for CHEM 41ABC?

CHEM 41A:

  • The course is a rigorous and in-depth study of fundamental organic chemistry with an introduction to chemical reactivity and synthesis, Bonding theory, structure (including isomerism, stereochemistry, conformations) and physical properties of carbon-containing molecules.
  • Prerequisites: CHEM 6B or CHEM 6BH.

CHEM 41B:

  • The course is a rigorous and in-depth study of the properties and reactions of the major classes of organicompounds; focusing on alcohols, ethers, sulfur compounds, aromatics, organometallics, and introduction to carbonyl reactivity. Emphasis on a mechanistic understanding of reactions, the effects of molecular structure, and multi-step syntheses.
  • Prerequisites: CHEM 41A.

CHEM 41C:

  •  The course is a continuation of CHEM41A and CHEM41B with an in-depth study of the properties, synthesis, and reactions of the major classes of organic compounds. Emphasis on a mechanistic understanding of reactions, the effects of molecular structure, and multi-step syntheses.
  • Prerequisites: CHEM 41B.

When will each series be offered?

CHEM 40 series: the CHEM 40 series will continue to be offered as normal. In the 22-23 academic year, each course will still be offered every quarter.

At the moment, CHEM 41A, 41B, and 41C will only be offered as follows:

  • CHEM 41A: Fall 2022 only
  • CHEM 41B: Winter 2023
  • CHEM 41C: Spring 2023

In future academic years, the department aims to offer these courses multiple times per year and hopefully in the summer as well, 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 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 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 who will need to take one year of organic chemistry?

The “new” CHEM 40 series will be reconstructed to a 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. 

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 will be updated in the summer to reflect the CHEM 41ABC series as options for your major. In the meantime, please do not worry if you do not see CHEM 41A fulfilling your organic chemistry I requirement; it will be updated shortly.