The Chemistry of Living Systems

Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 quarters

Taught by

organic chemistry
organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry


One year of college-level general chemistry required.

This upper-division science program will develop and interrelate concepts in experimental (laboratory) organic chemistry and biochemistry. It will cover the chemistry material that is usually offered in Molecule to Organism. Throughout both quarters we will integrate topics in both subjects to gain an understanding of the structure-property relationship of synthetic and natural organic compounds. We will also examine the key chemical reactions of industrial processes as well as those reactions that are important to the metabolic processes of living systems.

There will be a significant laboratory component—students can expect to spend at least a full day in lab each week, maintain laboratory notebooks, write formal laboratory reports and give formal presentations of their work. Students will work collaboratively on laboratory and library research projects incorporating the theories and techniques of chemical synthesis and instrumental methods of chemical analysis. All laboratory work and approximately one half of the non-lecture time will be spent working in collaborative problem-solving groups. 

This is an intensive program. The subjects are complex, and the sophisticated understanding we expect to develop will require devoted attention and many hours of scheduled lab work each week. Each student will be expected to develop a sufficient basis of advanced conceptual knowledge and practical skills necessary for pursuing work in a chemistry-based discipline.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

chemistry, biochemistry, industrial or pharmaceutical research, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, naturopathy, optometry and pharmacy.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Upper Division Science Credit

Upper division science credits will be awarded to students who successfully complete the program requirements.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Signature Required

Interested students should complete the application form ( ). The completed form should be emailed to Lydia McKinstry ( Applications received by the Academic Fair (May 14, 2014) will be reviewed before registration begins. All qualified students will get a signature, which does not guarantee registration but will permit students to register if space is available at their registration time. After the Academic Fair applications will be reviewed as submitted and qualified students will be accepted until the program fills. Decisions will be individually emailed to students.

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 10051

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Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students will need to have had 1 quarter of organic chemistry and 1 quarter of biochemistry. Please contact faculty for more information.

Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 20040

Go to to register for this program.

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