Molecule to Organism

Fall 2017
Winter 2018
Spring 2018
Class Size: 50
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

organic chemistry
biology, biochemistry

This upper-division program will develop and interrelate concepts in experimental (laboratory) biology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, thus providing a foundation for students who plan to continue studies in laboratory science and medicine. In a yearlong sequence, students will carry out upper-division work in biochemistry, genetics, cellular and molecular biology, neurobiology, and organic chemistry.

The program will examine the subject matter through the central idea of structure-property relationships and integrate two themes: one at the "molecular" level and the other at the "cell" level. In the “molecule” theme, we will examine organic chemistry and the nature of organic compounds and reactions, then carry this theme into biochemistry and the fundamental chemical reactions of living systems, considering structure-function relationships on many scales. In the “cell” theme, we will look at structure-function relationships at the level of the cell and proceed to the whole organism. The two themes will continually merge through studies of cellular and molecular processes in biological systems throughout the year.

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 work each week, both in and out of class. Each aspect of the program will contain a significant laboratory component. Each week, students will write papers and maintain laboratory notebooks. All laboratory work and approximately one half of the non-lecture time will take place in collaborative problem-solving groups. Group work will also include reading and discussion of topics of current or historical significance in science. Students who complete work at the appropriate level, and who fulfill the requirements and college-level achievement standards of the program as determined by the faculty, will be awarded full upper-division credit. Faculty will establish criteria for upper-division credit in each subject area.


This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

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


Credits per quarter


One year of college-level general biology with laboratory and one year of college-level general chemistry with laboratory

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 50

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

Advertised schedule:

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 9am (Lecture Hall 04)

Located in: Olympia