2022-2023 Catalog 
    Nov 29, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog
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CHEM 251 - Organic Chemistry I

5 Credit: (3 lecture, 3 lab, 0 clinical) 6 Contact Hours: [CHEM 221  or equivalent full year college chemistry course]

Chemistry 251 is the first part of a two-semester sequence in organic chemistry. It provides an overview of organic chemistry, focusing on nomenclature, modern bonding theory, chemical reactions, reaction energetics, stereochemistry and nomenclature of alkanes, cycloalkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, alcohols, and aromatics. A mechanistic approach in organic problem solving will be stressed. Concurrent laboratory includes methods of separation, analysis, synthesis, and purification of organic compounds.
OFFERED: odd-year fall semesters

Course Goals/ Objectives/ Competencies:
Goal 1:  Recall and recite basic concepts required for a thorough understanding of organic chemistry.


  1. Describe the nuclear and electronic configuration of atoms.
  2. Differentiate between ionic and covalent compounds.
  3. Differentiate between the hybridization in single, double, and triple bonded organic molecules.
  4. Describe the polarities represented by various molecular shapes.
  5. Explain how to determine the acidity or alkalinity of various substances, including calculating and interpreting pH and pKa values.
  6. Describe and summarize how pH affects the structure of organic compounds.
  7. Apply the buffering concept to various organic molecules.

Goal 2:  Identify various types of organic compounds and recite proper nomenclature/structure/physical properties.


  1. Properly name and write structural formulas for alkanes/ cycloalkanes /alkyl halides / alcohols and amines.
  2. Describe physical properties of the hydrocarbons listed above (objective a).
  3. Recognize the various stereochemistry of alkanes and cycloalkanes.

Goal 3:  Explain the differences and similarities between alkenes, alkynes, and aromatic hydrocarbons.


  1. Name and write formulas for various alkenes and alkynes.
  2. Recognize and name/write formulas for geometric isomers using the E,Z system of nomenclature.
  3. Describe the reactivity of alkenes and alkynes using a mechanistic approach.
  4. Describe chirality and name and draw enantiomers.
  5. Evaluate stereospecific reactions.
  6. Use the delocalized electron model to describe the aromatic nature of benzene.

Goal 4:  Describe various organic reactions and reaction mechanisms.


  1. Demonstrate the SN2 reaction mechanism.
  2. Demonstrate the SN1 reaction mechanism.
  3. Describe the effects of stereochemistry, solvent, and competition effects between SN1 and SN2 reactions.
  4. Demonstrate the E2 reaction mechanism.
  5. Demonstrate the E1 reaction mechanism.
  6. Describe the competition between E2 and E1 reactions and stereoselectivity.
  7. Understand the competition between substitution and elimination reactions.
  8. Predict reaction products for various reactions of alcohols, amines, ethers, epoxides, and sulfur containing compounds.

Goal 5:  Demonstrate techniques involved in the laboratory separation, analysis, synthesis, and purification of organic compounds.


  1. Describe how to determine the melting point of an organic compound and explain variations from standard values.
  2. Perform recrystallizations of organic substances.
  3. Perform distillation of organic substances and describe the process of distillation.
  4. Demonstrate the principles of extraction and column/thin layer chromatography.
  5. Perform gas chromatography as a separation and evaluation tool.
  6. Understand and demonstrate the principles involved and uses of infrared spectroscopy.
  7. Examine the SN2 reaction through the preparation of 1-Bromobutane or other alkyl halides.
  8. Examine nucleophilic substitution reactions of alkyl halides.

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