Organic Chemistry (FAQs)
Q: Which organic chemistry course is right for me?
A: Chemistry 250 is a one-semester, 3-credit course meant to provide a summary overview of organic chemistry. It is aimed at majors that require a basic knowledge of the vocabulary and concepts of organic chemistry, but not an in depth coverage. It is taught in spring semesters only. This course is not considered acceptable for pre-med / pre-dent requirements, or Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, or some other majors. You should check with your major department to see which organic course is acceptable. There is no associated laboratory course.
Chemistry 261-262 is a two semester course sequence, each semester of which is 3-credits. It is aimed at majors other than Chemistry that require a significant background in organic chemistry. Both Fall-Spring and Spring-Fall sequences are offered (i.e., one can begin the sequence in the spring and finish next fall); and a summer version is usually offered through the UMass Amherst Continuing and Professional Education Program. This is the appropriate course for pre-med / pre-dent purposes, Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, or Chemical Engineering majors, and many other majors who are not Chemistry majors (see below for Chemistry Majors).
Chemistry 269 is a one-semester, 2-credit laboratory course that is taken concurrently with or subsequently to Chemistry 262. It has one lecture/discussion section for everyone in the course, and multiple laboratory sections in the afternoons. This is the appropriate course for pre-med / pre-dent purposes, Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, or Chemical Engineering majors, and many other majors who are not Chemistry majors (see below for Chemistry Majors).
Chemistry 265-266 is a two-semester course sequence, each semester of which is 3-credits. Registration in these courses is limited to Chemistry majors only. Only the Fall-Spring sequence is offered; there is no summer version of this course. Chemistry 267-268 is a two-semester laboratory course sequence, each semester of which is 2 credits. These courses require co-registration with Chemistry 265-266. Registration is limited to Chemistry majors only.
Laboratory schedules, experiment lists, TA information and more:
Chem 269 (organic chemistry)
Chem 267 / Chem 268 (organic chemistry for majors)
Q: Is there an honors section of organic chemistry?
A: Chemistry 250, Chemistry 261-262, and Chemistry 265-266 are not “H”-courses for Commonwealth College purposes. A separate 1-credit discussion section colloquium is usually available as a co-registration option with Chemistry 266 in spring semesters; the requirements and focus of the colloquium varies significantly from year to year, so you should check if you have an interest in this option.
Q: SPIRE dropped me from the Chemistry 261 course roster. Why?
A: Unless some mistake was made, this probably happened because your final grade for Chemistry 112 was not high enough (C- or higher) for you to be accepted into Chemistry 261. When this occurs, it is the policy of the Chemistry Department to drop such students from the course roster. The department strives to notify students of this action, but cannot guarantee to do so, given the complexities of modern communication.