The Chemistry of Living Systems

Fall 2019
Winter 2020
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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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 and provide prerequisites for the following careers and graduate programs: medicine and other health sciences, biology and chemistry, veterinary medicine, etc. 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 in the context of structure-property-function and evolution. Each week in seminar, we will read primary literature and critically analyze data and its interpretation.

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 biological reactions. 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.


One year of college-level general chemistry required.
Fall 2019 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 10117
Winter 2020 Registration

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 Numbers

So - Sr (16): 20042

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in
chemistry, biochemistry, industrial or pharmaceutical research, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, naturopathy, optometry and pharmacy.
Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Upper Division Science Credit

Up to 32 upper division science credits will be awarded to students who successfully complete the program requirements.


In Person or Remote
In Person (F)
In Person (W)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Purce Hall 2 - Lecture


Date Revision
2018-08-15 deleted faculty signature requirement