Chemistry (CHEM) 350

Organic Chemistry I (Revision 7)

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook) with a mandatory 3-4 day supervised lab.

CHEM 350 lab exemption

Check dates and locations of supervised lab prior to registering for the course. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: CHEM 217 and CHEM 218. This course is open only to students with CHEM 217 and CHEM 218, or courses equivalent to a six-credit first-year university general chemistry course. Students who do not have the formal prerequisites may take the course with the permission of the coordinator, if they are judged to have the necessary background and experience. Concurrent registration in CHEM 218 and CHEM 350 is not permitted. To avoid unnecessary delays, the course professor will normally grant permission for students to register in CHEM 350 as soon as the final examination in CHEM 218 has been written.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

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CHEM 350 is not available for challenge.

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CHEM 350 deals with the chemistry of carbon compounds through a study of the characteristic reactions of the common functional groups. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of reaction mechanisms in an attempt to show similarities between apparently unrelated reactions. The importance of stereochemistry is stressed throughout the course. The course also includes an introduction to the use of spectroscopy in the analysis of organic compounds.

CHEM 350 and its companion course, CHEM 360, represent a full-year introductory organic chemistry course at the second-year university level. The compulsory laboratory component of CHEM 350 introduces the basic techniques employed in modern organic chemistry laboratories. Experiments have been selected to illustrate many of the principles encountered in the theoretical part of the course.

Course Outline

CHEM 350 comprises the following 16 units.

  • Unit 1: Structure and Bonding
  • Unit 2: Polar Covalent Bonds: Acids and Bases
  • Unit 3: Organic Compounds: Alkanes and Their Stereochemistry
  • Unit 4: Organic Compounds: Cycloalkanes and their Stereochemistry
  • Unit 5: Stereochemistry at Tetrahedral Centers
  • Unit 6: An Overview of Organic Reactions
  • Unit 7: Alkenes: Structure and Reactivity
  • Unit 8: Alkenes: Reactions and Synthesis
  • Unit 9: Alkynes: An Introduction to Organic Synthesis
  • Unit 10: Organohalides
  • Unit 11: Reactions of Alkyl Halides: Nucleophilic Substitutions and Eliminations
  • Unit 12: Structure Determination: Mass Spectroscopy and Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Unit 13: Structure Determination: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Unit 14: Conjugated Compounds and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy
  • Unit 15: Benzene and Aromaticity
  • Unit 16: Chemistry of Benzene: Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution


To receive credit for CHEM 350, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least a "D" (50 percent). You must achieve a minimum grade of 45 percent on each examination, an average of at least 60 percent on the assignments, and an average of at least 55 percent on the laboratory work. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Midterm Examination Final Examination Assignments Laboratory Work Total
20% 50% 10% 20% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes electronic textbooks. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to the eText Initiative site.

McMurry, John. Organic Chemistry, 8th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 2012.

McMurry, Susan. Study Guide and Student Solutions Manual for McMurry’s Organic Chemistry, 8th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 2012.

A print version of the eTexts can be purchased from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided in the course website; you can also acquire the textbooks on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

The course materials also include an online Study Guide, Course Information, Laboratory Manual, and Report Book.

Special Course Features

CHEM 350 has a compulsory laboratory component that requires students to complete about 32 hours of laboratory work (there are three lab formats). Credit may be obtained for equivalent laboratory work carried out within the last five years at a recognized college or university. Speak with the lab coordinator for more information.

Laboratory sessions are offered throughout the year in Edmonton. It is strongly recommended that laboratory work be undertaken when about two-thirds of the course has been completed. All lab work and assignments should be completed before the final examination is attempted.

Please note that laboratory sessions offered by other universities may have a laboratory fee. For more information, please e-mail the

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 7, September 8, 2014.

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Updated July 07 2016 by Student & Academic Services