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Worried about organic chemistry?

  1. Jul 11, 2010 #1
    Hi, I've been meaning to switch over to chemistry ( in hopes of doing forensic work in the future ) from math. I have no chemistry background, so I have been self-studying over the summer.. However, the first chemistry course offered at my university is an organic chemistry course. People tell me that this is a tough field in chemistry, and it will not be a general chemistry course. Should I be worried :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2010 #2
    Organic is nothing to worry about. It's very similar to memorizing a list of mathematical identities whose chemistry analog is called a mechanism. Given certain conditions, atoms will move around in a certain way. It's a boring course, but very important for chemistry.
  4. Jul 11, 2010 #3


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    I agree with this...except the boring part :tongue2:.

    Certainly it's not nearly as mathematical as physics or even general chemistry. It's far more visual, IMO.

    I've never heard of organic as a first course, that's unusual. How many labs per week are there?
  5. Jul 11, 2010 #4
    Organic as as your first chemistry course sounds strange. Since you have no prior chemistry background, I'd recommend you check with your adviser or the chemistry department for clarification. A full year of general chemistry is generally given before organic, but your school might just have different naming so who knows.
  6. Jul 12, 2010 #5
    actually, there are two streams of chemistry you can take in this school:


    There's CHM 138 (Organic ) and then CHM 139 (Physical ) [each one semester long ]

    or just one full year course CHM 151, which looks like a general chemistry course. CHM 151 is supposed to be for specialists though (the term is analogous to "honours" )

    If I were to pick up some chemistry textbooks for study, would it be wrong to start reading some organic chemistry right away too?
    thanks for all the replies :)
  7. Jul 12, 2010 #6
    Do you mean you did not learn chemistry in high school? Then it will be very painful as chemistry is a "hard" subject IMO.
    Certainly one can enroll in accounting courses even though they did not learn it in high school as the accounting courses in college teach you first the basic knowledge. However Chemistry courses in college mostly assume you know the basic and teach you difficult knowledge at the start.
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