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Chemistry 233: Organic Chemistry for the Biological Sciences

Course Level: 
Second Year
Academic Year: 

The recommended text for CHEM 233 is Organic Chemistry, 3rd Edition, by David Klein. Students may also use the 2nd edition. This text is packaged with a solutions manual at the UBC Bookstore. You may choose a hole-punched unbound "binder ready" version or a hard cover version of the package. A detailed reading list will be posted on the course 'Canvas' site (

Brief Course Outline

  • Structure and bonding (representing organic structures, functional groups, nomenclature, valence bond theory, stereochemistry, aromaticity)
  • Intermolecular forces
  • Acidity/basicity
  • Introduction to reaction mechanisms
  • Nucleophilic substitution reactions (SN2 and SN1)
  • 1,2-Elimination reactions (E2 and E1)
  • Electrophilic addition to alkenes
  • Reduction and oxidation reactions
  • Nucleophilic addition to aldehydes and ketones
  • Carbohydrates
  • Nucleophilic acyl substitution of carboxylic acids and their derivatives
  • Decarboxylation