CHEM-132: Principles of Organic and Biological Chemistry

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Physical Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Principles of Organic and Biological Chemistry
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
92.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
CHEM-131 or CHEM-141 or equivalent course, with a grade of C or better
Catalog Course Description

This is the second course in a traditional two-semester General, Organic, and Biochemistry (GOB) sequence. Emphasizes nomenclature and functional group reactivity. Addresses the structure and function of lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids at an introductory level. There are three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Organic Chemistry and the Diversity of Organic Compounds
  2. Nomenclature; Structure; Physical Properties; and Reactions of:
    • Hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and arenes)
    • Alcohols, Ethers and Thiols
    • Amines
    • Aldehydes and Ketones
    • Carboxylic Acids, Esters and Amides
  3. Chirality
  4. Structures, functions and reactions of biological molecules:
    • Lipids
    • Carbohydrates
    • Amino acids and Proteins
    • Nucleic Acids
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Write the molecular and structural formulas of organic compounds.
  2. Name and identify physical properties and characteristic reactions of hydrocarbons.
  3. Identify and name organic molecules containing functional groups.
  4. Identify physical properties of molecules containing functional groups.
  5. Identify characteristic reactions involving the following functional groups:
    • acid/base
    • oxidation/reduction
    • hydration/dehydration
    • condensation/hydrolysis
  6. Describe the concept of chirality and the importance of stereoisomers.
  7. Recognize and specify the configuration of a stereocenter using the R,S System.
  8. Identify physical properties, reactions and functions of the following biological molecules:
    • lipids
    • carbohydrates
    • amino acids and proteins
    • nucleic acids
  9. Describe membrane structure and transport.
  10. Combine amino acids to form proteins and describe the levels of protein structure.
  11. Identify factors that affect protein stability.
  12. Describe the structures of DNA and RNA.
  13. Describe the processes of replication, transcription and translation.

Major Lab Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency with the use of the following equipment:
    • semi-microscale and traditional glassware
    • melting point apparatus
    • Bunsen burners
    • water aspirators
    • hot plate/stirrers
  2. Demonstrate proficiency with the following techniques:
    • distillation
    • recrystallization
    • graphical analysis
    • melting point and boiling point determinations
    • solvent evaporation
    • filtration
    • chemical waste disposal
  3. Demonstrate the ability to predict physical properties and reactions between molecules based on an understanding of functional groups chemistry.
  4. Demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills in the analysis of experimental data.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Students will be assessed in lecture using exams, assignments/quizzes, and a comprehensive final. Students will be assessed in lab using reports, quizzes and lab-exams. The overall course grade is determined using the categories and values listed below.

Category Percentage
Lecture Exams 40-50%
Laboratory (reports, quizzes, lab-exams) 25%
Assignments/Quizzes/Homework up to 10%
Final Exam (cumulative) 25%

No student will receive a passing grade in CHEM 132 unless that student has earned at least a 65% in the laboratory.


General Education Categories
  • Natural Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Scientific Reasoning
MTA Categories
  • Category 6: Natural Sciences (Lecture and Lab)
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2019
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2019