Organic Chemistry Courses and Degree Programs

Organic chemistry is often studied within a chemistry or biochemistry degree program. Organic chemistry courses may cover carbon bonding and chemical reactions, and lab work is common. Continue reading for more details on classes and degree programs. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Organic chemistry is an integral subfield of chemistry. Organic chemistry courses focus entirely on organic carbon compounds. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs with concentrations in organic chemistry are available.

Degrees Organic chemistry can be chosen as a concentration in chemistry and biochemistry degree programs
Course Topics Compound synthesis, carbon structure and bonding, reaction mechanisms, proteins and carbohydrates, spectral techniques, lab techniques, organic materials
Online Degrees and certificates are available online; on-campus labs may be required

What Degrees Can I Earn in Organic Chemistry?

Although you won't be able to earn your degree in organic chemistry alone, you can choose the subject as a concentration in chemistry and biochemistry degree programs. Pre-medical undergraduate tracks often include organic chemistry courses. You can find specialized courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level at most universities, technical schools and community colleges around the country.

If you want to study organic chemistry in a 2-year undergraduate program, look for associate degree programs in chemical laboratory technology or chemistry education. Otherwise, you may consider a 4-year bachelor's degree program in biochemistry or chemistry. In addition to fulfilling general education, liberal arts or pre-med requirements, you'll generally need to take courses in other subfields of chemistry, including organic, inorganic, analytical, physical and biochemistry.

Specifically, an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science in Chemical Technology are two associate's degree options. Bachelor's degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry or Biophysics.

What About Graduate Degrees?

At the graduate level, both master's and doctoral degree programs in chemistry allow you to specialize, conduct research and write your thesis or dissertation in organic chemistry. Most graduate programs require you to have studied organic chemistry, in addition to the other core subfields, before you enroll. If you want to enter into a graduate degree program, you may consider a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy in Biophysics or Biochemistry. These programs will have relevant coursework in organic chemistry. Graduate certificate programs are also available.

What Will I Learn?

Many courses include lab components, wherein you conduct experiments, research organic materials and write reports. General topics, most of which are covered in both basic and advanced organic chemistry courses, include the following:

  • Compound synthesis
  • Carbon structure and bonding
  • Reaction mechanisms
  • Proteins and carbohydrates
  • Spectral techniques

Can I Take Classes Online?

Some schools offer organic chemistry courses online. You can also complete a biochemistry or chemistry bachelor's degree program entirely online. You may be interested in distance-learning courses if you're looking to fulfill science prerequisites, or if you need to study organic chemistry for professional development. The curriculum is generally the same as that in classroom-based courses, and can usually be completed at your own pace over the course of 1-3 semesters. Some programs may require you to complete labs or exams on campus, however.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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