Prerequisites for this course are one year of college chemistry and a general course in biology.  The one year of chemistry should include a course or segment in organic chemistry. 

Most students taking the course have graduated from college, are changing careers, and have had organic chemistry.  Being a traditional chemist, I would have required an organic course if it had not been for a group of students who did quite well in the course without it.  I was unaware that they had no organic chemistry until the day before they took their final and, to my surprise, they did as well as the rest of the class.  When asked, they said they had learned all the organic they needed from introductory chapters in the text and a medical dictionary.  They did have to work harder than the other students, because they were learning organic as they were learning biochemistry.  Also, these students were highly motivated.

Some students wish to accelerate their studies by taking organic and biochemistry concurrently.  If so, you should take the first third of the organic course before enrolling in biochemistry.  This should make Chapter 5, “Structures of the Major Compounds of the Body,” a walk in the park.  Chapter 5 is where we go over all the functional groups that you need to understand this course.

If you have taken a general chemistry course that contains organic and you want to know if the course is adequate, please call or email me at 919-240-5017 or to discuss your special case.

We always suggest that you contact the programs you are contemplating to make sure that they will accept this course.

This is not an easy course. The average student studies at least two hours per day, five days per week for at least 13 weeks. The major reason students drop this course is that they do not budget time for study. Keep in mind that the more biology and chemistry you have had, the easier this course will be. 

Again, if you have any questions or problems, email me at

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