Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


This intermediate organic chemistry course focuses on the methods used to identify the structure of organic molecules, advanced principles of organic stereochemistry, organic reaction mechanisms, and methods used for the synthesis of organic compounds. Topics include spectroscopy, spectrometry, and structure elucidation with an emphasis on the application of infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Additional specific topics include:

  • Molecular Orbital Theory and Pericyclic Reactions: Modern concepts of bonding and aromaticity. The Woodward-Hoffmann Rules. Mechanism of pericyclic reactions and applications in synthesis.
  • Chemistry of Functional Groups: Ethers, Epoxides, Amines, and Carboxylic Acids. Enols, Enolates.
  • Chemistry of Reactive Intermediates: Carbocations, Radicals.


Buy at Amazon Wade, L. G. Organic Chemistry. 5th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall/Pearson Education, 2002. ISBN: 9780130338327.

Molecular Models

Several units in 5.13 will emphasize many stereochemical aspects of organic reactions and molecules. To help you visualize stereochemical concepts, we recommend that you purchase the Darling Molecular VisionsTM Molecular Model Kit. Note that you will be permitted to bring model sets to the hour exams and the final.

Problem Sets

Problem sets are mandatory and will be corrected by the TAs. Approximately eight problem sets will be assigned and should be handed in to your recitation instructor on the dates announced. Written solutions will become available for each problem set. In addition, approximately every week we will assign sets of "drill problems" to be done in conjunction with the weekly reading assignments. Some drill problems will be discussed in recitation section.


There will be four exams in addition to the final. These exams will be held during the class lecture time. Review sessions will be scheduled prior to each exam. Please notify course instructors and the Chemistry Education Office of any conflicts or concerns regarding taking exams at the scheduled time. Conflict exams generally will be scheduled for the same day as the regular exam.


Final course grades will be based on the following table.

Final Exam 33%
Four hour Exams 67%

Recitation attendance and problem set performance will be used to determine grades for the broad group of students whose exam scores place them at the A/B, B/C, and C/D borders.