Spring 2023 - CHEM 381 D100

Intermediate Organic Chemistry (4)

Class Number: 2454

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5036, Burnaby

    We 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    AQ 5036, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 380 with a minimum grade of C-.



An intermediate level course in modern organic chemistry, including both theoretical design of synthetic routes and practical training in the laboratory. The central topics to be discussed include methods to form carbon-carbon bonds, use of organometallic reagents, asymmetric synthesis, pericyclic reactions, the use of enzymes in organic synthesis, and the automation of synthetic organic chemistry. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Teaching:
3 lecture hours/week and 1 tutorial hour/week for 9 weeks; 4 lab hours/week for 12 weeks

Lecture: In-person at Burnaby campus (Monday, 10:30-12:20 & Wednesday, 10:30-11:20)
Laboratory: In-person at Burnaby campus (Tuesday, 13:30-17:20)
Tutorial: In-person at Burnaby campus (Wednesday, 11:30-12:20)

General Course Description:
This is an intermediate level course in modern organic chemistry. A historical description of the subject will be presented and basic functional group interconversion reactions will be reviewed. The central topics to be discussed include methods to form carbon-carbon bonds, organometallic reagents, asymmetric synthesis, pericyclic reactions, the use of enzymes in organic synthesis, and the automation of synthetic organic chemistry. The design of synthetic routes to prepare organic compounds will be introduced and illustrative examples given. The course includes a laboratory component that is designed to provide practical training in synthetic organic chemistry.

Lecture Topics:
Week 1. Historical perspective, chemical literature and database searches, review of basic functional group interconversions.
Week 2. Carbon-carbon bond forming reactions.
Week 3. Organometallic reagents.
Week 4. Asymmetric synthesis.
Week 5. Pericyclic reactions.
Week 6. Enzyme-mediated and automated organic synthesis.
Weeks 7-8. Introduction to the design of synthetic routes (retrosynthetic analysis), protecting groups, linear and convergent synthesis.
Week 9. Course review.


  • Midterm Exam 10%
  • Final Exam 40%
  • Laboratory 50%



Required Materials:

  • Lab coat and safety glasses/goggles.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 Precautions: Lab coats and safety glasses/goggles are mandatory in Chemistry for all in-person laboratory sessions. Additional PPE and precautionary measures may be required during in-person laboratory sessions based on the recommendations of the University and provincial health officials.



  • Francis A. Carey & Richard J. Sundberg. Advanced Organic Chemistry: Part A. Structure and Mechanisms. 4th Edition. 2000. Part B. Reactions and Synthesis. 5th Edition. 2007. Publisher: Springer.
  • Michael B. March. Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure. 6th Edition. 2007. Publisher: Wiley-Interscience.
  • E. J. Corey & Xue-Min Cheng. The Logic of Chemical Synthesis. 1995. Publisher: Wiley-Interscience.
  • Stuart Warren. Designing Organic Syntheses: A Programmed Introduction to the Synthon Approach. 1978. Publisher: Wiley.
  • Stuart Warren. Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach. 1982. Publisher: Wiley.
  • Fuhrhop & Penzlin. Organic Synthesis: Concepts, Methods, Starting Materials. VCH. 1994.
  • Nicolaou & Sorensen. Classics in Total Synthesis. VCH. 1996.

Pavia, Lampman, Kriz, & Engel. Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques: A Microscale Approach. 4th Edition. 2006. Publisher: Cengage Learning.

Contains information about laboratory safety. Copies will be available in the lab.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

A grade of C- or better is required for all prerequisite courses.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html