candidxletters (candidxletters) wrote in uw_madison,

organic chemistry

Do any of you know if it's true that you need at least a C in Chem 104 to advance to Chem 343 (Organic chem)?

EDIT: I called the chem advising office and asked them. They told me that there is no grade requirement for moving onto Chem 343. However, if you want to move onto Chem 345, you need to get at least a C in Chem 343.
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As a chem 343 TA, I can tell you that having a solid understanding of gen chem will make your life in 343 a lot better/easier. And not having that understanding will make your life considerably more difficult.
Oh really? For which professor?

Yeah, that makes sense.

I haven't gotten my grade for 104 back yet, but I'm sure it's not that good because I definitely struggled in that class and the final was pretty hard.
And someone just told me that getting a C or higher is required to move on to Chem 343, so I'm just really worried right now.
I've TAed under a variety of instructors; everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses.

There are a number of things that are directly applicable from gen chem to organic chem (acid/base chemistry, pKas, whatever basic intro to ochem you got in 104 (I've never TAed gen chem but I've heard the amount of organic covered in 104 varies from instructor to instructor), Lewis structures, even a little bit of thermodynamics/kinetics (i.e. rate laws, determining what's a more stable compound)). Additionally, being able to think about things in a reasonable manner is important - for example, the idea that carbon can't have more than 8 electrons around it is something that you'd learn in gen chem, but this concept still seems to stump some people when they get to organic.

Basically what I'm trying to say is, genchem is a prereq for organic for both content- and thinking- related reasons.

I'd contact the chemistry undergraduate advising office to check on whatever information you have about formal grade prereqs.
I contacted the advising office and they said a C or higher isn't necessary.

And thanks for the info about ochem. I guess I know what I should brush up on before classes start.
I believe this is correct, and the course prerequisites listed on the course selection/course description page may tell you. I also second purplemb13's comments. That foundation is really important, especially if you're completely unfamiliar with organic chemistry.
Yeah, I looked up the prerequisites and the description, but didn't find anything that said that.

Can you tell me why you think it's correct?

Yeah, I was planning on studying chemistry this summer so I would be prepared for the fall.
Vague memory on what was considered "passing" a course. I don't think anything below a C qualifies when one course is a prerequisite for another in the chemistry department, but I could be making things up. You could also e-mail the department--I would check out the undergraduate advising office to see what they say.
hm. I don't know if that's the case. I got a D in 103, but was able to move on to 104.
Yeah, I'm planning on calling tomorrow morning.
Yeah, as I said, I could be making things up. It's also possible that's an honors course requirement that I'm remembering.

However, if you are struggling in gen chem, I would really recommend taking it over before getting into o-chem. Or consider taking the 109 sequence if you'd like to do it again and learn the material more in depth.
I'll be studying chem over the summer in preparation for o-chem.
Good luck!
You might actually be able to proceed with a D. My roommate got a D a year ago, and I think she is planning on taking 343 in the fall. (Yup, took a year off from chemistry) I'm strongly urging her to retake 104 though. We'll see what happens with that.

To proceed to 345 organic chem, it specifically says that you need a C in better right under the "prereq" column on the Student Center search while to enter 343 it just says "104 or 109"

Although I got an OK grade in 104, I feel that I did not absorb much from general chemistry and that I did not need to know much upon entering organic chem. The only thing I remembered that reminiscent of gen chem was obviously the intro organic chem stuff during 104. So being able to draw line structures and knowing how to draw lewis lewis structures. Remembering how to recognize orbital size, shape, etc would be good too.

I just finished second semester of organic chem with an excellent grade. Love Ochem, hate gen chem. Just realize it's a lot of memorization with NO notecard. Take a light schedule with ochem if possible.
Yeah, I noticed that on the Student Center, so I'm hoping I'll be okay.

Wow, she took a year off? I cannot imagine doing that and then just starting up again.

I hated gen chem, but I'm hoping I'll like O-chem better.
Next semester I'm taking Bio 151 at the same time, but my other two courses are supposedly pretty easy. One is with Joe Elder, and I've taken him before and he's not that hard.
I'm trying to get into Clauss' lecture because I hear he's really good and has a good curve, which would helpful. Otherwise, I'm taking Gellman. Either way, I hope having a good professor helps.
And I plan on studying over the summer, so that should help too.
I took will be taking Bio 151 though I will not have the same professor as you.

For 343 I had Clauss and for 345 I had Reich. Both are very good professors and have similar curves. Although Clauss is a wonderful professor, I like Reich's style and arrangement of the class better. I had a few friends take Gellman, I don't remember much of the reviews people gave him though. Avoid Witlock.

Also, a good resource is the Chemistry Learning Center--Specifically with Shea. IT HELPS. She will probably either do Clauss or Reich's lecture, but I think she likes Reich more. It's basically free tutoring, but it gets filled up fast and she reserves the right to turn away students especially those with good grades.

The professor you take definitely helps though. I think you just want to avoid Witlock. People can handle her, but I guess it's hard for a lot of peope.
Oh Joe Elder isn't a Bio professor. He's a prof for another class I'm taking. For Bio, I have Gilroy and Graham.

Yeah I've heard stuff about Whitlock. I've also heard that Reich is kinda scary.
She's sassy towards some students. She calls on people by name during lecture to answer a question which is only worth three points, so you can choose to not say you're present. She also has weekly quizzes, but they help due to the additional drilling. Also, they reflect exams well. Clauss has quizzes every other week and they're multiple choice, the exams are not. Either well, both are really good.

Also, Reich tends to teach 345 the following semester. Clauss was still teaching 343. Gellman also teaches 345 sometimes too along with Nelson.