Chemistry Course Information

Announcement: Organic Chemistry Lab in Fall 2020

I am hoping that things are going as well as possible for all of you in these trying times. I wanted to provide some reassurance that my colleagues and I are working tirelessly to ensure that all Penn Chemistry students have the best possible learning experience this fall.  I also wanted to update you on the status of Chem 244/249 (Organic Chemistry Laboratory).  The change from the 1.0 c.u. Chem 245 to the two 0.5 c.u. courses, Chem 244 and Chem 249, linked to the Chem 241 and 242 lecture classes, was implemented to enhance the learning experience of students in Penn Chemistry.  However, this change has led to an oversubscription to these lab courses that has been particularly challenging to deal with in the era of Covid-19, since we don’t know yet the circumstances under which we will be teaching this fall.  I wanted you to know that we are working diligently to resolve this situation and to secure the necessary spaces to accommodate graduating seniors and as many other interested students as possible.  However, this is a situation that we will not be able to solve immediately.  Please rest assured that no students will lose their places in the organic chemistry lecture course (Chem 241) because they were unable to register for the lab at this time, even if it becomes necessary to separate the lab from the lecture in the coming year.  We will get back to you as soon as possible and thank you again for your patience in this challenging time. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at

All the best, Prof Winkler


Jeffrey Winkler
Merriam Professor of Chemistry and
Undergraduate Chair

Organic Chemistry Laboratory Changes

Starting Fall 2020, Chem 245: Experimental Organic Chemistry (1 c.u.) will be replaced with two 0.5 c.u. courses, Chem 244 Experimental Organic Chemistry I, a basic laboratory course where modern chromatographic, instrumental, and spectroscopic techniques are applied to experimental organic chemistry, and Chem 249 Experimental Organic Chemistry  II, a continuation of Chem 244, where the techniques introduced and practiced in Experimental Organic Chemistry I are applied to a variety of organic reactions and multistep syntheses.
This change is motivated by our desire to make the organic laboratory course a more positive experience, and to link it more closely to the Chem 241/242 lecture courses.  CHEM 245 will no longer be offered.
If you are enrolling in Chem 241, Organic Chemistry I, during or after Fall 2020, you must co-enroll with Chem 244 if your major, planned major, or planned professional school (e.g., medical school) requires Organic Chemistry Lab.  And starting in Spring 2021, if you are enrolling in Chem 242, Organic Chemistry II, you must co-enroll with Chem 249 if your major, planned major, or planned professional school (e.g., medical school) requires Organic Chemistry Lab.
If you already started or finished the Organic Chemistry lecture sequence (Chem 241/242) prior to Fall 2020, you may take the Experimental Organic Chemistry sequence (244/249) at any point prior to graduation, however the courses must be taken sequentially and not concurrently, so that if you plan to graduate in May 2021, you must take CHEM 244 in Fall 2020 and Chem 249 in Spring 2021 to fulfill one full semester of Experimental Organic Chemistry.  Starting Spring 2021, like the lecture courses Chem 241 and 242, Chem 244 and Chem 249 will both be offered every semester. 

Please contact either Dr. Jennifer Rutherford, the Course Instructor (, the Chemistry Undergraduate Coordinator (Ms. Candice Adams, or the Undergraduate Chair (Professor Winkler, if you have any questions. 

You can find the courses that the Chemistry Department regularly offers here:
You can find the current semester's roster of courses here: