Best Online Organic Chemistry Courses for College Credit (2021)

Yes, you can take organic chemistry courses online for college credit!

I’ve researched the top courses that deliver exactly that and listed them in this article.

Here’s what else we’ll cover:

  • Accredited online organic chemistry courses from top colleges
  • Recommended free/cheap options
  • What to expect from studying Ochem online

Ready to learn more about what’s out there? Let’s go.

Best Online Organic Chemistry Course Listings

Here’s a quick overview of the recommended courses in this article: 

Course InstitutionLevelPrerequisitesLengthHoursCost
Organic Chemistry I Lecture & Lab University of New EnglandUndergraduate (Credits: 4)General chemistry16 weeksSelf-paced $1510
Organic Chemistry IMassachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesUndergraduate (Credits: 3) Chemical principles16 weeksSelf-paced $460/credit
Organic Chemistry I Lecture & LabSouthern California University of Health SciencesUndergraduate (Credits: 4) General chemistry 5 weeksSelf-paced $2000
Introduction to Organic ChemistryBerkeley ExtensionUndergraduate (Credits: 3) Introductory chemistry 180 daysSelf-paced$1200
Organic Chemistry I UC San Diego ExtensionUndergraduate (Credits: 4.5)None10 weeksSelf-paced$745
Organic chemistryKhan AcademyBeginnerNoneN/ASelf-paced Free
Freshman Organic Chemistry IYale University/Open Yale CoursesUndergraduateNone1 semesterSelf-pacedFree
Organic ChemistryUCI OpenUndergraduateNone10 weeksSelf-paced Free
The Organic Chemistry CourseUdemyBeginnerNone1hr 23 minutesSelf-paced Free
Organic Chemistry IMIT OpenCourseWareUndergraduate None 14 weeksSelf-paced Free

Best Accredited Online Organic Chemistry Courses

The following online biology courses are offered by some of the leading universities in the US. You can pick up transferrable credits taking these!

1. Organic Chemistry I Lecture & Lab – University of New England

University of New England’s Organic Chemistry I Lecture & Lab is a self-paced and entirely online course.

Organic Chemistry I Lecture is a three-credit course designed to introduce the student to organic molecules’ structure, reactivity, and analysis.

Students will be presented with organic structures, learn carbonyl reactions, and apply these topics to biochemical settings. Lastly, the course ends with an introduction to spectroscopic analysis.

Organic Chemistry I Lab is a one-credit course designed to provide an introductory-level college organic chemistry course for health science majors.

Students can take just the lecture, just the lab, or both together. The exams are all taken online. The lab portion of the course sets assigned lab exercises almost every week.

The course begins every two or three weeks, and the student must register for the class by noon EST the Monday before it starts.

See the video below for an introduction to UNE’s online platform…

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry I Lecture & Lab – CHEM 1020/CHEM 1020L
  • Institution: University of New England
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: 4-credit lecture/lab
  • Prerequisites: 2 semesters of college-level general chemistry (CHEM 1010/CHEM 1011)
  • Length: 16 weeks
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: online.une.edu/organic-chemistry-i-lecture-lab
  • Price: $1510 (both lecture and lab together)

2. Organic Chemistry I – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers an online and self-paced organic chemistry course with lecture and laboratory components.

The lecture course introduces students to the structure, nomenclature, stereochemistry, properties, and reactions of carbon-containing compounds.

The laboratory course contains experiments that develop manipulative skills in the classical purification methods and separation of organic compounds.

MCPHS does not require an application process, and students can begin taking classes within two business days after registering (registration is separate for each of these courses).

Students will have the support of an instructor and 24/7 online tutoring as they progress through the course.

Check out the video below to learn more about MCPHS offerings online…

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry I – CHE 231E/CHE 231LE
  • Institution: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: 3-credit lecture session and 1-credit laboratory session
  • Prerequisites: Chemical Principles II (CHE 132E)
  • Length: 16 weeks
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: mcphs.edu/organic-chemistry
  • Price: $460 per credit hour (new students are eligible to receive a 50% reduction in the cost of tuition for one course)

3. Organic Chemistry I – Southern California University of Health Sciences

This Southern California University of Health Sciences organic chemistry course has lectures (three credits) and lab (one credit) components.

SCU offers lectures in two forms: 1) synchronous, in a five-week schedule, and 2) self-paced asynchronous form.

The synchronous format classes provide group-based virtual learning through Zoom. Lessons happen in real-time, and students must attend classes during a set program.

The self-paced format allows students to take their plan as long as they complete assignments on the scheduled dates and communicate regularly with their instructor.

Students can choose to take only lectures, only lab, or them both together. Lab, on the other hand, can only be taken in a scheduled synchronous form.

The video below explains more on how SCUHS’ online learning platform works for science-curious students…

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry I – OCHM311
  • Institution: Southern California University of Health Sciences
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: 4 credits lecture/lab
  • Prerequisites: General Chemistry II (CHEM216 and CHEM216L) or equivalent
  • Length: 5 weeks
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: acceleratedsciences.scuhs.edu/organic-chemistry-i/
  • Price: $2000

4. Introduction to Organic Chemistry – Berkeley Extension

This Berkeley Extension’s Introduction to Organic Chemistry course is self-paced and entirely online, allowing students to enroll whenever they want and progress through the curriculum at their schedule.

It is a non-lab introduction course where students will learn organic compounds’ role in nature and their industrial applications. Learning occurs via multimedia lectures, reading assignments, online discussions, exams, and practice problems.

The classes will cover the following topics:

  • Bonding and Isomerism
  • Alkanes and Cycloalkanes; Conformational and Geometric Isomerism
  • Alkenes and Alkynes
  • Aromatic Compounds
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Organic Halogen Compounds
  • Alcohols, Phenols, and Thiols
  • Ethers and Epoxides
  • Aldehydes, Ketones, and Carbohydrates
  • Carboxylic Acids, Esters, Lipids, and Detergents
  • Amines, Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins
  • Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids

Once started, students have 180 days to conclude the course. The course uses the following textbook; Organic Chemistry: A Short Course, as the basis for its curriculum.

The video below explains how online learning works at UC Berkeley Extension…

Details:

  • Name: Introduction to Organic Chemistry – CHEM X18
  • Institution: Berkeley Extension
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: 3 credits
  • Prerequisites: Introductory chemistry and knowledge of basic algebra
  • Length: 180 days
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: extension.berkeley.edu
  • Price: $1200

5. Organic Chemistry I – UC San Diego Extension

Students must complete this web-based organic chemistry course asynchronously between the published course start and end dates to gain college credit.

It’s an online option that provides a fundamental overview and introduction to classical organic chemistry. It’s taught by Roman A. Valiulin
(unexbio@ucsd.edu) and offers 4.5 credits on completion.

Students will have an opportunity to gain a general understanding of the following topics:

  • Reading chemical structures
  • Drawing bond-line representations of a molecule
  • Identifying formal charges
  • Numbering lone pairs (unpaired electrons)
  • Drawing Lewis dot structures

Courses start in January and April each year.

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry I – CHEM-40010
  • Institution: UC San Diego Extension
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: 4.5 credits
  • Prerequisites: A foundation in general chemistry is preferred
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: extension.ucsd.edu/organic-chemistry-i
  • Price: $745

Free Online Organic Chemistry Courses

1. Organic chemistry (Khan Academy)

This Khan Academy online course is a brief introduction to organic chemistry.

It covers the following topics:

  • Structure and bonding
  • Resonance and acid-base chemistry
  • Alkanes, cycloalkanes, and functional groups
  • Stereochemistry
  • Substitution and elimination reactions
  • Alkenes and alkynes
  • Alcohols, ethers, epoxides, sulfides
  • Conjugated systems and pericyclic reactions
  • Aromatic compounds
  • Aldehydes and ketones
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • Alpha carbon chemistry
  • Amines
  • Spectroscopy

Khan Academy does not offer the option to buy a conclusion certificate, but it is an excellent option for those who want to get in touch with this topic for free.

The platform is also one of the major recommendations we make when it comes to studying for the MCAT.

Check out the first video in Khan Academy’s organic chemistry playlist below…

Details:


2. Freshman Organic Chemistry I – Yale University/Open Yale Courses

This program is the first semester of a two-semester introductory course. It focuses on current theories of structure and mechanism in organic chemistry, their historical development, and their basis in experimental observation.

Originally recorded in Fall 2008, this course is open to newcomers with excellent preparation in chemistry and physics.

J. Michael McBride, the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Chemistry at Yale University, directs students in these 37 lectures through the semester course. Reading assignments, problem sets, presentations, and more, are all available via the course website listed below. There are also 4 exams you can complete to further your learning.

Here’s the video for the first in the lecture series below…

Details:

  • Name: Freshman Organic Chemistry I – CHEM 125a
  • Institution: Yale University/Open Yale Courses
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Length: 1 semester
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: oyc.yale.edu
  • Price: Free

3. Organic Chemistry – University of California, Irvine/UCI Open

UCI designed this organic chemistry to study fundamental concepts relating to carbon compounds.

It’s a classic video-lecture series based on the book Organic Chemistry, 4th Edition, by Janice Smith.

It emphasizes:

  • Structural theory
  • The nature of chemical bonding
  • Stereochemistry
  • Reaction mechanisms
  • Spectroscopic, physical, and chemical properties of the main classes of carbon compounds

The course is taught by Susan King, Ph.D.

Here’s the first video from UCI’s lecture series…

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry – CHEM 51A
  • Institution: University of California, Irvine/UCI Open
  • Prerequisites: there are no prerequisites
  • Length: 10 weeks long
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: ocw.uci.edu/chem
  • Price: Free

4. The Organic Chemistry Course: A Deeper Understanding of the Backbone of Chemistry – Udemy

This Udemy organic chemistry course, created by Joe Marc Valdez, provides almost an hour and a half of online free content.

It is a comprehensive course designed for pre-university level students with basic general chemistry knowledge.

The course covers the following topics through nine lectures:

  • Introductory Topics
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Halogen Derivatives
  • Hydroxy Compounds
  • Carbonyl Compounds
  • Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives
  • Nitrogen Compounds

For a fee, students can get a certificate of completion and access to an instructor (Q&A and direct message).

This course has a 3.8/5 rating based on 360 plus reviews.

Details:

  • Name: The Organic Chemistry Course: A Deeper Understanding of the Backbone of Chemistry
  • Institution: Udemy
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Credits: Certificate (for a fee)
  • Prerequisites: General chemistry
  • Length: 1hr 23min of on-demand video
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: udemy.com/the-organic-chemistry-course
  • Price: free

5. Organic Chemistry I – Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT OpenCourseWare

This MIT OpenCourseWare program is a free course that’s ideal for those who simply want a structured organic chem course without any of the bells and whistles of an interactive learning platform.

It deals with the basic principles of understanding organic molecules’ structure and reactivity, emphasizing the carbonyl group’s substitution and elimination reactions.

Through 14 weeks, the course covers the following:

  • Acidity and Basicity
  • Alkanes and Cycloalkanes
  • Conformational Analysis of Alkanes and Cycloalkanes
  • Stereochemistry
  • Overview of Chemical Reactions
  • Thermodynamics
  • Kinetics
  • Reaction Coordinate Diagrams
  • Alkenes
  • Addition of HX to an Alkene (Regiospecificity, Carbocation Stability, Hammond Postulate, Stereochemistry)
  • Reactions of Alkenes
  • Alkynes
  • Reactions of Alkynes
  • Alkyl Halides
  • Nucleophilic Substitution Reactions
  • Alkyl Halides: Elimination Reactions
  • Aromaticity
  • Electrophilic Aromatic Substitution
  • Electrophilic and Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution
  • Alcohols and Phenols
  • Introduction to Carbonyls
  • Carbonyl Chemistry
  • Multistep Synthesis

The course is instructed by Dr. Kimberly Berkowski and Prof. Sarah O’Connor and is part of a two-course series followed by Organic Chemistry II.

It’s structured with 3 lecture sessions per week (1 hour per session) and two recitations (1 hour each) per week. You’ll have to do the reading for each independently, but there’s also the chance to complete four 1-hour exams (100 points each) and a final 4-hour exam on completion of the course.

All materials are available for free download via the portal.

Details:

  • Name: Organic Chemistry I – 5.12
  • Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT OpenCourseWare
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Length: 14 weeks
  • Hours: Self-paced
  • Website: ocw.mit.edu/organic-chemistry-i
  • Price: Free

Related Questions

What Are The Most Important Things To Look For In An Online Organic Chemistry Course?

Learning Ochem online can give you structure and motivation to complete studies with the support of a community and real-life professors.

To choose the right course for you, you may want to consider some of the following questions…

  1. Structure: how well are the course goals defined and the curriculum laid out?
  2. Time commitment: does the course give you a rough estimate of how much time you’ll need to commit to it each week?
  3. Cost: does it fit your budget?
  4. Instruction: is the teaching professor suitably qualified and delivering the classes in an easy-to-understand format?
  5. Prerequisites: what level of knowledge should you have before starting the course?
  6. Support: once signed up, how much support is available to you to help meet your goals?
  7. Assessment: how is your knowledge and progress assessed?

Many of these questions are answered in the introductory table at the beginning of this article.

Anything else should be researched via your own criteria and the contact you make with course providers.

What Can I Expect Learning Organic Chemistry Online?

Organic chemistry definitely isn’t easy (see our views on the topic in this article; Is Organic Chemistry Hard? (Beginner Tips!).

Most courses will introduce you slowly to the topic, walking you through the basics before delving into more complex areas like reaction mechanisms, synthesis, and spectroscopy.

You’ll need to take your time, be disciplined and run through a lot of practice problems to increase your chances of succeeding.

The video below is a good primer on what you can expect studying the subject online…


If you enjoyed this article, you may find the following interesting: