Our First Year Courses

CHM135H Chemistry: Physical Principles

Together with CHM136H, this course is recommended for students in many biologically oriented life and health science programs that require a small amount of chemistry. After a brief review of reaction stoichiometries and other important fundamentals from high school chemistry, the course proceeds with a discussion about the structure of the atom and its relation to fundamental concepts in spectroscopy. The phases of matter - gases, liquids, solids and beyond - are then presented. The solution state is examined with an emphasis on properties of solutions including chemical equilibria in solution, particularly those of acids and bases. The course concludes with an examination of the principles of reaction thermodynamics, kinetics and electrochemistry, using systems of both chemical and biochemical interest. Note that as of September 2020, CHM135H is a pre-requisite course for CHM136H.


CHM136H Introductory Organic Chemistry I

Together with CHM135H, this course is recommended for students in many biologically oriented life and health science programs that require a small amount of chemistry. The course commences with a review of fundamental principles of covalent bonding to understand the structure and shape of organic molecules, where concepts of molecular conformation as well as the "handedness" of shape are introduced. The connection between the structure of organic molecules and their reactivity is then presented. This relationship is illustrated by examining the mechanisms by which reactions of alkenes, alkyl halides and alcohols take place. The role of acid/base chemistry in these transformations is presented throughout. Note that as of September 2020, students must have taken and passed CHM135H prior to enrolling in CHM136H.


CHM 151Y Chemistry: The Molecular Science

This full-year course is highly recommended for students who are likely to enroll in one of the seven chemistry specialist programs, or who will include a substantial amount of chemistry in their degree (such as those planning to enroll in a chemistry major program). The aim of CHM151Y is to provide students with a foundation in fundamental chemical knowledge at the cutting edge of the subject. Through appropriate examples, students will  be introduced to a variety of related modern topics, including the development of new characterization techniques, the design of organic compounds, and the properties and potential uses of advanced materials.

The first section of the course is an intensive study of the principles of structure and reactions of organic molecules, as well as an introduction to the importance of organic molecules in biological processes. The next section introduces methods of structure determination, and the properties and uses of inorganic elements including novel materials and catalysts. Finally, the last section covers the physical principles that underlie molecular structure, reactivity and energy. A distinguishing feature of CHM151Y is that we assume working knowledge of introductory organic chemistry as outlined in the Ontario Grade 12 curriculum (more specifically the first three chapters of "Organic Chemistry" by J. McMurry, the required organic chemistry textbook for the course).

The laboratory component of CHM151Y provides an introduction to important chemical techniques as well as practical illustrations of class material. It consists of ten experiments over the year, and provides experience in physical chemistry methods and both organic and inorganic chemical reactions.

Finally, CHM151Y has a unique "Course Community" where the undergraduate experience in chemistry is greatly enhanced through a series of biweekly workshops, research seminars, departmental tours, career guidance and social activities.