Organic Chemistry and Botany

Robinson, Dr. David drobinson at
Tue May 14 12:04:18 EST 2002

MCATs are the problem.....its the organic and inorganic chemistry, plus
the physics questions on the MCATs that are the most challenging for
students....there is not that much biochemistry on the exam from what I
hear.....I am now recommending pre-meds to take a 5th or 6th semester of
Chemistry (Advanced Organic or Advanced Inorganic).

-----Original Message-----
From: purves at THUBAN.AC.HMC.EDU [mailto:purves at THUBAN.AC.HMC.EDU]
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 5:46 PM
To: plant-ed at
Subject: Re: Organic Chemistry and Botany

Earlier today, John Silvius asked:

>QUESTION:  Is anyone aware of the current status of the one-year of
>Organic Chemistry as a requirement for graduate studies, particularly
>Medical Schools (the majority of our BIO majors)?   Specifically, what
>would our undergraduate applicants to grad/med schools loose if they
>were to have 1 semester of organic chem. taught with biology in mind
>(versus industrial chemical applications) followed by a semester (or
>more?) of biochemistry?

I bucked this one over to my buddy/colleague/coauthor David Sadava,
who is a very knowledgeable premed advisor.  He replied:

>Med schools and grad schools tend to be pretty strict about a year of
>organic. But if an undergraduate school has one semester and then
>and calls the sequence organic and biochem they would be ok, in my
>opinion. One problem is the MCAT: be careful as to what topics are
>in one semester of organic...


 William K. Purves
 2817 N. Mountain Avenue
 Claremont, CA 91711
 voice: (909) 626-4859
 fax:   (909) 626-7030
 e-mail: Bill_Purves at



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