Taking Organic before Inorganic

Is it wise or even possible to take Organic before Inorganic chem? My adviser told me that I could do this, and its been done before but is not recommended. What do you guys think? What would med schools think?

I wouldn’t do it. Not because I think that med schools would have a problem with it (at least, not if you do well), but because organic chemistry is an extremely difficult course for most people who have already taken inorganic, let alone without taking organic. Even though they are very different subjects, the last part of inorganic is crucial for organic chem (titrations, acids/bases, etc). Additionally, I found organic lab to be very challenging, and I can’t imagine doing it without the background of gen chem lab.

Keep in mind that organic is largely considered a “weed out” course and I think med schools place a little more emphasis on it than some of the other courses. A poor performance would be difficult to make up for. You could somewhat redeem a poor gen chem performance with a great ochem performance, but I’m not sure the reverse would be true.

I wouldn’t do it unless you already have a pretty good chemistry background (i.e. took gen chem a long time ago, worked in a lab, something of that nature). There’s a reason that gen chem is usually a required pre-requisite for ochem.

Organic chemistry doesn’t spend a whole lot of time talking about inorganic issues, but it will be presupposed that you know the basic of larger (read: inorganic) chemistry. Taking organic chem first seems to me a big, obvious mistake. As for med schools, I can’t imagine they would care a bit about the order of your classwork, so long as you got good grades and did well on the MCAT.

Rule 4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Rule 5: Do Not Risk Bad Grades By Taking Too Much

Taking Organic before Inorganic/General Chem is like jumping into the deep end of the pool just to find out how the water is. You could very easily be in way over your head and and drowning in very cold water.

I advise people for medical school the same I advise businesses on process and technology via risk assessment. In this case both the probability of the risk (chances that you can do poorly in organic) and the impact of the risk (if you do poorly, med school will really, really take it into account) are both way against it

pay heed to what I say. you have been warned!

Thank you guys very much! The only reason I was considering it was because inorganic 1 and 2 was closed for summer but organic 1 and 2 was opened. However, I must remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. I am definitely taking your advice. Thank you.

Probably obvious, but does your school have standby lists for classes? Can you then contact the professor, and be waiting in the hall the first days of class (with an add/drop form) in case someone doesn’t show or bails at the last minute?

As others have pointed out, Inorganic before organic teaches you basics of chemistry and

the necessary lab skills to survive the later. There is a reason why practically every curriculum out there lists inorganic

before organic. The fact that Inorganic is offered before Organic in your college is not good enough. My 4 cents.