Sep 14-Dec 11, 2015
Credit: 3 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $990.65 NSTA members 10% discount
Instructor(s): Robert DesEnfants

Register Online

Course Description

This online course targets science teachers, Grades 6-12. The course will provide a general review/background in organic chemistry with an emphasis on functional groups and covalent chemistry reaction mechanisms while focusing on applications including polymers. Providing a solid foundation of basic principles of organic chemistry will allow teachers to describe and explain practical applications of organic chemistry.

A class discussion forum will be part of the course and allow teachers to share and explain teaching, demonstrations and lab activities from the course. In addition to on-line homework sets and exams, participants will also design a teaching project that uses course topics to develop an original teaching component to use in their own teaching setting. Participants will receive extra help with course topics through a chapter-by-chapter commentary. Where appropriate, emphasis will be on applications of organic chemistry to everyday life. This course provides background for future courses in biochemistry for middle and high school teachers.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend 9 - 12 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline, working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course.


Robert DesEnfants, PhD. Montana State University Chemistry Department


Introductory general chemistry course or appropriate experience with chemistry principles. Graduate standing.

Target Audience

The course is designed primarily for practicing science teachers grades 6-12, with at least two years of teaching experience, seeking graduate credit in Chemistry.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $105.50
 Computer Fee$10.65
 Distributed Learning Fee$75.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

NSTA Members are eligible to receive a 10% discount on tuition. Enter your NSTA Membership Number when you are asked for it on the registration form.

Required Books/Materials

  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry, 4th edition, Wiley Publishers, ISBN 9780470601532

You can order the text through the Montana State University Bookstore at 1-888-247-2546. Ask to speak with the Textbook Department. It will expedite your order if you tell the sales representative:

  • the course number (CHMY 591 Exploring Organic Chemistry for Teachers)
  • the titles of the texts
  • that the course is offered online through the Office of Continuing Education

The texts may also be available from other sources.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

about the course contact Diana Paterson at or 406-994-5679.

For registration information call 406-994-6683 or

How to Register

Register Online