Biochemistry Major Requirements


The Biochemistry Major is administered by the Department of Chemistry and includes courses provided by both Chemistry and the Department of Biology. As a field, biological chemistry encompasses study of the form, chemistry, and function of the molecules found in living organisms and the processes in which these molecules participate. Biochemistry has evolved from discoveries about the chemistry of biological molecules in the early 19th century to a widely interdisciplinary field that encompasses ideas and theories drawn from chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, and computer science. It is the foundation for medical research and scientifically-based healthcare strategies as well as advances in other areas such as nutrition and agriculture . The required courses for the major give a student a solid foundation in basic science, while the array of elective courses allows wide latitude in pursuing an area of individual interest. The thesis provides a final integrating experience.

Biochemistry Major Requirements. The major requires thirteen or fourteen courses, from both the chemistry and biology departments, including a one- or two-semester thesis. Some courses have math and/or physics prerequisites. Students may not double major in biochemistry and  biology, chemistry, or neuroscience. Students may not take any course pass/fail that is counted towards the biochemistry major.

Seminar Requirement. Each biochemistry major is required to make one formal thesis research presentation for each semester of thesis completed. Each senior is also required to attend at least four seminars presented by visiting scholars in either the biology or chemistry department.

B.S. Requirements. In addition to CHEM 107A and CHEM 108A, MATH 106 or MATH 206 and two semesters of physics (PHYS 107 or FYS 314, and PHYS 108 or FYS 274) are required. Since three of these courses are required for CHEM 302 and 310, only PHYS 108 or FYS 274 is an additional requirement.

Required Courses

One of the following:
BIO 190. Organismal Biology/Lab,
BIO 195. Lab-Based Biological Inquiry.

Either of the following:
BIO 202. Cellular Basic of Life and BIO 204. Biological Research: Molecules to Ecosystems.
Bio 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology.

One of the following:
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab.
BI/NS 305. Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience.

Both of the following:
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity/Lab.

One of the following:
CHEM 302. Statistical Thermodynamics.
CHEM 310. Biophysical Chemistry.

All of the following:
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II//Lab.
CHEM 321. Biological Chemistry I/Lab.
CHEM 322. Biological Chemistry II/Lab.

Elective Courses

Students who take BIO 242 choose at least two, one of which must be a biology course and come from the list below. Students who take BIO 202 and BIO 204 choose one elective from the list below. It is strongly recommended that students considering graduate programs in biochemistry, biophysics, or related disciplines select a chemistry elective. One course may not serve as both an elective and core course. Students cannot count BIO 244 and NRSC 205 toward the major.

BIO 244. Biostatistics
NRSC 205. Statistical Methods.
BIO 305. Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience.
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.
BIO 315. Microbiology/Lab.
Bio 326. Cancer Biology/Lab.
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab.
BI/ES 333. The Genetics of Conservation Biology/Lab.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO 351. Immunology/Lab.
BIO 380. Plant Physiology/Lab.
BIO 477. Seminar and Research in Microbiology/Lab.
BIO s40. Experimental Developmental and Molecular Biology/Lab.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.
Any 200- or 300 level chemistry course, including BI/CH 304, CH/NS 320,
CHEM s37, and CHEM s42.