Biochemistry Major Learning Outcomes

Coursework in the Biochemistry major is designed so that students will:

  • Learn and integrate foundational material in Chemistry, Biology and Biochemistry that is relevant to Biochemistry and prepares students for careers and post-baccalaureate education.
  • Compare and analyze experimental approaches/techniques and data analysis from the primary scientific literature in order to understand how new scientific knowledge is gained, how data are analyzed and how to evaluate the quality of an experimental design or the quality of the data obtained.
  • Use data analysis methods including graphing and statistical analysis.
  • Develop problem solving skills and analytical thinking skills.
  • Understand that societal decisions lead to conducting chemical and biochemical work and result in applications that have both beneficial and harmful effects, specifically as they relate to populations with different amounts of power and privilege.
  • Interrogate the ways systems and structures determine who participates within our disciplines, which science is done, and how it is done.
  • Students see science as a human activity conducted by a collaborative and diverse community.
  • Students feel empowered beyond understanding deficiencies of power, privilege, and equity within STEM to the development of strategies for effectively challenging power and privilege in productive ways.
  • Students understand and are empowered to develop and foster their own place and identity within science at Bates and beyond. 
  • Students realize their unique path gives them space to make novel contributions.
  • Students explore a variety of opportunities to engage and participate in science throughout their time at Bates and after graduation.

The laboratory and research component of the Biochemistry major is designed so that students will:

  • Design and conduct experiments, using a broad variety of experimental techniques, and interpret the data obtained to draw conclusions about whether the results do or do not support a hypothesis being tested and whether the experimental design was appropriate.
  • Work collaboratively with other students and with faculty, understanding that most scientific knowledge/conclusions draw(s) on multiple sources of data and multiple experimental approaches.
  • Learn “best approaches” for conducting experiments including laboratory safety, data replication and quality control, record keeping, and other aspects of “responsible conduct of research”.
  • Gain familiarity with an area of science such that the students can present their work to a professional audience and also discuss their work with a general audience.
  • Develop problem solving skills and analytical thinking skills.

The scientific communication component of the Biochemistry major is designed so that students will:

  • Understand and practice the principles of oral scientific presentations (talks, posters). Communicate effectively with well-designed posters and slides in talks or poster presentations aimed at scientific audiences as well as the general public.
  • Develop the principles of good writing: Building the simplest possible words and sentences into concise, well-ordered arguments, using the paragraph as the basic unit of composition.
  • Become proficient in creating figures, graphs or other visual representations of data.
  • Describe biochemical and mathematical concepts in words. This includes being able to describe the interpretation of data and the conclusions drawn from an analysis of data. Drawing conclusions involves the construction of an argument based on an interpretation of data. When appropriate, evidence from the literature is often used to support the argument.
  • Learn the mechanics of writing a scientific paper or preparing an oral presentation. This includes learning how to communicate well with graphs, tables, diagrams and other visual materials.
  • Develop the skills needed to write about science for broader audiences: notably, policy makers and the public.