Biochemistry

The College of Arts and Sciences awards the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry. The required courses for the majors and minor are offered by the Department of Biochemistry in the School of Medicine.

Major

The two undergraduate major programs in Biochemistry, BA and BS, are based on the Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements, but differ in amount and intensity of the mathematics and physical sciences required. Either degree is excellent for students planning to undertake graduate work in biochemistry or in related areas of the biomedical sciences. Both the BA and the BS programs permit students to follow many options after graduation. Graduates are well prepared to pursue further studies in the biological sciences, for a career in medicine, for Doctor of Pharmacy programs, for employment in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, or as research assistants in research laboratories. The BA has a reduced emphasis on the quantitative aspects of science and makes available a considerable amount of elective time that permits a student to either concentrate on biochemistry even more intensively than the curriculum requires, or pursue other subjects in science or liberal arts. The BS degree is for the student who has a particularly strong interest in the quantitative physical sciences. 

In both programs, undergraduate research is required. As many as nine hours of Research in Biochemistry (BIOC 391 Research Project) may be credited toward the requirements for graduation. The capstone in Biochemistry (BIOC 393 Senior Capstone Experience) is a thesis and presentation of a student's undergraduate research studies. 

Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry

Required Courses:
BIOC 307Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science4
BIOC 308Molecular Biology4
BIOC 373Biochemistry SAGES Seminar (SAGES Departmental Seminar)3
Biochemistry elective:3
Proteins and Enzymes
Structural Biology
Two approved technical electives in biochemistry6
BIOC 393Senior Capstone Experience3
Additional Required Courses:
BIOL 214
214L
Genes, Evolution and Ecology
and Genes, Evolution and Ecology Lab
4
BIOL 215
215L
Cells and Proteins
and Cells and Proteins Laboratory
4
CHEM 105Principles of Chemistry I3-4
or CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry for Engineers
CHEM 106Principles of Chemistry II3-4
or ENGR 145 Chemistry of Materials
Principles of Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 223Introductory Organic Chemistry I3
or CHEM 323 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 224Introductory Organic Chemistry II3
or CHEM 324 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 233Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 234Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II2
CHEM 301Introductory Physical Chemistry I3
MATH 125Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci I4
or MATH 121 Calculus for Science and Engineering I
MATH 126Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci II4
or MATH 122 Calculus for Science and Engineering II
PHYS 115Introductory Physics I4
or PHYS 121 General Physics I - Mechanics
PHYS 116Introductory Physics II4
or PHYS 122 General Physics II - Electricity and Magnetism
Total Units66-68

BA Biochemistry, Sample Plan of Study 

FreshmanUnits
FallSpring
Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci I (MATH 125)4  
Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 105)
or Principles of Chemistry for Engineers (CHEM 111)
3  
Independent Activity (PHED 100)0 - 10  
SAGES First Seminar4  
Genes, Evolution and Ecology (BIOL 214)
& Genes, Evolution and Ecology Lab (BIOL 214L)
4  
Math and Calculus Applications for Life, Managerial, and Social Sci II (MATH 126)  4
Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 106)
or Chemistry of Materials (ENGR 145)
  3
Principles of Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 113)  2
SAGES University Seminar I  3
Cells and Proteins (BIOL 215)
& Cells and Proteins Laboratory (BIOL 215L)
  4
Independent Activity (PHED 100)  0-10
Year Total: 15-25 16-26
 
SophomoreUnits
FallSpring
Introductory Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 223)a3  
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)2  
Introductory Physics I (PHYS 115)4  
GER Course3  
SAGES University Seminar II3  
Introductory Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 224)a  3
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM 234)  2
Introductory Physics II (PHYS 116)  4
GER Course  3
Elective  3
Year Total: 15 15
 
JuniorUnits
FallSpring
Introductory Physical Chemistry I (CHEM 301)3  
Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science (BIOC 307)4  
GER Course3  
Electives6  
Molecular Biology (BIOC 308)  4
Approved Technical Electiveb  3
Research Project (BIOC 391)  3
Electives  6
Year Total: 16 16
 
SeniorUnits
FallSpring
Biochemistry SAGES Seminar (BIOC 373)3  
Research Project (BIOC 391)3  
Approved Biochemistry or Technical Electiveb3  
Electives6  
Senior Capstone Experience (BIOC 393)  3
Approved Biochem or Technical Electiveb  3
Electives  6-9
Year Total: 15 12-15
 
Total Units in Sequence:  120-143

Note: At least the 3 credits of undergraduate research, BIOC 391 Research Project, is minimally recommended for the Capstone. An additional 3 credits of BIOC 391 is highly recommended. Students should consult their academic advisers about the elective parts of the curriculum.

a

Selected students may be invited to take CHEM 323 Organic Chemistry I, CHEM 324 Organic Chemistry II.

b

One of the approved electives in Biochemistry taken must be either BIOC 312 Proteins and Enzymes or BIOC 334 Structural Biology.


Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Required Courses:
BIOC 307Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science4
BIOC 308Molecular Biology4
BIOC 312Proteins and Enzymes3
BIOC 334Structural Biology3
BIOC 373Biochemistry SAGES Seminar3
Approved Technical Elective in Biochemistry3
BIOC 393Senior Capstone Experience3
BIOL 214
214L
Genes, Evolution and Ecology
and Genes, Evolution and Ecology Lab
4
BIOL 215
215L
Cells and Proteins
and Cells and Proteins Laboratory
4
CHEM 105Principles of Chemistry I3-4
or CHEM 111 Principles of Chemistry for Engineers
CHEM 106Principles of Chemistry II3-4
or ENGR 145 Chemistry of Materials
CHEM 113Principles of Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 223Introductory Organic Chemistry I3
or CHEM 323 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 224Introductory Organic Chemistry II3
or CHEM 324 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 301Introductory Physical Chemistry I3
or CHEM 335 Physical Chemistry I
CHEM 302Introductory Physical Chemistry II3
or CHEM 336 Physical Chemistry II
CHEM 233Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I2
CHEM 234Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II2
MATH 121Calculus for Science and Engineering I4
MATH 122Calculus for Science and Engineering II4
or MATH 124 Calculus II
MATH 223Calculus for Science and Engineering III3
or MATH 227 Calculus III
MATH 224Elementary Differential Equations3
or MATH 228 Differential Equations
PHYS 121General Physics I - Mechanics4
or PHYS 123 Physics and Frontiers I - Mechanics
PHYS 122General Physics II - Electricity and Magnetism4
or PHYS 124 Physics and Frontiers II - Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 221Introduction to Modern Physics3
Statistics/data analysis elective3
Computational Methods in Physics
Basic Statistics for Engineering and Science
Statistics for Experimenters
or equivalent
Total Units83-85

BS Biochemistry, Sample Plan of Study

FreshmanUnits
FallSpring
Calculus for Science and Engineering I (MATH 121)4  
Principles of Chemistry I (CHEM 105)
or Principles of Chemistry for Engineers (CHEM 111)
3  
Independent Activity (PHED 100)0-10  
SAGES First Semester4  
Genes, Evolution and Ecology (BIOL 214)
& Genes, Evolution and Ecology Lab (BIOL 214L)
4  
Calculus for Science and Engineering II (MATH 122)  4
Principles of Chemistry II (CHEM 106)
or Chemistry of Materials (ENGR 145)
  3
Principles of Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 113)  2
SAGES University Seminar I  3
Cells and Proteins (BIOL 215)
& Cells and Proteins Laboratory (BIOL 215L)
  4
Independent Activity (PHED 100)  0 - 10
Year Total: 15-25 16-26
 
SophomoreUnits
FallSpring
Introductory Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 223)a3  
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory I (CHEM 233)2  
Calculus for Science and Engineering III (MATH 223)3  
General Physics I - Mechanics (PHYS 121)b4  
GER Course3  
Introductory Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 224)a  3
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM 234)  2
Elementary Differential Equations (MATH 224)  3
General Physics II - Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS 122)b  4
GER Course  3
Year Total: 15 15
 
JuniorUnits
FallSpring
Introductory Physical Chemistry I (CHEM 301)3  
Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science (BIOC 307)4  
SAGES University Seminar II3  
GER Course3  
GER Course or elective3  
Introductory Physical Chemistry II (CHEM 302)  3
Molecular Biology (BIOC 308)  4
Introduction to Modern Physics (PHYS 221)  3
Research Project (BIOC 391)  3
Elective  3
Year Total: 16 16
 
SeniorUnits
FallSpring
Proteins and Enzymes (BIOC 312)3  
Biochemistry SAGES Seminar (BIOC 373)3  
Research Project (BIOC 391)3  
Electives6  
Structural Biology (BIOC 334)  3
Senior Capstone Experience (BIOC 393)  3
Statistics/Data Analysis Elective  3
Computational Methods in Physics (PHYS 250)
Basic Statistics for Engineering and Science Using R Programming (STAT 312R)  3
Statistics for Experimenters (STAT 313) (or equiv)
Electives  6
Year Total: 15 18
 
Total Units in Sequence:  126-146

Note: At least the 3 credits of undergraduate research, BIOC 391 Research Project, is a prerequisite to the Capstone. An additional 3 credits of BIOC 391 is highly recommended. Students should consult their academic advisers about the elective parts of the curriculum.

a

Selected students may be invited to take CHEM 323 Organic Chemistry I, CHEM 324 Organic Chemistry II.

b

Selected students may be invited to take PHYS 123 Physics and Frontiers I - Mechanics, PHYS 124 Physics and Frontiers II - Electricity and Magnetism in place of PHYS 121 General Physics I - Mechanics, PHYS 122 General Physics II - Electricity and Magnetism.

Honors Program

Biochemistry majors who have excellent academic records may be admitted to the department’s Undergraduate Honors Program. To graduate with departmental honors in biochemistry, a student must satisfy the following requirements:

1.  A combined grade point average of at least 3.600

2.  A minimum of 6 credit hours of undergraduate research (BIOC 391) in one laboratory

3.  A BIOC 393 capstone report approved by the Undergraduate Education Committee of the department on the basis of the quality of the research, the written report, and an oral presentation. An acceptable report:

a.  Should follow a standard journal format

b.  Should demonstrate the student’s understanding of the research area, experimental techniques, goals and implications of the project

c.  Should show that the student has advanced his/her knowledge of the applicable techniques and the underlying scientific concepts.

4.  Using all or part of the capstone report, the student must be a co-author on a manuscript either submitted, in press or published in a peer reviewed journal.


Minor

Required Courses:
BIOC 307Introduction to Biochemistry: From Molecules To Medical Science4
BIOC 308Molecular Biology4
One of the following: 3
Proteins and Enzymes
Structural Biology
Approved technical elective in biochemsitry3
Total Units14

Students may obtain credit for a mi­nor in biochemistry by completing one year of freshman chemistry (including laboratory), one year of organic chemis­try (including laboratory), two semesters of approved biology courses, and three semesters of didactic courses in biochem­istry.