Major in Biochemistry

Offered in collaboration with the Department of Biology, Biochemistry explores the molecular basis of life. The major provides a sound foundation in biology and chemistry as well as a thorough exploration of the interface between these two traditional disciplines. Chemistry course descriptions can be found here while Biology Course descriptions can be found here. 

The biochemistry major is an interdisciplinary major administered by the departments of Biology and Chemistry. The field of biochemistry comprises the following courses:

Group A

  • Biol 233: Intermediate Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Biol 316 (also Chem 316): Biochemistry of Metabolism and Molecular Biology
  • Chem 201: Organic Chemistry I
  • Chem 202: Organic Chemistry II
  • Chem 307 (also Biol 307): Mechanistic Biochemistry
  • Chem 352: Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Group B

  • Biol 280: Molecular Genetics
  • Biol 301: Genetics
  • Biol 319 or 320: Cancer Cell Biology
  • Biol 321: Cell Biology
  • Biol 330: Immunology
  • Biol 340: Microbiology
  • Biol 350 or Biol 351: Environmental Physiology and Biochemistry of Animals
  • Biol 380 or Biol 381: Genomics
  • Biol 388 or Biol 389: Epigenetics and Epigenetics with Lab
  • Chem 308: Inorganic Chemistry
  • Chem 311: Chemical Analysis
  • Chem 417: Advanced Biochemistry

To major in biochemistry a student must successfully complete all of the courses listed in Group A and at least two of the courses listed in Group B.

Additional requirements are Biol 132 or Biol 133, Chem 102, Math 102, and Phys 101.

In order to receive honors in biochemistry, a student must have a 3.20 or higher GPA in the major courses and must complete a research project that the biochemistry committee considers worthy of honors. The research project may be done as part of a course (usually Biol 444 or Chem 494), or it may be done in the context of a summer research program at this University or at another institution. The honors project must involve some original work. A formal written report and seminar presentation on the research are required. Students must inform the biochemistry committee of their intention to seek honors no later than October 1 of their senior year.