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  • Biochemistry Major


    The goal of the biochemistry major is to prepare students interested in understanding living systems with the knowledge and technical skills needed to understand how organisms function at the molecular level. The program addresses structure, function, and regulation of biomolecules and supramolecular assemblies at both the cellular and multicellular level. Biochemistry graduates will be prepared with the knowledge and technical skills necessary for careers in health care, pharmaceuticals, biotechnical research and development, and public policy and regulation in addition to possibilities for further development in graduate or professional programs.

    Admission to the Program

    Any undergraduate student can declare a major in biochemistry.

    Program Requirements

    Students in the biochemistry major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements.

    General Education Requirements (35* credits)

    Major Departmental Requirements (34 credits)

    • CHM205 College Chemistry (4 credits)*
    • CHM206 College Chemistry (4 credits)
    • CHM301 Chemical Safety (1 credit)
    • CHM302 Inorganic Chemistry I 4 cr. or CHM303 Analytical Chemistry I (4 credits)
    • CHM305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
    • CHM306 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)
    • CHM400 Seminar I (1 credit)
    • CHM401 Seminar II (1 credit)
    • CHM467 Biochemistry I (3 credits)
    • CHM468 Biochemistry II (3 credits)
    • CHM470 Biochemistry Laboratory (1 credit)
    • CHM404 Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences (3 credits)
    • CHM407 Physical Chemistry for the Biological Sciences Lab (3 credits)

    Cognate or Additional Requirements (33-34 credits)

    • BIO201 Biology I (4 credits)*
    • BIO202 Biology II (4 credits)
    • BIO302 Genetics
    • BIO315 Cell Biology
    • MTH201 Calculus I (4 credits)*
    • MTH202 Calculus II (4 credits)
    • PHS235 Physics I (4 credits)*
    • PHS240 Physics II (4 credits)

    Prerequisites (0-6 credits)

    • MTH 111 College Algebra
    • MTH 122 Pre-Calculus (or three years high school math)*

    Electives (11-18 credits)

    Total Credits (120 credits)

    Additional Degree Requirements

    • Chemistry majors must earn a grade of C or better in CHM 205 and 206
    • A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in all required major courses (Major Departmental Requirements).
    • Completion of all college-wide degree requirements

    *denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements

    To make normal progress in the major, a student should complete CHM 205, CHM 206, CHM 305, CHM 306, BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 302, PHS 235, PHS 240, MTH 201, and MTH 202 by the end of the sophomore year, but speak with your advisor about your specific needs and the timing of the courses that will work best for you.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of

    1. and describe the structure-function relationships of four general classes of biomolecules: proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.
    2. kinetics and thermodynamics of life processes.
    3. the chemical basis of and how to use experimental methods to synthesize, purify, and analyze biomolecules.
    4. cellular organization and organelle structure and function.
    5. core signaling pathways and the transport and trafficking of molecules within and between cells.
    6. central metabolic pathways, including how they are interconnected and regulated.

    Students will be able to

    1. critically assess primary literature.
    2. contribute positively and effectively as a member of a team while addressing a biochemical issue.
    3. understand and apply the tenets and principles of safe laboratory practice and waste handling.
    4. demonstrate proficiency in carrying out basic and advanced laboratory manipulations and use of common laboratory equipment and instruments.
    5. demonstrate proficiency in managing experimental data including thoroughly recording procedure and observations, tabulating data, and analyzing results.
    6. effectively communicate biochemistry content, both orally and in writing, to audiences with varying levels of scientific understanding.
    7. recognize and analyze ethical implications related to scientific issues in society and within their profession.