Biochemistry is a broad and flexible discipline that uses all available approaches to discover molecular and genetic mechanisms of any biological process. Our program is truly interdisciplinary and requires a strong background in chemistry and biology. You will be trained in protein and nucleic acid methods, biophysical chemistry applications, and molecular biological techniques. Team research is built into the curriculum, and opportunities for independent research are numerous. A Biochemistry major thereby prepares you for either graduate or professional schools. Although most careers require an advanced degree, opportunities exist in academic, industrial and biotechnical research and development sectors.
- Sixty-four credits consisting of the following: Biochemistry 321, 422 and 430; Biology 121, 204 and 308; Chemistry 115, 223, 224, 230, 331 and 332; Mathematics 121 and 122; Physics 121 and 122.
- Students must consult with the Biochemistry chair in their junior year for approval of their programs if deviation from the above curriculum is being considered. Approval for such changes requires written petition of the department.
- Successful completion of the departmental Senior Comprehensive Examination.
- Potential majors are advised to schedule Mathematics 121-122 and Physics 121-122 in the freshman and sophomore years so they may begin Chemistry 331-332 in the junior year.
- Take note that BCM 422 and BCM 430 are offered in the winter terms of alternating years.
- This is an excellent major for pre-medical students, but additional electives are strongly advised.
- Students bound for graduate school should make careful course selections to support their area of emphasis. Participation in research and additional course work in biology, chemistry and mathematics is desirable.
- Completion of an independent research project culminating in a senior thesis is encouraged.
- Students who declare a Biochemistry major may not elect a second major in Chemistry.
Four credits from BCM, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Natural Sciences — Life Sciences.
- BCM180.Genes and Society4 credits$50Intended for non-science majors, this course explores the revolution in molecular biology, beginning from a brief history of genetics through our current era of genomics. Additional topics covered in the lectures and laboratories include: gene structure and function, a survey of interesting genes relevant to human health, genetic engineering, mapping, fingerprinting, GMO’s, cloning, ancient DNA, and much more.
- BCM*319.Toxicology4 credits$100BIO 121, CHM 230Introduction to general toxicologic principles through the study of whole organism-through-genetic responses to xenobiotics (drugs, pollutants, toxins). Classification of chemical reactivities, kinetics, biomolecular targets, metabolism, disposition, sources, and risk. Laboratory. (Cross listed with BIO 319.)
- BCM*321.Biochemistry4 credits$50BIO 121, CHM 224 and CHM 230Overview of the major topics of biochemistry including the chemistry, structure, function, biological activity and molecular mechanisms of the major biological macromolecules. Introduction to bioenergetics and central metabolic pathways. Laboratory.
- BCM*380.Topics in Biochemistry1-4 creditsFee determined by topicPermissionInvestigation of selected topics in biochemistry, such as molecular methods and toxicology, through student participation in lecture, discussion and/or laboratory work.
- BCM*422.Advanced Biochemistry4 credits$50BCM 321Further study of intermediary metabolism through the use of historical and current research articles. Introduction to biophysical methods. Emphasis on experimental design, data analysis and integration of biochemical information. Laboratory.
- BCM*430.Molecular Genetics4 credits$50BCM 321 and BIO 204Advanced-level literature-based study and training in nucleic acid structures, genetic engineering, regulation, transgenics, genomics, molecular medicine, and biotechnology applications. Investigational laboratory. (Cross listed with BIO 430.)
- BCM*499.Research in Biochemistry1-4 creditsPermissionIndependent research in biochemistry resulting in a written report.
- BCM*500.Senior Thesis4 creditsPermissionIndependent laboratory research of an original problem resulting in a thesis and public presentation. Required for departmental honors.
- BIO121.General Cell Biology4 credits$30Study of basic biological processes, mostly at the cellular level, including the chemical basis of life, cellular structure and function, heredity, reproduction and the genetic basis of evolution. Laboratory.
- BIO*204.Genetics4 credits$30BIO 121 and Sophomore StandingThe mechanics of inheritance at the molecular and cellular levels and the relationship of this phenomenon to gene action, organismal development, population changes and evolution. Laboratory.
- BIO*308.Microbiology4 credits$40BIO 290 or PermissionSurvey of the bacteria, viruses and other protists emphasizing their structure, physiology, systematics, ecology and genetics. Focuses on microbes important to humans including disease and the immune response. Laboratory.
- CHM115.Introductory Chemistry: Chemical Analysis4 credits$20MTH 112 concurrently or ProficiencyIntroduction to the basic principles of chemistry in a context of chemical analysis. Intended for students in the sciences. Includes the periodic table, elements, ionic and covalent compounds, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, spectroscopy, gases, pH and acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions. DR and academic credit will only be awarded to one of CHM 101, CHM 103 or CHM 115. Laboratory.
- CHM*223-*224.Organic Chemistry4 credits each$20 eachCHM 115Study of the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, emphasizing the various functional groups and their transformations, reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry, and the development of synthetic schemes. Laboratory.
- CHM*230.Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry4 credits$20CHM 224 or PermissionStudy of the chemistry of the metals and non-metals emphasizing periodic behavior, elementary thermodynamics, ionic and covalent structures, oxidation and reduction reactions, acid-base chemistry, equilibria, transition metal complexes and reaction kinetics. Laboratory.
- CHM*331-*332.Physical Chemistry4 credits each$20 eachCHM 230, MTH 122 and PHY 113 or 122Study of the physical principles of chemistry with emphasis on thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and kinetics. Laboratory.
- MTH121-122.Calculus4 credits eachMTH 112 with “C” or better or 4 years of High School MathIntroduction to the calculus of one variable. Includes limits and continuity, the derivative and applications, the integral and applications, infinite series and sequences.
- PHY121.Introduction to Physics I4 credits$7MTH 121 concurrently or PermissionFirst half of an introductory survey of physics with emphasis on problem solving. Uses calculus. Appropriate for students who plan to major in physics, chemistry or mathematics, and pre-engineering and pre-medical students who have had calculus. Includes mechanics, dynamics and rotation. Laboratory. Permission will be immediately granted to students who have credit for MTH 113 or 121.
- PHY122.Introduction to Physics II4 credits$7PHY 121; MTH 122 recommendedSecond half of the introductory survey of physics started in PHY 121. Uses calculus. Includes oscillations, waves, gravity, sound, fluids and thermal physics. Laboratory.