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Student Research
Biochemistry

Program of Study

Today, it is impossible to be considered a fully competent biologist or chemist without some grounding in what has come to be called "biochemistry." Even if your interests lay in developing new high-strength composites for the space program or studying predator-prey relationships in the jungles of Madagascar, you still need to know something of the molecules which are unique to living systems and how they are made, interact, and break down.

But what if you are interested in those very molecules: what they are, what they do, and how they do it? Should you study biology, to better appreciate their roles in living organisms and the larger living world? Or should you study chemistry, so that you can understand their structure and function? The answer, of course, is "Yes." You need to become well-grounded in both of the traditional disciplines of biology and chemistry in order to be able to tackle such questions.

The major in biochemistry includes 14 course units. Below, you'll find two possible course schedules for students in the Biochemistry program. There are other possibilities—these are simply intended to give students some idea of how the major might be constructed. Note: prerequisites determine certain course sequences; if considering an alternate sequence, students should be sure to consult with their academic advisors.

Suggested Schedules

The first schedule is well-balanced, spreading out the required courses fairly evenly over eight semesters:

  Fall   Spring
Freshman Year  CHEM 113 (General Chemistry I)   CHEM 114 (General Chemistry II) 
  MATH 170 (Calculus I)   MATH 171 (Calculus II)
Sophomore Year CHEM 211 (Organic Chemistry I)   CHEM 212 (Organic Chemistry II)
  PHYS 111 (Introductory Physics I)   PHYS 112 (Introductory Physics II) 
  CHEM 220.2 (Research Methods)   BIOL 112 or 119 (Zoology or Botany)
Junior Year BIOL 210 (Genetics)   Biochemistry Elective
      BIOL 365 (Advanced Genetics)
Senior Year BIOL/CHEM 327 (Biochemistry I)    BIOL/CHEM 328 (Biochemistry II) 
  CHEM 331 (Physical Chemistry I)   BIOL/CHEM 375.2 (Biochemistry Seminar)

 

The second schedule gives the student more flexibility in the Junior and Senior years but at the cost of having much more challenging Freshman and Sophomore years. Note: "late starters" could complete the above schedule in three years by combining the Junior and Senior year courses, but this would be a very challenging schedule (to put it mildly).

  Fall   Spring
Freshman Year  CHEM 113 (General Chemistry I)   CHEM 114 (General Chemistry II) 
  MATH 170 (Calculus I)   MATH 171 (Calculus II)
  BIOL 112 or 119 (Zoology or Botany)    
Sophomore Year CHEM 211 (Organic Chemistry I)   CHEM 212 (Organic Chemistry II)
  PHYS 111 (Introductory Physics I)   PHYS 112 (Introductory Physics II) 
  CHEM 220.2 (Research Methods)   Biochemistry Elective
  BIOL 210 (Genetics)     
Junior Year BIOL/CHEM 327 (Biochemistry I)    BIOL/CHEM 328 (Biochemistry II)
Senior Year CHEM 331 (Physical Chemistry I)   BIOL 365 (Advanced Genetics) 
      BIOL/CHEM 375.2 (Biochemistry Seminar)