Biochemistry

Program Director:Henry Jakubowski

This interdisciplinary major entails the study of the structure, synthesis, properties and regulation of biomolecules. Cellular, organ, and organismal processes are examined through the study of the complex molecular networks that comprise and regulate them. As such, biochemistry has strong components from the fields of both biology and chemistry. This major is especially appropriate for those who intend to pursue careers in any of the medical fields, graduate education in biochemistry, medical research or employment in the biotechnology industry.

The Chemistry Department is in the midst of a major change in its curriculum that will result in changes in the required courses for biochemistry majors. Please consult the latest on-line version of the course catalog for these changes.

For students enrolled before Fall 2011:
Required Courses: (70 credits)
BIOL 121, 221, 311, 318, plus one additional 300 level BIOL course other than BIOL 398
CHEM 125, 234, 235, 236, 333 or 334, 335
BCHM 317, 322, 375, and XXX (1 credit)
PHYS 191, 200 or 105, 106
MATH 119, 120

For students enrolled in Fall 2011 and after:
Required Courses: (62-66 credits)
BIOL 121, 221, 311, 317, and 318 (all with attached labs)
CHEM 125, 250, 251, 315 (approved), and CHEM 316 (pending approval); CHEM 201 and 202 (0 or 1 credit labs, approved); CHEM 203 and 304 (0 or 1 credit labs, pending approval)
BCHM 317, 322, 375, and XXX (1 credit)
PHYS 191, 200 or 105, 106
MATH 119, 120

Special Requirements:
Student must enroll in BCHM XXX and fulfill the requirement by taking either the Biology or Chemistry Major Field Assessment Test (MFAT) in the spring of their senior year. 

Minor (None)

Courses (BCHM)

317 Biochemistry I. (4)
Lecture and laboratory study of the chemical characteristics of biological molecules with emphasis on bioenergetics, enzymes, metabolic pathways and integration, biological signals and membrane receptors. (Enroll in BIOL 317, which gets changed to BCHM 317 by registrar.) Prerequisites: BIOL 121, 221 and CHEM 235 (for students enrolled before 2011) or CHEM 251 (for students enrolled in Fall 2011 or later),  or instructor's consent. Fall or Spring.

322 Biochemistry II. (4)
A study of biological macromolecules and how they participate in binding, catalytic and regulatory reactions. Emphasis is on the role of kinetics and thermodynamics in determining the structure and function of the macromolecules, and the influence of macromolecular structure on reaction mechanisms. Laboratory emphasis is on purification and characterization of biological molecules, molecular modeling, the study of enzyme catalysis, and independent projects. Prerequisite: CHEM 236 and 335 for students enrolled before 2011, or CHEM 315 (approved) and 316 (pending approval) for students enrolled in Fall 2011 and later. Spring.

351 Laboratory Research. (1-4)
Elective laboratory research done under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Emphasis on planning, conducting, and evaluating laboratory research. Students review the literature, write a final paper and give an oral presentation at the end of their senior year. Although students may register for the course in the Fall and/or Spring semesters of their senior year, they must select an advisor and sign a research contract in the beginning of their senior year.  Fall or Spring.  Senior year.  

375 Biochemistry Capstone. (2)
Literature research done under the supervision of a faculty instructor.  Required for all biochemistry majors.  Students attend regular class meetings focusing on their literature research progress, literature review, and preparation of a final paper and oral presentation given at the end of their senior year.  (Prerequisite or co-requisite - BCHM 317 or BCHM 322):  Spring senior year.

398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Biochemistry." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the Biology or Chemistry department chair and Director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.