The biochemistry major is offered by the Chemistry Department, and students can choose one of two tracks, either the biochemistry track or the neurobiochemistry track. For further information concerning progress toward the major, please consult the description of the chemistry major. Majors fulfilling the biochemistry track may choose a curriculum that meets the requirements for certification by the American Chemical Society for undergraduate training in chemistry. Students wishing to be so certified must take CHEM 312L or 314L and CHEM 404. Majors fulfilling the neurobiochemistry track may choose a curriculum that meets the requirements for certification by the American Chemical Society for undergraduate training in chemistry. Students wishing to be so certified must take CHEM 309L, 312L and 314L and one course from either BIOL 224L or BIOL 227L.
Students who are considering a major in biochemistry should consult a member of the Chemistry Department faculty as soon as possible after arriving on campus. Those who intend to enter a health-related profession should consult with a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee.
The Biochemistry Department’s learning goals can be found HERE.
Eleven courses are required for the biochemistry major. A grade of at least C- must be obtained in all required courses.
Core courses: The biochemistry track consists of the following one-semester courses: CHEM 211L, 212L, 309L, 311L, 313, 316L, 320L; PHYS 231L; MATH 132. BIOL 317L may be used in place of CHEM 320L.
Electives: Two elective courses are required. One elective course must be BIOL 308L, 227L, or 224L. The second elective may be selected from any course in chemistry at the 300 level or above, or in biology at the 200 level or above. Students must take any laboratories associated with courses used to satisfy the elective requirement. Independent study and research may not be used to meet this requirement. Choice of electives should be made on the basis of the individual students’ educational objectives and after consultation with the student’s major adviser.
Twelve courses are required for the neurobiochemistry major. A grade of at least C- must be obtained in all required courses.
Core courses: The neurobiochemistry track consists of the following one-semester courses: CHEM 211 L, 212L, 311L, 313, 316L; PHYS 231L; MATH 132; BIOL 317L; NESC 201L, 401.
Electives: One elective course from ENGR 311 or 316; and one elective course from BIOL 224L, BIOL 227L, CHEM 312L, CHEM 404, NESC 362, NESC 402, PSYC 261 or NESC/PSYC 364. Students must take any laboratories associated with courses used to satisfy the elective requirement. Independent study and research may not be used to meet this requirement. Choice of electives should be made on the basis of the individual students’ educational objectives and after consultation with the student’s major adviser.
Capstone/Senior Project: The senior exercise for the biochemistry major (both tracks) is CHEM 316L. Students may also undertake a senior thesis. A senior thesis requires a substantial amount of laboratory work. Students contemplating writing a thesis should therefore consult with their research advisers in their junior year. A Chemistry Department thesis application form (available from the chemistry secretary) must be submitted to the chair of the department by the end of the first week of classes of the fall semester of their senior year. Chemistry faculty members will evaluate applications. Students whose thesis applications are approved will enroll in CHEM 499. Senior Thesis for 1 credit in the spring semester of their senior year and participate in the departmental seminar series.
Writing Requirement: The Writing Intensive Part II requirement for the biochemistry major (both tracks) is fulfilled by CHEM 311L.
AP/IB credit: Students with an AP Chemistry test score of 4 or better will receive one course credit. This credit can be used to fulfill graduation requirements, but it cannot be used to fulfill any Chemistry Department prerequisite.
Study away: Biochemistry majors wishing to study away should plan well in advance of the semester or year they intend to go away. There are a variety of programs available, and students should review the information provided by the Office of Study Away and schedule a meeting with Professor Parr, the study-away adviser in the Chemistry Department. In recent years, majors have studied in Australia and the British Isles.
In addition, students planning to study away who wish to have a course or courses counted toward partial fulfillment of the requirements for the chemistry or biochemistry major must present in writing a complete description of such courses for prior approval by the chair of the department. If approved, credit will be granted only after a satisfactory demonstration of completed work has been presented to the chair of the department. This must include a certified transcript from the institution.
Honors: Honors will be awarded to students with a B+ average (3.33 or better) in all courses required for the major. A student must also complete at least one course credit of laboratory research (CHEM 425) approved by the Chemistry Department and earn a grade of at least B+.