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  Dec 12, 2017
 
 
    
2009-2010 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry – Major


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Biochemistry is more than a combination of biology and chemistry. It is the study of living systems at the most fundamental level, that is, through the analysis of the chemistry of the molecules that make up these systems. As the most basic of biomedical sciences, it provides the foundation on which genetics, molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, immunology, and other modern branches of biology and medicine are based.

Undergraduate study in biochemistry at the University provides a solid background for advanced training in any of the areas indicated, along with an excellent preparation for medicine or any of the other health professions. Students in the biochemistry program also learn the experimental techniques that prepare them for technical positions in biomedical research in one of the growing number of industries involved in biotechnology. From cancer research to gene splicing to photosynthetic capture of solar energy, biochemistry leads the way with new ideas.

The biochemistry program draws on faculty from the departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Sciences, representing expertise in physical and analytical biochemistry, enzymology, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, and genetics. Students begin with a sound preparation in basic biology and chemistry during the first two years, supported by physics and mathematics. The third and fourth years involve, besides biochemistry itself, physical and analytical chemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics, as well as electives chosen by the student from an approved list of biology and chemistry courses to meet his/her particular interests. Upper-level classes are small enough to allow extensive informal contact with faculty.

The recent sequencing of the human genome is only the first of many steps needed to translate how the human DNA sequence impacts disease through the production and regulation of the thousands of different protein molecules synthesized by the body every day. This new knowledge has triggered a rapid expansion of opportunity for chemists and biochemists trained at the interface between chemistry and biology in order that the techniques associated with molecular biology and biotechnology can be applied effectively in medicine to ameliorate and cure disease.

Biochemistry Degree Requirements


To qualify for the bachelor of science in biochemistry, a minimum of 129 credit hours of approved courses is required, including courses in the natural and social sciences, mathematics, humanities, and communications, which are required to meet the University core or general education curriculum.

A minimum of 45 credit hours of courses in all areas of chemistry and 16 credit hours in biology is required, along with supporting courses in mathematics and physics as indicated below. These courses also satisfy 13 credit hours of the general education curriculum.

American Chemical Society certification of the degree can be obtained by inclusion of selected chemistry courses as part of the 45 credit hours required, together with additional electives. Students are also strongly encouraged to complete an undergraduate research project as part of their degree program, with the guidance of a department faculty member.

Passing the writing proficiency examination is a graduation requirement for students who entered in Catalog Year 2008 or earlier (see Catalog Year for Degree Requirements). Students who have failed the examination are urged to seek assistance from the Writing Center. Students who entered in Catalog Year 2006 or earlier must also pass the computer competency requirement.

Supporting Requirements in Sciences and Mathematics (29–30 credits)


And one of the following:


And one of the following:


Biochemistry Program Electives I and II (6 credits)


Students must choose a minimum of 6 credits from any combination of the courses listed below. A maximum of 3 credits of CH 450 and CH 480 can be used to meet this requirement, and both courses require the approval of the department chair prior to registration. Additional courses, including graduate courses, may be selected with the approval of the department chair.

Free Electives (3 credits)


Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program


Students may take advantage of the opportunity to integrate their BS degree program with one of the graduate degree programs offered through the department in either chemistry or biochemistry, including the MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis) and PhD programs. Students should consult with the department’s graduate program director regarding the differences among the various options and the specific requirements that they need to meet in order to enroll in the integrated program. Students may apply to the integrated program at any point prior to the beginning of the fourth year of their BS program. However, because not all graduate courses are offered every year, the time required to complete a BS/MS integrated program will depend in part on when students enter the program.

Sample Biochemistry Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Year 2006 and earlier (graduating classes of 2009–2010)—with core curriculum.

First Year


Second Year


Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15


Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Select one of the following:


Credits/Semester: 17–18


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry or Social Sciences Fundamental Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 16–17


Spring Semester


  • Biochemistry or Social Sciences Fundamental Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 15–16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective I Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • Core Distribution Requirement Credits: 3
  • Core Elective Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 3 Below)

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective II Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • Core Distribution Requirements Credits: 6
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Total Credits: 129


Footnotes:


  1. Students typically take either BS 240 in the fall semester or CH 322 in the spring semester. This choice will impact which biochemistry program elective can be taken in fourth year.
  2. Biochemistry program electives, in addition to the above list, may be selected from other appropriate undergraduate courses with the approval of the department chair, as well as graduate courses in bioinformatics, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, and pharmacognosy, with the approval of the instructor and department chair.
  3. The core elective cannot be a course offered or required by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

General Notes:


  • American Chemical Society certification of the biochemistry BS degree may be obtained by selecting the following as biochemistry program electives or free elective:
    • CH 322 - Physical Chemistry II
    • CH 376 - Instrumental Analysis
    • CH 377 - Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
    • CH 416 - Chemical Synthesis Laboratory
    • CH 431 - Inorganic Chemistry
  • The CH 450 - Undergraduate Research experience is strongly encouraged for all department majors. An application form is available in the department office.
  • All students must demonstrate computer competency before progressing to the third year.

Sample Biochemistry Curriculum Plan


Students entering in Catalog Years 2007 and 2008 (graduating classes of 2011 and 2012)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15


Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

And one of the following:


Credits/Semester: 17–18


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry or General Education Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 16–17


Spring Semester


  • Biochemistry or General Education Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 15–16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective I Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective II Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 6

Credits/Semester: 16


Total Minimum Credits: 129


Footnotes:


  1. Students typically take either BS 240 in the fall semester or CH 322 in the spring semester. This choice will impact which biochemistry program elective can be taken in fourth year.
  2. Biochemistry program electives, in addition to the above list, may be selected from other appropriate undergraduate courses with the approval of the department chair, as well as graduate courses in bioinformatics, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, and pharmacognosy, with the approval of the instructor and department chair.

General Notes:


  • American Chemical Society certification of the biochemistry BS degree may be obtained by selecting the following as biochemistry program electives or free electives:
    • CH 322 - Physical Chemistry II
    • CH 376 - Instrumental Analysis
    • CH 377 - Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
    • CH 416 - Chemical Synthesis Laboratory
    • CH 431 - Inorganic Chemistry
  • The CH 450 - Undergraduate Research experience is strongly encouraged for all department majors. An application form is available in the department office.

Sample Biochemistry Curriculum Plan


Students entering Catalog Year 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Second Year


Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 15


Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

And one of the following:


Credits/Semester: 17–18


Third Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry or General Education Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 16–17


Spring Semester


  •  Biochemistry or General Education Requirement Credits: 3–4
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Credits/Semester: 15-16


Fourth Year


Fall Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective I Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16


Spring Semester


  • Biochemistry Program Elective II Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • General Education Requirement Credits: 3
  • Free Elective Credits: 6

Credits/Semester: 16


Total Credits: 129


Footnotes:


  1. Students typically take either BS 240 in the fall semester or CH 322 in the spring semester. This choice will impact which biochemistry program eective can be taken in fourth year.
  2. Biochemistry program electives, in addition to the above list, may be selected from other appropriate undergraduate courses with the approval of the department chair, as well as graduate courses in bioinformatics, biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, and pharmacognosy, with the approval of the instructor and department chair.

General Notes:


  • American Chemical Society certification of the biochemistry BS degree may be obtained by selecting the following as biochemistry program electives or free electives
    • CH 322 - Physical Chemistry II
    • CH 376 - Instrumental Analysis
    • CH 377 - Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
    • CH 416 - Chemical Synthesis Laboratory
    • CH 431 - Inorganic Chemistry
  • The CH 450 - Undergraduate Research experience is strongly encouraged for all department majors. An application form is available in the department office.

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