Bachelors (BS) in Biochemistry

Overview

The biochemistry major offers a 63-64-semester-hour course of study. The major is designed for students who plan to enter a variety of careers, including teaching, chemical and biochemical research, environmental chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, graduate school and medicine. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the major.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BS in biochemistry will:

  • Be able to describe the fundamental principles in major chemistry and biochemistry subdisciplines
  • Demonstrate proficiency with modern biochemical techniques
  • Critically evaluate data and design experiments to test relevant biochemical hypotheses
  • Critically read and evaluate primary literature related to the field
  • Develop oral and written communication skills for long-term professional success
  • Articulate a spiritually mature worldview
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: Successful completion of MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics (or equivalent).
This course covers fundamental chemical principles, reactions, and mode theories. Special emphasis is given to the role of chemistry in everyday life. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I.
This course covers the principles and techniques of quantitative analysis in biochemical and chemical systems. The subject matter includes: the use of statistical methods of data analysis; the primary methodologies for conducting quantitative experiments; and the use of modern instrumentation for quantitation of chemical and biochemical compounds. The laboratory component focuses on the development of specific skills used in the laboratory and the use of spectroscopic, electrochemical, and chromatographic methods for quantitative analysis. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I and CHEM 212 General Chemistry II.
A systematic and theoretical study of the biochemical activities of living cells. Topics to be covered will include: the structure, properties, and molecular interactions of biomolecules, metabolic pathways, bioenergetics, and metabolism of biomolecules, and RNA, DNA, and protein synthesis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
A systematic and theoretical study of the biochemical activities of living cells. Topics to be covered will include: the structure, properties, and molecular interactions of biomolecules, metabolic pathways, bioenergetics, and metabolism of biomolecules, and RNA, DNA, and protein synthesis. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 341 Biochemistry I.
Complete the following:
An introduction to life science for those majoring in biology and bioscience-related fields. Topics include basic concepts in chemistry and biological molecules, an introduction to cellular structure, function and metabolism, genetics and theories of inheritance, and an introduction to prokaryotic cells and viruses. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required.
An introduction to life science for those majoring in biology and bioscience-related fields. Topics include a taxonomic survey of protists, fungi, plants, and animals with emphasis on the development, anatomy, and physiology of plants and animals. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required.
A general genetics course covering Mendelian genetics, population genetics, and an introduction to molecular biology. This course fulfills the requirement for biology majors, and is appropriate for those with an interest in current topics in genetics, including inheritable diseases, cloning, and other recent scientific breakthroughs. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
Complete the following:
The class is a study of limits limits of functions, applications of derivatives, and an introduction to integration. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics or equivalent.
Choose one of the following:
A foundational course for the study of computer science and information systems. The course covers an overview of programming methodology and gives the student an ability to write computer programs using standard style and structure. Programming projects are completed in one or more high-level languages. Prerequisite: high school algebra or equivalent. Additional course fee required.
A study of differential and integral calculus for functions of one variable. Additional topics include polar coordinates, infinite series, and parametric equations. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
An introduction to probability and statistics with content and application directed toward the natural and physical sciences. Topics to be covered include methods of describing data, probability, random variables and their distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, linearregression, and correlation. Prerequisite: MATH 180 College Algebra or equivalent.

Choose one of the following sequences:

Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 190 Precalculus Mathematics.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using algebraic methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 201 General Physics I.
OR
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: MATH 201 Calculus I.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and optics, and modern physics, using calculus methods for analysis. Three lectures and one lab per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisite: PHYS 211 General Physics with Calculus I.
Choose three of the following:
At least one biology course and one chemistry course.
An introduction to the origin and maintenance of biodiversity for students majoring in Biology. This project-based course will provide foundational exposure to the process of scientific discovery, twenty-first century science practices, and the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or permission of the instructor. Additional course fee is required.
Investigation of physiological principles in animals, with 4 hours. A majors-level course is intended to meet the physiology requirement of graduate/professional programs in health-care fields. Investigation of physiological principles in humans/mammals, with emphasis on mechanisms of integration and homeostasis at cellular, organ, and system levels. Topics include muscular, neural, vascular, excretory, and endocrine interactions. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
A course for biology majors in the structure, metabolism, classification and health aspects of microorganisms. Special emphasis will be given to microbial diversity, the molecular physiology and genetics of prokaryotes, and the human immune response to infection. Methods of microbiological investigation are emphasized and include current techniques and experiences within the field of Microbiology. Additional course fee required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
This course integrates the disciplines of plant diversity, plant physiology, plant systematics and plant ecology by surveying the structure and function of plants from the organismal to the ecosystem levels. Students will receive a comprehensive survey of concepts in plant biology with an emphasis on mechanisms of development and growth, ecophysiology, identification and classification, and current global issues that are rooted in plant biology. Two lectures and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems and BIOL 311 Ecology & Biodiversity or instructor permission.
An introduction to the modern field of molecular biology. We will examine the structure, organization, and transfer of genetic information at the molecular level and its requirement for life processes. Viral, prokaryotic, and eukaryotic systems will be examined. Major themes include transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional events (RNA processing), and regulation of translation. The laboratory is designed to include current techniques and experiences within the field of molecular biology. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
This course includes the study of cell physiology, energetics, neurobiology, muscle biology, and cell signaling. Other topics that will be discussed are cancer and immunology at the cellular level. Laboratory will focus on current cell culturing and analysis techniques. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
A majors-level course intended to meet the anatomy requirement of graduate/professional programs in health-care fields. A course presenting a systemic approach to the study of the human body. Lecture presentations begin with an introduction of anatomical terminology, tissue classification, and developmental origins to systems. Body structure will be studied by organ systems and will include histology. Laboratory work will follow a regional gross anatomy of the human body through cadaver dissection, human skeletal collections and preserved specimens. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: BIOL 211 Cellular Biology & Genetics and BIOL 212 Organisms & Physiological Systems or instructor permission.
A study of principles, structure, bonding, reactions, and energy as related to carbon chemistry. The laboratory stresses materials, equipment, and skills in synthesis, purification, and identification of representative groups of organic compounds. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
These courses offer a rotating list of advanced topics relevant to student interests for example: Environmental Chemistry & Nanotoxicology and Nutrition and Food Chemistry. Designed to help students in the Department of Biological and Molecular Science become acquainted with latest ideas on advanced topics in biochemistry. Emphasis on analysis of key concepts in the field with reference to classical papers and recent literature. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I, CHEM 212 General Chemistry II, and CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.
This course focuses on the intersection of energy and biochemical and biological systems from the electron to the molecule to the ensemble. An overview of quantum mechanics, kinetics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics is presented, with an emphasis on real-world biochemical and biological applications. Topics such as assembly of cell membranes, binding of growth factors to cells, ligand-gated ion channels, thermodynamic models of transcription, connection of macroscopic thermodynamic properties to microscopic molecular properties using statistical mechanics, chemical potentials, equilibrium states, binding cooperativity, behavior of macromolecules in solution and at interfaces, and solvation. Additional course fee is required. Prerequisites: CHEM 211 General Chemistry I, CHEM 212 General Chemistry II, and CHEM 331 Organic Chemistry I.

Philosophy: The opportunity to pursue a chemistry thesis is an honor. Consequently, the thesis option will be noted on a student's transcript. The thesis is designed to enhance a student's preparation for graduate or professional school. The heart of the thesis is original research conducted under the guidance of a chemistry faculty member.

Eligibility: The thesis option may be pursued by any chemistry major in good academic standing. Students wishing to pursue a thesis must:

  1. Consult with their research advisor about an acceptable research project.
  2. In writing, notify the chemistry thesis committee (composed of the chemistry department faculty) of their intention to conduct research. The thesis committee must receive notification by the end of the fall semester of the student's junior year.

After the beginning of the spring semester of a student's junior year, students must petition the department thesis committee for permission to pursue thesis research. Students who pursue the thesis option must:

  1. Enroll in at least 1 hour of Chemical Research (CHEM 465) each semester, beginning the spring semester of their junior year, through the spring semester of their senior year.
  2. Submit the first copy of a written thesis to the thesis committee by April 1 of their senior year. The final, edited copy is due to the thesis committee the last day of classes during the spring semester.
  3. Prepare a poster and give an oral presentation of their research.

In some cases, students may apply research conducted off campus to the CHEM 465 requirement. Students who participate in off-campus research programs may petition the thesis committee for special consideration of the thesis option. The thesis committee must receive the petition by the beginning of the fall semester of the student's senior year. The thesis committee may elect to substitute the off-campus experience for a portion of the CHEM 465 requirement.