Biochemistry bridges the biological sciences and chemistry.

This degree program is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the structural and functional relationships between the chemical constituents of cells and their roles in life processes. The requirements include courses in biological sciences and chemistry, and appropriate courses in mathematics and physics. The degree in biochemistry prepares a student for careers in industry, medicine, teaching and research.

Biochemistry Program Chair: Dr. Peter Oelkers
Concentration Advisors: Dr. Marilee Benore, Dr. Peter Oelkers, and Dr. Sheila Smith

Degree Requirements

The biochemistry program is part of the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts, Science and Letters. Careful planning is required to complete this program in four years. Students considering a concentration in biochemistry are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor as early as possible.

The biochemistry faculty advisors are Marilee Benore, Peter Oelkers, and Sheila Smith.

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Suggested Curriculum

Freshman Year

Fall Term

Cr Hrs

Winter Term

Cr Hrs

Total

15

Total

15

Chemistry 134

4

Chemistry 136

4

Biology 130

4

Biology 140

4

Math 115

4

Math 116

4

Comp 105

3

Comp 106

3

Sophomore Year

Fall Term

Cr Hrs

Winter Term

Cr Hrs

Total

14

Total

16

Physics 125/150

4

Physics 126/151

4

Chemistry 225

3

Chemistry 226

3

Foreign Lang.

4

Chemistry 227

2

Elective (300+)

3

Foreign Lang.

4

 

 

Comp/Math (300+)

3

Junior Year

Fall Term

Cr Hrs

Winter Term

Cr Hrs

Total

12

Total

17

Biochem 470

3

Biochem 474

4

Biochem 472

1

Biochem 471

3

Biochem 210

2

Biochem 473

1

Distribution

3

Distribution

3

Distribution

3

Distribution

3

 

 

Elective (300+)

3

Senior Year

Fall Term

Cr Hrs

Winter Term

Cr Hrs

Total

15

Total

15

Biochem Elective

3

Biochem 496 (Capstone)

3

Biochem Elective

3

Chemistry 368

3

Distribution

3

Elective (300+)

3

Elective (300+)

3

Elective (300+)

3

Elective (300+)

3

Distribution

3

Research Requirements

Faculty who conduct research acceptable for credit in Biochemistry 498 or 499

Krisanu Bandyopadhyay, Associate Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Preparation and characterization of structurally well-defined organic monolayers on solid surfaces by self assembly.

Marilee Benore, Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Purification and characterization of vitamins and proteins. Education.

Anne Danielson-Francois, Assistant Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Evolution of mating behavior in the orb-weaving spiders.

Peter Oelkers, Assistant Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Mechanisms of phospholipid remodeling using yeast (S. cerevisiae) as a model organism. Projects include studying the structure and function of the enzymes involved and determining the role of phospholipid remodeling in cellular physiology.

Sheila R. Smith, Associate Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Bioinorganic chemistry. Transition metals in Biological systems, and electrocatalysts for NOx reduction.

John C. Thomas, Professor; Ph.D.
Research interests: Plant molecular biology. Expression of insecticidal and anti viral genes for plant protection. Molecular basis of responses to environmental stress and plant growth regulators.

Additional Information

Honors Degree in Biochemistry

Contact a biochemistry faculty advisor for more information about the honors degree in Biochemistry.

Cognates

There are no cognate requirements for the concentration in Biochemistry.

Minor Option for Biochemistry Concentrators

A student concentrating in Biochemistry may declare a minor in another discipline. See the Undergraduate Catalog for details.

Minor or An Area of Focus For Other Majors

Students majoring in other disciplines may declare a minor in Biochemistry. See the Biochemistry Minor information in the Undergraduate Catalog for details. Please contact a biochemistry faculty advisor with any questions.

CASL Distribution and Graduation Requirements

The CASL distribution requirements may be obtained through the CASL Office of Advising and Academic Success. Courses used to satisfy distribution requirements may not be used to satisfy concentration requirements. Upon reaching 85 credit hours a CASL student should automatically receive a senior audit from the CASL Office of Advising and Academic Success. Once the audit has been received the student should meet with his/her faculty advisor to review the audit.

Comments
  • a minimum of 120 credit hours of courses with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better.
  • a minimum of a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all upper division courses in biochemistry, biological sciences and chemistry.
  • a minimum of 48 credit hours of upper division courses (numbered 300 or above).
  • permit a maximum of 65 credit hours total of courses in biochemistry, biological sciences or chemistry.
    (This is in lieu of a maximum of 44 credit hours of courses in any one subject area.)
Program Goals

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying laws of Chemistry, Biology and Physics and their applications to organisms.

2. Demonstrate proficient knowledge of the biochemical reactions that sustain life.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of how biochemical reactions are regulated and integrated, and the flux and exchange of energy and matter between organisms and their surroundings.

4. Understand the biochemical foundations for the unity and the diversity of the living organisms.

5. Understand and employ the methods and techniques of biochemical research.

6. Understand how to analyze, interpret and communicate biochemical data.

7. Possess the skills and knowledge to collaborate with researchers in related and interdisciplinary fields.

COVID-19 Update

Our laboratories will offer a combination of virtual experience, simulation and demonstration to provide as close to a true laboratory experience as possible.

Students taking Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Geology can expect a rigorous curriculum that will provide both lecture and laboratory experience yet maintain social distancing.

Student Clubs & Organizations

Students may also be interested in other clubs and organizations in Natural Sciences, throughout CASL, and across campus.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)

The ASBMB Student Chapters is devoted to building a national community of undergraduate students and faculty members for the advancement of biochemistry and molecular biology research, education and science outreach. 

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