Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Changes effective Fall Term 2013

Bernal Fokidis Gregor Gregory
Harper Habgood Kazmier Klemann
Norbutus Park Patrone Pieczynski
Riley Schmalstig Stephenson Sutherland
Walsh Yariz

The biochemistry/molecular biology major is an interdepartmental major offered by the biology and chemistry departments that provides students with a strong background in chemistry and biology with an emphasis on molecular aspects. Through selected electives, students may concentrate on specific areas of interest. Students have excellent opportunities within the departments of biology and chemistry to engage in independent research projects. Graduates are prepared to pursue employment in biochemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological laboratories, and further study in the health professions or graduate research institutions. Note that biochemistry/molecular biology majors may not double major, or minor, in biology or chemistry.


Ten (10) core courses and an additional 14 semester hours of elective course credit are required. At least seven (7) courses must be at the 300-400 level. Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive standardized examination is required of all majors.



  • BIO 120 General Biology I
  • BIO 121 General Biology II
  • BIO 341 Molecular Biology


  • CHM 120 Chemistry I
  • CHM 121 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 220 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHM 221 Organic Chemistry II


  • BCH 335 Biochemistry
  • BCH 435 Advanced Biochemistry
  • BCH 440 Senior Seminar in Biochemistry or BCH 499 Independent Study Research

Minimum fourteen (14) semester credit hours, comprising at least three courses, chosen from the following list.

  • BIO 308 Genetics
  • BIO 311 Plant Physiology
  • BIO 312 Animal Physiology
  • BIO 325 Medicinal Botany
  • BIO 342 Biostatistics
  • BIO 360 Cellular Biology
  • BIO 370 Developmental Biology
  • BIO 429 Immunology
  • BCH 498 Independent Study Library Research
  • CHM 301 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHM 305 Physical Chemistry I
  • CHM 306 Physical Chemistry II
  • CHM 320 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHM 380 Instrumental Analysis
  • PSY 324 Neuropsychology
  • PSY 326 Physiological Psychology

Students preparing for graduate programs in biology or professional schools, in health-related areas such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy, need a thorough introduction to physics and possibly calculus. Therefore, they should take PHY 120 and PHY 121 or 131 and (a) calculus course(s). Students contemplating careers and graduate study in biochemistry or pharmaceutical chemistry should include PHY 120 and PHY 121 or 131, MAT 111 and MAT 112, and a full year of physical chemistry -- CHM 305 and CHM 306.


Course of Study

BCH 335 Biochemistry: Introduces an integrated perspective of the chemical structure and cellular functions of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Topics include structural enzymology, molecular biology, and metabolism. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 221.

BCH 435 Advanced Biochemistry: Explores advanced experimental techniques to investigate complex biochemical problems. Topics include structural enzymology, nucleic acid biochemistry, mechanisms of transcription and translation, medicinal biochemistry, and integrated metabolism. Laboratory required. Prerequisite: BCH 335.

BCH 440 Senior Seminar in Biochemistry: Students direct analysis and discussion of integrative biochemistry and molecular biology topics. Emphasizes readings of classical and contemporary primary scientific literature. Prerequisite: senior standing.

BCH 498/499 Independent Study: Research I and II: Requires proposal of collaborative faculty/student project and weekly seminars and progress reports. Culminates in written report and seminar on work conducted. Prerequisites: instructor's consent for I and II; senior standing and BCH 498 for II.