Nov 30, 2021  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry – Major

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

Chemistry is a fundamental science that is critical to the understanding of many other scientific and health professional fields. An understanding of the molecular nature of substances, and how they react, enables one to understand how they can best be used to improve our lives.

Over the years, chemists have contributed enormously to the health and well-being of their fellow human beings. Physicians, for example, may prescribe lifesaving drugs; but chemists discover them and make them. The efficiency and productivity of U.S. and worldwide agriculture is due in no small part to the chemical fertilizers and insecticides that chemists have synthesized. Chemists also play an important role in evaluating and treating environmental problems (i.e., “green chemistry”) and help to address national security concerns, such as the detection of chemical weapons and explosives.

Chemists are employed in industries as diverse as petroleum refining, food processing, cosmetics, rubber, plastics, fabrics, and energy production. In government labs, they monitor the environment and the purity of our foods and drugs, and in forensic chemistry laboratories, they identify and assist in prosecuting criminals. Many teach the wonders of science in settings from junior high school to university. Some chemistry majors use their degrees as the basis for professional training in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, law, or business.

Biochemistry Degree Requirements

To qualify for the bachelor of science in biochemistry, a minimum of 120 credit hours of approved courses is required, including courses in the natural and social sciences, mathematics, humanities, and communications. These requirements fulfill the University general education curriculum.

A minimum of 45 credit hours of courses in all areas of chemistry and 16 credit hours in biology are required, along with supporting courses in mathematics and physics as indicated below. 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 as part of their degree program, an undergraduate research project with the guidance of a department faculty member.

In order to earn a degree from Misher College of Arts and Sciences, a student must complete thirty (30) in-residence credits at a University campus. Fifteen (15) of the thirty in-residence credits must be at the 300 level or higher. In-residence credits are defined as credits for courses offered by the University for which a student receives credit and a grade that can contribute to the student’s calculated grade point average.

Supporting Requirements in Science and Mathematics (30–31 credits)

Biochemistry Program Electives (6 credits)

Students must choose a minimum of 6 credits from any combination of the courses listed below. A combined 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.

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 Catalog Years 2018 and beyond (graduating classes of 2022 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year

Second Year

Fall Semester

  •  Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 16

Spring Semester

Credits/Semester: 14-15

Third Year

Fall Semester

  • General Education Humanities or Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 4 Below)

Credits/Semester: 16

Spring Semester

  • Multidisciplinary Inquiry Requirement Credits: 3 

Credits/Semester: 14

Fourth Year

Fall Semester

  • Biochemistry Program Elective I Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • Free Elective Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 3 Below)
  • General Education Humanities or Social Science Requirement Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 4 Below)

Credits/Semester: 15-16

Spring Semester

  • Biochemistry Program Elective II Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • General Education Humanities or Social Science Requirement Credits: 6
    (See Footnote 4 Below)

Credits/Semester: 13

Total Minimum Credits: 120


  1. The ordering of CH 342 and CH 343 may be reversed upon consultation with a departmental academic advisor.
  2. Biochemistry program electives, in addition to the preapproved list, may be selected from other appropriate undergraduate courses with the approval of the department chair or designee. CH 450 (3 credits) can satisfy ONLY ONE of the biochemistry electives, although more credits may be taken. 
  3. One free elective (3 credits) cannot be a course required for the major degree. 
  4. A course which should be used to meet the General Education Discipline Requirement not satisfied by the courses in the major. (i.e. social science or humanities; 6 cr of each are required. 

General Notes:

  1. American Chemical Society certification of the biochemistry BS degree may be obtained by inclusion of selected chemistry courses as part of the 45 credit hours required, together with additional electives. Consult with a chemistry advisor.
  2. CH 450 - Undergraduate Research experience is strongly encouraged for all department majors. An application form is available in the department office.


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs