BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MAJOR: BIOCHEMISTRY

Major Credits Required: 69-71 Credits

Biochemistry is the study of living organisms at the molecular level. The field explores the structures, functions, transformations, and interactions of biological molecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids), which give rise to the complexity of living systems. Advances such as the synthesis and amplification of DNA, the understanding of cell communication, and uncovering the molecular basis of life-threatening diseases have driven innovation and shaped the world’s health and prosperity.

Our biochemistry curriculum is based on guidelines from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The major is rigorous, efficient, and contemporary, focusing on the fundamentals as well as the cutting-edge areas, approaches, and practices within modern biochemistry. Students take foundational lecture and laboratory courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics followed by a breadth of advanced courses in biology and organic, physical, and analytical chemistry, as well as a series of in-depth courses in biochemistry. Our faculty are engaged in research, which provide rich and meaningful research opportunities for our biochemistry majors and infuses our program with the energy and excitement of current developments in the field.

Our research programs also facilitate the integration of advanced research instruments into our required laboratory courses, another distinguishing feature of our program. Students get hands-on experience with state of the art instruments including gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometry (MS), fluorimetry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). These are instruments that are widely used in the field, thereby enhancing the skill sets and competitiveness of our graduates.

Because biochemistry forms a foundation for many other scientific disciplines, our biochemistry major prepares students to apply for jobs directly in biochemistry or related fields and to enter graduate (masters or doctorate) or professional (health professions, allied health, or law) programs. Examples of relevant fields include biotechnology, biomedical engineering, biostatistics, medical/pharmaceutical/agricultural food research, health professions (medical, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary), allied health professions (physical therapy, physician’s assistant, dietician, and medical technologist), law (patent law, forensics), chemistry/biochemistry education, environmental science, scientific writing, and sales and marketing.

We offer two different concentrations for the biochemistry major. The Conventional Concentration will prepare students for jobs in the workforce directly following graduation or for further study in graduate programs, in any of the areas listed above. The Pre-Health Professions Concentration provides students with a comprehensive and rigorous training in biochemistry while also preparing them to be competitive applicants for health-related professional schools, including those listed above.

To complete the bachelor's degree, students must complete a minimum total of 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.


PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES

The Biochemistry program learning outcomes are listed below. Graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic and foundational chemical principles that provide significant insight into the functioning of living systems.

  2. Demonstrate understanding of key concepts and principles regarding biochemical structures, principal biochemical pathways of living organisms and the molecular basis of biochemical processes.

  3. Demonstrate expertise in commonly used biochemical laboratory methods.

  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and learn to operate a wide variety of advanced biochemical instrumentation.

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of how to access and interpret literature in the field of biochemistry.

  6. Critically analyze experimental results.

  7. Present scientific information orally using visual aids.

  8. Communicate scientific information in written reports.

  9. Acquire and statistically analyze quantitative data.

  10. Solve chemical problems quantitatively.