College of Science and Health > Academics > Chemistry and Biochemistry > Undergraduate > Biochemistry (BS) > Major Requirements

Major Requirements

Course Requirements

Common Core

All students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry must complete a common core of courses in the department. These courses are consistent with the requirements of all degree programs accredited by the American Chemical Society. The courses in the common core consist of:

Introductory Courses

The department offers General Chemistry each summer. In this case, the combination of CHE 136 GENERAL CHEMISTRY I/CHE 137 GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LABORATORY and CHE 138 GENERAL CHEMISTRY II/CHE 139 GENERAL CHEMISTRY II LABORATORY may substitute for the three-quarter sequences above.

Foundation Courses

In-depth Courses *


One year of General Biology and a course in Cell Biology, all offered by the Department of Biological Sciences, are required to earn a baccalaureate degree in biochemistry:


One year of calculus is required to earn a baccalaureate degree in biochemistry. This may be accomplished by completing any one of the following five course sequences offered by the Department of Mathematical Sciences:

Students interested in earning credit for multi-variable calculus should not take the MAT 170 CALCULUS FOR LIFE SCIENCES I/ MAT 171 CALCULUS FOR LIFE SCIENCES II/MAT 172 CALCULUS III WITH DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS sequence. Business calculus cannot be substituted for any of the sequences above.


One year of general physics is required to earn a baccalaureate in biochemistry. This may be accomplished by completing one of the following three-course sequences offered by the Department of Physics:


Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

Departmental Program Requirements

The following enrollment-related policies are fully enforced by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

  1. All students enrolling in the first course of a General Chemistry sequence must independently meet a minimum mathematics requirement and successfully complete the General Chemistry placement examination.  See the course descriptions for General Chemistry for up-to-date information.
  2. All prerequisite chemistry courses must be completed with a C- or better. Students not meeting this requirement may be removed from course rosters before the start of an academic session. This requirement may be waived only with departmental consent.
  3. The department offers lower-level sequences several times each academic year. Due to potentially small class sizes, upper-level courses are typically scheduled every other year. Students should consult with their faculty academic advisor to develop a program they can complete in a timely fashion.

Sequencing and Prerequisites

Students should begin their General Chemistry and General Biology sequences in their freshman year provided they have an adequate mathematics background. Students not yet prepared for calculus should take the prerequisite courses in their first year. The Calculus and Physics sequences should be taken no later than their sophomore and junior year, respectively. The Organic Chemistry sequence, Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis should be taken in the sophomore year. The Biochemistry sequence should be taken in their junior year. Advanced courses in Chemistry and courses in biology may be taken as soon as students have met the appropriate prerequisites.​

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