Biochemistry is the study of biological phenomena using chemical principles. The Biology and Chemistry departments jointly offer a major in biochemistry to serve students whose scientific interests lie at the intersection between biology and chemistry. Majoring in this important interdisciplinary field will prepare students for a variety of options upon graduation: employment in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or similar industries; graduate work in biochemistry or many related fields; entry into professional schools such as medicine or dentistry; or teaching at the K-12 level. Using a balance of theoretical and experimental work, the curriculum attempts to provide students with a solid understanding of fundamental concepts, the ability to reason through unfamiliar problems, the tools to investigate a topic in depth, and the communication skills that are needed to share information with others.
By majoring in biochemistry, students will fulfill many learning outcomes that can be arranged under three broad categories: 1) Obtain a solid foundation in fundamental biochemical concepts; 2) Acquire the tools to independently investigate a topic; 3) Develop habits of critical thinking and communication that can reinforce many of the College’s core curriculum goals.
Faculty and Steering Committee
Jeffrey A. Sigman, PhD, Professor, Director
James Berleman, PhD, Associate Professor
Vidya Chandrasekaran, PhD, Associate Professor
Keith E. Garrison, PhD, Professor
Jim Pesavento, PhD, Assistant Professor
Karen Ruff, PhD, Assistant Professor
The learning outcomes for the biochemistry major are organized into three general categories. Students graduating in the biochemistry major will:
- OBTAIN a solid foundation in the fundamental language and concepts of biochemistry and an understanding of issues at the forefront of the discipline
- DEVELOP skills required for critical thinking and independent investigation
- DEVELOP skills of communication and collaboration
Students planning a major in biochemistry must present credits in one year of chemistry, one year of physics, and four years of mathematics, and should have at least a B average in these subjects. Students with a good high school record but lacking credit in any of these subjects should remedy any deficiencies in summer school. Students majoring in a science should be particularly alert to the language proficiency requirement.
Any course listed in this major with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course. The lower- and upper-division courses in this major are listed on the Biology and Chemistry Department pages.
This major is interdisciplinary, bridging the two fields of biology and chemistry, so the lower-division requirements are nearly the same as those for the two respective major programs. The lower- and upper-division courses in this major are listed on the Biology and Chemistry Department pages.
ProgramsBachelor of Science
CoursesBiochemistry - Upper Division