Apr 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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

Vidya Chandrasekaran, PhD, Professor

Jim Pesavento, PhD, Associate Professor

Karen Ruff, PhD, Associate Professor

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes for the biochemistry major are organized into three general categories. Students graduating in the biochemistry major will:

  • DEMONSTRATE knowledge in core concepts of biochemistry; including energy and matter transformation, macromolecular structure and function, information storage and flow, and homeostasis.
  • SHOW UNDERSTANDING in the theory, practice, and application of laboratory techniques and instrumentation and use safe procedures in biology, chemistry and biochemistry laboratory.
  • DEMONSTRATE methodological competency in biochemistry, including develop a hypothesis, design and conduct appropriate experiments, and interpret data using appropriate equations, quantitative modeling, and simulation tools.
  • Students should be able to UTILIZE and CRITICALLY ASSESS the scientific literature, databases, and bioinformatics tools.
  • DEMONSTRATE proficiency in scientific communication including laboratory notebooks and reports, journal articles, oral presentations, and collaborative work.
  • USE and CREATE visual tools, including molecular models and graphs, to explain concepts and data.

Prerequisite Grade

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.

Major Requirements

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.


    Bachelor of Science


      Biochemistry - Lower DivisionBiochemistry - Upper Division