The biochemistry/molecular biology major is an interdepartmental major offered by the biology and chemistry departments that provides students with a strong background in chemistry and biology with an emphasis on molecular aspects. Through selected electives, students may concentrate on specific areas of interest. Students have excellent opportunities within the departments of biology and chemistry to engage in independent research projects. Graduates are prepared to pursue employment in biochemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological laboratories, and further study in the health professions or graduate research institutions. Note that biochemistry/molecular biology majors may not double major, or minor, in biology or chemistry.
Ten (10) core courses and an additional 14 semester hours of elective course credit are required. At least seven (7) courses must be at the 300-400 level. Satisfactory performance on a comprehensive standardized examination is required of all majors.
Minimum fourteen (14) semester credit hours, comprising at least three courses, chosen from the following list.
Students preparing for graduate programs in biology or professional schools, in health-related areas such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or pharmacy, need a thorough introduction to physics and possibly calculus. Therefore, they should take PHY 120 and PHY 121 or 131 and (a) calculus course(s). Students contemplating careers and graduate study in biochemistry or pharmaceutical chemistry should include PHY 120 and PHY 121 or 131, MAT 111 and MAT 112, and a full year of physical chemistry -- CHM 305 and CHM 306.
Course of Study
BCH 335 Biochemistry: Introduces an integrated perspective of the chemical structure and cellular functions of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Topics include structural enzymology, molecular biology, and metabolism. Laboratory required. Prerequisites: BIO 121 and CHM 221.
BCH 435 Advanced Biochemistry: Explores advanced experimental techniques to investigate complex biochemical problems. Topics include structural enzymology, nucleic acid biochemistry, mechanisms of transcription and translation, medicinal biochemistry, and integrated metabolism. Laboratory required. Prerequisite: BCH 335.
BCH 440 Senior Seminar in Biochemistry: Students direct analysis and discussion of integrative biochemistry and molecular biology topics. Emphasizes readings of classical and contemporary primary scientific literature. Prerequisite: senior standing.BCH 498/499 Independent Study: Research I and II: Requires proposal of collaborative faculty/student project and weekly seminars and progress reports. Culminates in written report and seminar on work conducted. Prerequisites: instructor's consent for I and II; senior standing and BCH 498 for II.