BA in Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the study of chemistry involving living organisms. Degrees in Biochemistry involve training in organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry as well as in biology, genetics, and biochemistry. Elective coursework is also available to pursue interests in a variety of advanced topics involving the chemistry of biological systems.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students whose career interests require a strong background in Chemistry or Biochemistry, but are also interested in acquiring expertise in other disciplines.  The coursework for this degree provides a broad training, and does not include extensive advanced laboratory training.  The degree is appropriate for students interested in applying to professional programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health allied fields..


See Admissions for information about entrance pathways and application instructions.

Degree Requirements

BA Biochemistry Checklist (PDF)
*note clicking on a subject (EX. CHEM) will take you to the course catalog for that subject, hovering on a course number will tell you the title and clicking on a course number will take you to the MyPlan course description of the course, clicking on "choose one" will take you to the information about course sequences.

Mathematics (choose one sequence)

General Chemistry (choose one sequence)

Organic Chemistry (choose one sequence)

Organic laboratory begins with the second lecture course.


Physics (choose one sequence)

**The calculus based series is recommended. Students taking the calculus based course can apply one credit toward the science elective requirement. Students taking the algebra-based course may count one credit of physics lab (Phys 117, 118, 119) as a science elective.


Physical Chemistry

Science Electives

Nine credits from the following list:

Advanced Research: Up to 3 credits of advanced undergraduate research may count toward this requirement. Research conducted outside of Chemistry or Biochemistry must first be approved by one of the undergraduate advisers.
*Credit not allowed for both Math 207/307 and AMATH 351 or for both Math 208/308 and AMATH 352 toward science elective requirement.Only one statistics course (BIOST 310, Q SCI 381, STAT 311) may count towards science electives.

Additional 400 level science courses may be considered for science electives after consultation and a petition is submitted to the biochemistry advisers.

Sample Schedule

Research credits counted as electives, not major requirements in this example.

Year Autumn Courses Winter Courses Spring Courses
1st Year Math 124 (5)
Chem 142 (5)
Foreign Lang 101 (5)
Math 125 (5)
Chem 152 (5)
Foreign Language 102 (5)
Math 126 (5)
Chem 162 (5)
Foreign Language 103 (5)
2nd Year Biol 180 (5)
Chem 237 (4)
English Composition (5)
Biol 200 (5)
Chem 238 (4)
Chem 241 (3)
Electives (3)
Chem 239 (3)
Chem 242 (3)
A&H (5)
Electives (5)
3rd Year Bioc 405 (3)
Phys 121 (5)
A&H "W" (5)*
Electives (3)
Bioc 406 (3)
Phys 122 (5)
A&H (5)*
Electives (3)
Phys 123 (5)
SSc "W" (5)*
A&H (5)*
4th Year Chem 452 (3)
Science Elective (3)
SSc (5)
Electives (5)
Chem 453 (3)
SSc (5)*
Electives (3)
Science Elective (3)
SSc (5)*
Electives (6)
Science Elective (2)

* Arts and Humanities (A&H), Social Science (SSc). 

Students are expected to understand and complete all general education requirements as detailed in the General Catalog.

Undergraduate advisers can help set up individual schedules according to students’ needs and constraints.

Grade Point Average Requirements

  • This degree requires 180 credits.
  • Minimum grade of 1.7 for required chemistry, biology, and biochemistry courses.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for required chemistry, biology, and biochemistry courses.
  • An overall cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.

    Continuation Policy

    Beginning Spring quarter 2010, students enrolled in degree programs in biochemistry and chemistry must maintain both a cumulative GPA and individual-course grades consistent with requirements for their degree. Students pursuing B.S. degrees must maintain a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.50 and minimum 2.0 for individual courses required for the major. Students pursuing a B.A. degree must maintain a minimum cumulative major GPA of 2.00 and minimum 1.7 for individual courses required for the major. Failure to maintain these GPA and grade standards results in the student being placed on departmental academic probation for one quarter, and dropped from the major if marked improvement in academic performance is not achieved. Students who experience extraordinary circumstances may petition for one or more additional probationary quarters.