The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major focuses on life processes at the molecular level, with emphasis on the biochemistry and molecular biology of cellular systems in simple and complex organisms. The curriculum is designed for students seeking preparation for graduate studies, for the health-care professions, or for entry-level positions in science-related industries. This interdisciplinary major draws upon the resources of the departments of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Major requirements:

Students majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology select schedules in consultation with a faculty advisor to include the following required courses:

  • BI 103 - General Biology I
  • BI 104 - General Biology II
  • BI 327 - Genetics
  • BI 333 - Cell Biology
  • BI 336 - Biochemistry
  • BI 341 - Selected Topics in Biochemistry
  • CH 130 - General Chemistry
  • CH 150 - Structure and Reactivity
  • CH 230 - Structure and Functions
  • CH 251 - Reaction and Mechanism
  • CH 280 - Physical Chemistry I
  • or
  • CH 310 - Instrumental Analysis

  • MA 170 - Calculus I

  • PS 121-122 - General Physics I - II
  • or
  • PS 131-132 - Calculus-Based Physics I - II
  • CH280 (Physical Chemistry I) is recommended for students focusing on biochemistry (NOTE: requires MA180 Calculus II), CH310 (Analytical Chemistry II), for students focusing on molecular biology. For an American Chemical Society Certified Biochemistry Degree, in addition to the requirements of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, the following courses must be successfully completed; CH 280 (Physical Chemistry I), CH 310 (Analytical Chemistry II), CH 340 (Inorganic Chemistry I), MA 180 (Calculus II), PS 131-132 (Calculus-Based Physics I - II).

Research experience:

Students are encouraged to obtain research experience through enrollment in either:

  • BI 421 - Directed Research in Biology - Two Semester Option
  • BI 422 - Directed Research in Biology - Two Semester Option
  • or
  • BI 423 - Directed Research in Biology - One Semester Option

  • CH 420 - Research and Seminar I
  • CH 421 - Research and Seminar II

  • and/or

  • BI 450 - Washington Internship
  • BI451-BI454 - Biology Internship


Should a student opt not to engage in one of the above research experiences, he/she must enroll in one additional non-introductory level laboratory course offering from either the Biology or Chemistry Department.

Students must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination. The examination is the American Chemical Society Biochemistry test and is administered twice annually, once in November and once in February.


    See Biological Sciences Overview for additional information.