The Major in
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Interactions with Participating Faculty

Sample Program

Degree Requirements

Specific Courses for the Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Major for Freshmen and Sophomores

The Major for Juniors and Seniors

Transfers into the Major from other Majors or other Schools

Accelerated Tracks and Joint Majors

Application for the Major


The School of Biological Science

The Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry

Accelerated Tracks and Joint Majors

THE major is designed for advanced, mature, and motivated students.  For this reason, we encourage interested students with the appropriate background to participate in the accelerated track.  The accelerated track will allow students to complete both the physical sciences requirements and Bio 114L by the spring of their second year.  Again this will also provide more opportunities for undergraduate research.  In this track, students will take Math 2A-B along with an approved third quarter during the first year. This requires taking separate lower division writing and the approved alternatives to the Humanities Core.  These approved alternatives can be completed the third (or even fourth) year along with other breadth requirements.  An accelerated track will be required for those wishing to complete joint majors with Chemistry since these students will need to start the Physics 7 series during the second year.

An intense laboratory experience consisting of both the required upper division labs and also independent research (199) is an important feature of this major.  Students planning to conduct undergraduate 199 research will be encouraged to take the biochemistry lab, Bio 114L, as early as possible.  Since this course is given each quarter, students will have ample flexibility to take it earlier provided they have the prerequisite (Bio 98).

Double majors with Chemistry.

The Dept. of Chemistry offers several upper-division electives that are appropriate as satellite course for the major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Since a background in physical chemistry is particularly advantageous to a research career in biochemistry and molecular biology, a student will receive satellite credit for all three quarters of the physical chemistry series with biological applications, Chem 130A-B-C.

The Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry are working closely together to ensure articulation.  Both departments allow students to select many of their upper division electives from among course offerings of the other school.  Thus, between the two programs, a student contemplating a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will have the ability to tune the curriculum, making it as biological or as chemical as suits their own interests.  Double majors will follow the accelerated track in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology during the first two years and take physical chemistry, either Chemistry 130A-B-C or Chemistry 131A-B-C, in addition to the required courses for this major, in the third year.  They will then be able to select the appropriate laboratories and electives in their third and fourth years to complete the double major.