Courses & Requirements

Requirements for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

Courses required in the discipline

Biology and Chemistry courses that are cross-listed (300, 301, 385) may not both be taken to satisfy the major (either one, but not both).

BIO-110: Integrative Biology I (3.00)

An integrated study of biological form and function as they relate to ecology, evolution and genetics. Inquiry-based approaches to problem solving in science. Lecture, 3 credits.

Course requisites: BIO-110 & BIO-110L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-110L: Integrative Biology I LAB (1.00)

Laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-110; must be taken concurrently with BIO-110.

Course requisites: BIO-110 & 110L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-111: Integrative Biology II (3.00)

An integrated study of biological form and function using one or more current problems such as addiction and cancer as a central theme. Molecular, cellular and organismal biology and the relationship of biological issues to science and society. Lecture, 3 credits.

Course requisites: Req'd prereqs: BIO-110 & 110L; req'd coreq 111L BIO-111 & 111L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-111L: Integrative Biology II Lab (1.00)

Laboratory co-requisite course to BIO-111; must be taken concurrently with BIO-111.

Course requisites: BIO-111 & 111L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-216: Molecular Biology (3.00)

Genes and their activities at the molecular level in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mechanisms of gene expression and regulation in health and disease. Advanced topics in genetic engineering and biotechnology. Emphasis on experimental strategies and data analysis. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: BIO-110 and BIO-111 BIO-216 & BIO-216L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-216L: Inquiry-Based Research Molecul Bio/Lab (1.00)

One-credit inquiry-based research experience/laboratory corequisite course to BIO-216 Molecular Biology.

Course requisites: BIO-216 & 216L must be taken concurrently.

BIO-220: Genetics/Lab (4.00)

Structure, function, regulation and transmission of hereditary materials in viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: BIO-110 and 111

BIO-300: Biochemistry I/Lab (4.00)

Fundamentals of biochemistry, including structure and function of biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, bioenergetics, catabolic and anabolic pathways, signal transduction and regulation of biochemical processes (lecture plus lab). Fundamental biochemical laboratory methods including the study of acid-base properties of amino acids and proteins, spectro-photometric characterization, chromatographic separation techniques and electrophoresis. Cross-listed with CHE-300.

Course requisites: CHE-240 & 240L (BIO-110/L & 111/L also prereqs for BIO mjrs)

BIO-385: Advanced Biochem & Molecular Biology (4.00)

Advanced, project-based interdisciplinary course involving laboratory research and analysis of primary literature in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. Cross-listed with CHE-385.

Course requisites: BIO-216 or CHE-300 (both are recommended)

CHE-150: Introduction to Chemistry (3.00)

This course delves into the world of atoms and molecules in order to study the structure of matter and the changes it undergoes. The course will provide an introduction to the field of chemistry. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, acids and bases, enthalpy, and equilibrium. In addition, contemporary problems and applications of these topics may be explored. Examples may include atomic and molecular structure relevant to the design of new material such as memory metals; stoichiometry as a means of achieving green chemistry; acids and bases in the context of biochemical and environmental reactions; enthalpy in the context of energy generating fuels; and equilibrium and its role in energy storing batteries.

Course requisites: Take CHE-150L

CHE-150L: Intro Basic Chemical Lab Techniques (1.00)

This lab course focuses on the experimental methods in basic scientific measurements, elementary reactions and analysis arranged around a theme such as forensics or the environment.

Course requisites: CHE-150 prereq or coreq for CHE-150L

CHE-220: Foundations of Inorganic & Physical Chem (3.00)

This foundation course focuses on introductory aspects of inorganic and physical chemistry. Topics may include fundamental chemical reactions, nuclear structure and radioactivity, molecular shapes, trends as seen in the periodic table, equilibrium, gas laws, molecular collision theory, the laws of thermodynamics, phases, reaction rates and reaction mechanisms. To illustrate the role of chemistry in fundamental physical and chemical behaviors, examples are chosen from a variety of areas including environmental, medical, and forensic applications.

Course requisites: CHE-150 and CHE-150L, minimum grade C- Take CHE-220L

CHE-220L: Foundation Inorganic & Physical Chem Lab (1.00)

Labs introduce students to the analysis and interpretation of observations. This course will also illustrate fundamental principals of chemistry including: reactivity of main group and transition metals; bonding and its relation to behavior; solution behavior; gas laws; heat capacity and enthalpy changes; and kinetics of reactions.

Course requisites: CHE-150 CHE-150L; Take CHE-220

CHE-240: Organic Chemistry I (3.00)

The systematic study of the chemistry of organic compounds with emphasis on theories of structure and reactivity. Specific topics include basic organic molecular structure and bonding, isomerism, stereochemistry, molecular energetics, substitution and elimination reactions, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.

Course requisites: CHE-150 CHE-150L; Take CHE-240L

CHE-240L: Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1.00)

Introduction to fundamental experimental techniques of carbon based molecules, including organic synthesis, purification and separation techniques, and theory and interpretation of infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Course requisites: CHE-150 CHE-150L; Take CHE-240

CHE-260: Physical Chemistry I (2.00)

This course is a continuation of the introduction to physical chemistry that began in CHE-220. Topics will include general principles of thermodynamics and equilibria, kinetics and solution dynamics, and an introduction to quantum mechanics as applied in chemistry and biochemistry. More specifically, students will study such topics as the dependence of Gibbs energy on temperature and pressure, mixtures and solutions, theories of reaction rates, the Schrodinger equation, molecular orbital theory, and a brief introduction to symmetry.

Course requisites: CHE-220 & CHE-220L; MAT-119 or equivalent

CHE-270: Foundation Inorganic & Bioinorganic Chem (2.00)

This foundation course in inorganic chemistry examines the behavior of the elements in an effort to identify and explain patterns on the periodic table. The course focuses on the approximately 28 elements with known roles in biochemical systems including iron, copper, zinc, Na+/K+ , Mg+2, and Ca+2. Topics include the toxicity of environmental pollutants and the often surprising toxicity of nutritionally required elements such as iron and copper. Recent discoveries and case studies are used to explain biochemical selectivity in a wide variety of systems; plant, animal and archaea.

Course requisites: CHE-220 CHE-220L;

CHE-340: Organic Chemistry II (3.00)

This course is a continuation of CHE-240 and it continues the systematic study of the principal functional groups in organic compounds. Specific topics include the theory and chemical reactivity of conjugated and aromatic systems, the fundamentals of organic synthesis, and reactions of biologically relevant functional groups.

Course requisites: CHE-240 CHE-240L pre-requisites CHE-340L coreq Take CHE-340L

CHE-350: Medicinal Organic Chemistry (4.00)

Drug discovery and development is the study of how biological targets for new drugs are selected, and how appropriate drugs for those targets are identified and brought to market. It is an interdisciplinary subject that draws from biology, chemistry and biochemistry to help us understand the interaction of a drug with a biological target, how the drug reaches its target in the body, and how it is eliminated once its function is achieved. Since a biologically active drug results from many years of experimental work in drug design and development, structure-activity relationships and drug structure optimization are topics also discussed in this course.

Course requisites: CHE-240 and 240L

Additional Requirements

Four additional credit hours at the 300 or 400 level in Biology or Chemistry (student may choose).

Courses Required Outside the Discipline

  • Mathematics 118 and 119
  • Physics 102 and 103 - OR - Physics 202 and 203

MAT-118: Calculus I (4.00)

Introduction to the basic concepts of differential and integral calculus, emphasizing conceptual understanding and applications. Topics are covered from a graphical, algebraic and numerical perspective. Mathematical writing is emphasized.

MAT-119: Calculus II (4.00)

Continuation of 118. Topics include the integral and its applications, techniques of integration, improper integrals and an introduction to series and differential equations.

Course requisites: 118 with a minimum grade of C-

PHY-102: Elements of Physics I/Lab (4.00)

Quantitative discussion of physical phenomena. Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is required. This course does not count toward a major or minor in physics or astrophysics. Students planning to major or minor in physics or astrophysics should take Physics 202-203. Physics 102/Lab satisfies the lab science distribution requirement. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and PHY-202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

PHY-103: Elements of Physics II/Lab (4.00)

ELEMENTS OF PHYSICS II/LAB--Continuation of Physics 102/Lab. Credit cannot be received for both PHY 103 and PHY 203. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: Prerequisite PHY-102

PHY-202: Intro Physics I/Lab: Mechanics (4.00)

A calculus-based course with laboratory covering Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, and other classical physics topics. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and 202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: Prereq MAT-118; Pre- or coreq MAT-119 Corequisite MAT-119

PHY-203: Intro Phys II/Lab: Electricity and Magnetism (4.00)

A calculus-based course with laboratory covering Newtonian mechanics, oscillations, and other classical physics topics. Credit cannot be received for both PHY-102 and PHY 202. 3 LEC, 1 LAB.

Course requisites: PHY-202 (grade C- or higher) and MAT-119

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