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Biochemistry is a subject involved with the exploration of the molecular processes of life and reflects the intersection of chemistry and biology needed to understand these processes. The major in biochemistry is designed to meet the needs of students interested in this interdisciplinary subject. Students completing a major in biochemistry will be prepared for careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, for pursuit of graduate degrees in biochemistry or chemistry, and for entry into medical, veterinary, dental, or pharmacy schools. This degree program follows guidelines suggested by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for an undergraduate degree in biochemistry.


To earn a bachelor of arts degree in biochemistry, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  1. General College Requirements (see "Curriculum" section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
  2. Required Courses:
    1. Chemistry Courses (28 credit-hours)
      • CHEM 105: General Chemistry I
      • CHEM 106: General Chemistry II
      • CHEM 311: Organic Chemistry I
      • CHEM 312: Organic Chemistry II
      • CHEM 420: Biochemistry I
      • CHEM 422: Biochemistry II
      • CHEM 451: Physical Chemistry I
    2. Biology Courses (12 credit-hours)
      • BIOL 105: Principles of Biology I
      • BIOL 106: Principles of Biology II
      • BIOL 471: Molecular Biology
    3. Cognate Courses (16 credit-hours)
      • MATH 151: Calculus I
      • MATH 152: Calculus II
      • PHYS 131: General Physics I
      • PHYS 132: General Physics II
  3. Every biochemistry major must complete a St. Mary's Project. This project may be in biochemistry or in another major discipline or study area. The guidelines in the selected area apply. The project must be proposed to a mentor and to the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at least three weeks before the last day of classes of the second semester of the student's junior year, and must be approved by the mentor and the department chair.
  4. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses listed in items 2-3 above, and maintain an overall GPA of 2.00 or better in these required courses.

Note: Students earning a degree in biochemistry may not pursue a second major in chemistry.

The following model is suggested as a sequence of study that satisfies the above requirements:

For related course descriptions see the following: