This interdisciplinary major in Biochemistry, administered jointly by the Chemistry and Biology Departments, provides the student with a broad background in biochemistry and related courses in chemistry and biology. This major is intended for those interested in the more chemical and molecular aspects of the life sciences.
Degree Requirements for B.S. in Biochemistry
- BIOL2000 Molecules and Cells (3 credits)
- BIOL2010 Ecology and Evolution OR BIOL3030 Introduction to Physiology (3 credits)
- BIOL2040 Investigations in Molecular Cell Biology (3 credits)
- One course in cell biology from the following list (3 credits):
- BIOL3040 Cell Biology
- BIOL3210 Plant Biology
- BIOL3090 or BIOL4140 Microbiology
- One course in genetics or genomics from the following list (3 or 4 credits):
- BIOL3150 Introduction to Genomics
- BIOL3150 Introduction to Genomics
- CHEM1109 General Chemistry I and CHEM1111 Laboratory (or CHEM1117 and CHEM1119) (4 credits)
- CHEM1110 General Chemistry II and CHEM1112 Laboratory (or CHEM1118 and CHEM1120) (4 credits)
- CHEM2231 Organic Chemistry I and CHEM2233 Laboratory (or CHEM2241 and CHEM2243) (4 credits)
- CHEM2232 Organic Chemistry II and CHEM2234 Laboratory (or CHEM2242 and CHEM2234) (4 credits)
- CHEM3351 Analytical Chemistry and CHEM3353 Laboratory (4 credits)
- CHEM4473 Physical Chemistry for Biochemistry majors (3 credits) CHEM4461–4462 Biochemistry I and II; or BIOL4350 Biological Chemistry and BIOL4400 Molecular Biology (6 credits)
- PHYS2100 Physics I (calculus) and PHYS2050 Laboratory (5 credits)
- PHYS2101 Physics II (calculus) and PHYS2051 Laboratory (5 credits)
- MATH1101 (or MATH1103, or MATH1105) Calculus II (3–4 credits); or MT2202 Multivariable Calculus (4 credits)
- Two advanced electives (5 credits min.)* see current major checklist for available options
Total Credits: 64–65
Note: The Biochemistry major requires all of its majors to take a Boston College calculus course, regardless of AP score. Students can take Calculus 2 (MATH1101, MATH1103, or MATH1105), or Multivariable Calculus (MATH2202).
*With Biology or Chemistry Department approval, no more than one advanced elective may be substituted by two semesters of Undergraduate Research.
Advanced Placement: Biochemistry majors who have a 5 on the Biology AP exam in their senior year may choose to bypass the 2000-level lecture courses (BIOL2000 and BIOL2010). These students will begin the major with BIOL3040 Cell Biology and take 6 credits of additional biology courses, level 3000 or above.
Recommended Course Sequencing for Biochemistry Majors
- General Chemistry and Labs
- BIOL2000 and either BIOL2010 or BIOL3040
- BIOL2040 lab (if possible)
- MATH1101, MATH1103, MATH1105 or MATH2202
- Organic Chemistry and Labs
- One course from the cell biology list (or BIOL3030)
- One course from the genetics/genomics list
- BIOL2040 lab
- Biochemistry sequence
- Physics Sequence
- Analytical Chemistry and lab
- Physical Chemistry
- Two advanced electives
- Calculus is typically completed by the end of the sophomore year.
- Physics can be taken at any time beginning with the sophomore year.
- Students are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research, typically beginning in the sophomore year. Students should speak to their academic advisors and individual professors to learn how to gain research opportunities.
Approvals for Biochemistry Major Courses Taken Abroad; Boston College Summer Courses
With prior Department approval, students may apply one course taken abroad to their biochemistry elective requirement. To be considered as a possible substitute for a Biochemistry major elective, a course must be a second level course with published biochemistry prerequisites and not be an introductory level course or a course intended for professional study (or for non-biochemistry majors).
Note: Biochemistry major required courses offered through the Boston College Summer School will be applied to the Biochemistry major as regular academic-year electives with the same catalog number.