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Chemistry Department
Prof. Eranthie Weerapana (214A Merkert)
Prof. Jianmin Gao (203 Merkert)

Biology Department
Prof. Anthony Annunziato (401A Higgins)
Prof. Kathy Dunn (412 Higgins)

Program Description

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. More information about the Biochemistry major can be found at

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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
    BIOL4140 Microbiology

  • One course in genetics or genomics from the following list (3 or 4 credits):
  • BIOL3150 Introduction to Genomics
    BIOL3190 Genetics and 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 from the following list** (6 credits)

    BIOL4200 Introduction to Bioinformatics
    BIOL4510 Cancer Biology
    BIOL4810 Research in Molecular Microbiology Lab
    BIOL4830 Research in Molecular Biology Lab
    BIOL4840 Research in Biochemistry Lab
    BIOL4870 Research in Molecular Genetics Lab
    BIOL5060 Recombinant DNA Technology 
    BIOL5130 Environmental Disruptors of Development
    BIOL5170 Human Parasitology
    BIOL5290 Biomolecules: Driving Molecular Forces
    BIOL5330 Virus Infections and Cellular Transport
    BIOL5360 Viruses, Genes and Evolution
    BIOL5370 Literature for Neurological Diseases
    BIOL5420 Cancer as a Metabolic Disease
    BIOL5700 Biology of the Nucleus
    CHEM5564 Physical Methods in Biochemistry
    CHEM5567 Chemical Biology: Structure and Function
    CHEM5569 Chemical Biology: Enzyme Mechanisms
    CHEM5570 Introduction to Biological Membranes
    CHEM5582 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry
    BIOL4911–4918 Undergraduate Research**
    BIOL4921 Advanced Independent Research**
    CHEM4497–4498 Advanced Research in Biochemistry I and II**
    CHEM5593–5594 Introduction to Biochemical Research I and II**

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).

**Note: Not all electives are offered every year. Also, additional electives may sometimes be announced in this category, depending upon advanced course offerings in the Biology and Chemistry Departments. Please check the Departmental listings for details.

***With Biology or Chemistry Department approval, two semesters of Undergraduate Research may be substituted for one advanced elective.

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.

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Recommended Course Sequencing for Biochemistry Majors

Freshman Year

General Chemistry and Labs
BIOL2000 and either BIOL2010 or BIOL3040
BIOL2040 lab (if possible)

Sophomore Year

Organic Chemistry and Labs
One course from the cell biology list (or BIOL3030)
One course from the genetics/genomics list
BIOL2040 lab (if needed)

Junior Year

Biochemistry sequence

Senior Year

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 junior year; other options are available. Students should speak to individual professors regarding research opportunities.

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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.