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Biochemistry - Major

For information, contact Professor Marianne Staretz,, 610-606-4666, ext. 3608.

Program Description

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of life.  A biochemistry major will study the chemistry of molecules found in living organisms, particularly proteins, DNA/RNA, lipids, and carbohydrates. The biochemistry major combines course work in chemistry and biology, with considerable emphasis on the laboratory experience.  It is designed to prepare students for a number of emerging career options involving the chemistry of living systems, including medicine, pharmacology, pharmaceutical research, environmental chemistry, toxicology, and forensic science.  Students interested in forensic science can choose to double major in biochemistry and forensic science.   As a capstone experience students in the program will work one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project which will be summarized in a seminar presentation.   

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences is to develop the theoretical, analytical, and technical skills to allow departmental majors to be leaders in their scientific professions and/or productively pursue graduate or professional studies in science. The Department will also provide a foundational knowledge in the area of chemistry for majors and non-majors that will contribute to the development of scientifically responsible citizens who can have a better understanding of the world and the role of science and scientific thinking in the global community.
Within the guiding mission of the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, the Biochemistry major will provide students with a strong foundation in both chemistry and biology.  This combination of chemistry and biology within the Biochemistry major promotes an integration of concepts and techniques that will enable students to study and understand the chemistry of living systems.  Students majoring in Biochemistry are provided with the background to excel in fields that have a connection to living systems such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, pharmacology & toxicology, agriculture, forensic science, and the environment.

Program Requirements

An overall 2.000 grade-point average in chemistry, biology and cognate courses is required for the major in biochemistry. A grade of C or better is required for all chemistry courses at the 100 and 200 level that fulfill major requirements. Students must attain a grade of C or better in 100 and 200 level courses before proceeding to 300 level courses.  No grades of D and only two grades of C- will be allowed for required courses at the 300 level that fulfill major requirements. A student must have a 2.000 average in chemistry courses to declare the biochemistry major. A grade of C- or better is required for all cognate courses that satisfy major requirements. Courses that satisfy a major requirement may not be repeated more than once. At least 24 of the credits in chemistry required for the biochemistry major must be completed on the Cedar Crest campus. The biochemistry major may not be combined with either a chemistry or biology minor. Students are required to complete a comprehensive examination encompassing all the relevant sub-disciplines which is administered as part of the Chemistry seminar (CHE 352).

Course Requirements for the Biochemistry Major

CHE 111         Chemical Principles 4 credits
CHE 112         Chemical Equilibrium and Analysis 4 credits
CHE 205         Organic Chemistry I   4 credits
CHE 206         Organic Chemistry II 4 credits
CHE 230         Analytical Chemistry 4 credits
CHE 300         Technical Information           3 credits
CHE 302         Instrumental Analysis           4 credits
CHE 307         Biochemistry I            4 credits
CHE 308         Biochemistry II           4 credits
CHE 331         Inorganic Chemistry 3 or 4 credits
CHE 335         Physical Chemistry    4 credits
CHE 352         Seminar 1 credit
CHE 391         Advanced Laboratory and Research 6 credits in the junior/senior year OR CHE 393 Internship

Plus choose two courses from the following:
CHE 306         Advanced Organic Chemistry            3 credits
CHE 314         Toxicology       2 credits
CHE 320         Environmental Chemistry     3 or 4 credits
CHE 344         Heterocyclic Compounds      3 credits
CHE 336         Physical Chemistry II             3 credits
BIO 227          Microbiology   4 credits
BIO 313          Advanced Mendelian and Population Genetics      3 credits
BIO 336          Molecular Genetics II            4 credits
CHE 348         Forensic Molecular Biology   4 credits

Plus the following biology courses:
BIO 123          Foundations of Biology I        4 credits        
BIO 124          Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology II 4 credits
BIO 231          Genetics         4 credits
BIO 335          Molecular Genetics I             4 credits

Plus the following cognate courses:
BIO 248          Biostatistics 3 credits OR
MAT 210         Mathematical Statistics and Probability 3 credits
MAT 141         Calculus I        3 credits
MAT 142         Calculus II       3 credits
PHY 101         Introductory College Physics I          4 credits
PHY 102         Introductory College Physics II         4 credits

Total number of credits required: 89-90
The B.S. degree in Biochemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society which means that graduates will be certified by the American Chemical Society.

Fulfillment of LAC Requirements

Students fulfill Technology, Oral Presentation, and Information Literacy requirements through the successful completion of the following major requirements:  CHE 300, CHE 302, CHE 335, CHE 307, CHE 352, CHE 391.  Students also fulfill the Natural Sciences (CHE 111 and 112), Mathematics and Logic (MAT 141 and 142) and Writing 2 (CHE 300) requirements upon successful completion of the major.

Student Learning Outcomes






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