Biochemistry Major

72-80 units

The Department of Biology and Chemistry offers an interdisciplinary major in biochemistry, which serves premedical students and others who desire a current molecular emphasis in their major. The program contains a basic core of chemistry and biology courses, and courses that are cross-disciplinary in nature, such as biochemistry, physiology, and cell and molecular biology. Students enjoy the freedom to choose biology or chemistry electives while keeping the total major units required for graduation at a reasonable level. This major is especially appropriate for students seeking a career in a laboratory research area such as biotechnology; graduate study in biochemistry or the biological sciences; chemistry, pharmacy, or medical-related studies; or education. The Association of American Medical Colleges has indicated that biochemistry undergraduates enjoy one of the highest acceptance rates for medical schools of the science major categories.

Note: Entry requirements differ among graduate schools and jobs. Students are responsible to research the requirements of graduate programs and professions in which they are interested.


  • A student must complete all prerequisites for a BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or better before taking the course (except as noted in the course description). 
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all biology, chemistry, biochemistry, math, and physics courses required for the major must be maintained.
  • A student must complete each BIOC, BIOL, or CHEM course with a C- or higher for the course to meet a degree requirement in the Department of Biology and Chemistry.
BIOL 151General Biology I 14
BIOL 152General Biology II4
BIOL 240Biology of Microorganisms4
BIOL 280Cell Biology4
CHEM 151General Chemistry I 1, 24
CHEM 152General Chemistry II 24
CHEM 251Organic Chemistry - Theory I4
CHEM 261Organic Chemistry - Lab1
CHEM 252Organic Chemistry - Theory II4
CHEM 262Organic Chemistry - Lab1
MATH 165Calculus I3
MATH 166Calculus II3
Select one of the following:8-10
Physics for Life Sciences I
and Physics for Life Sciences II 1, 2
Physics for Science and Engineering I
and Physics for Science and Engineering II 1, 2
Upper-division Requirements
Required Courses
BIOC 380Biochemistry I4
BIOC 381Biochemistry II4
BIOL 496Writing 3: Ethics and the Sciences 43
Select one of the following:4
Genetics 5
Molecular Biology
The elective requirement is fulfilled in two parts: List A and List B (see below)9-12
Total Units72-77
List A
Select one of the following:3-4
Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Theory
and Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Laboratory
Physical Biochemistry
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry I Lab
List B
Complete the elective requirement by selecting two from Option I or one each from any two different options.
Option I
Select one or two of the following:3-8
Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Theory
and Quantitative Chemical Analysis - Laboratory 6
Instrumental Analysis - Theory
and Instrumental Analysis - Lab (Theory/Lab) 7
Physical Biochemistry 6
Physical Chemistry I
and Physical Chemistry I Lab 6
Physical Chemistry II
and Physical Chemistry II Lab
Advanced Organic Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Topics in Chemistry
Option II 8
Select no more than one of the following:4
Vertebrate Biology
Regional Human Anatomy
Mammalian Physiology
Option III 8
Select no more than one of the following:1-4
Directed Research
Directed Research
Science Internship
Chemical Science Internship