Richmond Home

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Discoveries in the molecular life sciences are propelling current scientific discovery forward across all fields and are destined to continue to do so throughout the next century. So much about the chemical and physical makeup of living organisms remains unknown. The field inspires scientists to look at the chemical processes by which diseases like AIDS and cancer develop. When they understand the biological processes by which these diseases take shape and grow, they can genetically manipulate microorganisms to produce antibiotics, hormones and other forms of treatment.

Students who complete the major are well prepared to continue studying biochemistry and molecular biology in graduate school or to obtain careers in the biotechnology industry. The extensive research opportunities that are available for students who choose to partner with faculty working in the field broaden students’ horizons and help them narrow their interests.

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major

Note: A grade of C- (1.7) or better is required in each chemistry and biology course applied toward the major.

For the Bachelor of Arts degree

14.75 units, including:

BIOL 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking or BIOL 190 Integrated Science/Math/Computer Science 1 with Laboratory or BIOL 192 Science, Math and Research Training I
BIOL 200 Integrated Biological Principles I
BIOL 202 Integrated Biological Principles II
BMB 300 Junior Seminar
CHEM 141 Introductory Chemistry: Structure, Dynamics and Synthesis
CHEM 205-CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry
CHEM 309 Physical Chemistry
CHEM 324 Experimental Biochemistry
CHEM 325 Experimental Biophysical Chemistry
CHEM 326 Biochemistry

One Macromolecular Structure and Function course, chosen from:

  • BIOL 317 Mechanochemical Cell Biology
  • BIOL 335 Structural Biology
  • CHEM 329 Protein Structure, Function and Biophysics
  • CHEM 330 ST: Chemical Biology

One Gene Regulation course, chosen from:

  • BIOL 307 Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 313 Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • BIOL 314 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 322 Cancer Biology and Tumorigenesis with Lab
  • BIOL 324 Molecular Virology
  • BIOL 340 Introduction to Immunology
  • BIOL 343 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 345 Cellular Neurophysiology
  • BIOL 352 Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 354 Biological Basis of Neurodegenerative Diseases with Laboratory

Two senior seminars, to include the presentation of a research topic, chosen from:

  • BMB 310 Biochemistry Senior Seminar I
  • BMB 311 Biochemistry Senior Seminar II

MATH 212 or MATH 232 Calculus II
PHYS 127 or PHYS 131 General Physics I
One unit in physics, chosen from:

  • PHYS 132 General Physics II

For the Bachelor of Science degree

The above courses plus one additional approved upper level biology or chemistry elective and an approved research experience (BIOL 406 or CHEM 406 or 1 unit in BIOL 350 or BIOL 395 or CHEM 320 or CHEM 321) that culminates in a written report or poster presentation to give a total of 15-16 units.

For either of the above degrees

Additional upper-level elective courses in chemistry and biology are highly recommended. Students wishing to double major in biochemistry and molecular biology and either chemistry or biology are required to use upper-level electives for only one degree program or the other. Similarly, upper-level electives cannot be counted for both a major and a minor in either department. In addition, starting with the class of 2018, double majors in biochemistry and molecular biology and chemistry will not be able to double count seminar courses and will be restricted to presenting their research project only once between the two seminar programs.