Biochemistry Bachelor of science degree

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Overview

The biochemistry major focuses on the chemistry of living things to prepare you to address current challenges facing the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, forensic, and biotechnological fields. 


Biochemists focus on the chemistry of life. The biochemistry major provides knowledge in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology which will prepare you to consider real-world problems from a variety of perspectives. You will be able to immediately contribute your skills in corporate, health care, or government positions. You will also be ready to enter professional education in medicine or other health-related fields or attend graduate programs in a variety of chemical and life sciences related programs.

Biochemistry majors often have an interest in combining the life and health sciences with a chemistry degree. You’ll take a year of general biology in addition to a typical chemistry curriculum. During the upper-level years, you’ll take a substantial core of courses in biochemistry, physical chemistry, the liberal arts, and elective courses in life sciences. You must take a minimum of two upper-division biology electives.

Employment opportunities for biochemistry students are available in the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, forensic, and rapidly expanding biotechnological fields. You’ll also be well-prepared to enter advanced degree programs in biochemistry, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

Nature of work

Employment opportunities for biochemistry graduates exist in the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, forensic, and rapidly expanding biotechnological fields. Graduates also are well-prepared to enter advanced degree programs in biochemistry, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

Training/Qualifications

Biochemistry students who graduate with a BS degree are qualified for positions working at the bench in the pharmaceutical industry, medical research organizations, and environmental quality labs. According to the profile for biochemists in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, many biochemistry students progress to earn more advanced degrees, sometimes combining their technical expertise with a law degree or an MBA to forge a new career path. Biochemists need a doctorate to work in independent research and development positions. Most holders of doctorate degrees begin their careers in temporary postdoctoral research positions. During their postdoctoral appointments, they work with experienced scientists, as they continue to learn about their specialties or develop a broader understanding of related areas of research. Postdoctoral positions frequently offer the opportunity to publish research findings. A solid record of published research is essential to get a permanent position doing basic research, especially for those seeking a permanent college or university faculty position. A significant number of our graduates have gone on to accept faculty appointments at numerous universities.

Graduate School

Advanced Degrees

Chemistry and materials science and engineering graduate programs offered by the School of Chemistry and Materials Science prepare professional scientists by offering curricula that allow students to specialize in their chosen fields while engaging in rigorous, meaningful research using state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities, under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The school offers the following advanced degrees: an advanced certificate in materials science and engineering, and master of science degrees in chemistry and materials science and engineering.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA option

An accelerated 4+1 option is available for students who wish to earn a BS in biochemistry and an MBA. The option is offered in conjunction with Saunders College of Business and allows students to obtain both degrees in five years of study.

Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program


Medical schools and graduate programs in the health professions (such as physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy) welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs. Acceptance into these programs requires the completion of pre-med requirements such as course work in biological and physical sciences, a strong academic record, pertinent experiences in the field, and key intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities. Learn more about how RIT’s Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program can help you become a competitive candidate for admission to graduate programs in the medical and health professions.

 

Pre-Vet Advising Program
 

Occupations in veterinary medicine are expected to grow three times faster than all other occupations between 2016 and 2026. If you’re interested in caring for animals, conducting research related to animal illnesses, or working with livestock in university or government settings, the Pre-Vet Advising Program at RIT can help you reach your career goals. Learn more about RIT’s personalized Pre-Vet Advising Program and how it can help you maximize your candidacy for admission to veterinary schools.

Industries


  • Biotech and Life Sciences

  • Health Care

  • Higher Education

  • Medical Devices

  • Pharmaceuticals

Typical Job Titles

Analytical Biochemist Biomedical Scientist
Environmental Chemist Graduate Researcher
Perioperative Support Associate Post-Bac Research Scholar
Quality Control Analyst Research Technologist
Forensic Scientist

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. And it sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. RIT co-op is designed for your success.

Cooperative education is optional, but strongly encouraged for biochemistry majors.

Explore salary and career information for Biochemistry BS 

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Biochemistry BS

Biochemistry, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
BIOL-121
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-122
General Education – Elective: Introductory Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to the diversification of life, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Topics include a survey of the taxonomic diversity of the major groups of living organisms, the anatomical and physiological adaptations of both plants and animals, and the principles of the ecological relationships among organisms and environments. Laboratory exercises are designed to illustrate concepts of taxonomy, anatomical & physiological adaptation, and ecological relationships. Labs are also designed to help the development of laboratory skills and techniques for experiments with live organisms, and improve the ability to make, record and interpret observations. Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
CHEM-130
Chemical Connections
This course introduces first-year chemistry and biochemistry majors to the topics of chemical safety, ethics, database searching, citation protocol, presentation development and execution as well as the career options in the field and opportunities at RIT and beyond. These topics will be covered in the context of developing a product that the student will accomplish during the lab component of the course. (This course is restricted to CHEM-BS or BIOCHEM-BS Major students.) Seminar 1 (Fall).
1
CHEM-151
General Education – Elective: General Chemistry
An accelerated entry-level course designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors. Topics include measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding and structure, stoichiometry, equilibrium and acid-base chemistry. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to CHEM-BS or BIOCHEM-BS Major students. Co-requisite: CHEM-155 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHEM-155
General Education – Elective: Chemistry Workshop
This course presents an introduction to working in a modern chemistry laboratory. Students will perform exercises that will aid in the understanding of general laboratory practices, atomic and molecular structure, and Lewis acid base theory. Students will also become familiar with keeping a scientific laboratory notebook and writing scientific abstracts. Students will also utilize modern chemical instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to CHEM-BS or BIOCHEM-BS Major students. Co-requisite: CHEM-151 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Fall).
2
CHMO-331
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I
This course is a rigorous study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. The course will also provide an introduction to chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, alkene, and alkyne reactions. This course will require the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHEM-151 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMO-335 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
CHMO-335
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course prepares students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and to carryout reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-331. (Corequisites: CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Spring).
1
MATH-181
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisite: A- or better in MATH-111 or A- or better in ((NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) and NMTH-220) or a math placement exam score greater than or equal to 70 or department permission to enroll in this class.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
MATH-182
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
Second Year
BIOL-202
General Education – Elective: Molecular Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of molecular biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will explore the structure and function of molecules and macromolecules, and processes important to storage and maintenance of genetic information and genetic information flow. Students in this course will explore molecular interactions that drive biological processes related to genetic information flow. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. Students in this course will practice and carry out common laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists including, recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of important macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (BIOL-101/102 and BIOL-103/104) or (BIOL-121/122) or equivalent. Students who have taken BIOL-201 cannot receive credit for BIOL-202. Co-requisites: (CHMG-141/145) or (CHEM-151/155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
4
BIOL-302
Cell Biology
This course will address the fundamental concepts of cell biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will 1) Explore the structure-function relationships that drive cellular processes at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. 2) Investigate the mechanisms of cellular signaling and the transmission of genetic information. 3) Examine energy transformation strategies and the biochemical pathways used for synthesis and breakdown of ATP and other important biomolecules. 4) Investigate the organizational strategies used by cells to form functional tissue and organ systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-202 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
CHMA-161
Quantitative Analysis
This course will introduce students to quantitative methods. The course will cover gravimetric techniques, equilibria, statistical methods, and solution chemistry. In addition, equilibrium for polyprotic acids, electrochemistry and potentiometry will be discussed. (Prerequisites: CHEM-151 or CHMG-141 or equivalent course. Corequisites: CHMA-165 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMA-165
Analytical Methods Lab
This laboratory is designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors or those interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry. Experiments include statistics, calibration of equipment, spectroscopy, volumetric analyses, kinetics, Gran Plot, double endpoint titrations, potentiometric titration, photometric determination of copper, and water hardness. (Prerequisites: CHEM-155 or CHMG-145 or equivalent course. Corequisities: CHMA-161 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Fall).
1
CHMB-402
Biochemistry I
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
CHMO-332
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course is a comprehensive study of the structure, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic rings, ketones, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Students will apply their knowledge from CHMO-331 to predict products and derive mechanisms that describe various organic reactions. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMO-336
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry Lab II
This course teaches students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-332. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture and perform qualitative analysis of unknown compounds. Students are expected to do significant work outside of lab. (Prerequisites: CHMO-335 or equvialent course. Corequisites: CHMO-332 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Fall).
2
PHYS-111
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective: College Physics I
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings. Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1
3
Third Year
CHMA-261
Instrumental Analysis
This course presents a preliminary treatment of instrumental theory and technique. The course will cover the theory and implementation of spectroscopic, mass spectrometric, and chemical separations instrumentation and techniques. Instrumental techniques include: atomic and molecular emission and absorption and emission spectroscopies, atomic and molecular mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography. (Prerequisites: CHMA-161 or CHMG-142 or equivalent course. Corequisities: CHMA-265 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CHMA-265
Instrumental Analysis Lab
This course presents hands-on experience with modern chemical instrumentation including a number of spectroscopic techniques, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, and other. The course will cover the theory of operation of each instrument, their capabilities, and their limitations. Students will perform experiments utilizing modern chemical instrumentation and gain experience in analyzing data and presenting experimental results. (Prerequisites: CHMA-161 or CHMG-142 or equivalent course. Corequisities: CHMA-261 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
1
CHMB-405
Biochemistry Lab (WI-PR)
An introduction to the theory and practice of modern experimental biochemical laboratory techniques and concepts. The weekly two-hour lecture provides a theoretical framework for the course and includes a discussion of the properties of biomolecules and how those properties are exploited in the separation and characterization of the molecules. Practical laboratory techniques include the preparation of buffers, centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoretic methods, and UV-visible spectrophotometry as applied to the isolation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. The manipulation of genetic material in E. coli will also be executed. This course will be offered in a writing intensive format where the students will write and submit the different sections found in scientific papers (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, figures, tables) in an iterative fashion that will include regular feedback from the instructor. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
3
CHMP-441
Physical Chemistry I
This course provides fundamental concepts, and organizing principles, applied in all aspects of chemistry and related fields. A rigorous and detailed explanation of central, unifying concepts in thermodynamics and chemical kinetics will be developed. Mathematical models that provide quantitative predictions will be described for thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. These contain the mathematical underpinnings to concepts applied in analytical, inorganic, organic, and biochemistry courses, as well as more advanced topics in chemistry. The course will cover: gases, temperature, energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and the Second and Third laws, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, criteria for equilibrium and spontaneity, chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetic molecular theory and chemical kinetics. (Prerequisites: MATH-219 or MATH-251 or STAT-145 and PHYS-211 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
3
PHYS-112
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective: College Physics II
This course is an introduction to algebra-based physics focusing on thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and elementary topics in modern physics. Topics include heat and temperature, laws of thermodynamics, fluids, electric and magnetic forces and fields, DC electrical circuits, electromagnetic induction, opyics, the concept of the photon, and the Bohr model of the atom. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings. (Prerequisites: PHYS-111 or 1017-211 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring).
4
 
Advanced Biochemistry Elective (C)*
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 2
3
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
CHMI-351
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
This course covers descriptive inorganic reactions in terms of periodic trends. Topics will include nucleosynthesis and the birth of the universe, applications used in large-scale industrial processes and their environmental impacts, nanostructured materials, and bonding theory will also be discussed. A detailed study of solid-state chemistry and structure will also be addressed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
Advanced Biochemistry Electives (A)*
6
 
Open Electives
9
 
General Education – Electives
6
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
Choose one of the following:
2
   CHEM-493
   Chemistry Research (B)*
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in chemistry that could be considered of an original nature. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
   Biochemistry Independent Study (B)*
 
Total Semester Credit Hours
122

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

* Students must complete 6 credits from List A, 2 credits from List B, and 3 credits from List C.

Electives

List A
Course
CHMB-403
Biochemistry II
This course will focus on advanced topics in biochemistry, using hands-on activities, in-class discussions, and review of relevant literature to explore the theory and applications behind current biochemical methods and concepts. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
CHMB-489
Advanced Special Topics
This is an advanced course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lec/Lab .
CHMB-498
Advanced Biochemistry Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lecture .
CHMB-460
Infectious Disease: Impact on Society and Culture
This course investigates the mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, and other microbial infectious agents. This course also covers the historical, social, and cultural impact that these infectious diseases have had on society. Topics may include: antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, vaccines, gut microflora and health, foodborne illnesses, bioterrorism, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and staph infections. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or BIOL-201. Students may not take and receive credit for BIOL-460 and CHMB-460. If you have earned credit for BIOL-460 or you are currently enrolled in BIOL-460 you will not be permitted to enroll in CHMB-460.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
CHMB-610
Advanced Protein Biochemistry
This course analyzes protein structure function relationships. Students will investigate how proteins function and how the structure relates to that function. The principles that explain enzyme rate enhancements and mechanistic enzymology will be examined. Additionally, protein superfamilies for phylogenetic relationships will be explored to enhance understanding of protein structure-function relationships. Students will read and discuss the current scientific literature and classic papers. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
CHMB-702
Protein Conformation and Dynamics
An advanced study of the structure and function of proteins and enzymes. Biophysical and mechanistic aspects of enzyme function will be examined. Applications of computation to protein structure will also be discussed. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
CHMB-704
Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
This course will cover nucleic acid structures as determined by NMR and X-ray crystallography and nucleic acid catalysis, especially that of ribozymes. Genomics, specifically whole-genome sequencing papers, will be analyzed. Current RNA topics including the RNA World, Ribozymes, RNAi, and Riboswitches will be discussed. Current DNA topics including Lateral/Horizontal DNA Transfer, Genome Duplication, Alternate Gene Expression and Synthetic Life will also be discussed. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
List B
Course
CHEM-493
Chemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in chemistry that could be considered of an original nature. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CHEM-495
Advanced Chemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CHMA-621
Advanced Instrumental Analysis Lab
This is a capstone course requiring students to develop experimental protocols involving advanced techniques in instrumental analysis. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required. (Prerequisites: CHMB-405 or CHMP-445 or Graduate Standing in CHEM-MS.) Lab 6 (Spring).
CHMA-650
Separations and Mass Spectroscopy in Biological Chemistry
This course will teach state of the art chemical separations and methods which are coupled to mass spectroscopy for the modern analysis of pharmaceutical and biotechnology samples in industrial and academic laboratories. These include gas chromatography (GC, GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, LC-MS), solid phase extraction (SPE and SPME), size exclusion/gel permeation (SEC, GPC), and ion exchange chromatography (IXC). Aspects of mass spectroscopy including ionization methods of electron impact (EI), chemical ionization (CI), positive and negative electrospray (ES+, ES-), APCI, and MALDI and techniques involving single and multiple ion/reaction methods (SIM, SRM, MRM) will be included. The separation and analysis of peptides, proteins and pharmaceuticals by LC and LC-MS will be a major focus. Isolation of drug metabolites from serum by SPE followed by HPLC analysis or using size exclusion chromatography to separate biomolecules, or labeling a peptide with a near infrared (NIR) dye are examples of important skills that are learned. (Prerequisites: (CHMG-111 or CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or CHEM-151) and (CHMG-145 or CHEM-155) and (CHMO-231 or CHMO-331) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
CHMA-740
Practical NMR
A graduate level lecture and laboratory course designed to teach a student how to use a Bruker high-resolution NMR spectrometer to perform a variety of chemical analyses. Students are presented a series of brief descriptions of how to perform various functions and experiments on a Bruker NMR. Students then receive hands-on training and perform the experiment. Specific operations taught include: file management, magnet shimming, probe tuning, parameter optimization, pulse sequence development, one-dimensional and two-dimensional acquisitions, variable temperature studies, data processing, diffusion measurements, and measuring relaxation times. This course serves as mechanism to gain different levels of access to the Chemistry Department's NMR spectrometers. (Prerequisites: CHMO-332 or CHMA-221 or equivalent course or graduate standing in CHEM-MS.) Lecture 5 (Spring).
CHMB-493
Biochemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research in biochemistry that could be considered of an original nature. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CHMB-495
Advanced Biochemistry Research
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Research (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CHMI-565
Preparative Inorganic Chemistry Lab
This course provides a laboratory environment for students to learn the strategies necessary to synthesize a wide variety of inorganic compounds and organometallic complexes. Students will learn how to plan and develop synthetic protocols in both atmospheric and inert reaction processes. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required. (Prerequisites: CHMI-351 or equivalent course.) Lab 8 (Spring).
CHMO-535
Advanced Techniques in Organic Synthesis
This advanced lab course teaches students to perform advanced techniques important in an organic chemistry lab. Techniques covered include working under inert atmospheres, working with air-sensitive reagents, using syringes, purification methods, and carrying on material for subsequent synthetic steps. Characterization of synthesized compounds will be conducted. (Prerequisite: CHMO-335 or CHMO-235 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
List C
Course
BIOL-204
Introduction to Microbiology
This course is an introduction to microorganisms and their importance. Principles of structure and function, metabolic diversity, taxonomy, environmental microbiology, bioremediation, and infectious diseases of bacteria are discussed. Basic laboratory techniques covered include: microscopy; staining, culturing, isolation, and identification of bacteria; isolation and identification of normal flora; identification of unknown bacteria; antibiotic resistance; metabolic tests; clinical and commercial testing protocols; and detection and counting of bacteria in environmental samples (foods, water, soils). (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-265
Evolutionary Biology
This course investigates the historical framework of evolutionary biology and the meaning/nature of evidence pertinent to biological evolution. Topics will include: earth history, the evolution of proteins and the genetic code, molecular evolution, neutral theory vs. selection, genetic variation, natural selection, migration, mutation, genetic drift, fitness, population dynamics and genetics, speciation, systematics and classification systems, molecular phylogenetics, the evolution of eukaryotic organisms, behavioral evolution, historical biogeography, and human evolution and variation. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3, Recitation 2 (Fall).
BIOL-296
Ethical Issues in Biology and Medicine
This course explores major ethical issues in medicine and biology via lecture, readings, films, and presentation and discussion of cases. Students report on current events in ethics as researched on the internet or other news media. The first portion of the course is in a lecture format. Students learn about various theories of ethical analysis that are in current use. Subsequent classes are devoted to particular ethical areas. Relevant cases are given to the students for presentation in both written and oral formats. Any additional background material that may be required to discuss the cases is presented by the instructor and the remainder of the period is discussion based on the philosophical foundation provided at the beginning of the course. (Prerequisites: BIOL-102 or BIOL-122 or (1001-201, 1001-202 and 1001-203) or (1001-251, 1001-252 and 1001-253) or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-303
Cell Physiology
This course is a study of functional eukaryotic cellular physiology with an emphasis on the role of global gene expression in cellular function and disease. Nuclear and cytoplasmic regulation of macromolecular synthesis, regulation of cellular metabolism, control of cell growth, and the changes in cell physiology in disease are covered. This course also covers the technology used for studying changes in gene expression associated with cell differentiation and disease. The associated laboratory covers microarray techniques. This includes design and implementation of an experiment to acquire gene expression data, analyzing the acquired data using simple computer programs, such as MAGIC, and writing a research paper explaining findings. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
BIOL-305
Plants, Medicine & Technology
Plants have played a significant role in the shaping of our world. This course will explore the utilization of plants for foods, fuels, materials, medicine, novel genetic information, and social aspects of different cultures. All cultures depend on about fifteen plant species, most of which have been changed by plant improvement methods to enhance human benefits. This course will explore these changes in important crops, plant constituents used in medicine, and the technology used to produce important plant-produced medicines. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Spring).
BIOL-307
Microbiology of Wastewater
This is an advanced course in the microbiology of wastewater treatment, solids treatment, and the generation and maintenance of drinking water. Topics include activated sludge processes, clarification processes, disinfection processes, trickling filters, rotating biological contactors, waste stabilization ponds, sludge microbiology, anaerobic digestion of biosolids, microbial aspects of drinking water and drinking water distribution systems, and public health aspects of wastewater and biosolids disposal on land and in marine systems. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-310
Bioenergy: Microbial Production
This course presents how microbial processes are used to produce various biofuels from renewable feedstocks. The topics presented include bioethanol production, biobutanol production, methane (biogas) production, biodiesel production, and the economics involved with the production of alternative fuels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-313
Comparative Animal Physiology
This course is a comparative study of fundamental physiological mechanisms. It covers a broad range of organisms studied from the standpoint of evolution of functional systems, the mechanisms and morphological variations that exist to deal with functional problems posed by the environment, and the special mechanisms used to cope with extreme environments. (Prerequisites: BIOL-240 or BIOL-265 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-321
Genetics
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
BIOL-322
Developmental Biology
This course is a study of the processes of growth, differentiation and development that lead to the mature form of an organism. The course will also address how developmental biology is integrated with other aspects of biology including disease, ecology, and evolution. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-330
Bioinformatics
Bioinformatics introduces students to the analysis of biological sequences: DNA, mRNA, and protein. Emphasis is placed on classical bioinformatics analyses such as gene prediction, sequence alignment, and phylogenetics. The methods are applicable to both human and model organism studies in medical, biotechnological, and classical biology research. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
BIOL-340
Genomics
This course introduces students to the analysis of complex genomes. Emphasis is placed on genetic information derived from the human genome project but advances with genomes of other model systems will be discussed. Lectures cover scientific techniques used to map and sequence the human genome, as well as strategies for identification of disease susceptibility genes. The laboratory utilizes an automated DNA sequencer to demonstrate the acquisition of genetic sequences. Laboratory sessions emphasize cycle sequencing of cloned DNA fragments using an automated fluorescent DNA sequencer. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-365
Introduction to Population Genetics
This course consists of a study of DNA, genes, inheritance, genetic variation, genetic architecture, and change within and among populations. Fundamental genetics topics include DNA, gene, and chromosomal structure and function along with, transmission genetics, Mendelian inheritance patterns, sex-linked inheritance, genetic linkage, and the Hardy-Weinberg Principle. Population based topics will include genetic variation, its importance, how it originates and is maintained as well as inbreeding, random mating, mutation, migration, selection, genetic drift, the effects of small population size, fitness, population subdivision, the shifting balance theory, inter-deme selection, kin selection, neutral theory, molecular evolution, molecular clocks, multi-gene families, gene conversion, artificial selection, the genetic basis of quantitative traits and the fundamental theorem of natural selection. (Prerequisites: BIOL-265 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-370
Environmental Microbiology
This course presents the microbiology of soils, freshwater, marine environments, and extreme environments. Topics include nutrient cycling in soils by microorganisms, the diversity of microorganisms in soils, the role of microorganisms in freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands and marine environments such as the open ocean, coastline environments, and salt marshes, and the diversity of microorganisms in extreme environments including highly acidic, highly alkaline, and highly saline environments. Laboratory experiments will explore the types of bacteria in different types of soils in Western New York, types of bacteria in different freshwater environments in Western NY, determining total and fecal coliform counts in freshwaters, determining the presence of antibiotic resistant coliforms in sediment samples, and examining the survival of various human pathogens in surface waters. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-375
Advanced Immunology
This course is an in-depth treatment of the molecular and cellular events associated with innate and adaptive immune responses. The response of the host to the environment of microbes and pathogens will be emphasized. Recognition and response of the host to the infectious agents and the resolution of the disease state will be examined at the cellular and molecular levels. The immune response to tumors will be treated and medical advances in treating neoplastic disease using immunological therapy will be presented. The laboratories will focus on the cellular and molecular techniques employed in the modern immunology laboratory. A laboratory module employing hybridoma techniques will provide an intensive experience with monoclonal antibodies and their use in diagnostics and disease treatment. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-380
Bioremediation
This course is an introduction to bioremediation focusing on the interactions between engineers, chemists, hydrologists, and microbiologists to develop, design, and implement strategies to remediate contaminated soils or water. Topics include microorganisms involved in bioremediation, types of chemical pollutants, economics of remediation, environmental factors important in bioremediation, in situ processes, and ex situ processes. The laboratory project involves the isolation of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria from soils and sediments and further characterization of the hydrocarbon degrading isolates with respect to types of hydrocarbons degraded and rate of degradation. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-401
Biological Separations: Principles and Practices
This is a laboratory-based course that teaches classic concepts and techniques to enable the use of these techniques to purify small molecules and macromolecules from whole organisms. Detection techniques will include the use of bacterial biosensors, coomassie-blue staining, silver staining, and immunoblot analysis. Separation techniques will include SDS Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis, thin layer chromatography, and paper electrophoresis. Purification techniques will include ammonium sulfate precipitation, affinity chromatography, and thin layer chromatography. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-403
Fundamentals of Plant Biochemistry and Pathology
This course is primarily focused on biochemical and pathological aspects of a plant's life. This course provides an understanding of why protein catalysts are important in the field of plant biochemistry and plant pathology. More specifically, the role enzymes play in the basic cellular processes of plant growth and development is presented. Topics related to plant pathology are presented; such as plant disease epidemics, plant diagnosis, plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses, and plant-pathogen interaction, at the ecological, physiological and genetic level. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
BIOL-412
Human Genetics (WI)
The course provides an overview of concepts and applications in human genetics. Topics include classical and complex mechanisms of inheritance, the human genome, human origins & evolution, forensic applications, personalized medicine, and ethical issues. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-415
Virology
This course is an introduction to virology with specific emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of virus infection of eukaryotic cells and virus-cell interactions. Virus structure, genetics, the infectious cycle, replication strategies, pathogenesis, persistence, effects on host macromolecular synthesis, viral oncogenesis, viral vectors, emerging viral diseases, and strategies to protect against and combat viral infection will be discussed. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-416
Plant Biotechnology
In this course aspects of plant biotechnology will be investigated. Areas of concentration will include: tissue culture, genetic transformation of plant cells, regeneration of transgenic plants, and the construction and characterization of transgenic plants for food production, experimental biology investigations, and novel product(development. The laboratory will provide experiences to complement(the lecture information in plant cell culture and experiences in the use of Agrobacterium as the gene shuttle to introduce novel genetic information into plants. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 and BIOL-321 and BIOL-325 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-418
Plant Molecular Biology
The course will introduce molecular biology concepts and encourage the application of these concepts to the particular plant gene being studied. This upper-level elective course has a strong laboratory element. Small groups will study different plant genes during the semester. The laboratory element will be a self-paced group project to amplify, clone, sequence, and examine the expression profiles of plant genes. Gene databases such as TAIR and NCBI, as well as sequence analysis software, will be used throughout the course. The groups will be guided to make week-by-week project plans, to troubleshoot problems, and record results in laboratory notebooks. In addition, weekly results and progress will be shared via an interactive wiki. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-420
Bacterial-Host Interaction
This course focuses on the bacterial and host (human, insect, plant, animals and fungi) mechanisms used in interactions with hosts during both pathogenesis and symbiosis. We will explore molecular, microbiome and genomic levels, drawing on the disciplines of genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Several of the agonistic and antagonistic interactions will illustrate broader principles and contribute to our fundamental understanding of biological processes. The results of these interactions have a strong impact on biological productivity, and so are also ever increasing important in human health. An emphasis will be on the roles of molecules and cell structures in determining the outcome of an interaction. Course is intended to allow students to develop knowledge of host-bacterial interactions at the molecular to organismal level, with an emphasis on several model symbiotic- and patho-systems. Knowledge about bacterial mechanisms use to associate with host organisms and the different strategies bacteria employ to gain entry, damage host tissue and obtain nutrients for growth will be explored. We will also illustrate several mutualistic relationships between eukaryotic hosts with partner symbiotic bacteria. Genomic approaches to describe microbiomes (microbial communities) on host organisms and in environments will also be explored. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
BIOL-427
Microbial and Viral Genetics (WI)
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the genetic systems of prokaryotes and their viruses. There are two major foci: (1) the mechanisms bacteria and their viruses employ to preserve the integrity of their genomes and regulate gene expression, and (2) the mechanisms by which these entities acquire new genetic material. The relevance of these processes to evolution and the development of new traits that facilitate survival under new environmental conditions (e.g., antibiotic resistance) is highlighted, especially with regard to clinically, industrially and agriculturally important microbes. Molecular processes whose discovery led to the formation of important research and/or biotechnological tools will also be discussed. Students will participate in laboratory projects which highlight important mechanisms, such as transformation, transduction, lysogeny, conjugation and CRIPSR-Cas acquired adaptive immunity. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
BIOL-428
Eukaryotic Gene Regulation and Disease
This course presents an overview of gene expression in eukaryotic systems, with an emphasis on how disease can result when gene regulation is disrupted. Points of control that are examined include: chromatin structure, transcription initiation, transcript processing, stability and modification, RNA transport, translation initiation, post-translational events, and protein stability. The mechanisms involved in regulating these control points are discussed by exploring specific well studied cases. The significance of these processes is highlighted by a discussion of several diseases that have been shown to be due to defects in gene regulation. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
BIOL-441
Genetic Engineering & Synthetic Biology (WI)
This is a laboratory-based course on the introduction to the theoretical basis, laboratory techniques, and applications of genetic manipulations. In the lecture sessions, students will explore the molecular methods, applications of recombinant DNA technology and the issues regarding their use on the effect of genetic engineering in medicine, agriculture, biology, forensics and other areas of technology. The laboratory session has major components: 1) techniques used in the generation of recombinant molecules, 2) use of DNA sequence information and bioinformatics in recombinant DNA applications, 3) use of inducible expression systems for production of biotechnological products, and 4) discussions of potential ethic concerns of genome modifications or enhancements. (BIOL-201 orBIOL-202 orBIOG-240) Lec/Lab 6 (Spring).
BIOL-530
Bioinformatics Algorithms
Bioinformatics Algorithms will focus on the types of analyses, tools, and databases that are available and commonly used in Bioinformatics. The labs will apply the lecture material in the analysis of real data through computer programming. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 and CSCI-243 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
BIOL-594
Molecular Modeling & Proteomics
This course will explore two facets of protein molecules: separation and structure. The separation component will address common protein separation techniques such as 2D gel electrophoresis and chromatography. The structure component will follow the levels of protein structures, focusing on both experimental and computational methods to determine protein structures. Methods for determining primary structures such as Edman degradation method, Sanger method and mass spectrometry will be taught in lectures. Algorithms of predicting secondary structures will be introduced and implemented. Tertiary structure determination techniques such as NMR will be covered, with an emphasis on proton NMR, 13C NMR and multi-dimensional NMR. Homology modeling will be used to predict protein tertiary structures. (Prerequisites: BIOL-330 or equivalent course.) Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
BIOL-599
Research Based Writing (WI)
This course is intended for students with significant research experience to work closely with their faculty mentors to prepare a manuscript for publication or write a proposal for external funding. Students will devote significant time to writing, revision and peer review. A submission-quality manuscript or proposal is expected at the end of the semester. (Prerequisites: BIOL-495 or BIOL-570 or equivalent course and permission of instructor.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
MEDS-250
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the nervous, endocrine, integumentary, muscular and skeletal systems. Laboratory exercises include histological examination, actual and simulated anatomical dissections, and physiology experiments with human subjects. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (1001-201 and 1001-202 and 1001-203) or (1001-251 and 1001-252 and 1001-253) or (MEDG-102 or 1026-213) or NUTR-BS equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
MEDS-251
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immunological, respiratory, excretory, and reproductive systems with an emphasis on the maintenance of homeostasis. Laboratory exercises include histological examinations, anatomical dissections and physiological experiments using human subjects. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (1001-201 and 1001-202 and 1001-203) or (1001-251 and 1001-252 and 1001-253) or (MEDG-102 or 1026-213) or NUTR-BS equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • 3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
  • Biology and chemistry required

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, physics, math, and chemistry

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

AS degree in liberal arts with chemistry option; chemical technology, laboratory technology

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Accreditation

The biochemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and also follows the guidelines of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 

Research

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to meet the professors in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science early in their time on campus. Many of our students join research labs and engage in research starting as early as their first year. Participation in undergraduate research in chemistry and materials science leads to opportunities to make presentations at local and national conferences. Many of our student researchers also become contributing authors on peer-reviewed manuscripts.

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