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SLU biochemistry major and Requirements

Students interested in a major in Biochemistry are required to complete a Major Declaration Form in consultation with a faculty member.

Biochemistry Major

The Biology and Chemistry departments offer an interdisciplinary major in Biochemistry. The interface between chemistry and biology is an area of very active research and is the main driving force behind the biotechnology revolution. In this major, students will see how the tools and concepts of biochemistry are used to address fundamental questions related to the molecular basis of life processes. Students who major in biochemistry have the opportunity to study topics such as the mechanisms of drug action, structure and function of biological macromolecules, mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, hormonal regulation of physiological processes, gene expression, and molecular methods (including DNA Fingerprinting, PCR, immunoblotting). All biochemistry majors conduct an independent research project for at least one semester under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Students in the biochemistry major make extensive use of an impressive arrary of laboratory equipment and computer-based technologies housed in both departments. In addition to biochemistry and molecular biology laboratories, the chemistry department has a modern, high-field multinuclear NMR spectrometer and biology department has a Microscopy Center. The Microscopy Center has a confocal microscope, a scanning electron microscope with an energy dispersive X-ray analsysis system, and a transmission electron microscope.

Note that students majoring in biochemistry may not also major and/or minor in either biology, chemistry, or neuroscience.


Biology Courses

General Biology (BIOL 101, 102)


Genetics (BIOL 245/246)

Introduction to Cell Biology (BIOL250) 1
Chemistry Courses  
General Chemistry (CHEM 103-104 or CHEM 105)

Organic Chemistry (CHEM 221-222)

Biophysical Chemistry (CHEM 342)
Biochemistry Courses  
Biochemistry (BIOCH 309)

Advanced Biochemistry (BIOCH 415)

Research Methods in Biochemistry (BIOCH 394)

Research Methods in Molecular Biology (BIOCH 395) 1
Senior Research Project (BIOCH 489)

Physics Courses  
Physics (PHYS 103-104 or 151-152) 2
Math, Statistics, and Computer Science Courses  
Calculus I (MATH 135) and Calculus II (MATH 136)


Statistics (Math 113) Strongly recommended but not required  

Careful planning is required of those choosing this major. First year students who are interested in this major should get a second adviser from the biochemistry faculty as early as possible. This is especially true for those wishing to study in an international program. To assist in this planning, a model curriculum planning form is available in pdf format. You may print this form and go over it with your major adviser.

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