Biochemistry Concentration, Chemistry Major, Bachelor of Science - BIOC

Program Description

This concentration provides for a documented specialization within the Chemistry major and provides students a chemistry-focused option that complements the Molecular and Cellular Biology concentration within Biology. A biochemistry-focused education prepares students for careers in a wide range of areas including, but certainly not limited to, medicine (research and practice), environmental sciences, and agriculture. Biochemistry is a popular major for students interested in attending medical school or pursuing other healthcare professional careers.

American Chemical Society Certification

Saint Mary’s College is an American Chemical Society (ACS) approved school in chemistry. For those students interested in a more intensive chemistry program, an ACS-certified curriculum is available. Interested students should contact the department chair for information.


CHEM 121
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory
CHEM 122
Principles of Chemistry II
and Principles of Chemistry II Laboratory
CHEM 221
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
CHEM 222
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
CHEM 311Thermodynamics3
CHEM 324Biochemistry3
CHEM 332Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 342Bio-Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 361Advanced Laboratory I4
CHEM 362Advanced Laboratory II4
CHEM 424Advanced Biochemistry3
CHEM 495Senior Seminar 1
Required Supporting Courses
PHYS 121
General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves
and General Physics I Lab
PHYS 122
General Physics II: Temperature, Electricity, and Light
and General Physics II Laboratory
MATH 131Calculus I4
MATH 132Calculus II for STEM majors4
BIO 155
Foundations of Molecular Biology
and Foundations of Molecular Biology Laboratory
BIO 157
Foundations of Cellular Biology
and Foundations of Cellular Biology Laboratory
Select one of the following:4
Introduction to Genetics
and Introduction to Genetics Laboratory
and Microbiology Laboratory
Total Credits64

Advanced Writing Proficiency

Each student writes a formal paper consisting of a research topic of her choosing. The formal paper is an in-depth presentation of chemistry and reflects a command of the subject appropriate to a senior chemistry major. Students will work closely with a department faculty member to meet this requirement. It is due by the end of the fall semester of the student’s senior year.

Senior Comprehensive

The Senior Comprehensive consists of a poster presentation at the Physical Sciences Poster Session and a 15-minute oral presentation at the Physical Sciences Symposium. The public presentations are on a chemistry topic of the student’s choosing and may or may not be related to the research topic of the formal paper. Both presentations are given in the spring semester of the senior year and include a question and answer period. The goal for students is to demonstrate their ability to orally communicate data/results to a scientific audience in formats that they are most likely to experience as professional scientists.

Student Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students upon graduation with a B.S. degree in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Concentration:

  • Search the relevant literature, evaluate the results of the search, and apply this knowledge to design experiments to solve problems at the interface of biology and chemistry;
  • Become proficient in the foundational concepts of general and organic chemistry, including equilibrium, kinetics, and reactivity, and apply these concepts to biological systems;
  • Evaluate how the structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids relates to function and predict how changes in structure will impact function;
  • Explain how energy is stored, transformed, and utilized in biological systems;
  • Demonstrate understanding of how information is stored, retrieved, and transmitted in biological systems.