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BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

NOTE: See the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for a full listing of the requirements for this program.

 Purpose of the B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) in Biochemistry and Molecular (under the auspices of the Biological Sciences and the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments) offers students a unique interdisciplinary curriculum and exposure to a wide range of faculty members. With a curriculum drawing from both disciplines as well as specific biochemistry courses, the program provides a broad background in the physical and life sciences. It is suitable for students planning careers in laboratory research or further training in graduate, medical, or other biomedical professional programs, such as medicine, dentistry, and medical technology.

Academic Advising

The directorship of this joint program alternates between the two participating departments and current information may be found in the schedule of classes in “Undergraduate Advising Procedures.” After filing a declaration of major form, students should contact the office listed. They will then be assigned an advisor from among the participating faculty of the two departments.

Honors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

While the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program does not have an honors program, specific honors sections of BIOL 100H: Concepts of Biology and CHEM 101H and CHEM 102H: Introductory Chemistry courses are offered. In addition, departmental honors are awarded by the Chemistry and Biochemistry department to biochemistry and molecular biology graduates achieving scholastic excellence in their Chemistry and Biochemistry courses which is defined as a GPA of 3.50 or better in 18 or more credit hours of chemistry and biochemistry classes, combined with an overall GPA of 3.0.

Eligible students may also apply for the Honors Program.

NOTE: See the UMBC Undergraduate Catalog for a full listing of the requirements for this program.

Download the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Requirements Worksheet from our Forms & Links Page

Course requirements

Chemistry (27 credits)

  • CHEM 101 Principles of Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102 Principles of Chemistry II
  • CHEM 102L Introductory Chemistry Lab
  • CHEM 300 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 301 Physical Chemistry I or CHEM 303 Physical Chemistry for the Biochemical Sciences
  • CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 351L Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 352L Organic Chemistry Laboratory II

Biology (15 credits)

  • BIOL 141 Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy & Organisms
  • BIOL 142 Foundations of Biology: Ecology & Evolution
  • BIOL 302 Molecular and General Genetics
  • BIOL 303 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 300L Experimental Biology Laboratory

Biochemistry (12 credits)

  • CHEM 437 Comprehensive Biochemistry I*
  • CHEM 437L Biochemistry Laboratory*
  • CHEM 438 Comprehensive Biochemistry II*

Electives – Any two of the following (6-8 credits):

  • BIOL 411 Bacterial Physiology
  • BIOL 414 Eukaryotic Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 418 Human Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 420 Advanced Topics in Cell Biology
  • BIOL 425 Immunology
  • BIOL 426 Approaches to Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 428 Computer Applications in Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 434 Microbial Molecular Genetics
  • BIOL 443 Advanced Topics in Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 444 Development and Cancer
  • BIOL 445 Signal Transduction
  • BIOL 451 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 454 Vision Science
  • BIOL 456 Plant Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 476 Antibotics: Origin, Mechanism, Resistance
  • BIOL 483 Evolution: From Genes to Genomes
  • BIOL 486 Genome Science
  • CHEM 406 Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 431 Chemistry of Proteins
  • CHEM 432 Advanced Biochemistry
  • CHEM 433 Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
  • CHEM 435 Biochemistry of Complex Carbohydrates
  • CHEM 441 Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules
  • CHEM 442 Physical Biochemistry
  • CHEM 443 Spectroscopy of Biopolymers
  • CHEM 450 Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds
  • CHEM 451 Mechanisms of Organic Reactions
  • CHEM 453 Organic Chemistry of Nucleic Acids
  • CHEM 455 Biomedicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 457 Total Synthesis of Natural Products
  • CHEM 461 Advanced Instrumental Methods of Analysis
  • CHEM 470 Toxicological Chemistry
  • CHEM 472 Enzyme Reaction Mechanisms
  • CHEM 635 Biochemistry of Complex Carbohydrates
  • CHEM 640 Special Topics in Molecular Structure
  • CHEM 680 Seminar in Biophysical Chemistry
  • CHEM 682 Current Topics in Biochemistry

NOTE: The following courses, which have variable topics, may be approved as biochemistry electives in those years when their topic is appropriate (subject to confirmation in each case by the Biochemistry Undergraduate Committee):

  • CHEM 490A Special Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM 601 Current Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM 670 Special Topics in Dynamics and Mechanics
  • CHEM 684 Special Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM 684A Special Topics in Chemistry: Organic Spectroscopy

Mathematics and Physics (16 credits)

  • PHYS 121 Introductory Physics I
  • PHYS 122 Introductory Physics II
  • MATH 151 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • MATH 152 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II

Individual lab research 1-4 credits (recommended)

Students have the opportunity to integrate what they have learned by doing independent research with participating faculty. Those working with a Biological Sciences faculty member may register for BIOL 399 or 499. Those working in a Chemistry and Biochemistry departmental faculty laboratory may register for CHEM 399 or 499.

Recommendations for those planning graduate study

MATH 251, CHEM 301, and CHEM 302 recommended for those anticipating graduate study in chemistry, biophysical chemistry or biophysics.

Grade requirements for the B.S. degree

*In fulfilling major requirements, CHEM 437, CHEM 438, and CHEM 437L must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. An overall “C” average must be maintained in required courses. Note that all chemistry prerequisite coursesB must be satisfied with no less than a grade of “C.”


Legacy degree program (for pre-Fall 2010 students)

If you enrolled in college for the first time before Fall 2010 you may be pursuing an earlier version of the degree requirements for this major -  pre-Fall 2010 curriculum - however be advised that some classes required in that curriculum are no longer available.  Students pursuing a legacy degree can transfer to the new degree program by filing a Change of Major Form which can be found on the Registrar’s web site.