Chemistry

The biological chemistry track.

The Chemistry Department recognizes that a number of students each year are interested in a major program containing both a strong biology or biochemistry component and somewhat less emphasis on chemistry than the standard chemistry major. In response to this interest, the Chemistry Department now offers a biological chemistry track. This track would, for example, be an excellent preparation for medical school or graduate school in biochemistry and biophysics. (Students interested in chemistry as a profession are advised to take the standard chemistry major track, which provides a better preparation for graduate school in chemistry.)

    To begin a major in this track, a student should complete a year of Introductory Chemistry (CHEM141/142, or, preferably CHEM143/144, and the associated laboratory, CHEM152), unless the student has been given Advanced Placement credit. In addition, one year of organic chemistry (CHEM251/252), the concurrent laboratories (CHEM257/258), and a semester of biology (BIOL/MB&B181) is required. One year of advanced laboratory (CHEM375/376, Integrated Chemistry Laboratory) and two semesters of the Chemistry Symposia (CHEM521/522) are also required. MB&B/CHEM395, Structural Biology Laboratory, may be substituted for one semester of CHEM375/376. Also required are Biochemistry (CHEM383) and Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences (CHEM381). The two semester physical chemistry sequence, CHEM337/338, can be substituted for CHEM381, with the second semester of this sequence then counted as one of the three electives. Students who have been exempted from CHEM144 or who have taken CHEM142 must take CHEM361, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, to gain familiarity with inorganic chemistry. The three electives required for Chemistry majors should be taken from the following: CHEM301, Molecular Biophysics; CHEM/MB&B321, Biomedicinal Chemistry; CHEM/MB&B325, Introduction to Biomolecular Structure; CHEM385, Advanced Chemistry: Enzyme Kinetics; CHEM/MB&B386, Biological Thermodynamics; CHEM387, Enzyme Mechanisms, any other Chemistry courses, 300-level or higher, or MB&B208, Molecular Biology. One upper-level MB&B course can be used as an elective upon prior approval by the faculty advisor (Note, however, that only one MB&B course, not cross-listed with chemistry, may count as an elective towards the major). Also required is MATH121 or MATH117, preferably the former, or Advanced Placement calculus with an AP score of 4 or 5: MATH122 or MATH118 and a year of physics. One of the electives may be replaced by two semesters of research (CHEM409/410 or CHEM421/422). One year of calculus (MATH117/118, or MATH121/122, or Advanced Placement credit) and one year of physics (PHYS111/112 or PHYS113/116, or Advanced Placement credit). Participation in the weekly biochemistry seminar (CHEM587/588) and in research, both during the academic year and over at least one summer, are strongly recommended.

Click here  to preview the Biological Chemistry Track Outline.