Photo: Students working in a lab.

Requirements for the Major:

Degree: Bachelor of Science

All students must complete the SEBS core requirements appropriate for students majoring in Biochemistry (Areas I through VII below), plus the additional major requirements (Area VIII A through Fbelow).  To enroll in 11:115:403,404 General Biochemistry (4,3), students, be they majors in Biochemistry or not, must have completed 01:160:307-308 Organic Chemistry (4,4) or 160:315-316 Principles of Organic Chemistry with grades of C or higher.

I. School Mission: Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis (3 credits)

  • One 3-credit Junior/Senior Colloquium
    (See the Degree Requirements chapter for a description of this requirement)

II. Introductory Life and Physical Sciences

  • Life Sciences (8 credits)
    01:119:101-102  General Biology (4,4)

  • Physical Sciences (9 credits)
    01:160:161-162  General Chemistry (4,4)
    01:160:171  Introduction to Experimentation (1)
    (These are part of the Biochemistry core described below.)

  • Humanities and the Arts (6 credits)
    See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.

IV. Multicultural and International Studies (6 credits)

V. Human Behavior, Economic Systems, and Political Processes (9 credits)

VI. Oral and Written Communication (6 credits)

  • See suggested courses in the Degree Requirements chapter.
    01:355:302 Scientific and Technical Writing,
    01:355:312 Writing for Biology and Natural Science (3) or 
    01:355:342 Science Writing (3) is strongly recommended.

VII. Experience-Based Education (3 credits)

  • 11:115:493,494 Research Problems in Biochemistry (BA,BA)
    or equivalent independent research project or adviser-approved placement in cooperative education.

VIII. Proficiency in Biochemistry (94 credits)

The major in Integrated Biochemistry consists of the six parts A through F listed immediately below.  They are described briefly here; the specific requirements are listed below.

  • Life and Physical Sciences Core           
    These courses prepare students to enter the major.  These courses are normally completed in the first two years of college.

  • Quantitative Methods           
    Quantitative reasoning, computational facility and a grasp of the calculus are essential skills for people to be well educated in the molecular biosciences.  As with the Life and Physical Sciences Core, students should normally complete this requirement within the first two years of college.

  • Biochemistry Core
    This set of courses is required of all majors and prepares the student for both advanced course work and for research experience.

  • Professional Ethics
    Ethical conduct has at least two components: general ethical behavior and the ethical implications for society at large as a consequence of advances in Biochemistry.  Although Contemporary Issues in Biochemistry will meet the formal requirement, all courses within the major will include ethical components and examples.  In addition, all students in the major and in any of our courses will be required to adhere to a strict honor code.

  • Research Experience
    It is important that students be able to apply their knowledge of biochemistry in a laboratory setting. Therefore, all students will be required to take 6 cr. of research experience. This can be accomplished through working in an academic laboratory at Rutgers, either at SEBS or the other campuses.  This requirement can also be met through the George H. Cook Honors program, or through research experience through the Cooperative Education option. Research experience, however it may be structured, will satisfy the college’s experience based education requirement.

  • Biochemistry Options:

    • Biochemistry of Microbial Systems
      This option blends biochemistry with microbiology, allowing students to become proficient in the biochemistry of microbial organisms and systems.  This will include aspects of clinical microbiology and infection, as well as environmental microbiology.  Microbial infections of higher organisms are of continuing importance in human and animal heath.  Microorganisms also have profound environmental implications.  Microbial systems detoxify toxic substances and contribute to nutrient cycling in the ecosphere.  Another area of study is the use of microbial organisms to synthesize useful materials and to convert biomass to fuels. 

    • Biochemical Toxicology
      This option will allow the student to gain specific understanding of the study of toxic compounds. Toxicology is of critical importance in food and nutrition, the environment and in pharmacological science. Understanding the biochemical effects allows one to design appropriate treatments of illness, and to learn what exposures must be avoided.  An equally important second purpose, the study of how biochemical systems are made to go awry by toxic substances, illuminates normal functioning and development of organisms.  This understanding applies equally to all animals, including humans, as well as to plants and microorganisms.  It applies also to ecological communities of organisms, as toxic substances alter the interactions within ecosystems.

    • Biochemistry of Plant Systems Plants are not only at the root of the human and animal food chains, they are one of the dominant components of the planet’s ecosphere.  Understanding their biochemistry is a large and growing area of basic and applied research and public policy development.
    • Protein and Structural Biochemistry

Detailed Requirements

I.  Life and Physical Sciences Core
The following are required with the exception of 01:160:251
01:119:101/102                     General Biology I and II (4,4)
01:160: 161/162                    General Chemistry I and II (4,4) or equivalent
01:160: 171                            General Chemistry Laboratory (1)
01:750:193/194 Physics for the Sciences* (4,4) or
          01:750:201/202 Extended General Physics* (5,5) or
                    01:750:203/204 General Physics I and II* (3,3)
01:160: 307/308 or 315/316                Organic Chemistry I and II (4,4)
01:160:309 or 311                                  Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2)
01:447:380                                               Genetics (4)

II.  Biochemistry Core
11:115:201              Contemporary Issues in Biochemistry (new course)** (2)
11:115:403/404                      General Biochemistry I and II (4,3)
11:115:413/414                       Experimental Biochemistry I and II (3,3)
11:115:409                               Principles of Biophysical Chemistry  (3) or
           01:160: 342 Physical Chemistry: Biochemical Systems (3) or equivalent
        (Note: at present 160:342 requires 01:640:251 Multivariable Calculus (4)).
11:115:406                              Problem Solving in Biochemistry (2 cr.)

* Pre-medical students should be aware that two semesters of Physics lab are required for medical school admission.  Extended General Physics and Physics for the Sciences contain the lab; General Physics does not, so pre-medical students will have to include the labs in their programs.

** Normally taken in the sophomore year.   Transfer students entering in the fall of the junior year will take it in the fall of that year.   Among other matters included in it, this class will satisfy the ethics requirement for Biochemistry majors.  

III. Biochemical Technology/Techniques (two of the following courses)
11:115:428      Homology Modeling of Protein Three Dimensional Structure (3)
11:115:452      Biochemical Separations (3)
11:126:483      Nucleotide Sequence Analysis (3)
11:126:482      Molecular Genetics (3)
01:160:251      Analytical Chemistry (2.5)
01:960:401     Basic Statistics for Research (3)
11:126:485      Bioinformatics (3)

IV.  Quantitative Methods
01:640:151/152   Calculus for Math and Physical Sciences I and II (4, 4)

V.  Research Experience The curriculum is designed to provide students with the basics of laboratory experimentation followed by independent research experience in a research lab.  A minimum of two semesters of research is required.  With approval of the Undergraduate Program Director,  Cooperative Education may be accepted to meet this requirement. Biochemical Communications provides the opportunity for students to present their own research, in both written and oral formats, as well as research from the biochemical literature.

11:115:493/494   Research Problems in Biochemistry (6 cr.).  May be replaced by 11:015:497/ 498 George H. Cook Honors Research (6-12 cr)
11:115:491  Biochemical Communications (3 cr)

VI.  Options: 
Requires four classes from the specific lists below. Biochemistry electives, including Option requirements, must equal at least 12 credits; at least one course with a laboratory (indicated by an *).

The bold faced course(s) in each option is(are) required.

Biochemistry of Microbial Systems
11:680:390     General Microbiology (4)
11:680:394      Applied Microbiology (4)
01:447:498      Bacterial Physiology (3)
11:126:486      Analytical Methods in Microbiology (3)
11:126:407      Comparative Virology (3)
01:146:474      Immunology (3)
01:146:475      Laboratory in Immunology (1)
11:680:480      Microbial Genetics and Genomics (3)

Biochemical Toxicology
11:115:422     Biochemical Mechanisms of Toxicology (3)
11:067:450      Endocrinology (3)
11:115:434      Molecular Toxicology (1.5)
11:115:436      Molecular Toxicology Laboratory (2.5)*
11:115:421      Biochemistry of Cancer (3)
01:146:356      Systems Physiology (3)
01:146:357      Systems Physiology Laboratory (1)*
01:146:474      Immunology (3)
01:146:475      Laboratory in Immunology (1)*
30:718:304      Pathophysiology (3)
30:718:405      Pharmacology I (2)
30:718:406      Pharmacology II (2)

Biochemistry of Plant Systems
16:765:520     Plant Biochemistry and Metabolism (3)
11:776:382      Plant Physiology (4)
11:770:301      General Plant Pathology (3)
11:770:311      General Plant Pathology Laboratory (1)
11:776:242      Plant Science (3)
11:776:305      Plant Genetics (4)
11:776:312      Medicinal Plants (3)
11:776:403      Plant Science Techniques (3)
11:776:452      Plant Tissue Culture (3)

Protein and Structural Biochemistry
01:640:251      Calculus III (4)
11:115:412      Proteins and Enzymes (3)
11:115:428      Homology Modeling of Protein Three Dimensional Structure (3)
11:115:452      Biochemical Separations (3)
01:694:412      Proteomics and Functional Genomics (3)
01:694:413      Chromatin and Epigenomics: the science of chromatin modifications in development
and disease (3)

General Option
11:126:481     Molecular Genetics (3)
11:115:412      Proteins and Enzymes (3) OR
11:115:452      Biochemical Separations (3)
Two additional courses chosen from the options above with no more than one from any single option with one exception: 11:115:434  Molecular Toxicology (1.5) and 11:115:436  Molecular Toxicology Laboratory (2.5) shall be considered as a single course for this option.