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Graduation Requirements

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)
    01:119:115/116 &117  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
01:119:115/116 & 117     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.