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Graduation 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

II. Introductory Life and Physical Sciences (23 credits)

Life Sciences (8 credits)

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.