Biomolecular Science (A.B. or B.S)

May be elected as a departmental major program 

Effective Fall  2015

Exclusions: Students who elect a major in Biomolecular Science may not elect the following majors: Biology, General Biology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Interdisciplinary Chemical Sciences, Microbiology, or Cell and Molecular Biology. They may also not elect any of the Chemistry minors.

The major in Biomolecular Science serves pre-health students and others who are not intending to go into science as a career but would benefit from a scientific credential. In addition to medicine, we envisage that this major will be of interest to students planning careers in fields such as education, journalism, science policy, business, law, etc. The Biomolecular Science major provides students with the core knowledge necessary to understand the chemical principles underpinning biology and the option to explore aspects of the subject of interest to them through a set of electives drawn from current course offerings in chemistry, biophysics and MCDB. The major differs from the Biochemistry major in requiring fewer courses and does not have a research component. Biomolecular Sciences is a less extensive major than Biochemistry, and is primarily aimed at those planning a career outside of the chemical sciences. Instead, this should be an attractive degree option for students who plan to pursue post-graduate studies in Biomedical or Health Sciences. Students who are intending to pursue graduate studies or an industrial career in biochemistry or related areas are strongly encouraged to elect the Biochemistry major. The major is structured so that students can readily convert to the BS major in Biochemistry if they decide to do so during the course of their studies.

Prerequisites to the Major

  • BIOLOGY 171, 172 and 173 (or the equivalent)
  • CHEM 130, 125/126; or CHEM 245/246/247 for students with AP credit for CHEM 130, 125/126
  • MATH 115 (or 120); or the equivalent
  • MATH 116 (or 121) or STATS 250; or the equivalent
  • PHYSICS [135/136 or 140/141] and [235/236 or 240/241] (or the equivalent). 

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 25 credits (effective Winter 2015; retroactive to Fall 2012). The major must include:

  1. Core: CHEM 210/211; CHEM 215; CHEM 260 or 230; CHEM 351* and 352
    *Students are strongly encouraged to take CHEM 351 but could substitute this course requirement with MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415.
  2. Electives: A total of at least 9 credits (three courses) with at least one course at the 400-level:
    1. At least one course chosen from:
      • CHEM 303, 420, 451, 452, 453, 455
      • BIOLCHEM 451, 452
    2. At least one course chosen from:
      • BIOLOGY 305
      • BIOPHYS 440;
      • CHEM 440
      • MCDB 405, 411, 422, 427, 428, 431, 437

Honors Plan 

Effective Winter 2013

Students may obtain Honors in Biomolecular Science by successfully completing all courses required for the Biomolecular Science major with an overall GPA of 3.4. In addition, students obtaining Honors must complete one additional upper-level Chemistry elective (chosen in consultation with the department advisor), complete four credits elected over at least two terms of CHEM 398 and write a thesis based on their undergraduate research. Students must register for one credit of CHEM 498 in the term in which they plan to submit their thesis.

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