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Advanced Biochemistry Option

Advanced Biochemistry Option


This track-one option leads to a degree approved by American Chemical Society. Designed for students continuing their chemistry education in graduate school or seeking careers directly in the chemistry workforce, it provides a rigorous chemistry foundation with the most extensive laboratory experience. The mix of advanced courses in this option emphasizes biochemistry principles and laboratory techniques.

Chemistry core (79 - 81 credits)

Advanced biochemistry option (32 credits)

Courses by year

This page serves as a general suggestion for students looking to complete their advanced biochemistry option degree within four years. We always recommend working with your adviser to find the best academic plan for you.

Biology (12): BI 221, 222 & 223 (recommended)a, d
General Chemistry (15): CH 231 (or 231H) & 271, 232 (or 232H) & 272, 233 (or 233H) & 273
Elementary Functions (4): MTH 112c
Careers in Chemistry (1): CH 220b
Calculus (8): MTH 251, 252
Writing I (Bacc Core) (3): WR 121 (or 121H)
Speech (Bacc Core) (3): COMM 111 (or 111H) or 114 (or 114H) or 211 or 218
Fitness (Bacc Core) (3): HHS 231 and PAC
Perspective (Bacc Core) (3): Options

Cell and Molecular Biology (4): BI 314 (Highly Recommended)a, d
Organic Chemistry (9): CH 334, 335, 336
Experimental Chemistry I (6): CH 361, 362
Advanced Mathematics (4): MTH 253 or 264 & 265
Vector Calculus I (4): MTH 254
General Physics (15): PH 211 & 221, 212 & 222, 213 & 223
Writing II (Bacc Core) (3): Options

Biochemistry (9): BB 490, 491, 492
Analytical Chemistry (6): CH 421, 422
Physical Chemistry (9): CH 440, 441, 442
Experimental Chemistry II (6): CH 461 or CH 462 (WIC) or 463 (WIC) or 464 (WIC)
Perspectives (Bacc Core) (3): Options
Perspective or DPD (Bacc Core) (6): Options
Synthesis (Bacc Core) (3): Options
Fitness Lab (1): PAC Lab
General Electives (4)

Biochemistry Laboratory (8): BB 493 & 494
Introduction to Biological Sequence Analysis (2): BB 345
Inorganic Chemistry (6): CH 411, 412
Perspective (3): Options
Synthesis (3): Options
CSE (6): Career Supportive Electives
General Electives (19)

a As of fall 2020, BI 22X replaces BI 21X. A minimum of C- in BI 22X is an enforced prerequisite for BB 314. BI 22X must be taken in order. If you completed the previous BI 21X series before fall 2020, this series still meets the requirements here.
b First Year Orientation for chemistry majors strongly recommended (1 credit P/N).
c MTH 112 is not a required course for the chemistry degree.
d While BI 22X Principles of Biology are not requirements for the advanced biochemistry option, they are enforced prerequisites for BI 314 and BB 49X (starting fall 2020). A minimum C- is required.

Sample course timetable

Fall term

  • CH 231 & 271
    MTH 112a
    (BI 221)b
    CH 220C

Winter term

  • CH 232 & 272
    MTH 251
    (BI 222b)

Spring term

  • CH 233 & 273
    MTH 252
    (BI 223b)

Fall term

  • CH 334
    CH 361
    MTH 254
    PH 211 & 221

Winter term

  • CH 335
    CH 362
    MTH 253 or MTH 264 & 265
    PH 212 & 222

Spring term

  • CH 336
    PH 213 & 223
    (BI 314d)

Fall term

  • CH 440
    CH 421
    CH 461
    BB 490

Winter term

  • CH 441
    CH 422
    BB 491

Spring term

  • CH 442
    CH 463e
    BB 492

Fall term

  • CH 411
    BB 493
    BB 345f

Winter term

  • BB 494


a MTH 112 is a prerequisite for MTH 251, a required course for all chemistry majors. MTH 112 is not a required course for the chemistry degree.

b While BI 22X Principles of Biology are not requirements for the advanced biochemistry option, they are enforced prerequisites for BI 314 and BB 49X (starting Fall 2020). A minimum C- is required.

c Chemistry Majors are strongly encouraged to take the chemistry major's orientation course, "Careers in Chemistry", fall term. This is a 1-credit course and graded P/N.

d BI 314 is recommended as an elective to be taken before the BB lecture series and it applies as a Career Support Elective (CSE).

e CH 462 (winter) or CH 464 (fall) my be substituted as long as one additional WIC course is taken (CH 462 or CH 463 or CH 464).

f BB 493 is only offered fall term and BB 494 is only offered winter term. As of fall 2019, BB 496 and BB 497 are now combined into one course offered fall term, BB 345 (2 credits).

Career Supportive Elective courses (CSE) are decided in your junior year. You will consult with your chemistry adviser for the courses that best meet your track choice. You are required to take at least 6 CSE credits for graduation. They can be taken any term as scheduled.

While the order of the courses above is suggested, many of the prerequisite chemistry and biochemistry courses are only taught one term per year. I is critical that you consider this when planning out your academic schedule.

Baccalaureate Core courses are not shown on the chart above.

Additional information

Career supportive electives (CSE)

The 6 credits of CSE courses are to be approved by the student's academic adviser by the end of the winter quarter of the junior year. The student should submit a formal list to the adviser by email).

  • These courses must include at least 3 credits of an upper-division lab course.
  • The other 3 credits can be a lab or lecture course. A course is considered a lab course if the primary emphasis of the course is the laboratory experience and the majority of time in the course is devoted to the laboratory. (A 4-credit course with three lectures a week and one lab a week is not considered a lab course.)
  • Undergraduate research or undergraduate thesis (CH 401 or CH 403 or the corresponding courses in other departments) are strongly recommended. These courses can be used for part or all of the CSE and provide the student with valuable experience that is especially important for continuing education in graduate school. CH 374 is a synthesis course and not considered a career-supportive elective.

Generally, CSE courses are upper-division (UD) courses in chemistry, science or related areas including engineering, oceanography and agricultural science that are not specified for the chemistry core or the advanced chemistry option.

  • Courses to consider include upper-division courses that are identified for other options. Other than CH 401 or CH 403, recommended courses also include other UD undergraduate chemistry courses (not used for the chemistry core or the advanced chemistry option), graduate chemistry courses, biochemistry (not used for the advanced chemistry option), physics, mathematics (not used for the chemistry core), and statistics.

Chemistry Internship (CH 410) may be used for three credits of CSE as described on the internship page under the topic of Grading and Credits.

Also see policies for other information including external research.

Major courses


MTH 253 or MTH 264 & 265 is a required course for the advanced biochemistry option. You will usually find that MTH 264 & 265 is offered more terms and at better times.


If BB 490 & BB 491 Biochemistry (6 credits) are used to fulfill the biochemistry requirement instead of BB 450, two of the credits count toward credits for CSE credits.


BI 314 is not required but is recommended as an elective before taking BB 490 and counts as a career supportive elective.