​An Interdisciplinary Program Featuring Capstone Mentored Research

CMU's Biochemistry (B.S., B.A.) program is an interdisciplinary biochemistry program providing students with fundamental knowledge and a broadly applicable skillset in biochemistry & molecular biology obtained through rigorous coursework, hands-on laboratory experiences, and mentored research.

CMU is the only public university in Michigan to have a required thesis-based research capstone for all chemistry and biochemistry majors. Every student works one-on-one with a faculty member to design and execute a research project, then communicate their findings through a written thesis and a poster presentation. Biochemistry majors have the flexibility to work with faculty form various Departments and Colleges, including Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biology, Neuroscience, and the College of Medicine. Many students publish in peer-reviewed journals and travel to present their work at regional or national scientific meetings. See our undergraduate capstone research page for more information.

Together, the Biochemistry (B.S., B.A.) degree's curriculum and distinctive capstone research experience provide all of our majors with a rigorous preparation for employment or continued education in various life sciences disciplines and health professions.

CMU's Biochemistry program is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Program Requirements

The Biochemistry B.S. and B.A. degrees differ in their liberal arts emphases but otherwise have identical course requirements totaling 69-71 credit hours. Below is a representative list of required courses, not including general education requirements. The complete, up-to-date program requirements and course descriptions are always available in the online academic bulletin. Review these program requirements with an academic advisor and with assistance from the Biochemistry (B.S., B.A.) major map, which is an illustrative guide that will help you plan your coursework.

Core Courses I (5-8 hours)
  • Option A (8 hours):
    • CHM 131 - General Chemistry I 4(3-3)
    • CHM 132 - General Chemistry II 4(3-3)
  • Option B (5 hours):
    • CHM 161 - Principles of Chemistry 5(4-4)
Core Courses II (21 hours)
  • CHM 211QR - Quantitative Analysis 4(3-5)
  • CHM 345 - Organic Chemistry I 3(3-0)
  • CHM 346 - Organic Chemistry II 3(3-0)
  • CHM 349 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2(0-6)
  • CHM 521 - Fundamentals of Biochemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 522 - Intermediate Biochemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 527 - Biochemistry Laboratory 1(0-4)
  • CHM 528 - Bioanalytical Techniques Laboratory 2(1-3)
  • CHM 491WI - Undergraduate Research 1-3(Spec)**
**Students are encouraged to initiate a faculty-mentored research project as early as desired. See the undergraduate capstone research page for more information.

Core Courses III (3-4 hours)
  • Select one of the following:
    • BIO 325 - Biotechnology 3(1-5)
    • BIO 524 - Molecular Biology 3(3-0)
Core Courses IV (3-6 hours)
  • Option A (3 hours):
    • CHM 355 - Biophysical Chemistry I 3(3-0)
  • Option B (6 hours):
    • CHM 351 - Physical Chemistry I 3(3-0)
    • CHM 352 - Physical Chemistry II 3(3-0)
Core Courses V (1-3 hours)
  • CHM 491WI - Undergraduate Research 1-3(Spec)*
*Students are encouraged to initiate a faculty-mentored research project as early as possible. See the undergraduate capstone research page for more information.

Required Courses I (15 hours)
  • BIO 110 - Concepts of Biology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 208 - Microbiology 3(2-3)
  • MTH 132 - Calculus I 4(4-0)
  • MTH 133 - Calculus II 4(4-0)
Required Courses II (3-4 hours)
  • Select one of the following:
    • BIO 324 - Cell Biology 3(3-0)
    • BIO 326 - Genetics 4(3-3)
Required Courses III (10 hours)
  • Option A (10 hours):
    • PHY 130QR - College Physics I 4(4-0)
    • PHY 131 - College Physics II 4(4-0)
    • PHY 170 - College Physics Laboratory I 1(0-2)
    • PHY 171 - College Physics Laboratory II 1(0-2)
  • Option B (10 hours):
    • PHY 145QR - University Physics I 4(4-0)
    • PHY 146 - University Physics II 4(4-0)
    • PHY 175 - University Physics Laboratory I 1(0-2)
    • PHY 176 - University Physics Laboratory II 1(0-2)
Electives (0-6 hours)

Sufficient 300-level or greater CHM or BIO courses to meet the minimum required 69 credit hours, selected in consultation with program advisor to align with career goals (see notes below).

Select from over 40 courses covering a range of topics shown below. A complete, up-to-date list of biochemistry electives with course descriptions is always available in the online academic bulletin for the Biochemistry B.S. and Biochemistry B.A. degrees.

  • BIO 320 – Biology of Bacteria 3(3-0)
  • BIO 325 – Biology of Bacteria 3(3-0)
  • BIO 325 – Biotechnology 3(1-5)
  • BIO 337 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4(3-3)
  • BIO 392 – Mammalian Physiology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 392 – Mammalian Physiology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 497 – Special Topics in Biology 1-9(Spec)
  • BIO 500 – Biological Statistics 3(2-2)
  • BIO 501 – Evolution 3(3-0)
  • BIO 524 – Molecular Biology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 534 – Endocrinology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 536 – Histology 3(2-3)
  • BIO 537 – Immunology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 539 – Virology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 544 – Developmental Biology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 545 – Molecular Genetics 3(3-0)
  • BIO 546 – Molecular Genetics Laboratory 1(0-3)
  • BIO 570 – Cellular Dynamics 3(3-0)
  • BIO 571 – Cellular Dynamics Laboratory 1(0-3)
  • BIO 575 – Applied Bioinformatics 4(3-3)
  • BIO 576 – Animal Cell Culture 4(1-6)
  • BIO 580 – Medical Microbiology 4(2-4)
  • BIO 585 – Conservation Medicine 3(3-0)
  • BIO 590 – Cardiovascular Physiology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 591 – Neurophysiology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 597 – Special Topics in Biology 1-9(Spec)
  • CHM 331 – Inorganic Chemistry 3(2-4)
  • CHM 333 – Bioinorganic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 511 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry 4(2-4)
  • CHM 513 – Chemistry of Natural Waters 3(1-6)
  • CHM 531 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 541 – Intermediate Organic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 547 – Advanced Chemistry Laboratory 2(1-3)
  • CHM 551 – Materials Chemistry: Inorganics and Nanomaterials 3(3-0)
  • CHM 555 – Advanced Physical Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 561 – Polymer Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 562 – Industrial Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 564 – Polymer Technology 3(3-0)
  • CHM 566 – Introduction to Biomaterials 3(3-0)
  • CHM 567 – Polymer Science Laboratory 2(1-3)
  • CHM 568 – Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 571 – Topics in Chemistry 1-9(Spec) Biotechnology 3(1-5)
  • BIO 337 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4(3-3)
  • BIO 392 – Mammalian Physiology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 392 – Mammalian Physiology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 497 – Special Topics in Biology 1-9(Spec)
  • BIO 500 – Biological Statistics 3(2-2)
  • BIO 501 – Evolution 3(3-0)
  • BIO 524 – Molecular Biology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 534 – Endocrinology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 536 – Histology 3(2-3)
  • BIO 537 – Immunology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 539 – Virology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 544 – Developmental Biology 4(3-3)
  • BIO 545 – Molecular Genetics 3(3-0)
  • BIO 546 – Molecular Genetics Laboratory 1(0-3)
  • BIO 570 – Cellular Dynamics 3(3-0)
  • BIO 571 – Cellular Dynamics Laboratory 1(0-3)
  • BIO 575 – Applied Bioinformatics 4(3-3)
  • BIO 576 – Animal Cell Culture 4(1-6)
  • BIO 580 – Medical Microbiology 4(2-4)
  • BIO 585 – Conservation Medicine 3(3-0)
  • BIO 590 – Cardiovascular Physiology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 591 – Neurophysiology 3(3-0)
  • BIO 597 – Special Topics in Biology 1-9(Spec)
  • CHM 331 – Inorganic Chemistry 3(2-4)
  • CHM 333 – Bioinorganic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 511 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry 4(2-4)
  • CHM 513 – Chemistry of Natural Waters 3(1-6)
  • CHM 531 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 541 – Intermediate Organic Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 547 – Advanced Chemistry Laboratory 2(1-3)
  • CHM 551 – Materials Chemistry: Inorganics and Nanomaterials 3(3-0)
  • CHM 555 – Advanced Physical Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 561 – Polymer Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 562 – Industrial Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 564 – Polymer Technology 3(3-0)
  • CHM 566 – Introduction to Biomaterials 3(3-0)
  • CHM 567 – Polymer Science Laboratory 2(1-3)
  • CHM 568 – Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3(3-0)
  • CHM 571 – Topics in Chemistry 1-9(Spec)
  • CHM 583 – Seminar in Chemistry 1-2(Spec)
Notes
Suggestions for electives based on career goals are given below:
  • Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinarian, and Pre-Dental: CHM 568, BIO 337, 392, 500, 580, 536, 537, 544
  • Pre-Pharmacy (notes: please check with websites of pharmacy schools you are applying to since pre-requisites vary considerably): CHM 568, BIO 337, 500
  • Pre-Graduate School: CHM 333, BIO 545, 546, 575, 576
  • A minor in Chemistry is not allowed with a Biochemistry major

What's Next?

If you are a prospective student, please contact us for more information about our Department and this program and apply to CMU. If you are interested in other undergraduate programs offered by the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, click here.

If you are a current CMU student considering majoring in chemistry or biochemistry, please set up a meeting with an academic advisor to plan your coursework, learn more about undergraduate research, and sign your major.