Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Program
The Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Program is comprised of faculty and resources in the CAS Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Two degrees are offered by this interdisciplinary program: the BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) and the MA in Biotechnology (the MA is only offered in combination with the BA as part of the BA/MA dual degree program).
The BMB major gives students a strong foundation in biology and chemistry followed by an opportunity to focus on particular aspects within these disciplines. In addition to the foundation courses, students are required to take two semesters of both math and physics. Our majors also have the opportunity to participate in independent research projects that complement their coursework.
The BMB curriculum provides exceptional preparation for pursuing advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences as well as entering the workforce in the area of biotechnology.
BA/MA: Eligible BMB majors may apply during their junior year for the combined program leading to both a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a master’s degree in Biotechnology. Students typically complete the combined BA/MA program in five years and are well prepared for working in biomedical research. This program requires six advanced-level courses in addition to the requirements for the BA. It also requires two semesters of graduate-level independent research, submission of a research progress report and proposal, and participation in the annual BMB research symposium. Application information can be found in the BA/MA and BA/MS Programs portion of this Bulletin.
Students with potential interests in the molecular biosciences should note that several paths leading in this direction are available at Boston University, each with its particular objectives. In addition to the interdisciplinary BA program described in this section, related but distinct programs exist as majors in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The departmental pages in this Bulletin should be consulted for details.
Advanced Credit (AP & IB Exams)
AP Biology: Students with an Advanced Placement (AP) Biology examination score of 5 receive 8 credits toward two of the following courses: CAS BI 105, CAS BI 107, CAS BI 108. It is recommended that BMB students use their AP credits for BI 105 and BI 107, then take BI 108 in college. A score of 4 on the AP Biology exam results in credit toward one of the following courses: CAS BI 105, CAS BI 107, CAS BI 108. It is recommended that BMB students use their AP credit for BI 107, then take BI 108 in college. Students are encouraged to consult with a BMB advisor about AP credit.
IB Biology: Students with an International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level Biology exam grade of 5, 6, or 7 receive 8 credits toward two of the following courses: CAS BI 105, CAS BI 107, CAS BI 108. It is recommended that BMB students use their IB credits for BI 105 and BI 107, then take BI 108 in college. Students are encouraged to consult with a BMB advisor about IB credit.
AP Chemistry: Please consult the Advanced Credit Guide on the Admissions website for the latest AP Chemistry equivalencies. Students should consult with a BMB advisor regarding general chemistry courses.
IB Chemistry: Students with an International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level Chemistry exam grade of 5, 6, or 7 receive 8 credits toward CAS CH 101 and CAS CH 102. Students using IB credit toward their general chemistry requirement will need to take an additional analytical lab course (CAS CH 201) to satisfy the BMB general chemistry requirement. Students should consult with a BMB advisor regarding general chemistry courses.
After consultation with a BMB advisor and with written departmental approval, students may cross-register for undergraduate courses at Boston College, Brandeis University, Hebrew College, and Tufts University. More information can be found on the Registrar’s website.
The BMB major satisfies all premedical recommendations. Premedical students are encouraged to take CAS BI 315 (Systems Physiology) as a BMB elective to fulfill the premedical biology recommendation. Premedical students should discuss premedical recommendations with an advisor in the Pre-Professional Advising office (100 Bay State Road, Room 428) as well as with a BMB advisor as early as possible.
Program Residency Requirement
Of the Core, BMB Elective, and Advanced Lab Elective courses, students must take at least 5 courses at Boston University to satisfy the program residency requirement.
Study Abroad Programs Recommended for BMB Students
All study abroad decisions should be made in consultation with a BMB advisor.