BA in Chemistry: Biochemistry

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) no longer admits students to the major in Chemistry: Biochemistry. Students who are continuing in this major should note the following degree requirements.

The major in Chemistry: Biochemistry is designed to meet the educational and research needs of students with an emphasis on the biochemical sciences and biological chemistry/chemical biology. As with the Chemistry major, an emphasis on research skill development builds on a core of courses covering the principal areas of chemistry as an intellectual foundation for biochemistry. Research in biochemistry is also strongly supported within this major. Chemistry: Biochemistry majors are exceptionally well prepared for graduate education and careers in chemical research, teaching, the biochemical industry, or regulatory agencies; as a premedical track, the major provides excellent preparation for professional training in medicine and related health fields.

Completion of the Chemistry: Biochemistry major qualifies students for certification by the American Chemical Society.

All students should refer to the Departmental Regulations section of the Chemistry Department page for important stipulations. NOTE: Students may not switch tracks in general or organic chemistry after the initial course in the sequence.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the foundational material of chemistry in order to advance into the traditional chemistry sub-disciplines (inorganic, organic, biochemistry, physical chemistry).
  • Apply fundamental chemistry concepts to the fields of study defined by their respective majors.
  • Demonstrate analytical skills and experimental techniques, both intellectual and manual.
  • Demonstrate competency in laboratory skills, including the use of basic instrumentation, data analysis, and the reporting of experimental results.

Additional knowledge will be gained in cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Students will be well prepared to pursue careers in biochemistry and biophysics.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Chemistry: Biochemistry will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry, and most of the requirements in Communication and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

Program Requirements

The Chemistry: Biochemistry major requires a minimum of twelve 4-credit courses in chemistry, as well as two biology, three math, and two physics 4-credit courses. Unless noted otherwise, all required courses are 4 credit hours. All required chemistry courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Core Chemistry Courses

  • CAS CH 111, 112 (or CH 109, 110, or CH 101, 102, 201, or CH 101, 116, 201)
  • CAS CH 211, 212 (or CH 203, 214, or CH 203, 204, 220, or CH 218, 214)
  • CAS CH 232
  • CAS CH 351, 352
  • CAS CH 421, 422
  • Two of four advanced laboratory courses: CAS CH 301, 303, 354, and 524

Note: CAS CH 201 and CH 220 are 2 credits. CAS CH 116 is 5 credits.

Required Related Courses

  • CAS BI 108
  • CAS BI 213 (or 203)
  • CAS CH 225 (or CAS MA 225 or MA 230)
  • CAS MA 123, 124 (MA 127 or MA 129 fulfills MA 123, 124 requirement)
  • CAS PY 211, 212 (or 241, 242, or 251, 252)

Elective Requirement

One additional 400 or higher level, 4-credit CAS CH course (excluding CAS CH 525), including research in biochemistry (401, 402, 461, 462). GRS CH courses can be used to fulfill the advanced course requirement.

  • Advanced course may be satisfied by the completion of the requirements of a major or minor in astronomy, biology, biomedical engineering, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics, or physics.
  • Students in the MMEDIC program may substitute GMS BI 751 and CAS CH 527 for CH 421, and GMS BI 751 and CAS CH 528 for CH 422; one additional course in chemistry numbered CAS CH 400 or higher is required.

Honors in the Major


  • CAS CH 401, CAS CH 402 Honors Research in Chemistry

Minimum 16 hours per week of experimental or theoretical research within a chemistry department, or approved research group outside the chemistry department undertaking research in the chemical sciences. An Honors thesis will be submitted at the end of the spring semester and defended before a committee of three faculty members. A grade of B or higher is required in CH 401 and CH 402 in order to graduate with Honors in Chemistry. An oral presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the end of the spring semester is also required.

Prereq: 3.0 overall GPA, 3.2 GPA in required major courses, and approval of Honors application by Undergraduate Programs Committee.