Specialized Curriculum in Biochemistry

For the Degree Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

The typical program of courses required to satisfy this degree totals 126-131 hours as outlined below including up to 12 hours of non-primary language (if not completed in high school); in no case will a program totaling less than 120 hours qualify for graduation. In addition, in order to graduate there is a minimum 2.0 cumulative academic grade point average and student must attain a 2.5 academic grade point average in the chemistry, biochemistry, biology, mathematics, physics and advanced electives in science/engineering courses specified in this curriculum. All proposals for course substitutions must be approved by the academic advisor. This curriculum is intended for those students who desire a rigorous education in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, who have definite research-oriented goals, and whose career objectives include graduate school, MD/PhD programs, or industry.


Web address for department: http://mcb.illinois.edu/departments/biochemistry

All students must complete the General education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Students earning the Biochemistry degree automatically complete the Chemistry minor. Students earning a degree in the Specialized Curriculum in Biochemistry may not earn a second degree in the Science and Letters Curriculum in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Departmental distinction: A student seeking distinction must satisfy the following:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of undergraduate research (BIOC 290 and BIOC 492) with a minimum of 4 credit hours of BIOC 492.
  • Earn at least a 3.25 grade-point average.
  • Present a senior thesis to the department.
Select one of the following:8-9
Accelerated Chemistry I
and Accelerated Chemistry Lab I
and Accelerated Chemistry II
and Accelerated Chemistry Lab II (preferred sequence)
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Lab I
and General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Lab II (with advisor approval)
Organic chemistry, select from: 8-9
Fundamental Organic Chem I
and Structure and Synthesis
and Fundamental Organic Chem II (preferred sequence)
Elementary Organic Chemistry I
and Elementary Organic Chem Lab I
and Elementary Organic Chem II (with advisor approval)
Molecular and Cellular Biology17
Molec & Cellular Basis of Life
Molecular Genetics
Exp Techniqs in Molecular Biol
Cells, Tissues & Development
Exp Techniqs in Cellular Biol
Biochem & Phys Basis of Life
or equivalent as approved by academic advisor
Physical chemistry, select one group of courses:7-8
Physical Chemistry Principles (Biological Perspective Section)
Physical Biochemistry (preferred sequence)
Physical Chemistry I
Physical Chemistry II (with advisor approval)
Calculus I
Calculus II
Calculus III
Physics, select from: 310-12
University Physics: Mechanics
and University Physics: Elec & Mag
and Univ Physics: Thermal Physics
and Univ Physics: Quantum Physics (preferred sequence)
College Physics: Mech & Heat
and College Physics: E&M & Modern (or equivalent as approved by academic advisor (with advisor approval)
Biochemistry: 413
Technqs Biochem & Biotech
Biochemistry Senior Seminar
Gene Expression & Regulation
Current Topics in Biochemistry
Select 10 hours of Advanced Science/Technical Electives (may include up to 7 hours of BIOC 492, Senior Thesis) from approved list. 510
Nontechnical Requirements: 6variable
General education:
Foreign language - three semesters of college study (or three years of high school study) in a single foreign language to satisfy the campus foreign language requirement
Composition I writing requirement to satisfy the campus Composition I requirement
Advanced Composition writing requirement (BIOC 460 is required)
Humanities/Arts to satisfy the campus general education requirements
Social/Behavioral sciences to satisfy the campus general education requirements
Cultural Studies to satisfy the campus general education requirement
Electives (not including any credit in satisfaction of the above requirements)variable

Transfer credit must be approved by an advisor in biochemistry in order to be used to satisfy degree requirements.


A more detailed description of the requirements is listed in the Biochemistry Curriculum Handbook, available in room 419A of Roger Adams Laboratory.


PHYS 213 is not required if CHEM 442/CHEM 444 sequence is taken.


Freshman orientation course is under development and will be required. See advisor for details.


An approved list of current courses will be updated annually in January/February for the coming year. Contact advisor.


The requirements for the Campus General Education categories of Natural Sciences and Technology and Quantitative Reasoning I are fulfilled through coursework in the curriculum.