Offered by the Biology, and Chemistry departments.

The study of the structures, functions, and interactions between biological molecules forms the focus of the work of biochemists.  Biochemistry majors will build and expand their capacity to think, work, and communicate as scientists.  Majors will use biochemical knowledge for experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, scientific reports and presentations, and exposure to the research literature.  Mastery in these essential areas will prepare biochemistry graduates for graduate study in the health professions or natural sciences, as well as for work in a research environment.

Related departments and programs

This is an academically demanding major that requires a high level of student commitment and advance planning.  Students considering majoring in biochemistry are encouraged to consult with one of the biochemistry program advisors (Elita Pastra-Landis, Chemistry, or Jenny Lanni, Biology) as early as possible in their academic career to facilitate this process.

Major requirements

Biochemistry major worksheet

The major consists of the following courses or their equivalents:


BIO 112 Cells and Genes
and BIO 305 Biochemistry

Two of the following courses at the 200 level:
BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 219 Cell Biology
BIO 221 Microbiology
BIO 254 Developmental Biology

and one of the following at the 300 level:
BIO 316 Molecular Biology and Genomics
BIO 321 Immunology
BIO 324 Neurobiology


CHEM 153 Chemical Principles
CHEM 232 Aqueous Equilibria
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 355 Chemical Thermodynamics
CHEM 356 Quantum Chemistry


MATH 104 Calculus II


PHYS 170 Introductory Physics I
PHYS 171 Introductory Physics II


CHEM 405/BIO 405 Senior Seminar in Biochemistry
Selected topics from contemporary biochemistry, including protein structure and function, nucleic acid damage and repair. The course focuses on reading and interpretation of primary literature in biochemistry and serves as the capstone for the biochemistry major.

For further information contact the Biochemistry program coordinators:

Hilary Magruder Gaudet

Jennifer Lanni

Jani Benoit

Professor of Chemistry

Christopher Kalberg

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Jennifer Lanni

Assistant Professor in Biology; Visiting Scientist, Boston Children's Hospital

S. Shawn McCafferty

Associate Professor of Biology

Robert L. Morris

Professor of Biology; William & Elsie Prentice Professorship (2015-2020)