The Biochemistry major is for students preparing for careers in biochemistry or other fields requiring extensive preparation in both chemistry and biology.
The Biochemistry major has the following learning outcomes:
- Understanding of chemical structures, bonding, and conformational properties of biological molecules
- Understanding of higher-level organization of cellular components, rules of subcellular organelles, and compartmentalization
- Understanding of mechanisms and energetics of biochemical reactions and the basis for enzymatic catalysis, including the roles of organic cofactors and metals in such processes
- Understanding of ways that cellular events are energetically coupled in key processes
- Understanding of regulatory and response mechanisms that operate in biological systems to achieve homeostasis and conduct signaling within and between cells
- Understanding of the basis for molecular evolution and ways that genetic information is encoded and transmitted in biology
- Understanding of the roles of DNA and protein sequence information in inferring biological function and common ancestry
- Familiarity with laboratory methods for purifying, identifying, and characterizing biomolecules, including protein and nucleic acids
- Familiarity with assays for activity and binding
- Familiarity with basic laboratory methods for DNA manipulation
- Understanding of the roles of hypotheses and models in investigating scientific ideas
- Understanding of the critical importance of controls in interpreting experimental data
Preparation for the Major
Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A (or 20AH), 20B (or 20BH), 20L, 30A, 30AL, 30B, 30BL, 30C; Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A (33A strongly recommended); Physics 1A, 1B, and 1C (or 1AH, 1BH, and 1CH) and 4BL, or 5A, 5B, and 5C.
Students must also complete one of two life sciences sequences — either Life Sciences 2, 3, 4, and 23L, or 7A, 7B, 7C, and 23L. They may not substitute courses in either sequence.
Required: Chemistry and Biochemistry 110A, 153A, 153B, 153C, 153L, 154, 156; one additional upper-division or graduate course in chemistry and biochemistry; and three elective upper-division or graduate courses (12 units) approved by the undergraduate adviser (Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics 101 highly recommended). Refer to the Undergraduate Advising Office website for a list of approved electives.