Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Friday, April 19, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2013-2014 Course Catalog

Period: 2018-20192017-20182016-20172015-20162014-2015

This catalog was created on Friday, April 19, 2019.


Biochemistry is the study of biological phenomena at the molecular level. Specifically, the scientific principles explored in chemistry and physics are related to the biology of organisms or communities of organisms. Although scientists have been fascinated with the molecules that compose living organisms for more than 200 years, biochemistry was finally recognized as a discipline at the beginning of the 20th century, as scientists strove to understand nutrition and metabolism in the context of human disease. Modern biochemistry is a vast subject that has applications to medicine, dentistry, agriculture, forensics, toxicology, pharmacy, anthropology, environmental science, and other fields.

Biochemistry is a dynamic and highly technical field. A degree in biochemistry presents students with many options for careers or advanced study. The biochemistry major will prepare students for graduate study in biochemistry (or allied fields such as bacteriology, genetics, or oncology) as well as for many pre-professional programs of study.

The biochemistry curriculum includes a strong foundation in the basic sciences, core courses central to the field, and electives that enable students to explore aspects of biochemistry in sub-fields of their choice. Most courses include an intensive laboratory experience, supported by equipment in biology, chemistry, and physics. Experimental work becomes progressively more sophisticated and creative in advanced courses as students gain insight to the primary literature and cutting-edge laboratory techniques. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in summer research, either in an academic setting — at Lawrence or another institution — or in industry.

The vision of a biochemistry Senior Experience is best described by a report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College. A biochemistry major at graduation should be an “intentional learner who can adapt to new environments, integrate knowledge from different sources, and continue learning throughout their life. They should also become empowered learners through the mastery of intellectual and practical skills by learning to effectively communicate orally, and in writing; understand and employ quantitative and qualitative analysis to solve problems; interpret and evaluate information from a variety of sources; understand and work within complex systems; demonstrate intellectual agility and the ability to manage change; transform information into knowledge and knowledge into judgment and action.”

The biochemistry major is highly compatible and complementary with the neuroscience program and a number of minors including Biology, Biomedical Ethics, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, and Computer Science. This flexibility allows a student in the major to consider and prepare for a multitude of career options.

Required for the Biochemistry Major

Required Foundation Courses

  1. CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry
  2. CHEM 250: Organic Chemistry I
  3. BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Principles
  4. MATH 120 and 130: Applied Calculus I and II or MATH 140: Calculus I
  5. BIOL 170: Experimental Design and Analysis or MATH 107 or MATH 117: Elementary Statistics or MATH 207: Introduction to Probability and Statistics
  6. PHYS 141: Principles of Classical Physics and 151: Principles of Modern Physics
  7. Senior Experience Courses – Please see description in the respective departmental portions of the course catalog
    • CHEM 380 (1 unit S/U)
    • CHEM 480 (2 units S/U)
    • CHEM 680 (3 units S/U)

    • BIOL 650 (5 units and 1 unit))

Required Core Courses

  1. BIOL 354: Molecular Biology
  2. CHEM 340: Biochemistry I (also BIOL 444)
  3. CHEM 440: Biochemistry II
  4. Elective Courses (Students must choose three courses from the list below, including at least one CHEM and one BIOL. One of the three must be a laboratory class)
    • Biology courses:
      • BIOL 235: Evolutionary Biology
      • BIOL 241: Cell Physiology
      • BIOL 300: Immunology
      • BIOL 325: Cell Biology
      • BIOL 326: Microbiology
      • BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience (also PSYC 580)
      • BIOL 356: Bioinformatics
      • BIOL 453: Developmental Biology
      • BIOL 510: Modern Concepts of Embryogenesis
      • BIOL 520 Cancer Biology
    • Chemistry courses:
      • CHEM 210: Analytical Chemistry
      • CHEM 247: Elements of Life
      • CHEM 252: Organic Chemistry II
      • CHEM 320 Inorganic Chemistry
      • CHEM 370: Chemical Dynamics
      • CHEM 410: Instrumental Analysis
      • CHEM 450: Topics in Advanced Organic Chemistry
    • Other:
      • PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior

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