Biochemistry, B.S.


Department of Chemistry

Joy Goto, Chair
Science Building, Room 380

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Chemistry, B.A.
BS in Chemistry, B.S.
BS in Biochemistry, B.S.
CRED in Single Subject Credential - Chemistry
MN in Chemistry, Minor
MS in Chemistry, M.S.

Courses Offered

The Chemistry Department provides (1) undergraduate training in chemistry for students planning professional careers in chemistry, biochemistry and allied professions, and for those contemplating graduate work for advanced degrees; (2) undergraduate training in chemistry for those planning careers in professions such as medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.; (3) participation in the preparation of teachers of chemistry and the other physical sciences in the teaching credential programs; (4) teaching of the basic chemical sciences required by students majoring in related fields such as physics, biology, nursing, engineering, geology, agriculture, home economics, and criminology; (5) stimulation of interest in and understanding of the achievements and contributions of chemistry to our civilization for non-science students, as a part of General Education; and (6) graduate instruction in chemistry for the Master of Science degree for students who intend to enter the chemical industry, pursue further advanced study, or who wish to improve their qualifications as teachers in secondary schools and community colleges. The multi-disciplinary forensic science degree program prepares students for continued success by integrating instruction with active forensic research, collaboration with local crime laboratories, and real world experiences.

The Bachelor of Science degree programs in Chemistry/Biochemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society. Students who satisfactorily complete the program are recommended by the department for certification as graduate chemists by the American Chemical Society. Students completing the Bachelor of Arts degree may be recommended for certification by completing additional requirements of the American Chemical Society.


The graduate chemistry laboratories and support areas are housed in the science building. Students have access to a broad range of instrumentation, including two solution-state NMR spectrometers (300 MHz and 400 MHz), an EPR spectrometer, Jasco-1815 CD spectrometer, a TA instruments nano-DSC, a range of mass spectrometers (including ion trap, micro-TOF and MALDI-TOF-TOF), several HPLC systems. Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometers (transmission and multi-bounce ATR) a range of gas chromatographs (including instruments with mass spectrometer detectors, flame ionization detectors, and electron capture detectors), UV-vis spectrometers, a spectrofluorimeter, an isotope ratio mass spectrometer, X-ray fluorescence and diffraction instruments, and electrochemical analyzers (including spectroelectrochemical systems). Students also have access to a 108-node Linux cluster and several molecular mechanics and molecular dynamics software programs. Library facilities include over 100 journal subscriptions in chemistry plus numerous texts and related books.


Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is intended for students who plan to pursue a career in biochemical research, chemistry research, and suitable for a student pursuing health professions (medical, pharmaceutical, dental, and other clinical and health professions). The B.S. program is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program to prepare students for graduate study in pursuit of a Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in areas related to biochemistry.

Note: Biochemistry majors may not take courses listed in the major or additional requirements for CR/NC grades.

1. Major requirements (50-54 units)

Core Program
CHEM 1A, 1AL, 1B, 1BL, 102, 110A, 112, 128A, 128B, 129A, 129B, 155A, 155B, 156

Select two additional upper-division CHEM courses (4-7 units): CHEM 106, 106S, 111, 123, 124, or 190 or other approved courses.
Select two additional upper-division BIOL courses (6-7 units): BIOL 102, 103, 104, 120, or other approved courses.

Additional requirements (24-27 units)
BIOL 1A, 1B, 1BL
MATH 75, 76
PHYS 2A, 2B (or PHYS 4A, 4AL, 4B, 4BL, 4C strongly recommended)

2. General Education requirements (49 units)

3. Other requirements (6 units)
Upper-division writing and Multicultural and International (MI)

4. Sufficient elective units to meet required total units (varies)

5. Total minimum (120 units)*

* G.E. and MI courses can be double counted with major requirements. The writing requirement may be met by taking the upper-division writing exam. Of the 49 required General Education units, 10 units will be satisfied by the following courses in the major and additional requirements: 4 units of CHEM 1A and 1AL or PHYS 2A (or PHYS 4A and 4AL) in G.E. Breadth B1; 3 units of BIOL 1A in G.E. Breadth B2; 3 units of MATH 75 in G.E. Foundation B4. See advisor for details.

The following is an example of a four-year program for the B.S. in Biochemistry.

First Semester Fall
CHEM 1A and 1AL (5 units)
MATH 75 (4 units)
ENGL 5B or 10 (3 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (15 units)

Second Semester Spring
CHEM 1B and 1BL (5 units)
MATH 76 (4 units)
PHYS 2A (4 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (16 units)

Third Semester Fall
CHEM 128A (3 units)
PHYS 2B (4 units)
BIOL 1A (4 units)
General Education (3 units)
Total (14 units)

Fourth Semester Spring
CHEM 128B (3 units)
CHEM 129A (2 units)
BIOL 1B, 1BL (5 units)
Electives or General Education (6 units)
Total (16 units)

Fifth Semester* Fall
**CHEM 155A (3 units)
CHEM 129B (2 units)
CHEM 102 (5 units)
**CHEM 110A (3 units)
Electives or General Education (6 units)
Total (16 units)

Sixth Semester* Spring
***CHEM 155B (3 units)
***CHEM 156 (3 units)
***CHEM 112 (3 units)
Electives or General Education (6 units)
Total (15 units)

Seventh Semester Fall
Electives or General Education (14 units)
Total (14 units)

Eighth Semester Spring
Electives or General Education (14 units)
Total (14 units)


* It is important to fulfill the upper-division writing skills requirement by exam or W class during the junior year.

**Offered fall semester only.

*** Offered spring semester only.



Our faculty provide excellent research opportunities in analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. The broad interests within the faculty have resulted in interdisciplinary research projects in collaboration with scientists and professors in other science areas: agricultural chemistry, biotechnology, clinical chemistry, forensic chemistry, forensic biochemistry, chemical physics, enology, nutritional science, and molecular biology. Research projects have involved local facilities such as the California State Crime Laboratory, University Medical Center, UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program, USDA Research Station, U.S. Veteran's Administration Hospital, U.S. Forest Laboratory, and Valley Children's Hospital.

The graduate faculty are dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, rigorous M.S. program. Several of the faculty have received awards for the quality of their mentoring and teaching. They are widely respected in their field and regularly publish their work in leading scientific journals. The faculty have received funding to support their work from private foundations, and state and federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. They also work with researchers at several National Laboratories and a number of top-tier research universities.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.


B.S. in Biochemistry

A Roadmap identifies the specific set of courses students must complete in their major in sequential order. Information on corequisites or prerequisites is listed along with other pertinent information to assist students in completing courses towards the major.

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