Santa Clara University

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Major in Biochemistry

By choosing a major in biochemistry, not only will you receive a strong scientific background through coursework, but you'll also have opportunities to work alongside faculty on research projects.

As a biochemistry major at Santa Clara University, you will study chemical processes and transformations associated with living organisms. The B.S. degree will prepare you for a career in biochemistry or, with additional study, medicine, dentistry, law, business, teaching, and other fields. If you anticipate further study in biochemistry or wish to ensure that you have a stronger foundation in this specialization, you may choose to complete the extra requirements necessary for a degree certified by the American Chemical Society as meeting stringent requirements for lecture and laboratory content. The ACS-certified degree is widely recognized by graduate professional schools, governmental agencies, and the private sector. Alternatively, the Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry provides a stronger liberal arts component and is frequently selected by students completing a second major in a non-science discipline. The flexibility of this degree allows a student to emphasize biochemistry in selecting electives, and the requirements for it may be found at the departmental website. 

Visit the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry website

Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degrees

Lower-Division Courses

  • General Chemistry I-III
  • Introduction to Research
  • Organic Chemistry I–III
  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry I-III
  • General Physics I–III or Physics for Scientists and Engineers I–III*
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Investigations in Molecular Biology

Upper-Division Courses

  • Chemistry Seminar –must take for four quarters
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Biochemistry I, II
  • Biochemical Techniques
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy and/or Chemical Thermodynamics and/or Physical Chemical Laboratory*
  • Molecular Biology
  • Senior Research Experience*
  • Capstone Research Experience*
  • Electives: Choose two from any upper-division chemistry or biochemistry course of three units or more.
    • Biology 110, 113, 174, or 176 may be taken in lieu of one upper-division chemistry elective.

* This course or sequence is required for the ACS-certified degree.

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