Biochemistry

  • Undergraduate Curriculum

    Hardin

    The Biochemistry Department at the University of Iowa offers an excellent undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor's degree.

     The Biochemistry Department has slightly revised its curriculum starting in the summer of 2013. The major change is how new students declare their degree objective. Starting in the summer of 2013, students will start with their major listed as Biochemistry. Then during the second semester of their sophomore year, students choose either the B.A. or B.S. degree program after consultation with their advisor. (Transfer students will select their degree program after completing one full semester at the University of Iowa.) The biochemistry curriculum in the first two years has been revised so that it is identical for both the BA and the BS degrees. These changes will only affect students starting at the University of Iowa after June, 2013. (It does not affect returning students.)  For detailed information regarding the Undergraduate Program, please see the 2014-2015 Undergraduate Handbook. The requirements for students who started prior to the Summer 2013 session are described in the 2012-2013 Handbook.

    The University of Iowa General Catalog is also a great resource for a complete description of the Biochemistry majors. Four-year graduation plans are available for both degrees, as well.

    Departmental courses are taught by biochemistry faculty, and undergraduates are given the opportunity to gain experience in active research labs. The Biochemistry Undergraduate Majors Club holds informal gatherings at which students learn about career paths in biochemistry and the pursuit of advanced degrees. 

    Bachelor's degrees in biochemistry are conferred through the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Students majoring in biochemistry must therefore satisfy the general course requirements and grade point minima, as well as the requirements for the biochemistry major.

    The Department of Biochemistry offers two Bachelor’s degrees: a Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor’s of Science (BS). The BA degree provides a rigorous education in biochemical concepts and practice in the laboratory while allowing the flexibility to specialize in additional disciplines or obtain clinical volunteer experiences. The BA degree in Biochemistry is intended for most students including those with pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, pre-dental and other pre-health professional interests and for students with double majors. The BS degree is intended primarily for students planning a career in research, including those with a long-term goal of attending graduate school (PhD, MS or MD/PhD) or obtaining a job as a research technician. The BS degree requires twelve additional semester hours of science and laboratory electives. Students can obtain honors in Biochemistry in either degree program.

    All biochemistry majors take Calculus I and II, Foundations of Biology and Diversity of Form and Function in Biology, Principles of Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry Lab, Physics I and II, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I and II, and Experimental Biochemistry.

    BA degree candidates also take one semester of Physical or Biophysical Chemistry, and six semester hours of advanced science electives.

    BS degree candidates take two semesters of Physical or Biophysical Chemistry, Technical Communication, nine semester hours of advanced science electives, and six semester hours of undergraduate research.

    Undergraduate courses taught in the Department of Biochemistry include:

    • BIOC 3101 Technical Communication in Biochemistry
      • Prerequisite for BIOC 4155
    • BIOC 3110 Biochemistry
      • For non-Biochemistry Majors; taught as a live course in the Fall and an online extension course in the Spring
    • BIOC 3120 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology I
      • Required for both the BS and BA degrees in Biochemistry
    • BIOC 3130 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology II
      • Required for both the BS and BA degrees in Biochemistry
    • BIOC 3140 Experimental Biochemistry
      • Required for both the BS and BA degrees in Biochemistry