• Undergraduate Curriculum


    The Biochemistry Department at the University of Iowa offers an excellent undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor's degree. For detailed information regarding the Undergraduate Program, please see the current Undergraduate Student 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 first year students in Biochemistry will start in the BA degree program.  Students who desire to can switch to BS degree after completing one semester of organic chemistry (CHEM:2230 or CHEM:2210).

    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, Development of Senior Research Project, nine semester hours of advanced science electives, and six semester hours of undergraduate research.

    Undergraduate courses taught in the Department of Biochemistry include:

    • BIOC 3110 Biochemistry
      • For non-Biochemistry Majors; taught as a live course in the Fall and an online extension course in the Spring and Summer
    • 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
    • BIOC 3150 Development of Senior Research Project
      • Prerequisite for BIOC:4999