This degree program is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the structural and functional relationships between the chemical constituents of cells and their roles in life processes. The requirements include courses in biological sciences and chemistry, and appropriate courses in mathematics and physics. The degree in biochemistry prepares a student for careers in industry, medicine, teaching and research.
In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.
Prerequisites to the Major
A solid background in mathematics is essential to success in any of the scientific disciplines. Incoming students who intend to choose a major in Biochemistry should have completed at least three years of high school mathematics. First year students should plan to enroll in MATH 105, MATH 115 or MATH 116 based on the results of their math placement tests. The CHEM 134 and CHEM 136 or CHEM 144 and CHEM 146 sequence is a prerequisite to many other courses in the Natural Sciences Department; students should complete this sequence as early as possible.
|BCHM 210||Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques||2|
& BIOL 140
|Intro Org and Environ Biology|
and Intro Molec & Cellular Biology
|Select one of the following:||8|
|General Chemistry IA|
and General Chemistry IIA
|Gen Chemistry IB|
and General Chemistry IIB
& CHEM 226
& CHEM 227
|Organic Chemistry I|
and Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
& MATH 116
and Calculus II
|Select one of the following:||8|
|General Physics I|
and General Physics II
|Introductory Physics I|
and Introductory Physics II
|Total Credit Hours||42|
|Biochemistry Laboratory I|
|Biochemistry Laboratory II|
|Complex Systems (Biochemistry Capstone)|
|Physical Chemistry I|
|Any BCHM upper level courses (excluding BCHM 495, BCHM 498, and BCHM 499)|
|Select one of the following:|
|Applied Statistics I|
|Other Science Elective 1||3|
|Any upper level BCHM, BIOL, CHEM, MICR, PHYS courses (excluding BIOL 494, BIOL 495, BIOL 498, BIOL 499, BCHM 370, BCHM 495, BCHM 498, BCHM 499, CHEM 495, CHEM 498, CHEM 499, MICR 495, MICR 498, MICR 499, PHYS 495, PHYS 498, PHYS 499).|
|Total Credit Hours||30-31|
Elective credits needed may vary depending on biochemistry electives credits and statistics credits completed.
- A maximum of 65 hrs. in BCHM, BIOL, CHEM may count towards the 120 hours for degree.
- At least 20 of the 30 upper level hours must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
- A maximum of 6 hrs. of independent study/research in any Dept. of Natural Sciences discipline may count towards the 120 hours required to graduate.
- BCHM 370 cannot be used in the major.
Honors Designation in Biochemistry
The Biochemistry program seeks to recognize exceptional biochemistry majors who are exemplary in coursework and productive in research.
Honors in Biochemistry will be earned by meeting all of the following criteria:
- cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in Biochemistry courses
- cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher in all university courses
- completion of a minimum of 6 six credit hours of Independent/Directed Research (BCHM 495/498/ 499), spread over 2 or more years, under the supervision of one principal investigator, who will serve as thesis advisor. This research must have a biochemical (broadly defined) focus.
- presentation of the research in a public forum (e.g. scientific meeting, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) Research Day, Department of Natural Sciences Poster Day)
- completion of a thesis-like document that thoroughly describes the background, experimental design, methodology and discussion of data generated in the context of the scientific literature.
- defense of the research thesis before a committee of four faculty: the thesis advisor, two full time Faculty from the Biochemistry program committee and one external member of the student’s choosing. The defense should be held a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the final-exams week of the semester in which the student is graduating. The committee must be provided with a draft of the thesis one week prior to the defense.
In order to be considered for Honors in Biochemistry, a student must complete and submit an honors application to the Biochemistry Program committee Chair via his/her advisor no later than the end of the term prior to graduation.
Minor or Integrative Studies Concentration Requirements
A minor or concentration consists of 12 credit hours of upper-level courses in biochemistry (BCHM) from the following:
Required: BCHM 370 or BCHM 470 and BCHM 471
Additional biochemistry (BCHM) courses: 6-9 credits BCHM to equal 12 credits total.
If BCHM 370 is completed, BCHM 470 and BCHM 471 cannot be used in the minor/concentration. If BCHM 470 and BCHM 471 is completed, BCHM 370 cannot be used in the minor/concentration.
At least 9 of the 12 credits must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
BCHM 210 Biochemistry Laboratory Techniques 2 Credit Hours
Biochemical Laboratory Techniques in an introduction to the equipment, procedures, and concepts used in the biochemistry laboratory. The class will cover topics such as scientific literature, keeping a laboratory notebook, statistical analysis and computer programs, as they relate to biochemistry. (W,YR)
Can enroll if Major is Biochemistry
BCHM 352 Introduction to Toxicology 3 Credit Hours
An introduction to the principles of toxicology with an emphasis on environmental toxicology. Major topics include toxic agents, toxicological mechanisms, and use of toxicological reference literature. Discussion of chemical carcinogenesis, genetic toxicology, immunotoxicology, teratology, and toxic responses of the skin, eyes, and nervous system. Three hours lecture. (AY).
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 225
BCHM 370 Principles of Biochemistry 3 Credit Hours
A concise but comprehensive survey of various areas of biochemistry designed for non-biochemistry majors. The course follows the standard approach to the subject including a description of cells, their structure and constituent macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids), enzymology, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism, and gene regulation. Students cannot take both Biochemistry 370 and 470 or 471 for any combination of concentration, cognate or minor requirement. Three hours lecture. (F).
BCHM 390 Current Topics in Biochemistry 1 to 3 Credit Hours
Special topics current to the field of biochemistry. Topics and format for the course may vary. See Schedule of Classes for current topic. Permission of instructor. (OC).
BCHM 404 Mech. Chronic Human Disease 3 Credit Hours
This course focuses on the biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the progression of chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. Techniques in epidemiology, pathology, genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry are used to understand how relevant physiological processes become pathological. The examination of chronic diseases provides an opportunity to understand biological processes across many scales of life, from extracellular matrix proteins to cells in blood vessel walls to risk factors in patient populations to the pharmacology of treatments. Use of primary literature is emphasized. Three hour lecture.
Can enroll if Class is Junior or Senior
BCHM 413 Extraction, purification, and characterization of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants 3 Credit Hours
Students will learn the techniques behind essential oil extraction and the biological uses of medicinal plants. Independent work throughout the semester will allow students to grow, extract, and analyze an oil from a medicinal plant of their choosing. Through working in groups, students will collaboratively produce a final product of diffusing oils, candles, or soaps with aromatherapy uses. Uses and case studies throughout the semester will appeal to the pre-health student interested in learning about holistic medicine while manufacturing techniques and discussions will interest scientists with an industrial career outlook. (W).
BCHM 430 Bioinorganic Chemistry 3 Credit Hours
This course examines the roles that metals play in biological systems, including the chemical principles that make metal ions well-suited for roles in protein structure, in redox catalysis and in acid base chemistry. The physical and experimental techniques that are applied to explore the structure and function of metals systems will be introduced using case studies from the primary scientific literature in the field. BCHM 370 or its equivalent are strongly recommended but not required.
BCHM 470 Biochemistry I 3 Credit Hours
Life processes from a chemical viewpoint: structure/function relationships of biomolecules with emphasis on proteins, enzyme kinetics, and mechanisms of action. Three hours lecture. (W).
BCHM 471 Biochemistry II 3 Credit Hours
Intermediary metabolism, bioenergetics, energy transformation, metabolic interrelationships, biochemical regulation, highly structured subcellular biochemical systems. Three hours lecture. (W).
BCHM 472 Biochemistry Laboratory I 1 Credit Hour
The techniques of preparative and analytical biochemistry. Preparation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. Physical and chemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids. Four hours laboratory. CHEM 344 Recommended. (F).
BCHM 473 Biochemistry Laboratory II 1 Credit Hour
The techniques of preparative and analytical biochemistry. Preparation and characterization of lipids and carbohydrates. Methods in metabolism. Four hours laboratory. (W).
BCHM 474 Molecular Biology 4 Credit Hours
This course will emphasize the molecular biology of eukaryotes, and topics will include genome organization and complexity, chromatin structure and function, gene expression, DNA replication and repair, genetic rearrangements, and the molecular biology of development. The laboratory will emphasize the application of recombinant DNA technology to the study of biological problems. Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. (W).
Corequisite(s): BIOL 474L
BCHM 480 Biochemical Pharmacology 3 Credit Hours
Pharmacology is a study of drugs. In this course, the biochemical and molecular basis of drug action will be emphasized. Different categories of drugs, their use, abuse, and side effects will be presented. Three hours lecture. Permission of instructor. (OC).
BCHM 485 Nutrition and Metabolism 3 Credit Hours
Full Course Title: The Biochemistry of Human Nutrition and Metabolism Human Nutrition and Metabolism is an introduction to the relationship between food and nutrients, and their integration in the metabolic pathways. An understanding of the molecular basis of nutrition, related diseases, and overall health will be built on previous knowledge of cell biology and biochemistry. (AY)
BCHM 490 Topics in Biochemistry 1 to 3 Credit Hours
A course in special topics that examines research problems of current interest in biochemistry. Topics and format may vary. See current Schedule of Classes. One to three hours seminar. (W).
BCHM 495 Off-Campus Research in Biochem 1 to 3 Credit Hours
Participation in ongoing research at an off-campus laboratory. No more than 6 hours combined from any Natural Science courses numbered 495, 498, and 499 may be credited toward the 120 hours required for a degree. Four to twelve hours laboratory. Permission of concentration advisor. (F,W,S).
BCHM 496 Complex Systems 3 Credit Hours
Full Title: Biochemistry Capstone: Complex systems in Biochemistry A complex system is defined as a system featuring a large number of interacting variables whose combined activity is non-linear and whose seemingly random behavior leads to self-organization. Current topics ** are used to explore how complex systems function in biology. All reading material in the class are taken from the scientific literature giving students a chance to become familiar with how biochemists convey ideas and report their findings. Each student will present a paper to the class to demonstrate the ability to communicate concepts of Biochemistry effectively. Students will also learn the process of proposal writing and will have the opportunity to research and write their own proposal and have it peer-reviewed by their classmates. **The topics for this course will change each year, depending on the instructor, and the focus of current advances in Biochemistry/Complex systems. (W,YR)
Can enroll if Class is Senior
BCHM 497 Seminar in Biochemistry 1 Credit Hour
A seminar course that examines research problems of current interest in biochemistry. The course format may include training students to read and present scientific papers, guest lecturers, and lectures by the instructor on a selected topic. One hour seminar. Permission of instructor. (W).
BCHM 498 Directed Reading in Biochem 1 to 3 Credit Hours
Library research in a specific area of biochemistry performed under the direction of a faculty member. No more than six hours combined from departmental courses numbered 495, 498, and 499 may be credited toward the 120 hours required for a degree. Four to twelve hours readings. Permission of instructor. (F,W,S).
BCHM 499 Laboratory Research in Biochem 1 to 3 Credit Hours
Directed laboratory research performed under the supervision of a faculty member. Research training is encouraged. No more than six hours combined from departmental courses numbered 495, 498, and 499 may be credited toward the 120 hours required for graduation. Four to twelve hours laboratory. Permission of instructor. (F,W,S).
*An asterisk denotes that a course may be taken concurrently.
Frequency of Offering
The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally