Biochemistry bridges the biological sciences and chemistry. This degree program is thus designed to provide the student with an understanding of the structural and functional relationships between the chemical constituents of cells and their role in life processes. The requirements for the major include courses in biological sciences and chemistry, and appropriate courses in mathematics and physics. The degree in biochemistry prepares a student for careers in teaching, medicine, and research in
industry or academia.
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.
& 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||40|
Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement
The minimum passing grade for a Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) course is 2.0. The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.
Areas of Inquiry
- Lecture/Lab Science Course
- Additional Science Course
Foreign Language Requirement
Complete a two-semester beginning language sequence.
|Ancient Greek I and II||MCL 105 and MCL 106|
|Arabic I and II||ARBC 101 and ARBC 102|
|Armenian I and II||MCL 111 and MCL 112|
|French I and II||FREN 101 and FREN 102|
|German I and II||GER 101 and GER 102|
|Latin I and II||LAT 101 and LAT 102|
|Spanish I and II||SPAN 101 and SPAN 102|
|BCHM 470||Biochemistry I||3|
|BCHM 471||Biochemistry II||3|
|BCHM 472||Biochemistry Laboratory I||1|
|BCHM 473||Biochemistry Laboratory II||1|
|BCHM 474||Molecular Biology||4|
|BCHM 496||Complex Systems (Biochemistry Capstone)||3|
|CHEM 344||Quantitative Analysis||4|
|CHEM 368||Physical Chemistry I||3|
|Select a minimum of 7 credit hours in upper level Biochemistry (BCHM), Biology (BIOL) or Chemistry (CHEM): 1||7|
|Computational Skills (minimum of 3 credit hours). An upper level course in MATH (excluding MATH 385, MATH 386, MATH 387), STAT or CIS:||3|
|Total Credit Hours||32|
At least one credit must be a laboratory (either 4 credit lecture with lab, or stand-alone lab course, or a maximum of one credit hour of independent research (BCHM 495 or BCHM 499; or BIOL 495 or BIOL 499; or CHEM 495 or CHEM 499)
- A maximum of 65 hrs. in BCHM, BIOL, CHEM may count towards the 120 hours for degree.
- At least 12 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.
Honors Degree in Biochemistry
To qualify for this honor, a student must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.5. The honors degree candidate must take six credit hours of independent study under BCHM 495, BCHM 498 or BCHM 499. Such a study will culminate in an oral and/or written presentation of the results. The Biochemistry Program Committee will evaluate the student's presentation. The intention to pursue an Honors Degree must be declared with the academic advisor no later than two semesters prior to graduation.
Minor or LIBS Concentration
A minor or concentration consists of 12 credit hours of upper-level courses in biochemistry (BCHM). A maximum of 3 credit hours of independent study/research (BCHM 495 ,BCHM 498, or BCHM 499) can be applied to meet the requirements of the minor or concentration.
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 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. (F).
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): BCHM 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 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