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.

Please visit the Biochemistry webpage for more information.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

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.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

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
Chinese I and II CHIN 101 and CHIN 102

Pre-Major Requirements

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 130
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 225
CHEM 226
CHEM 227
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
MATH 115
MATH 116
Calculus I
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 Hours40

Major Requirements

BCHM/BIOL/CHEM 470Biochemistry I3
BCHM/BIOL/CHEM 471Biochemistry II3
BCHM/BIOL/CHEM 472Biochemistry Laboratory I1
BCHM/BIOL/CHEM 473Biochemistry Laboratory II1
BCHM/BIOL 474Molecular Biology4
BCHM 496Complex Systems (Biochemistry Capstone)3
CHEM 344Quantitative Analysis4
CHEM 368Physical Chemistry I3
Related sciences
Select a minimum of 7 credit hours in upper level Biochemistry (BCHM), Biology (BIOL) or Chemistry (CHEM): 17
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 Hours32


  1.  A maximum of 65 hrs. in BCHM, BIOL, CHEM may count towards the 120 hours for degree.
  2. At least 12 of the 32 upper level hours must be elected at UM-Dearborn.
  3.  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.
  4. BCHM 370 cannot be used in the major.

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 Integrative Studies 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).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 140 and CHEM 226

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).

Prerequisite(s): (BCHM 370* or BIOL 370* or CHEM 370*) or (BCHM 470* or BIOL 470* or CHEM 470*)

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.

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 301 or BIOL 306 or BIOL 357 or BCHM 370 or BIOL 370 or CHEM 370 or BCHM 471 or BIOL 471 or CHEM 471

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.

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 136 and BIOL 140

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).

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 130 and BIOL 140 and CHEM 226

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).

Prerequisite(s): BCHM 470 or CHEM 470 or BIOL 470

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).

Prerequisite(s): (BIOL 470* or BCHM 470* or CHEM 470*) and CHEM 227

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).

Prerequisite(s): (BCHM 471* or BIOL 471* or CHEM 471*) and (BCHM 472* or BIOL 472* or CHEM 472*)


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).

Prerequisite(s): (BCHM 470 or CHEM 470 or BIOL 470) or (BCHM 370 or BIOL 370 or CHEM 370) and CHEM 227

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).

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 370 or BCHM 370 or BIOL 370 or BCHM 470 or CHEM 470 or BIOL 470

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)

Prerequisite(s): BCHM 471 and BIOL 471 and CHEM 471 or BCHM 370 and BIOL 370 and CHEM 370

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)

Prerequisite(s): BCHM 470 and BCHM 472 and BCHM 474

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).

Prerequisite(s): (BCHM 470 or BIOL 470 or CHEM 470) and (BCHM 474 or BIOL 474)

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).


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