2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Biochemistry, BS

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Offerings


James L. Hougland: 454 Life Sciences Complex
315-443-1134: hougland@syr.edu


Melanie Blanden, Carlos A. Castañeda, Joseph Chaiken, Arindam Chakraborty, John D. Chisholm, Heather D. Coleman, Steve Dorus, Robert P. Doyle, Scott E. Erdman, John M. Franck, Jonathan French, Sarah E. Hall, Heidi Hehnly, James A. Hewett, Sandra J. Hewett, James L. Hougland, Ivan V. Korendovych, Timothy M. Korter, Katharine Lewis, Yan-Yeung Luk, Jessica MacDonald, Eleanor Maine, Olga Makhlynets, Mathew M. Maye, Davoud Mozhdehi, Melissa E. Pepling, Ramesh Raina, Surahbi Raina, Karin Ruhlandt, Robert B. Silver, James T. Spencer, Michael B. Sponsler, Rachel C. Steinhardt, Nancy I. Totah, and Roy D. Welch

Biochemistry is the study of the molecular basis of life. Lying at the interface between chemistry and biology, biochemistry is concerned with the structure and interaction of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules as related to their function in biological systems. As one of the most dynamic areas of science, biochemistry has led to improved medicines and diagnostic agents, new ways of controlling disease, and greater understanding of the chemical factors that control our general health and well-being.

The bachelor of science degree in biochemistry is appropriate for students pursuing advanced degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics, as well as in the biomedical fields and health professions.

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Be able to recognize theories, concepts, and principles from the major sub-fields of biology

2. Be able to recognize theories, concepts, and principles from the major sub-fields of chemistry with emphasis on developing problem solving skills in inorganic and organic chemistry

3. Distinguish more specific and advanced concepts in selected areas of biology and/or chemistry

4. Be able to recognize fundamental biochemical concepts and principles and apply them to problem solving in biochemistry

5. Perform accurate and precise biochemical measurements and be able to apply skills in the nature and practice of science, with emphasis on interpretation of experimental results and drawing reasonable conclusions

6. Communicate effectively through oral and written reports

7. Perform laboratory research

B.S. Degree Requirements

To Declare the B.S. Major in Biochemistry

To declare the B.S. in Biochemistry, students must:

Have completed at least 30 credits in graded coursework at Syracuse University


Earn a C+ or better in Organic Chemistry I (CHE 275)


Earn a C+ or better in Genetics (BIO 326) or Cell Biology (BIO 327) 

Additional Information

If both BIO 478/BCM478  and CHE 477 /BCM 477  are taken, one may count toward the 12-credit elective requirement, thereby also meeting the instructional lab requirement.

BCM 460  counts once (up to 3 credits) toward the elective requirement but does not count as an instructional lab course.

Recommended Electives

Distinction in Biochemistry

The biochemistry B.S. program encourages all of its students to participate in research through its BCM 460  course. For students whose research culminates in a written thesis, it is possible to graduate with Distinction in Biochemistry if the following requirements are met.

First, the student must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.4 and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 in all natural sciences and mathematics courses taken at Syracuse University.

Second, the student must have taken a minimum of 6 credits of BCM 460 .

Third, before completion of the final semester at Syracuse University, the student must make an oral presentation (either poster or platform) on his/her research at one of the following: (1) Syracuse University’s Annual Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference in April; or (2) an external conference sponsored by an outside (non-S.U.) educational institution with its own accredited 4-year biochemistry degree program; or (3) an external conference sponsored by a nationally-recognized scientific society with a biochemistry component (e.g., ACS, FASEB, Biophysical Society). A symposium specifically designed for undergraduate researchers from multiple institutions and sponsored by a regional or local chapter of a national scientific society does qualify as external, even if it is physically located at Syracuse University.

Fourth, the written thesis must be judged by a committee of readers selected from among  the biochemistry program faculty listed in the Syracuse University Course Catalog. The student is responsible for selecting potential readers and obtaining their consent. The committee of readers should include the research supervisor, but in any case, must include at least one member whose primary appointment is in the Biology Department, and one member whose primary appointment is in the Chemistry Department.

Additional Information

For further information, contact the biochemistry major advisors:

James Hougland, 454 Life Sciences Complex, 315-443-1134, hougland@syr.edu; Roy Welch, 234 Life Sciences Complex, 315-443-2159, rowelch@syr.edu; or Carlos Castaneda, 240 Life Sciences Complex, 315-443-3673, cacastan@syr.edu. 

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Academic Offerings