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Biochemistry 115
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New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2024 School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Programs of Study Biochemistry 115 Graduation Requirements for the Major  

Graduation Requirements for the Major

Students matriculating prior to the fall semester 2015 in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) must complete the SEBS general education requirements. In addition, students majoring in biochemistry must complete the major requirements described below.

Students matriculating fall 2015 or after and transfer students matriculating in 2016 and after must complete a goal-based Core Curriculum in place of general education requirements. The goal-based core is described here: Courses are certified for the Core Curriculum by a faculty committee. A current list of certified courses can be found here: Biochemistry major requirements are as described below.

 For an up-to-date description of biochemistry major requirements, courses, and course sequences please refer to the program webpage at

Proficiency in Biochemistry (94 credits)

The major in Integrated biochemistry consists of the six parts listed immediately below. They are described briefly here; the specific requirements are listed below.

  • Life and Physical Sciences Core
    These courses prepare students to enter the major. These courses are normally completed in the first two years of college.

  • Quantitative Methods
    Quantitative reasoning, computational facility, and a grasp of calculus are essential skills for people to be well educated in molecular biosciences. As with the life and physical sciences core, students should normally complete this requirement within the first two years of college.

  • Biochemistry Core
    This set of courses is required for all majors and prepares the student for both advanced coursework and research experience.

  • Professional Ethics
    Ethical conduct has at least two components: general ethical behavior and the ethical implications for society at large as a consequence of advances in biochemistry. Although Contemporary Issues in Biochemistry will meet the formal requirement, all courses within the major will include ethical components and examples. In addition, all students in the major and in any of our courses will be required to adhere to a strict honor code.

  • Major-Related Experiential Learning
    It is important that students be able to apply their knowledge of biochemistry in a laboratory setting. Therefore, all students will be required to take 6 credits of Experiential Learning. The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences requires 3 cr for graduation; therefore, Biochemistry Majors take an additional 3 cr. This can be accomplished through working in an academic laboratory at Rutgers, either at SEBS or the other campuses. This requirement can also be met through the George H. Cook Honors program, the General Honors Program, the Aresty Program, summer research opportunities (RISE or SURF), or through research experience through the Student Professional Internship Network (SPIN). The Research Experience may be structured to satisfy the college's experiential learning requirement.

  • Biochemistry Options

    • Biochemistry of Microbial Systems
      This option blends biochemistry with microbiology, allowing students to become proficient in the biochemistry of microbial organisms and systems. This will include aspects of clinical microbiology and infection, as well as environmental microbiology. Microbial infections of higher organisms are of continuing importance in human and animal health. Microorganisms also have profound environmental implications. Microbial systems detoxify toxic substances and contribute to nutrient cycling in the ecosphere. Another area of study is the use of microbial organisms to synthesize useful materials and to convert biomass to fuels.

    • Biochemical Toxicology
      This option will allow the student to gain specific understanding of the study of toxic compounds. Toxicology is of critical importance in food and nutrition, the environment, and in pharmacological science. Understanding the biochemical effects allows one to design appropriate treatments of illness, and to learn what exposures must be avoided. An equally important second purpose, the study of how biochemical systems are made to go awry by toxic substances, illuminates normal functioning and development of organisms. This understanding applies equally to all animals, including humans, as well as to plants and microorganisms. It applies also to ecological communities of organisms, as toxic substances alter the interactions within ecosystems.

    • Biochemistry of Plant Systems
      Plants are not only at the root of the human and animal food chains, they are one of the dominant components of the planet's ecosphere. Understanding their biochemistry is a large and growing area of basic and applied research and public policy development.

    • Protein and Structural Biochemistry
      Biochemistry stands on two legs: structure and function. Neither can be understood without the other. The principles that confer thermodynamic stability--or the lack of it--on proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules are universal to all forms of life as are the principles by which enzyme catalysis and other functions arise from three-dimensional structure. Evolution drives the formation of structure based on the functional needs of the organism and on the prior constraints imposed by the species' evolutionary history. In addition to basic understanding, study in this area develops the bases for protein design to solve practical problems.

Detailed Requirements
I. Life and Physical Sciences Core
The following are required
01:119:115/116 General Biology I, II (4,4)
01:119:117 Biological Research Laboratory (2)
01:160:161,162 General Chemistry I, II (4,4) or equivalent
01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
01:750:193,194 Physics for the Sciences* (4,4) or
01:750:201,202 Extended General Physics (5,5) or
01:750:203,204 General Physics I, II (3,3)
01:160: 307,308 or 315,316 Honors Organic Chemistry I, II (4,4)
01:160:309 (2.5) or 311 Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2)
01:447:380 Genetics (4)

II. Biochemistry Core
11:115:201 Contemporary Issues in Biochemistry** (2)
11:115:403/404 General Biochemistry I, II (4,3)
Note: To enroll in 11:115:403,404 General Biochemistry (4,3), students, be they majors in biochemistry or not, must have completed 01:160:307-308 Organic Chemistry (4,4) or 160:315-316 Honors Organic Chemistry with grades of C or higher.
11:115:413/414 Experimental Biochemistry I, II (3,3)
11:115:409 Principles of Biophysical Chemistry (3) or
01:160:437 Phys Chem Bio System (3)
11:115:491 Biochemical Communications (3)

*Premedical students should be aware that two semesters of physics lab are required for medical school admission. Extended General Physics and Physics for the Sciences contain the lab; General Physics does not, so premedical students will have to include the labs in their programs.

**Normally taken in the sophomore year. Transfer students entering in the fall of the junior year will take it in the fall of that year. Among other matters included in it, this class will satisfy the ethics requirement for biochemistry majors.

III. Biochemical Technology/Techniques (two of the following courses)
1:126:383 Nucleotide Sequence Analysis (3)
11:126:482 Molecular Genetics Lab (4)
01:160:251 Analytical Chemistry (3)
01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
11:126:484 Tools for Bioinformatic Analysis (3)
11:126:485 Bioinformatics (3) IV. Quantitative Methods 01:640:151,152 Calculus for Math and Physical Sciences I,II (4,4)

V. Research Experience
The curriculum is designed to provide students with the basics of laboratory experimentation followed by independent research experience in a research lab. A minimum of two semesters of research is required. With the approval of the undergraduate program director, Experiential Learning may be accepted to meet this requirement. Biochemical Communications provides the opportunity for students to present their own research, in both written and oral formats, as well as research from the biochemical literature.

11:115:493,494 (total 6 cr) Research Problems in Biochemistry May be replaced by 11:015:497, 498 George H. Cook Honors Research,11:554:302 Aresty Research Assistantship

VI. Options:
Requires four classes from the specific lists below. Biochemistry electives, including option requirements, must equal at least 12 credits.
Course(s) indicated by an * in each option is(are) required.
Biochemistry of Microbial Systems
11:680:390 General Microbiology (4)*
11:680:494 Applied Microbiology (4)
11:680:475 Microbiomes and Health (3)
11:680:480 Microbial -Genomics (3)
11:680:481 Microbial Physiology (3)
11:126:486 Analytical Methods in Microbiology (3) 11:126:407 Comparative Virology (3)
01:146:474 Immunology (3)
01:146:475 Laboratory in Immunology (1)

Biochemical Toxicology
11:115:421 Biochemistry of Cancer (3)
11:115:422 Biochemical Mechanisms of Toxicology (3)* 11:115:436 Molecular Toxicology Laboratory (3) 11:067:450 Endocrinology (4)
11:067:300 Integrative Physiology (4)
11:067:301 Integrative Physiology Lab (1)
11:067:491 Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology (3) \ 01:146:356 Systems Physiology (3)
01:146:357 Systems Physiology Laboratory (1) 01:146:474 Immunology (3)
01:146:475 Laboratory in Immunology (1)*
30:718:304 Pathophysiology (3)
30:718:405 Pharmacology I (2)
30:718:406 Pharmacology II (2)

Biochemistry of Plant Systems
16:765:520 Plant Biochemistry and Metabolism (3)* 11:776:382 Plant Physiology (4)
11:770:302 General Plant Pathology (3)
11:770:311 General Plant Pathology Laboratory (1) 11:776:242 Plant Science (3)
11:776:305 Plant Genetics (4)
11:776:312 Medicinal Plants (3)
11:776:403 Plant Science Techniques (3)
11:776:452 Plant Tissue Culture & Engineering (3)

Protein and Structural Biochemistry
01:640:251 Multivariable Calculus III (4)
01:694:412 Proteomics and Functional Genomics (3) 01:694:413 Chromatin and Epigenomics: The Science of Chromatin Modifications in Development and Disease (3)
01:160:480 Structural Biology, Structural Biophysics, and Chemical Biology (3)
11:115:485 Structural Biochemistry (3)

General Option (12 cr total)
11:126:481 Molecular Genetics (3)
11:126:481 Molecular Genetics (3)
-Two additional courses chosen from the options above

Unspecified Electives
In addition to courses meeting the above requirements, students can take other courses offered by the university, for which they meet the course eligibility requirements, to bring their total number of credits to the minimum of 120 (matriculated 2018 or later) or 128 (matriculated prior to 2018) required for graduation.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 732/932-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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