Undergraduate Studies > Chemistry Major > B.Sc. Specialization in Biochemistry

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B. Sc.) with Specialization in Biochemistry is a professional degree that can be certified by the American Chemical Society (if specific requirements are satisfied) and caters to students having a strong interest in biology and biological chemistry by incorporating biologically-related lecture and laboratory courses.  Many students in this program plan to attend medical or dental school, but a significant fraction pursue graduate study in chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, or related areas.

The B.Sc. in Chemistry is characterized by “400-track” courses in general chemistry (CHEM 1410, 1420), organic chemistry (CHEM 2410, 2420), and physical chemistry (CHEM 3410, 3420), along with their associated laboratories. An “800-track” chemistry course is an acceptable substitute for a corresponding “400-track” course and is recommended for students with a particularly strong background in chemistry, usually with advanced placement in chemistry.

The BS Chemistry major with specialization in Biochemistry has been accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Beginning in Spring 2017, graduating students can take the ASBMB certification exam to earn an ASBMB certified degree. The evaluators recognized several strengths of our program:

  • Excellent opportunities for independent research
  • Emphasis on teamwork and communication skills
  • Inquiry components integrated into multiple courses
  • Strong experiential learning throughout the curriculum

This table shows the suggested sequence of required courses.  Candidates not following the normal course sequence should consult an adviser as early and as often as possible.  Approved electives are chosen by the student in conference with an adviser; they must include courses that meet other College requirements (Foreign Language, Academic Writing, Humanities, etc.).

First Year – Credits: 30-37

  • General Area Requirements or electives – Credits: 14-17
  • CHEM 1410, 1411, 1420, 1421 – Introductory College Chemistry I and II and Laboratories – Credits: 8
    CHEM 1810, 1811, 1820, 1821 – Principles of Chemical Structure and Lab and Principles of Organic Chemistry and Lab – Credits: 12
  • MATH 1210, 1220 – Applied Calculus I and II – Credits: 6
    (MATH 1190 may be taken in place of MATH 1210)
    MATH 1310, 1320 – Calculus I and II – Credits: 8

Second Year – Credits: 34-42

  • General Area Requirements or electives – Credits: 8-14
  • BIOL 2100, 2200 – Introduction to Biology with Laboratory: Cell Biology & Genetics and Introduction to Biology w/Laboratory: Organismal & Evolutionary Biology – Credits: 8
    [or BIOL 2010, 2020 – Introduction to Biology – Credits: 3 (no longer offered as of Fall 2015)]
  • CHEM 2410, 2411, 2420, 2421 – Organic Chemistry I and II and Laboratories – Credits: 12
    CHEM 2810, 2811, 2820 – Principles of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry and Lab and Principles of Thermodynamics and Kinetics – Credits: 9
  • PHYS 1425, 2415, 1429, 2419 – General Physics I and II and Laboratories – Credits: 8
    (PHYS 2030, 2040 or 2630, 2640 may be taken as the laboratory)
    PHYS 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 – Principles of Physics I and II and Laboratories – Credits: 8

Third Year – Credits: 30-39

  • General Area Requirements or electives – Credits: 12-18
  • BIOL 3000 – Cell Biology and Biochemistry – Credits: 3
    BIOL 3010 – Genetic and Molecular Biology – Credits: 4
  • CHEM 3721 – Analytical Chemistry Laboratory – Credits: 4
    [or CHEM 2220 – Solutions Chemistry – Credits: 4 (no longer offered after Spring 2015)]
    CHEM 3951, 3961, 4951, or 4961 – Undergraduate Research – Credits: 3
    (Please note that research used in place of CHEM 3721 cannot be used to satisfy the ACS research requirement below.)
  • CHEM 3410, 3420 – Physical Chemistry-Quantum Theory and Physical Chemistry-Thermodynamics – Credits: 6
  • CHEM 4410, 4420 – Biological Chemistry I and II – Credits: 6

Fourth Year – Credits: 33

  • General Area Requirements or electives – Credits: 12-18
  • CHEM 3951, 3961, 4951, and/or 4961 – Undergraduate Research – Credits: 6*
    (Please note that research used in place of CHEM 3721 cannot be used to satisfy this research requirement.)
  • CHEM 4320 – Inorganic Chemistry – Credits: 3
  • CHEM 4411, 4421 – Biological Chemistry Laboratory I and II – Credits: 8

*Required for ACS Certified degree only.  If you wish to pursue ACS Certification, please fill out this form and return it to Cindy Knight in CHM 404.  For more information on ACS Certification and its significance, click here.

To view course descriptions, please click here

To view a roadmap with links to the syllabus for each course, please click here.

If you wish to petition to substitute a required course with a different one, please fill out this form, take it (along with a copy of your unofficial transcript) to Cindy Knight (CHM 404).  She will present your request to the Undergraduate Advising Committee.  You will be emailed once a decision has been reached.

Click here for a downloadable brochure of all the undergraduate degree programs we offer in the Chemistry Department.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at www.virginia.edu/registrar/catalog/ugrad.html