Course materials differ by faculty member, please make sure to double check for up to date information on requirements.


BCHM461 – Biochemistry I

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in CHEM 271 and CHEM 272 or CHEM 276 and CHEM 277. Credit only granted for: BCHM 461 or BCHM 463.
The study of the structures, chemical properties, and chemical behavior of the molecules that are essential for life. Biochemistry 461 is the first of a three-semester series of courses that cover all of the basic aspects of the subject. We will cover in this course the four major classes of biological molecules: proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.

The course content can be summarized as:

(1) the atomic structures and chemical properties of the organic molecules of biology; (2) how the chemical properties determine the three-dimensional structures of these molecules; and (3) how the structure and chemical properties together enable these molecules to carry out their biological functions.


Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in BCHM 461. Credit only granted for: BCHM 462 or BCHM 463.

Covers metabolism in all of its chemical and biological intricacy. The course covers the pathways by which nutrients in food are broken down to provide energy and small molecule building blocks, and how those building blocks and energy are used to construct the biological molecules that are characteristic of the particular organism. The focus will be on metabolism in humans, but important pathways or interesting variations that are found in plants, yeast, and bacteria will also be discussed.

The important concepts that appear throughout the course are:

1) the organic chemistry of biological systems;

2) how organisms extract energy from food and the environment, and how they use the energy for biosynthesis;

3) the chemical mechanisms by which enzymes catalyze biological reactions;

4) the functions of co-enzymes derived from vitamins;

5) mechanisms for regulating the catalytic activity of individual enzymes, the flux through metabolic pathways, and the overall metabolism in an organism;

6) the medical relevance, including diseases that arise due to defects in metabolism, and drugs that intervene at specific metabolic steps.

Biochemistry 462 depends critically on concepts from previous courses:

1) General Chemistry (chemical equilibria; kinetics; basic thermodynamics),

2) Organic Chemistry (structures, nomenclature, and the chemical mechanisms of some types of reactions),

3) Biochemistry 461 (structures of amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleotides; protein structure; properties of enzymes and catalytic strategies; allostery), and

4) Cell Biology (cell structure and organization; organelles; membrane structure, and transport across membranes). The most relevant aspects of these topics will be reviewed briefly, as necessary.


Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in CHEM 271 and CHEM 272 or CHEM 276 and CHEM 277 or CHEM 271 and CHEM 272.  Credit only granted for: BCHM 461, BCHM 462 or BCHM 463.

Introduction to general biochemistry designed for undergraduate students. This course will emphasize fundamental biochemistry concepts including protein structure, enzyme catalysis, metabolism, and metabolic regulation. Specific focuses in this class include but are not limited to: thermodynamics/ water, water/ amino acids, tripeptide analysis, protein basics, protein purification, sequence determination, protein secondary structure, protein tertiary & quaternary structure, protein folding & function, enzymes kinetics, carbohydrates, lipids & membranes, metabolism, glycolysis, fates of glucose, glycogen, TCA, gluconeogenesis, electron transport, lipid metabolism, and mammalian fuel metabolism.


CHEM131 General Chemistry I:

Prerequisite: Must have math eligibility of MATH220, MATH130, or MATH140.  Credit only granted for:  CHEM 131, CHEM 135, CHEM 153 or CHEM 146.

The  course provides an introduction to atomic and molecular structure and properties. We will also discuss general principles of reactions including stoichiometry, equilibrium and some thermodynamics. The overall goal of this course is to prepare students for CHEM 231 ( organic chemistry I), which will cover introductory organic chemistry, including organic structure, organic reactions and organic reaction mechanisms.

CHEM132 General Chemistry I Laboratory:

Co- or pre-requisite: CHEM 131. Credit only granted for: CHEM 132, CHEM 136, CHEM 143, or CHEM 147.

Introduction to the quantification of chemical substances, including the concept of the mole and chemical stoichiometry. Additional work involves the synthesis of ionic substances and their qualitative characterization.

CHEM231 – Organic Chemistry I:

Prerequisite: CHEM 131 and CHEM 132; or (CHEM 135 and CHEM 136); or (CHEM 146 and CHEM 147). Credit only granted for: CHEM 231 or CHEM 237.

The chemistry of carbon: aliphatic compounds, aromatic compounds, stereochemistry, arenes, halides, alcohols, esters and spectroscopy. Topics include: bond length, strength, and energy trends, acids, bases, structure trends, nonmenclature of alkanes, cycloalkanes, carbocations, structures, stabilities, types of rearrangements, alkenes, structure, nonmenclature, intro to alkene addition reactions, ozonolysis, stereochemistry, definitions, alcohols, ethers, alkyl halides, oxiranes, substitution and elimination reactions, and spectroscopy (IR, NMR).

CHEM232 – Organic Chemistry I Laboratory:

Prerequisite: CHEM 131 and CHEM 132; or (CHEM 135 and CHEM 136); or (CHEM 146 and CHEM 147).  A grade of C- or better in the prerequisites is recommended for all students. Co- or pre-requisite: CHEM 231. Credit only granted for:  CHEM 231 or CHEM 237.

Provides experience in basic laboratory techniques, recrystallization, distillation, extraction, chromatography.

CHEM241 – Organic Chemistry II:

Prerequisite: CHEM 231 and CHEM 232; or CHEM 237.  A grade of C- or better in the prerequisites is recommended for all students. Credit only granted for: CHEM 241 or CHEM 247.

A continuation of CHEM231 with emphasis on molecular structure; substitution reactions; carbonium ions; aromaticity; synthetic processes; macromolecules. Topics include: dienes and conjugation, benzene and aromaticity, allyic and benzylic reactivity, aryl and vinylic halides/ phenols, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids and derivatives, enolates, amines, and carbohydrates.

CHEM242 – Organic Chemistry II Laboratory:

Prerequisite: CHEM 231 and CHEM 232; or CHEM 237. A grade of C- or better in the prerequisites is recommended for all students.  Co- or pre-requisite: CHEM 241. Credit only granted for: CHEM 243 or CHEM 247.

Synthetic organic chemistry through functional group manipulation, introduction to instrumentation essential to analysis and structure elucidation.

CHEM271 – General Chemistry and Energetics:

Prerequisite: CHEM 241 and CHEM 242; or CHEM 247.   A grade of C- or better in the prerequisites for College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences majors and recommended for all students. Corequisite:  Credit only granted for: CHEM 153, CHEM 271 or CHEM 276.

An introduction to the physical aspects of chemistry; chemical kinetics thermodynamics and electrochemistry in the context of current chemistry research. Chemistry 271 is the fourth semester of an integrated introduction to general and organic chemistry. The course covers fundamental principles that apply to all of chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, regardless of the specific molecules that are involved. The following areas will be emphasized: chemical equilibria, thermodynamics, relationships between thermodynamics and chemical equilibria, electrochemistry and oxidation-reduction reactions, and their connection to thermodynamics, batteries and electrolytic reactions, kinetics, Maxwell- Boltzmann distribution, reaction rates and orders, elementary reactions and mechanisms, the steady state approximation, activation energy, and catalysis.

CHEM272 – General Bioanalytical Chemistry Laboratory:

Prerequisite: CHEM 241 and CHEM 242; or CHEM 247. And A grade of C- or better in the prerequisites is required for College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences majors and recommended for all students. Co-  or pre-requisite: CHEM 271. Credit only granted for: CHEM 272 or CHEM 277.

The course is designed to cover analytical laboratory techniques in the context of biochemical concepts. It will focus on a variety of topics, including error analysis, visible spectroscopy, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation/ reduction and kinetics. You will also learn about data processing and interpretation, as well as data presentation.


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