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Biochemistry Major, B.A.

The biochemistry major is a broadly based program built upon a foundation of chemistry and biology strengthened by study of physics and mathematics. Central to this coursework is experience with modern instrumentation and techniques. This major, combined with Hood’s Core Curriculum, provides students with the educational background that will allow them to pursue post-baccalaureate studies in chemistry, biology, biochemistry or the health professions. It also prepares them for employment in a wide variety of careers ranging from biotechnology to business. Most students take advantage of internship opportunities available at many biomedical and biotechnology laboratories in the Frederick-Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area.

Requirements for the Major
  • CHEM 101, 102 General Chemistry I, II
  • CHEM 209, 210 Organic Chemistry I, II
  • CHEM 215 Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 270 Chemical Literature
  • CHEM 301, 402 Biological Chemistry I, II
  • CHEM 403 Biological Chemistry Laboratory Techniques
  • CHEM 431 Physical Chemistry I
  • CHEM 433 Physical Chemistry Lab I
  • CHEM 470 Senior Seminar
  • BIOL 110-129 Biological Inquiry
  • BIOL 203 Introduction to Cell Biology and Genetics
  • BIOL 331 Microbiology
  • BIOL 339 Cell Biology
  • MATH 201, 202 Calculus I, II
  • PHYS 101, 102 General Physics I, II or PHYS 203, 204 Introductory Physics I, II
Recommended Courses
  • CHEM 324 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
  • CHEM 410 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 432 Physical Chemistry II
  • BIOL 316 Genetics
  • BIOL 424 Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Cells

Curricular Directions in Biochemistry

Pre-Medical Studies

For students pursuing a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, nursing or an allied health field, the biochemistry major will provide an excellent preparation for professional study. The biochemistry major requirements are most closely aligned with those of the Medical College Admission Test. In order to prepare for the MCAT or the Dental Admission Test, students should complete the following courses by the end of their junior year:

8 credits in biology
  • CHEM 101, 102 General Chemistry I, II
  • CHEM 209, 210 Organic Chemistry I, II
  • ENGL 100, 101 or 110-139 English composition course
  • PHYS 101, 102 General Physics I, II or PHYS 203, 204 Introductory Physics I, II (requires calculus)

n addition, some schools will recommend or require additional courses, which most frequently include anatomy and physiology, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, a year of English, some calculus and philosophy or ethics. The Health Professions Advisory Committee works closely with the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Center to assist students in the medical school application process.

Biotechnology Studies

The biochemistry major provides excellent preparation for careers in rapidly growing biotechnology fields such as genomics and proteomics. Chemistry classes ensure a background in the use of instruments and other modern laboratory techniques. Biochemistry and biology courses cover concepts and techniques used in the biotechnology industry. In addition to the courses required for the major, the following courses are recommended:

  • CHEM 324 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
  • BIOL 316 Genetics
  • BIOL 424 Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Cells
Forensics Studies

The biochemistry major provides excellent preparation for careers in forensic science. Chemistry classes will give you a thorough grounding in the analytical techniques which are used by forensic chemists on a daily basis. Biochemistry and biology courses cover molecular biology concepts and techniques used in DNA analysis. Our explicit pedagogical focus on the scientific method helps students develop the deductive reasoning skills necessary for a successful forensics career. In addition to the courses required for the major, and depending upon students’ specific areas of interest, students may consider taking:

  • ANTH 201 Introduction to Anthropology
  • BIOL 316 Genetics
  • CAEN 306 Writing for Business and Management
  • CHEM 324 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
  • CHEM 498 Current Topics in Chemistry: Forensic Science
  • CMA 207 Principles of Speech Communication
  • LWPS 230 Introduction to Law
  • PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology