Biochemistry (BS)

Chair: Phillip M. Sheridan, PhD

Introduction

Biochemistry graduates enter a variety of professions, including careers in research and industry, the health professions, teaching, technical writing, business, sales, patent law and civil service. A major in biochemistry is an excellent preparation for entrance into medical, dental and pharmacy schools. It also prepares students to enter a range of graduate programs including biochemistry, biotechnology, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, bioengineering, business and law.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers two tracks that lead to a BS degree in Biochemistry. They are the Biochemistry BS track certified by the American Chemical Society (BCH track certified by ACS) and Biochemistry BS track designed for students who intend to pursue employment in industry (BCH track). Both BCH tracks are appropriate for pre-health professional students.

Advisors in the Department will help you choose the track that best fits your interests and career plans. Students in both program tracks will gain hands-on experience with a wide variety of modern, sophisticated laboratory instrumentation; this helps provide the experience necessary to be competitive in today’s job market and/or to gain entrance into highly ranked graduate programs.

Both Biochemistry tracks can be completed with a business minor. This option provides a very useful preparation for employment in sales, marketing, or other industrial professions, as well as preparing students for graduate studies in business or administration.

Qualifications

Students must attain the grade of C or greater in General Chemistry II (CHM 112) and C- or greater in Organic Chemistry II (CHM 228) in order to progress into the major. Several two semester courses (CHM 111 and CHM 112, CHM 227 and CHM 228, BCH 301 and BCH 302) have a requirement for a minimum grade of C- in the first course to continue with the second course.

ACADEMIC Advisement

All students have an academic advisor. For students who have declared a major, an advisor is assigned in their respective academic department. For students who are still deciding on a major, they will be assigned a staff member from the Griff Center for Student Success for advisement including course selection prior to registration.

Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All students should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Major Experiences

Following their freshman year, and sometimes earlier, chemistry and biochemistry majors are encouraged to become involved in research or other professional projects. Stipends are often available so that work can be done on these projects during the summer and school year in the Department. Summer work in industrial laboratories and research institutions is also available. Our close relationship with local industries and institutions aids students in job placement before and after graduation. Students may also choose to undertake industrial internships for advanced elective course credit.

Special Programs Offered by the Department

Early Assurance Program with University at Buffalo Medical School or Syracuse Medical School

Qualified students may apply to the University at Buffalo Medical School or Syracuse University Medical School during their sophomore year. Those accepted will be admitted into the Medical School freshman class after their graduation from Canisius.

Early Assurance Program with University at Buffalo Dental School

Qualified students may apply to the University at Buffalo Dental School during their sophomore year. Those accepted will be admitted into the Dental School freshman class after their graduation from Canisius.

Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental

The Chemistry and Biochemistry BS degrees are excellent preparations for entering into medical and dental schools, and a third of the graduates from this Department enter into these programs. Students applying to medical or dental schools must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or Dental Admission Test (DAT).

Pre-Pharmacy

For pre-pharmacy students we recommend the Chemistry Health Professions track, since students in this track can meet all pharmacy school entrance requirements. Students applying to most pharmacy schools must take the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).

Double Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. This decision may be based on career goals, planned graduate studies, and/or other student interests. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement.  In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the Major/Minor Declaration form. This form will be submitted electronically and reviewed and approved by each department chairperson as well as the appropriate associate dean. 

Per college policy, each additional major requires a minimum of 15 credits that do not apply to the student's first or subsequent major.  Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in other cases additional course work may be required. Please note that students will receive only one degree, regardless of the number of majors they complete. Both (all) majors appear on a student’s transcript.

Minors in Other Disciplines

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. To receive a minor, the student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their other credentials (i.e., majors, other minors). The complete list of minors is available on the Canisius website and in the catalog and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

Curriculum

An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

Biochemistry Major with ACS-certification

Biochemistry BS track certified by the American Chemical Society is recommended for students planning to attend graduate school. This track is also appropriate for students who plan careers in the health professions.

CHM 111
111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 112
112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 227
227L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 228
228L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 230
230L
Analytical Chemistry
and Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHM 244Inorganic Chemistry3
CHM 301
301L
Fundamental Physical Chemistry
and Fundamental Physical Chemistry Laboratory
4
CHM 302
302L
Modern Physical Chemistry
and Modern Physical Chemistry Laboratory
4
Select one of the following:4
Spectrometric Analysis
and Spectrometric Analysis Lab
Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
and Instrumental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 420Materials Chemistry3
CHM 381Scientific Literature and Communication1
CHM 480Communicating Concepts in Chemistry1
CHM 481Communicating Research Literature1
BCH 301
301L
Introduction to Biochemistry
and Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory
4
BCH 302Cellular Biochemistry3
BCH 403
403L
Molecular Biology
and Molecular Biology Laboratory
4
BIO 111
111L
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
4
BIO 112
112L
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
4
MAT 111Calculus I4
MAT 112Calculus II4
PHY 223
223L
General Physics for Physical Science Majors I
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory
4
PHY 224
224L
General Physics for Physical Science Majors II
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory
4
Total Credits76

Biochemistry Track

Biochemistry BS track designed for students who intend to pursue employment in industry. This track is also appropriate for students who plan careers in the health professions.

Required Science Courses
CHM 111
111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 112
112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 244Inorganic Chemistry3
CHM 227
227L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 228
228L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 301Fundamental Physical Chemistry3
Select one of the following:4
Spectrometric Analysis
and Spectrometric Analysis Lab
Instrumental Analytical Chemistry
and Instrumental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 381Scientific Literature and Communication1
CHM 480Communicating Concepts in Chemistry1
CHM 481Communicating Research Literature1
Choose one Chemistry (CHM), Biochemistry (BCH), or Biology (BIO) Elective (300- or 400-level course)3
Choose one Biochemistry (BCH) Elective 13
BCH 301
301L
Introduction to Biochemistry
and Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory
4
BCH 302Cellular Biochemistry3
BCH 403
403L
Molecular Biology
and Molecular Biology Laboratory
4
BIO 111
111L
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
4
BIO 112
112L
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
4
MAT 111Calculus I4
MAT 112Calculus II 24
or MAT 141 Inferential Statistics and Computers for Science
PHY 201
201L
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
PHY 202
202L
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Total Credits70

Roadmap

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

BCH ACS Certified Track

Freshman
FallSpring
CHM 111
111L
CHM 112
112L
BIO 111
111L
BIO 112
112L
MAT 111MAT 112
Sophomore
FallSpring
CHM 227
227L
CHM 228
228L
CHM 244PHY 224
224L
PHY 223
223L
 
Junior
FallSpring
BCH 301
301L
BCH 302
CHM 381CHM 230
230L
 CHM 480
Senior
FallSpring
CHM 301
301L
CHM 430
430L1
CHM 334
334L1
CHM 302
302L
CHM 481BCH 403
403L
 CHM 420
1

Either CHM 334/CHM 334L or CHM 430/CHM 430L is required.

BCH ACS Certified Track with Business Minor

Freshman
FallSpring
CHM 111
111L
CHM 112
112L
BIO 111
111L
BIO 112
112L
MAT 111MAT 112
Sophomore
FallSpring
CHM 227
227L
CHM 228
228L
CHM 244ECO 102
ECO 101MAT 141 or ECO 255
PHY 223
223L
PHY 224
224L
Junior
FallSpring
BCH 301
301L
BCH 302
CHM 381CHM 230
230L
 CHM 480
 MGT 101
Senior
FallSpring
CHM 301
301L
CHM 430
430L1
CHM 334
334L1
CHM 302
302L
CHM 481BCH 403
403L
ACC 201FIN 201
MKT 201CHM 420
1

Either CHM 334/CHM 334L or CHM 430/CHM 430L is required.

BCH Track

Freshman
FallSpring
CHM 111
111L
CHM 112
112L
BIO 111
111L
BIO 112
112L
MAT 111MAT 141 or 112
Sophomore
FallSpring
CHM 227
227L
CHM 228
228L
PHY 201
201L
PHY 202
202L
Junior
FallSpring
BCH 301
301L
BCH 302
CHM 244CHM 480
CHM 381BCH elective
Senior
FallSpring
CHM 301CHM 430
430L1
CHM 334
334L1
BCH 403
403L
CHM 481CHM Elective or BCH Elective
1

Either CHM 334/CHM 334L or CHM 430/CHM 430L is required.

BCH Track with Business Minor

Freshman
FallSpring
CHM 111
111L
CHM 112
112L
BIO 111
111L
BIO 112
112L
MAT 111MAT 141 or ECO 255
Sophomore
FallSpring
CHM 227
227L
CHM 228
228L
PHY 201
201L
PHY 202
202L
ECO 101ECO 102
Junior
FallSpring
BCH 301
301L
BCH 302
CHM 244CHM 480
CHM 381MGT 101
 BCH elective
Senior
FallSpring
CHM 301CHM 430
430L1
CHM 334
334L1
BCH 403
403L
CHM 481CHM or BCH Elective
ACC 201FIN 201
MKT 201 
1

Either CHM 334/CHM 334L or CHM 430/CHM 430L is required.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1:            

Knowledge; Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental chemical concepts. 

Students will:
  • Objective A  Demonstrate broad knowledge of chemical concepts.
  • Objective B  Analyze and predict the effects of chemical changes.

Student Learning Goal 2:

Professional Skills; Work effectively in a professional or laboratory setting.

Students will:     
  • Objective A  Carry out experiments (follow directions, manipulate materials and lab apparatus, record data).
  • Objective B  Use modern instrumentation (prepare samples, operate systems, troubleshoot common problems, organize and label data).
  • Objective C  Demonstrate knowledge of chemical, instrumental and workplace safety.

Student Learning Goal 3:   

Communication; Be proficient in the communication of chemical information.

Students will:   
  • Objective A  Construct and deliver an effective oral presentation.
  • Objective B  Write an effective, properly formatted scientific report.
  • Objective C  Identify, access and use chemical and biochemical literature sources.

.

Courses

BCH 301 Introduction to Biochemistry 3 Credits

Structure and function of biological molecules. Topics include proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids,enzyme kinetics, ligand binding, recombinant DNA technology and cell membrane structure and transport.Three lectures and one recitation per week.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in CHM 228.

Offered: every fall.

BCH 301L Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory 1 Credit

One four-hour lab per week.

Prerequisite: BCH 301 (or concurrent registration).

Offered: every fall.

BCH 302 Cellular Biochemistry 3 Credits

The more biological aspects of biochemistry. Topics include signal transduction, bioenergetics, metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and metabolic control,emphasizing hormones. Three lectures and one recitation per week.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in BCH 301.

Offered: every spring.

BCH 403 Molecular Biology 3 Credits

Biochemical processes at the cellular and molecular level. Topics include DNA structure in chromosomes, replication, repair, and recombination, DNA transcription, RNA structure and function, protein translation and regulation of these processes.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in BCH 301.

Offered: spring of odd-numbered years.

BCH 403L Molecular Biology Laboratory 1 Credit

One four-hour lab per week.

Prerequisite: BCH 301L & BCH 403 (or concurrent registration in BCH 403).

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

Offered: spring of odd-numbered years.

BCH 415 Biochemistry of Viruses 3 Credits

Fundamental biochemical description of the structure and properties of viruses. Topics include different types of viruses, the underlying biochemical principles for host-virus interactions, and how viruses can cause diseases.

Prerequisite: BCH 301.

Offered: spring of even-numbered years.

BCH 450 Research in Biochemistry 3 Credits

Independent research under the direction of the biochemistry faculty. Students are required to spend 9 hours per week conducting research. BCH 450 may be taken in place of a biochemistry elective without lab. Research and consultation times to be arranged after approval of department chair.

Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

Offered: fall & spring.

BCH 451 Research in Biochemistry 4 Credits

Independent research under the direction of the biochemistry faculty. Students are required to spend 12 hours per week conducting research. BCH 451 may be taken in place of a biochemistry elective with lab. Research and consultation times to be arranged after approval of department chair.

Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

Offered: fall & spring.

BCH 499 Independent Study 3 Credits

Independent study under the direction of the biochemistry professor. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

Offered: fall & spring.