Biochemistry is the chemistry of life - the molecules, reactions, and energy transformations that underlie structure and function in all living organisms. The study of biochemistry combines knowledge from chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics (and sometimes other disciplines) to understand how life works at the molecular level. This integrated scientific knowledge will be essential for understanding the future of human health, sustainable energy, and the environment.
The BS Biochemistry program at CU Denver strongly emphasizes connections between basic science and human health. Required coursework covers much of the foundational knowledge and skills for graduate and health professions entrance exams. Several courses explore connections between cutting-edge biochemical research and different diseases. Students are encouraged to take advantage of undergraduate research opportunities in biochemistry and related fields either at CU-Denver or on the nearby Anschutz Medical campus. Graduates learn skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and scientific communication for careers in the health and natural sciences.
A BS in Biochemistry stands out as a premiere accomplishment in applications for professional degree programs, including pharmacy, medicine, nursing, dentistry, medical technology, and many others.
These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their major advisor and CLAS advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.
Qualified majors are strongly urged to participate in directed research and departmental honors programs. We also strongly encourage Biochemistry majors to participate in the Chemistry department by serving as learning assistants or teaching assistants.
The chemistry department offers two options for a chemistry degree. A BS Chemistry and a BS Biochemistry. Students may also double major in Biochemistry and Chemistry. Students interested in the Biochemistry major should consult regularly with the Chemistry/Biochemistry Majors Advisor, Dr. Vanessa Fishback.
- This is an on-campus program.
Program Learning Goals
- Students possess an adequate knowledge base in several sub-disciplines in chemistry, including biochemistry, as defined by the American Chemical Society.
- Students can rely on this knowledge base to link more than one biochemical principle to solve problems, both qualitatively and quantitatively, individually and in groups.
- Students can (a) recognize and define a general problem related to biochemistry, (b) design and carry out at least one significant experiment which addresses the problem, and (c) competently analyze and report their experimental results in oral and written form, adhering to proper conventions.
- Students can (a) identify when information is needed to solve a problem, (b) identify and locate appropriate sources of information, and (c) effectively extract and construct scientific meaning from critical reading of written material, including primary, secondary, and instructional literature.
- Students understand the concepts of safe laboratory practice, use ethical reasoning to evaluate their practices in performing experiments and communicating results, and conduct themselves responsibly according to the ethical and safety standards of the profession.
Declaring This Major
- Click here to go to information about declaring a major
To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.
- CU Denver General Graduation Requirements
- CU Denver Core Curriculum
- College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Graduation Requirements
- Click here for information about Academic Policies
- The Biochemistry major requires 45 semester hours minimum in chemistry.
- Students must take at least 14 upper-division chemistry hours, including CHEM 4518 or CHEM 4538 or CHEM 4548, in residency at CU Denver.
- The minimum grade in Chemistry courses and ancillary courses is C- (1.7).
- A minimum chemistry GPA of 2.0 is required in chemistry and ancillary required courses.
- A student who has declared a Biochemistry major at CU Denver may not take additional chemistry courses outside of the department for the purpose of applying those credits toward meeting the requirements of the major without prior written approval of the undergraduate Chemistry/Biochemistry advisor. No more than 3 additional hours of such pre-approved transfer credits will be allowed.
- All courses applied to the Biochemistry major need to be taken within ten years of the graduation date.
- CHEM 2031 - General Chemistry I or
- CHEM 2081 - Honors General Chemistry I
- CHEM 2038 - General Chemistry Laboratory I or
- CHEM 2088 - Honors General Chemistry I Laboratory
- CHEM 2061 - General Chemistry II or
- CHEM 2091 - Honors General Chemistry II Lecture
- CHEM 2068 - General Chemistry Laboratory II or
- CHEM 2098 - Honors General Chemistry II Laboratory
- CHEM 3411 - Organic Chemistry I or
- CHEM 3481 - Honors Organic Chemistry I
- CHEM 3418 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I or
- CHEM 3488 - Honors Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
- CHEM 3421 - Organic Chemistry II or
- CHEM 3491 - Honors Organic Chemistry II
- CHEM 3498 - Honors Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
- CHEM 4810 - General Biochemistry I or
- CHEM 5810 - Graduate Biochemistry I
- CHEM 4828 - Biochemistry Lab
- CHEM 4521 - Physical Chemistry: Quantum and Spectroscopy or
- CHEM 4511 - Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
- CHEM 4538 - Physical Chemistry Laboratory: Molecular Structure or
- CHEM 4518 - Physical Chemistry Laboratory: Reaction Analysis or
- CHEM 4548 - Physical Biochemistry Laboratory
- BIOL 4125 - Molecular Biology Laboratory
- CHEM 4815 - Structural Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
- CHEM 4820 - General Biochemistry II
- CHEM 4825 - Biochemistry of Metabolic Disease
- CHEM 4835 - Biochemistry of Gene Regulation and Cancer
- CHEM 4880 - Directed Research (For faculty-mentored research projects related to biochemistry. Major credit for this course requires prior approval from the Chemistry/Biochemistry majors advisor and the research mentor. Major credits do not count toward departmental Honors requirements.)
- CHEM 4600/ CHEM 5600 - Graduate Topics in Chemistry
- CHEM 5830 - Graduate Biochemistry II
- CHEM 4121 - Instrumental Analysis
- CHEM 4421/ CHEM 5421 - Cannabis Chemistry
- CHEM 4511 - Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics
- CHEM 4521 - Physical Chemistry: Quantum and Spectroscopy
- CHEM 4700 - Environmental Chemistry
- CHEM 4880 - Directed Research
- BIOL 3124 - Introduction to Molecular Biology
- BIOL 3225 - Human Physiology
- BIOL 3611 - General Cell Biology
- BIOL 3654 - General Microbiology
- BIOL 3763 - Biostatistics
- BIOL 3804 - Developmental Biology
- BIOL 3832 - General Genetics
- BIOL 4024 - Introduction to Biotechnology
- BIOL 4064 - Cell Biology of Disease
- BIOL 4165 - Neurobiology
- BIOL 4550 - Cell Signaling
- MATH 3511 - Mathematics of Chemistry
- PHYS 3452 - Biophysics of the Cell NM
- PSYC 3832 - Neural Basis of Learning
- BIOL 2051 - General Biology I or
- BIOL 2095 - Honors General Biology I
- BIOL 2071 - General Biology Laboratory I or
- BIOL 2096 - Honors General Biology Lab I
- BIOL 2061 - General Biology II or
- BIOL 2097 - Honors General Biology II
- BIOL 2081 - General Biology Laboratory II or
- BIOL 2098 - Honors General Biology Lab II
- MATH 1401 - Calculus I
- MATH 2411 - Calculus II
- PHYS 2311 - General Physics I: Calculus-Based
- PHYS 2321 - General Physics Lab I
- PHYS 2331 - General Physics II: Calculus-Based
- PHYS 2341 - General Physics Lab II
- MATH 3511 - Mathematics of Chemistry or
- CHEM 4500 - Foundations of Physical Chemistry