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.

Program Delivery

  • This is an on-campus program.

Declaring This Major

  • Click here to go to information about declaring a major

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

Program Requirements


  1. The Biochemistry major requires 45 semester hours minimum in chemistry.
  2. Students must take at least 14 upper-division chemistry hours, including CHEM 4518 or CHEM 4538 or CHEM 4548, in residency at CU Denver.
  3. The minimum grade in Chemistry courses and ancillary courses is C- (1.7).
  4. A minimum chemistry GPA of 2.0 is required in chemistry and ancillary required courses.
  5. 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.
  6. All courses applied to the Biochemistry major need to be taken within ten years of the graduation date.