2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Mar 02, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Biochemistry (B.S.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Douglas Raynie, Department Head
131 Avera Health Sciences Building, Box 2202
E-mail: douglas.raynie@sdstate.edu
Click here for additional information.  

Program Information

One of the fastest growing scientific disciplines is also one of the youngest – biochemistry. Biochemistry is the application of atomic and molecular principles to the function of plant and animal life processes. This multi-faceted science includes the study of all life forms and depends on basic concepts derived from chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics. Training in biochemistry at the undergraduate level positions students well for careers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, government laboratories, and is very appropriate as a pre-professional course of study. The B.S. in Biochemistry curriculum at SDSU builds upon a solid foundation in chemistry, and incorporates selected aspects of biology, physics, and mathematics to complete the undergraduate degree. In addition to completing the degree requirements listed below, biochemistry students engage in undergraduate research with faculty members in the department.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the B.S. in Biochemistry, graduates will demonstrate the following capacities:

  • Possess a foundational knowledge of the contemporary theories of biochemistry and molecular biology.
  • Apply the foundational knowledge of the field toward answering unknown questions.
  • Effectively communicate scientific information in written and verbal formats.
  • Safely handle chemical/biological agents and chemical equipment.
  • Become proficient in the design and execution of experimental procedures.
  • Use a variety of techniques to evaluate experimental outcomes.
  • Develop the human skills to work effectively and efficiently in a team setting.
  • Efficiently search the relevant chemical literature.
  • Develop an understanding of the career opportunities within and outside of the field.

Academic Requirements

A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses required for the major.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure

The B.S. in Biochemistry is certified by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), whose certification serves as recognition of a high quality and rigorous curriculum.

Course Delivery Format

Courses offered in the Biochemistry curriculum are taught in a variety of formats which address student learning outcomes: Didactic (lecture) methods ensure the development of foundational knowledge of chemistry; Practical (laboratory) methods ensure the development of laboratory skills and training; A combination of didactic and practical methods ensure the successful completion of the undergraduate research project.

Requirements for Biochemistry Major: 120 Credits

 Bachelor of Science in Arts and Sciences

System General Education Requirements

College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

Bachelor of Science Requirements: 13+

  • Natural Sciences  Credits: 10+
    • Any two lab sciences.
    • Coursework must include 2 prefixes.
    • MATH and STATS courses do not count toward the science requirement.
  • A&S 111 - Introduction to Global Citizenship and Diversity Credits: 3  
  • One declared minor outside of the major prefix OR a second major OR a teaching specialization. The minor may be a traditional minor within one department or it may be interdisciplinary involving more than one department. The minor can be in a different college. The minor must be declared no later than the student’s third semester of enrollment.
  • Capstone course in the major discipline
  • Upper division coursework Credits: 33

System General Education and/or major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details. See the College of Arts and Sciences for additional information about Bachelor of Arts specifications.


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120


CHEM 498, Undergraduate Research - The required undergraduate research project must be in biochemistry and for at minimum 3 credits. The research project is usually completed during the summer preceding registration in CHEM 498. (Students must register for CHEM 498 in spring semester) CHEM 498 credit is given for completing a written paper of the research project and presenting the paper at a scientific meeting in a semester after the project is completed. Refer to the department for information about additional summer research experiences.

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