Douglas Raynie, Department Head
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Avera Health and Science Center 131, Box 2202
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 multifaceted 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:
- understand the basic concepts fundamental to chemistry.
- be properly prepared for laboratory investigations.
- understand the nature of biological energy.
- understand catalysis.
- describe energetic coupling of chemical processes in metabolic pathways.
- describe biological macromolecules.
- describe the factors which determine the structure of biological macromolecules.
- relate structure and function.
- describe macromolecular interactions.
- understand that macromolecular structure is dynamic.
- discuss regulation of the biological activity of macromolecules.
- relate the structure (and hence function) with the foundational principles of chemistry and physics.
- use a variety of experimental and computational approaches to observe and quantitatively measure the structure, dynamics and function of biological macromolecules.
- describe the genome.
- discuss the relationship between nucleotide sequence and biological function.
- explain gene transmission from one generation to the next.
- describe genome maintenance.
- understand the scientific process.
- assess, comprehend, and communicate science.
- rely on collaboration, effective teamwork, safety, and ethical practices.
- describe the biological need for homeostasis.
- link steady state processes and homeostasis.
- quantify homeostasis.
- describe control mechanisms.
- describe cellular and organismal homeostasis.
- synthesize the curricular knowledge and skills in a capstone (research) experience.
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 accredited 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.