BS in Biochemistry

Degree Program Description

Biochemists are the locksmiths of life science.  They use their imagination, ingenuity and understanding of the basics of living processes to unlock life’s mysteries.  By unraveling the complexities of nature, they improve the quality of life.  Biochemistry combines the tools of biology, chemistry and genetics to fight human disease, increase the production and quality of food, and protect the environment.  The knowledge acquired through the program prepares students for careers in many areas, including Medicine, Biotechnology, Agriculture and Government. 

Premedical Track Students interested in a medical career may choose from a variety of science-based majors. The most common choice of students is biochemistry because it is a collaborative program between CAFNR and the School of Medicine. The Biochemistry degree provides excellent preparation for the intellectual demands of the medical profession.  This training includes, as part of the degree requirements, all of the science courses necessary for application to medical school or related professional fields.  Many graduates of this program matriculate at medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy or optometry schools. 

In Biotechnology, some of the nation’s largest and most respected private biotechnology companies, such as Bayer, Dow Chemical and Pfizer, employ biochemists in a wide range of specialties, including molecular biology, genetic engineering, pharmaceutical development and microbiology.  Many graduates have chosen to pursue Masters or Doctoral degrees at major research institutions across the country. Some have been selected for internships at National Institute of Health and others have earned National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Awards. 

In Agriculture, biochemists find employment with agricultural industry companies such as Cargill, Bayer (Monsanto), and Nestle Purina.  They may work on projects to develop new varieties of crops that resist drought and insects, nutritionally correct animal feed, or herbicide resistant crops.  

In Government, state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the State Public Health Lab and Epidemiology for Public Health Lab employ biochemists in many fields. They might perform genetic testing and biological sample testing, research epidemics in the region, or identify food-borne pathogens. 

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Major Program Requirements

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry are required to complete all University general education, University graduation, and degree requirements, including selected foundational courses, which may fulfill some University general education requirements.

Foundational Courses

CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
or CHEM 1320H College Chemistry I - Honors
BIO_SC 1500Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory5
or BIO_SC 1500H Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory Honors
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
or MATH 1500H Analytic Geometry and Calculus I - Honors
AGSC_COM 2220Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources3
or COMMUN 1200 Public Speaking

Degree and Major Courses

Major core requirements
Biochemistry25-26
BIOCHM 1090Introduction to Biochemistry3
BIOCHM 1094Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory3
BIOCHM 2480Introduction to Macromolecular Structure and Function (Fall semester only)3
BIOCHM 2482Integrative Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry (Spring semester only)3
BIOCHM 4270Biochemistry (I: First semester of two semester sequence)3
BIOCHM 4272Biochemistry (II: Continuation of BIOCHM 4270)3
BIOCHM 4300Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems (Fall semester only)3
BIOCHM 4974WBiochemistry Laboratory - Writing Intensive5
BIOCHM 4972Post-Normal Biochemistry2
Biological Sciences3-4
BIO_SC 2200General Genetics3-4
or AN_SCI 3213 Genetics of Agricultural Plants and Animals
or PLNT_SCI 3213 Genetics of Agricultural Plants and Animals
Chemistry12
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
CHEM 2100Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2110Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2130Organic Laboratory I (Concurrent with CHEM 2110)2
Mathematics5
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning3
or ABM 2123 Quantitative Applications in Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
or STAT 2500 Introduction to Probability and Statistics I
Information Technology
INFOTC 1040Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming3
Physics8-10
PHYSCS 1210College Physics I4-5
or PHYSCS 2750 University Physics I
PHYSCS 1220College Physics II4-5
or PHYSCS 2760 University Physics II
Advanced science *10 or more
6 additional BIOCHM credits; all credit hours must be 3000 level or above.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHM 10903CHEM 13304
CHEM 13204ENGLSH 10003
BIO_SC 15005MATH 15005
INFOTC 10403BIOCHM 1094 or BIO_SC 22003-4
INTDSC 10011 
 16 15-16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHM 24803BIOCHM 24823
BIO_SC 2200 or BIOCHM 10943-4CHEM 21103
CHEM 21003CHEM 21302
STAT 12003BIO_SC 2300 (or general elective)3-4
Elective (Humanities)3Social/Behavioral Sci Elective3
 15-16 14-15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHM 42703BIOCHM 42723
PHYSCS 12104PHYSCS 12204
HIST 1100 or 12003Advanced Science Elective (3000 level or above)4-5
AGSC_COM 22203Elective (Social/Behavioral Sci)3
Elective (Humanities) 3 
 16 14-15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOCHM 43003General Electives6
BIOCHM 4974W (OR Writing Intensive Elective)3-5Writing Intensive Elective OR BIOCHM 4974W3-5
BIOCHM 4972 (or other Adv Science BIOCHM)2Adv Sci BIOCHM OR BIOCHM 49722
BIOCHM 49783Adv Sci BIOCHM2
General Elective3 
 14-16 13-15
Total Credits: 117-125

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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