Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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BMB BIOCH programs goals, entrance to major requirements, requirements to graduate

BMB Major - Biochemistry Option (BIOCH)

The Biochemistry Option (BIOCH) of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major focuses on the study of living things with a strong emphasis on the chemistry and physics of biomolecular structure and function.  In this option, the approach to the study of life at the molecular level is highly quantitative, so a strong background in mathematics is important.  Not surprisingly, this option requires the most extensive foundation in chemistry and physics of any of the majors offered by the department.  Advanced course electives in the major include molecular genetics, advanced cell biology, immunology, virology, molecular medicine, physiological biochemistry, and laboratory courses in physical chemistry.  Students in this option also come close to fulfilling the requirements for a minor in chemistry.  The major provides excellent preparation for graduate and professional schools, and graduates are highly sought by industry.

Program Goals

  1. Graduates will have and be able to communicate an understanding of biochemistry and molecular biology sufficient to qualify for graduate or professional schools or for entry-level positions as industrial scientists.
  2. Graduates will develop basic laboratory skills and be familiar with the standard techniques and equipment used in the modern biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory.
  3. Graduates will generate and interpret data with subsequent application to the solution of novel problems in biochemistry and molecular biology.
  4. Graduates will identify career opportunities and professional and ethical issues that concern scientists in the biochemistry and molecular biology field.

Requirements to enter a major

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better and must complete Chem 110, 111, 112, and Math 140 with a grade of C or better.

Requirements to graduate

To graduate, students must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  2. a grade of C or better in two of the following three courses: BMB/Micrb 251, BMB/Micrb 252 & Micrb 201.

  3. a grade of C or better in 9 credits of  400-level BMB/Micrb lecture courses (for BMB majors).