Program Learning Goals

Biochemistry is the study of the molecules and chemical processes that underpin living systems. These include the vital metabolic reactions that provide cells with energy to perform myriad activities and functions, and the biosynthetic reactions that enable cells to renew, repair, grow, and divide. The linkage of biochemistry with molecular biology for the past 40 years has brought revolutionary advances in our understanding of the living world.

The interdisciplinary major in biochemistry offers a rigorous course of study that builds on two years of fundamental coursework in biology, chemistry and related disciplines. With this broad preparation, students engage with biochemistry and molecular biology at an advanced level, allowing them to integrate their knowledge in molecular and cellular sciences, and to think and address issues occurring at the forefront of the biochemical/biomedical sciences. Majors are also encouraged to participate in academic-year and/or summer research, and majors usually have more than one research internship experience before graduation.

Knowledge-Based Learning Goals

  • Use energy, kinetics and thermodynamics to develop a quantitative and mechanistic view of biological systems.
  • Explain the structures, functions, and interactions of biomolecules.
  • Describe the flow of information within a cell and between cells.
  • Use chemical and biological logic to interpret metabolic pathways and their regulation.
  • Apply biochemical knowledge to human health, technology, and society.

Skill-Based Learning Goals

  • Assess safety concerns in the laboratory and employ best practices.
  • Collaborate to pursue common goals.
  • Employ responsible and ethical practices in data collection and analysis, reporting, and attribution.
  • Critically evaluate primary scientific literature.
  • Interpret and critically analyze data.
  • Design and conduct independent experiments in biochemistry, using modern instrumentation.
  • Effectively communicate scientific information in oral, written and visual formats to scientific and broader audiences.