The Biochemistry Concentration

Concentration Coordinator: David Alberg

Introduction | Required Courses | Elective Courses | Other Relevant Courses | Contact Info


The biochemistry program at Carleton rests on the close cooperation between the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Emerging as a recognized discipline early in the last century, biochemistry has grown into a vast subject that spans several established disciplines. It serves as the link between the fields of chemistry and biology, and even as it flourishes at the interface of these subjects, it also holds a strong position within the two traditional disciplines. Fundamentally, biochemistry seeks to establish an understanding of biological phenomena at a molecular level.

Requirements for the Concentration

The biochemistry concentration requirements reflect the fundamental importance of the intellectual tools and structures of biology and chemistry to the study of all issues in biochemistry, and we ask students to get a grounding in both disciplines. It is likely that many students enrolling in the concentration will major in either biology or chemistry. To encourage breadth within the concentration, no more than five six-credit courses from a student’s own major may be counted toward the minimum requirements of the concentration.

Both the biology and chemistry departments maintain vigorous weekly seminar programs, regularly bringing to the college distinguished scientists, including many biochemists. Each concentrator should make it a priority to attend relevant seminars whenever possible.

Seminar Links:

Finally, both the chemistry and biology departments regularly offer integrative exercise experiences in biochemistry as an option for their majors. Concentrators who are biology or chemistry majors have the option of furthering their pursuit of biochemistry through a biochemical topic as the basis for their senior integrative exercise

Required Courses

Credits Course Number Description
6 BIOL 125 Genes, Evolution, and Development
6 BIOL 126 Energy Flow in Biological Systems
6 BIOL 380 Biochemistry
2 BIOL 381
CHEM 321

Biochemistry Laboratory

Biological Chemistry Laboratory

6 CHEM 123 or 128 Principles of Chemistry or Principles of Environmental Chemistry
6 CHEM 230 Equilibrium and Analysis
6 CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I
6 CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry II
6 CHEM 320 Biological Chemistry

Upper Level Course Electives (one course is required)

Credits Course Number Description
6 BIOL 310 Immunology
6 BIOL 332 Human Physiology
6 BIOL 344 The Molecular Basis of Plant Development
6 BIOL 367 The Molecular Basis of Human Disease
6 BIOL 370 Selected Topics in Virology
6 BIOL 382 Molecular Biology
6 BIOL 384 Biology of Cancer
6 BIOL 385 Microbial Pathology
6 CHEM 324 Chemistry and Biology of Antibiotics
6 CHEM 343 Chemical Thermodynamics
6 CHEM 350 Chemical And Biosynthesis
6 CHEM 360 Chemical Biology

Other Relevant Courses

The college offers a number of related courses that would enhance the background of a biochemistry concentrator. The following courses are not part of the concentration, but do support the program. In particular, we strongly encourage interested students to enroll in BIOL 240, Genetics.

 Credits  Course Number  Description
 6  BIOL 234  Microbiology with Laboratory
 6  BIOL 240  Genetics
 2  BIOL 241  Genetics Lab
 6  BIOL 280  Cell Biology
 2  BIOL 281  Cell Biology Lab
 2  CHEM 301  Chemical Kinetics Laboratory
 6  PSYC 318  Psychopharmacology

Contact Information

If you have questions about the Biochemistry Concentration and how it will fit into your program at Carleton College, please contact the Concentration Coordinator: David Alberg, Mudd 191, x 4410.