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 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 Biochemistry Minor

The biochemistry minor 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 minor will major in either biology or chemistry. To encourage breadth within the minor, no more than five six-credit courses from a student's own major may be counted toward the minimum requirements of the minor.

Both the biology and chemistry departments maintain vigorous weekly seminar programs, regularly bringing to the college distinguished scientists, including many biochemists. Each minor should make it a priority to attend relevant seminars whenever possible. At the beginning of each term, minors will be notified of the pertinent biology and chemistry seminars held that term.

Finally, both the chemistry and biology departments regularly offer integrative exercise experiences in biochemistry as an option for their majors. Minors 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.

Course Requirements

Students must take:

  • One introductory chemistry course chosen from CHEM 123 Principles of Chemistry I and Lab or CHEM 128, Principles of Environmental Chemistry & Lab
  • BIOL 125 Genes, Evolution, and Development and Lab
  • BIOL 126 Energy Flow in Biological Systems and Lab
  • BIOL 380 Biochemistry
  • CHEM 224 Principles of Chemistry II and Lab
  • CHEM 233 Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • CHEM 234 Organic Chemistry II & Lab
  • CHEM 320 Biological Chemistry
  • One laboratory course from BIOL 381 Biochemistry Laboratory or CHEM 321 Biological Chemistry Laboratory.

Upper Level Course Electives

One course is required

  • BIOL 310 Immunology
  • BIOL 332 Human Physiology
  • BIOL 338 Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 370 Seminar: Selected Topics in Virology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • BIOL 372 Seminar: Structural Biology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • BIOL 382 Seminar: Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 383 Illicit Pharmacology: The Biochemistry and Molecular Mechanisms of Recreational Drugs
  • BIOL 385 Seminar: Microbial Pathology (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CHEM 324 Chemistry and Biology of Antibiotics (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CHEM 343 Chemical Thermodynamics
  • CHEM 350 Chemical and Biosynthesis (not offered in 2020-21)
  • CHEM 360 Chemical Biology (not offered in 2020-21)

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.