Biochemistry, Chemistry (BS)

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Major: Chemistry
Concentration: Biochemistry
Program Code: 3476

About This Major . . .

Biochemistry students build a strong foundation in chemistry and apply their knowledge to problems in chemistry and biology. Students learn to critically analyze chemical structures and chemical and biochemical reactions, skills which are necessary for success in fields of biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, medicine, pharmacy and chemical biology. By taking upper division courses in chemistry and biology, biochemistry majors develop a strong understanding of both subjects. Through research under a chemistry or biology faculty member, students can enhance their laboratory and critical thinking skills.

The program culminates in two courses designed to bridge students’ coursework with their entry into the workforce, a medical degree program, or graduate school. The Advanced Laboratory course helps students to synthesize knowledge from various chemical disciplines and apply it to solving chemical problems in a practical manner. This is similar to the type of process that they are likely to experience after graduation. Our Communicating in the World of Chemistry course couples with our Advanced Laboratory course to help students express themselves in a professional manner while applying for and entering their new positions.

Colorado Mesa University graduates have been successful in finding jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and in secondary education, as well as being placed in graduate, pharmacy and medical schools.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate fluency in the concepts from major fields of chemistry (organic, physical, analytical, and biochemistry.) (Specialized Knowledge)
  2. Utilize mathematics to solve chemical and biological problems. (Quantitative Fluency)
  3. Employ proper experimental techniques. (Applied Learning)
  4. Interpret chemical and biological information from peer-reviewed publications. (Critical Thinking)
  5. Communicate chemical and biological topics effectively, both verbally and in writing. (Communication Fluency)
  6. Demonstrate a solid understanding of genetics, cellular, and molecular biology. (Specialized Knowledge)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 151Calculus I-GT-MA1 23
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of "C" or better and must be complete by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


This is a 5 credit course. 3 credits apply to the Essential Learning requirements and 2 credits apply to Foundation.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(21 semester hours, must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course)

BIOL 105Attributes of Living Systems-GTSC13
BIOL 105LAttributes of Living Systems Laboratory-GTSC11
MATH 151Calculus I-GT-MA12
MATH 152Calculus II5
Select one of the following sets of courses:5
Fundamental Mechanics-GTSC1
and Fundamental Mechanics Laboratory-GTSC1
General Physics-GTSC1
and General Physics Laboratory-GTSC1
Select one of the following sets of courses:5
Electromagnetism and Optics-GTSC1
and Electromagnetism and Optics Laboratory-GTSC1
General Physics II-GTSC1
and General Physics II Laboratory-GTSC1
Total Semester Credit Hours21

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(54 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher)

Core Courses
CHEM 131General Chemistry I-GTSC14
CHEM 131LGeneral Chemistry Laboratory I-GTSC11
CHEM 132General Chemistry II-GTSC14
CHEM 132LGeneral Chemistry Laboratory II-GTSC11
CHEM 301Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 301LAnalytical Chemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 311Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 311LOrganic Chemistry I Laboratory1
CHEM 312Organic Chemistry II4
CHEM 312LOrganic Chemistry II Laboratory1
CHEM 341Advanced Laboratory I2
CHEM 442Communicating in the World of Chemistry1
Biochemistry Concentration Courses
CHEM 315Biochemistry I3
CHEM 316Biochemistry II3
CHEM 317LBiochemistry Laboratory1
CHEM 321Physical Chemistry I3
BIOL 301Principles of Genetics3
BIOL 301LPrinciples of Genetics Laboratory1
BIOL 302Cellular Biology3
BIOL 371LLaboratory Investigations in Cellular and Molecular Biology3
Total Semester Credit Hours47
Restricted Electives
Select 7 semester hours from the following list: 17
Physical Chemistry II
Inorganic Chemistry I
Inorganic Chemistry II
Structured Research
Advanced Organic Chemistry I
Advanced Organic Chemistry II
Instrumental Analysis
and Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Formal Research
Structured Research
Developmental Biology
and Developmental Biology Laboratory
and Microbiology Laboratory
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
Structured Research
Molecular Genetics
Advanced Research
Total Semester Credit Hours7

No more than 4 semester hours can come from CHEM 397, CHEM 487, CHEM 497, BIOL 387, or BIOL 487

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 8 semester hours.

Select electives8
Total Semester Credit Hours8
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
CHEM 131
General Chemistry I-GTSC1
and General Chemistry Laboratory I-GTSC1
Essential Learning - History 3
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
CHEM 132
General Chemistry II-GTSC1
and General Chemistry Laboratory II-GTSC1
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
BIOL 105
Attributes of Living Systems-GTSC1
and Attributes of Living Systems Laboratory-GTSC1
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
MATH 151 Calculus I-GT-MA1 5
CHEM 311
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Select one of the following: 5
Fundamental Mechanics-GTSC1
and Fundamental Mechanics Laboratory-GTSC1
General Physics-GTSC1
and General Physics Laboratory-GTSC1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
MATH 152 Calculus II 5
CHEM 312
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
Select one of the following: 5
Electromagnetism and Optics-GTSC1
and Electromagnetism and Optics Laboratory-GTSC1
General Physics II-GTSC1
and General Physics II Laboratory-GTSC1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 315 Biochemistry I 3
CHEM 317L Biochemistry Laboratory 1
BIOL 302 Cellular Biology 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
CHEM 316 Biochemistry II 3
CHEM 301
Analytical Chemistry
and Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
BIOL 301
Principles of Genetics
and Principles of Genetics Laboratory
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
KINA Activity 1
General Elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
CHEM 321 Physical Chemistry I 3
BIOL 371L Laboratory Investigations in Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
Restricted Electives 4
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
CHEM 341 Advanced Laboratory I 2
CHEM 442 Communicating in the World of Chemistry 1
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
Restricted Elective 3
General Electives (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.