Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

High school preparation for the chemistry and biochemistry degree programs should include two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, one year of chemistry, and one year of physics. Calculus is highly recommended.

Mandatory Advising

All undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to meet with a major advisor several times over their academic career. First-time freshmen and new transfer students are required to meet with an advisor or attend a group advising session during the first semester of attendance. Continuing students enrolled in the following courses will be required to meet with an advisor that semester to avoid having a hold placed on their registration for the next semester.

CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry5
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 300General Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 351Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics and Kinetics3
  • All courses used in the major program must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC not allowed) and a minimum GPA of 2.0 (SFSU Major GPA).
  • Grades of C or better are required in chemistry prerequisite courses.
  • Grades of C– or better are required in CHEM 341 and CHEM 343.
  • Other courses for the major must be completed with grades of C- or better with one exception.

Biochemistry (B.S.) — 72 units

Lower Division Requirements (36 units)

BIOL 230Introductory Biology I5
CHEM 115General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry5
CHEM 215
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts
and General Chemistry II Laboratory: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts
5
CHEM 233
CHEM 234
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
5
MATH 226Calculus I4
MATH 227Calculus II4
Select one of the following:8
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
and General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
General Physics with Calculus I
and General Physics with Calculus I Laboratory
and General Physics with Calculus III
and General Physics with Calculus III Laboratory

Upper Division Requirements (36 units)

CHEM 300General Physical Chemistry I 13
CHEM 301General Physical Chemistry II 13
CHEM 321Quantitative Chemical Analysis3
CHEM 335Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 340Biochemistry I3
CHEM 341Biochemistry II3
CHEM 343Biochemistry I Laboratory3
CHEM 390GWContemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR3

Students must complete at least 12 units of upper division chemistry and biology electives selected from the lists below. Courses from community colleges can not be substituted for the courses on the list below. Electives must include at least one course with a CHEM prefix and at least three laboratory courses. Note that many biology electives have a BIOL 240 prerequisite. Students wishing to enroll in BIOL 350, BIOL 355, and BIOL 612 without completing the BIOL 240 prerequisite should contact an advisor prior to registration. Students should consult an advisor regarding selection of elective courses and check course co- and pre-requisites before enrolling. Graduate level courses in chemistry or appropriate courses in biology, physics, geosciences, and computer science may be substituted upon prior approval of advisor.

Upper Division Electives in Chemistry

CHEM 322Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory2
CHEM 325Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 327Practical GC and HPLC4
CHEM 336Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 22
CHEM 370Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry3
CHEM 420Environmental Analysis3
CHEM 422Instrumental Analysis4
CHEM 426Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 433Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 443Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory4
CHEM 451Experimental Physical Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 470Research3
CHEM 640Advanced Topics in Biochemistry3
CHEM 645Research Trends in Chemistry and Biochemistry3
CHEM 680Chemical Oceanography3
CHEM 699Independent Study 33

Upper Division Electives in Biology

BIOL 350Cell Biology3
BIOL 351GWExperiments in Cell and Molecular Biology - GWAR4
BIOL 355Genetics3
BIOL 357Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 401General Microbiology3
BIOL 402GWGeneral Microbiology Laboratory - GWAR3
BIOL 420General Virology3
BIOL 435Immunology3
BIOL 436Immunology Laboratory2
BIOL 612Human Physiology3
BIOL 613GWHuman Physiology Laboratory - GWAR3
BIOL 638Bioinformatics & Genome Annotation4
BIOL 640Cellular Neurosciences3
1

CHEM 351 may be substituted for CHEM 300 and CHEM 353 may be substituted for CHEM 301 if prerequisites for CHEM 351 and CHEM 353 are met.

2

CHEM 338 may be substituted for CHEM 336.

3

By petition only. CHEM 699 and CHEM 470 may not both be used to fulfill the elective requirements.

General Education Requirements Met in the Biochemistry Major or Undeclared with Interest in Biochemistry

The requirements below are deemed “met in the major” upon completion of the courses listed (even though the courses and their prerequisites are not approved for GE). This is true whether or not the student completes the major.

  • Area B1 (Physical Science) is satisfied upon completion of CHEM 233.
  • Area B2 (Life Science) is satisfied upon completion of either BIOL 240 or CHEM 341.
  • Area B3 (Laboratory Science) is satisfied upon completion of CHEM 234.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = Lower Division; UD = Upper Division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 year)

This link opens the current roadmap in a new tab.

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 year)

For students with an AS-T in Chemistry. This Roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Chemistry

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission, but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major, including 2nd-semester composition;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on the first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit http://bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlined below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.