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BIOCHEMISTRY (CH38)
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Biochemistry/Chemistry (CH31) major has changed its name, major code, and major requirements effective Fall 2020. The major is now titled Biochemistry (previously: Biochemistry/Chemistry), the major code is CH38 (previously: CH31), and the updated major requirements can be found in the drawers below. 

If you are currently declared as a CH31 major, you may remain in this major and you are not required to switch to CH38. All other students (i.e. students who are not declared under CH31) who are interested in majoring in biochemistry must declare the CH38 major. This applies for all students, regardless of admit year.
 

The Biochemistry B.S. focuses on the chemical processes in living organisms, including the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. It is suitable for those planning to go to graduate school as well as medical, dental, veterinary, and other professional schools.  It is also suitable at the bachelor’s level for jobs in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical field.  Note the requirement for six courses in biochemistry, including two advanced electives. If you do not wish to take so much biochemistry, you should major in Chemistry and use electives to take the desired number of biochemistry courses.  Click here to read more about the Learning Objectives for the Biochemistry/Chemistry major.

 

Additional notes:

- For students admitted Fall 2016 or earlier, please see the
FAQ page for information regarding re-numbering of Organic Chemistry courses.
 

- If you are attempting readmission and have been absent 2 or more quarters, you must adhere to the Biochemistry (CH38) major requirements, even if you were originally a Biochemistry/Chemistry (CH31) major.

 

Lower-Division Requirements

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade:

  1. General Chemistry (CHEM 6A or 6AH, 6B or 6BH, and 6C or 6CH)
  2. General Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 7L or 7LM)
  3. Physics (PHYS 1A, 1B, and 1C -and- PHYS 1AL, 1BL and 1CL [all three labs are required])*
  4. Calculus (MATH 10A, 10B, and 10C)**
  5. Calculus Based Introductory Probability and Statistics (MATH 11)
  6. General Cell Biology (BILD 1 and 2)
  7. Organic Chemistry (CHEM 40A or 40AH, 40B or 40BH, and 40C or 40CH)
  8. Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 43A or 43AM)

*The PHYS 2 series (PHYS 2A, 2B, 2C and 2BL, 2CL, or 2DL) is also accepted.

**The MATH 20 series (MATH 20A, 20B, and 20C) is also accepted.

Upper-Division Requirements

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade: 

  1. Physical Biochemistry (CHEM 126A and 126B)
  2. Biochemistry (CHEM 114A, 114B, and 114C)
  3. Protein Biochemistry Laboratory (CHEM 108)
  4. Recombinant DNA Laboratory (CHEM 109)
  5. Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 100A)
  6. Three restricted biochemistry electives chosen from the following courses:
    1. Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules (CHEM 113)
    2. Genome, Epigenome, and Transcriptome Editing (CHEM 115)
    3. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (CHEM 114D)
    4. Chemical Biology (CHEM 116)
    5. Pharmacology and Toxicology (CHEM 118)
    6. RNA Biochemistry (CHEM 119)
    7.  Bioinorganic Chemistry (CHEM 125)
    8. Introduction to Glycosciences (CHEM 142)
    9. Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry (CHEM 157)
    10. Structural Biology of Viruses (CHEM 164)
    11. 3D Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules (CHEM 165)
    12. Medicinal Chemistry (CHEM 167)
    13. Drug Synthesis and Design (CHEM 168)
    14. Computational Molecular Biology (CHEM 184)
  7. One additonal elective. This elective is defined as a four-unit (minimum) upper division undergraduate course offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and taken for a letter grade OR a course from the following list of courses offered by the Division of Biological Sciences:
    1. Genetics (BICD 100)
    2. Cell Biology (BICD 110)
    3. Immunology (BICD 140)
    4. Virology (BIMM 114)
    5. Microbiology (BIMM 120)
    6. Human Physiology I (BIPN 100)
    7. Human Physiology II (BIPN 102)
    8. Cellular Neurobiology (BIPN 140)

4 units of a non-letter graded courses such as CHEM 199, may be petitioned to fulfill this electiveSee details here

Example Academic Plan

IMPORTANT NOTES:
  • Courses listed above and on the long-term plan below only include major requirements. Speak with your college advisor for planning completion of general education and university requirements.
  • The quarter in which a course is offered is subject to change based on space and instructor availability.  Please check the department website (https://chemistry.ucsd.edu/ext/ugcourses.html?year=2019-2020) each academic year to see a projection of classes offered by quarter.

  • The best time to study abroad is Fall quarter of Sophomore or Junior Year. Education Abroad Program deadlines for upcoming year vary by country. See EAP website. See the Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Advisor for assistance in planning to study abroad.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR
CHEM 6A CHEM 6B CHEM 6C
MATH 10A MATH 10B MATH 10C
BILD  CHEM 7L or 7LM
SOPHOMORE YEAR
CHEM 40A CHEM 40B CHEM 40C
MATH 11 PHYS 1B CHEM 43A or 43AM
PHYS 1A PHYS 1BL PHYS 1C
PHYS 1AL BILD 1 PHYS 1CL
JUNIOR YEAR
CHEM 114A CHEM 114B CHEM 114C
CHEM 100A Restricted Biochemistry Elective* Restricted Biochemistry Elective*
BILD 2 CHEM 108 or 109*
SENIOR YEAR
CHEM 126A CHEM 126B Additional Elective***
Restricted Biochemistry Elective** CHEM 108 or 109*

Biochemistry/Chemistry (CH31) Major Requirements

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information below is intended for students who have already declared the CH31 major. If you have not declared the CH31 major and are interested in majoring in biochemistry, you will need to declare the CH38 major, regardless of admit year. See details here: https://chemistry.ucsd.edu/undergraduate/majors-minor/biochemistry.html.

 

BIOCHEMISTRY/CHEMISTRY (CH31)

Major requirements for students who matriculated Fall 2019 or earlier.

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade:

LOWER-DIVISION REQUIREMENTS

  1. The following courses must be taken for a letter grade: 
    1. General Chemistry (CHEM 6A, 6B & 6C or 6AH, 6BH & 6CH)
    2. General Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 7L or 7LM)
    3. Physics (PHYS 2A, 2B & 2C or 2D)
    4. Physics Laboratory (PHYS 2BL, 2CL or 2DL)
    5. Calculus (MATH 20A, 20B, 20C & 20D)
    6. Organic Chemistry (CHEM 40A, 40B & 40C or 40AH, 40BH & 40CH)
    7. Organic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 43A or 43AM)

UPPER-DIVISION REQUIREMENTS

    1. Physical Chemistry (CHEM 126A & 126B recommended; CHEM 130, 131 & 132 acceptable)
    2. Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 120A)
    3. Biochemistry (CHEM 114A, 114B, & 114C)
    4. Required Laboratory Courses:
      • Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 100A)
      • Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM 143B)
      • Physical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 105A) and  
      • Protein Biochemistry Laboratory (CHEM 108) or Recombinant DNA Laboratory (CHEM 109)
    5. Laboratory Elective (Select 1 of the following courses):  
      • Instrumental Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 100B)
      • Advanced Physical Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 105B)
      • Protein Biochemistry Laboratory or Recombinant DNA Laboratory (CHEM 108 or CHEM 109)
      • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 123)
      • Organic Chemistry Laboratory III (CHEM 143C)
      • Molecular Design and Synthesis (CHEM 143D)
      • Reading and Research (CHEM 199): 8 units with of research with the same instructor may be petitioned to fulfill one elective lab. See details here.
    6. Biochemistry Electives (Select 2 of the following courses):
      • Physical Chemistry of Biological Macromolecules (CHEM 113)
      • Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (CHEM 114D)
      • Chemistry of Enzyme Catalyzed Reactions (CHEM 116)
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology (CHEM 118)
      • Bioinorganic Chemistry (CHEM 125)
      • Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry (CHEM 157)
      • Structural Biology of Viruses (CHEM 164)
      • 3D Electron Microscopy of Macromolecules (CHEM 165)
      • Medicinal Chemistry (CHEM 167)
      • Drug Synthesis and Design (CHEM 168)
    7. One Additional Elective: This elective is defined as a four-unit (minimum) upper division undergraduate course offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry OR a course from the following list of courses offered by the Division of Biological Sciences (some biolog courses will require additional coursework to fulfill prerequisites): BICD 100, BICD 110, BICD 140, BIMM 114, BIMM 120, BIPN 100, BIPN 102, BIPN 140.  CHEM 199 may be petitioned to fulfill this elective. See details here

      (Some upper-division biology elective options will require additional course work to fulfill any prerequisites).The following courses must be taken for a letter grade: 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Courses listed above and on the long-term plan below only include major requirements. Speak with your college advisor for planning completion of general education and university requirements.
  • Priority enrollment in CHEM 123 is granted to Molecular Synthesis majors, and seats are highly limited. Please plan for an alternate lab elective.
  • The quarter in which a course is offered is subject to change based on space and instructor availability.  Please check the department website (https://chemistry.ucsd.edu/ext/ugcourses.html?year=2019-2020) each academic year to see a projection of classes offered by quarter.
  • The best time to study abroad is Fall quarter of Sophomore or Junior Year. Education Abroad Program deadlines for upcoming year vary by country. See EAP website. See the Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Advisor for assistance in planning to study abroad.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR
CHEM 6A CHEM 6B CHEM 6C
MATH 20A MATH 20B CHEM 7L or 7LM
BILD 1** MATH 20C
SOPHOMORE YEAR
CHEM 100A CHEM 40B CHEM 143B
CHEM 40A CHEM 43A CHEM 40C
MATH 20D PHYS 2B PHYS 2C or 2D
PHYS 2A
JUNIOR YEAR
CHEM 114A CHEM 127 CHEM 105A
CHEM 126 CHEM 114B CHEM 114C
PHYS 2BL, 2CL, or 2DL
SENIOR YEAR
CHEM 120A Elective Lab* Elective Lab*
Elective Elective Elective 

 

Additional Requirements

  • All courses for the major, lower-division and upper-division, must be taken for a letter grade.
    • This excludes Special Studies courses, like CHEM 199, which only allow P/NP grading option
  • To receive a Bachelor of Science from UC San Diego, all students must complete 48 or more units of upper-division course work within the major.
  • A minimum 2.0 major GPA is required for graduation.
  • No more than one (1) "D" grade is allowed in upper-division coursework
  • All Chemistry/Biochemistry majors are required to complete at least six (6) upper-division courses within the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

It is the students' responsibility to read and understand all policies listed here.