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Bachelor of Science
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Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Biochemists, in studying all kinds of living organisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals (including humans), have found that many of the fundamental biochemical properties of living systems are shared throughout the hierarchy of life forms. Because biochemists try to unravel the complex chemical reactions that occur in such a wide variety of life forms, biochemistry provides the basis for practical advances in medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture and biotechnology. Biochemistry underlies and includes such exciting fields as molecular biology and bioengineering. As the broadest of the basic sciences, biochemistry includes many subspecialties, such as inorganic biochemistry, bioorganic chemistry, physical biochemistry, biochemical and molecular genetics, biomedical pharmacology and immunochemistry. Recent advances in many areas of biochemistry have created links among technology, chemical engineering and biochemistry. More than ever, this is the age of biochemistry because the techniques of so many different disciplines can now be applied in studying the chemistry of living systems.

Career opportunities for biochemists are rapidly expanding in the areas of agricultural research, biotechnology firms, governmental laboratories, industrial research, and development and research institutes, as well as university research and teaching. Far-reaching advances in many areas of basic and applied research are projected over the next few years. These areas include plant genetics; the biochemistry of cell receptors for hormones and neurotransmitters; the diagnosis and treatment of disease, particularly inherited diseases; and toxicology. All require an understanding of biochemistry and the use of biochemical techniques.

The course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary program jointly administered by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry. The curriculum has flexibility in that technical electives can be selected to provide a strong emphasis in either biology or chemistry, and prepare the biochemistry major for a variety of careers. All students take a core curriculum of basic science and mathematics during the first two years. During the junior and senior years, students take many specialized courses that reflect their choice of emphasis between biology and chemistry.

Students entering the biochemistry program as freshmen will normally be assigned faculty advisers in the department of chemistry. A student selecting an upper-division curriculum with a biological emphasis should indicate this intention by the beginning of the second semester of the sophomore year, at which time a new faculty advisor in the department of biological sciences will be assigned. A student’s request for a change of advisers from chemistry to biology, or vice versa, will be honored at any time during the program.

Admission Requirements

Students intending to apply for admission to study for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry should complete at least one year each of high school biology, chemistry and physics. Prospective students should also have at least three years of high school mathematics, including second-year algebra and trigonometry.

Florida Tech has articulation agreements with many of the community colleges in Florida. Students contemplating transfer to Florida Tech should consult with their counselors to determine transferability of community college credits. If there is a question regarding specific courses needed, either of the biochemistry program chairs listed above should be contacted.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry must complete the minimum course requirements as outlined in the following curriculum that includes a strong biology emphasis. See the Department of Chemistry for the program plan with a strong chemistry emphasis. Electives are selected in consultation with the faculty advisor to reflect the knowledge a student needs either for employment or graduate school. Deviation from the stipulated program may occur only under unusual circumstances and requires approval of the chair. The bachelor’s degree in biochemistry requires 129 credit hours for graduation.

Freshman Year

FALL CREDITS
ASC 1000 University Experience 1
BIO 1010 Biological Discovery 1 4
CHM 1101 General Chemistry 1 4
COM 1101 Composition and Rhetoric 3
MTH 1001 Calculus 1 4
  Both emphasis areas (Biology, Chemistry) 16


SPRING CREDITS
BIO 1020 Biological Discovery 2 4
CHM 1102 General Chemistry 2 4
COM 1102 Writing about Literature 3
MTH 1002 Calculus 2 4
  Both emphasis areas (Biology, Chemistry) 15

Sophomore Year

FALL CREDITS
BIO 2110 General Genetics 4
CHM 2001 Organic Chemistry 1 3
CHM 2011 Organic Chemistry Lab 1 2
MTH 2001 Calculus 3 4
PHY 1001 Physics 1 4
PHY 2091 Physics Lab 1 1
  Both emphasis areas (Biology, Chemistry) 18


SPRING CREDITS
BIO 2801 Biometry 4
CHM 2002 Organic Chemistry 2 3
CHM 2012 Organic Chemistry Lab 2 2
HUM 2051 Civilization 1 3
PHY 2002 Physics 2 4
PHY 2092 Physics Lab 2 1
  Both emphasis areas (Biology, Chemistry) 17

Junior Year

FALL  CREDITS
BIO 4010 Biochemistry 1 (Biology Emphasis students only) 4
CHM 3001 Physical Chemistry 1 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 3
CHM 3011 Physical Chemistry Lab 1 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 2
COM 2223 Scientific and Technical Communication 3
  Humanities Core Course* 3
  Restricted Elective (BIO, CHM) 3
  Technical Elective  3
  Biology Emphasis students 16
  Chemistry Emphasis students 17


SPRING CREDITS
BIO 4110 Biochemistry 2 (Biology Emphasis students only) 4
CHM 3002 Physicall Chemistry 2 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 3
CHM 3012 PhysicalChemistry Lab 2 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 2
  Humanities Elective 3
  Restricted Electives (BIO, CHM) 6
  Biology Emphasis students  13
  Chemistry Emphasis students 14

Senior Year

FALL  CREDITS
BIO 4010 Biochemistry 1 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 4
CHM 3001 Physical Chemistry 1 (Biology Emphasis students only) 3
CHM 3011 Physical Chemistry Lab 1 (Biology Emphasis students only) 2
CHM 4700 Physical Biochemistry (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 1
CHM 4800 Undergraduate Research 2 (Q) (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 3
CHM 4900 Chemistry Seminar (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 0
  Humanities Elective (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 3
  Liberal Arts Elective (Biology Emphasis students only) 3
  Restricted Elective (BIO, CHM) (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 2
  Restricted Electives (BIO, CHM) (Biology Emphasis students only) 6
  Social Science Elective (Biology Emphasis students only) 3
  Tehnical Elective (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 3
  Biology Emphasis students 17
  Chemistry Emphasis students 16


SPRING  CREDITS
BIO 4110 Biochemistry 2 (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 4
CHM 3002 Physical Chemistry 2 (Biology Emphasis students only) 3
CHM 3012 Physical Chemistry Lab 2 (Biology Emphasis students only) 2
CHM 4900 Chemistry Seminar (Chemistry Emphasis students only) 0
  Free Elective (Both Emphasis areas) 3
  Liberal Arts Elective (Both Emphasis areas) 3
  Restricted Electives (BIO, CHM) (Both Emphasis areas) 6
  Biology Emphasis 17
  Chemistry Emphasis 16

TOTALS CREDITS REQUIRED (BOTH EMPHASIS AREAS) 129 

*Humanities Core Courses
HUM 2052 Civilization 2: Renaissance Through Modern 
HUM 2142  World Art History 2: Early Modern to Post-Colonial 
HUM 2212  British and American Literature 1 
HUM 2213  British and American Literature 2 
HUM 2331  American History: Pre-Columbian to Civil War Era 
HUM 2332  American History: From Reconstruction to the Present 

Not all humanities core courses are offered online or every term; check the current schedule of classes for humanities core options.

Restricted Electives

Biology Emphasis

At least 12 credit hours must be selected from biological sciences and at least six credit hours from chemistry. For students not electing to complete the senior thesis, at least one course must bear the Q designation.

Chemistry Emphasis

At least eight credit hours must be selected from chemistry and at least six credit hours from biological sciences.

Biological Sciences Credits
BIO 2010 Microbiology 4
BIO 3210 Mammalian Physiology (Q) 4
BIO 3220 Developmental Biology 4
BIO 4101 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 4120 Genetic Engineering Techniques (Q) 4
BIO 4130 Nucleic Acid Analysis (Q) 4
BIO 4201 Immunology 3
BIO 4210 Plant Physiology 4
BIO 4301 Cell Biology 3

 

Chemistry Credits
CHM 3301 Analytical Chemistry 1 3
CHM 3302 Analytical Chemistry 2/Instrumentation 3
CHM 3311 Analytical Chemistry Lab 1 2
CHM 3312 Analytical Chemistry Instrumentation Lab 2 2
CHM 4001 Inorganic Chemistry 1 3
CHM 4002 Inorganic Chemistry 2 3
CHM 4111 Advanced Physical Chemistry 3
CHM 4304 Advanced Analystical Chemistry 3
CHM 4500 Advanced Organic Chemistry 3
CHM 4550 Polymer Chemistry 3
COM 2012 Research Sources and Systems 1

Senior Thesis

The biochemistry curriculum allows for significant undergraduate research experience, culminating in a senior thesis for those students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies and are maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better in all science and mathematics courses. A qualified student wishing to participate in the senior thesis program must notify the appropriate department (either biological sciences or chemistry, depending on the student’s research interests and curriculum emphasis) no later than the end of the fall semester of the junior year. A thesis committee, consisting of one or more faculty members from each department, will be formed to consider the thesis proposal, which must be submitted during the spring semester of the junior year. After the approval of the senior thesis committee and the appropriate department head, based on both the proposal and the student’s academic record, the student will be permitted to register for Senior Thesis in Biochemistry (BCM 4991 and BCM 4992) during the senior year. These courses and Research Sources and Systems (COM 2012) substitute for Undergraduate Research 1 (CHM 4800) and four credit hours of restricted chemistry electives toward meeting the degree requirements listed above. Senior Thesis in Biochemistry students are encouraged to include at least one year of foreign language (French or German) in their degree programs.