ls-biochemistry-bach

Biochemistry is a very broad science that studies the molecules and chemistry of life. Biochemistry focuses on the structure, properties, and interactions of molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, sugars and lipids. Biochemistry’s aim is to understand how these molecules participate in the processes that support the various functions of the living cell. These studies are therefore essential for understanding disease and finding cures, for improving agriculture and the production of food and biofuels, and to produce innovation in biotechnology.

Whereas other biological science majors may focus on cellular, organismal or population level biology, biochemistry focuses on processes that occur at the molecular to cellular levels.  Therefore, this major has a greater focus on basic and quantitative sciences, such as math and, particularly, on chemistry.

Biochemistry graduates go on to a variety of careers in science and science-related fields. The major is designed to fit the needs of the student who wishes to achieve bachelor’s level training as well as those planning to pursue graduate or professional study. The degree serves as an excellent background for medical school or veterinary school admission, as well as for graduate study in biochemistry or other allied fields (biology, bacteriology, genetics, molecular biology, or oncology).

Students who have completed a semester or more on campus must have a 2.5 previous semester GPA in order to declare or transfer into the major. Students may declare the major via an appointment with the undergraduate advisor.

Students who attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) have the option to declare Biochemistry at SOAR.  Students may otherwise declare after they have begun their undergraduate studies. The biochemistry major is offered through either CALS or the College of Letters & Science (L&S). Students interested in the differences or transferring between CALS and L&S should meet with the advisor to discuss this in more detail. Students in other schools/colleges (Business, Education, Engineering, etc.) may add biochemistry as an additional major with permission of their home school/college. 

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.
Foreign Language
  • Complete the fourth unit of a foreign language; OR
  • Complete the third unit of a foreign language and the second unit of an additional foreign language

Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
L&S Breadth
  • Humanities, 12 credits: 6 of the 12 credits must be in literature
  • Social Sciences, 12 credits
  • Natural Sciences, 12 credits: must include one 3+ credit course in the biological sciences; must include one 3+ credit course in the physical sciences
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework 108 credits
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work 60 intermediate or advanced credits
Major Declare and complete at least one (1) major
Total Credits 120 credits
UW-Madison Experience 30 credits in residence, overall
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison

Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major

Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

Mathematics

Select one of the following options:
MATH 221
MATH 222
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
and Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
9
MATH 171
MATH 217
MATH 222
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I
and Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
and Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
14
MATH 275
MATH 276
Topics in Calculus I
and Topics in Calculus II
10

Chemistry

General Chemistry
 

Select one of the following options:
CHEM 103
CHEM 104
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
9
CHEM 109 Advanced General Chemistry5
CHEM 115
CHEM 116
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II (satisfies both general and analytical chemistry requirements)
10

Organic Chemistry
 

Select ALL of the following courses:
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2

Analytical Chemistry
 

Select one of the following options:
CHEM 327 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
CHEM 115
CHEM 116
Chemical Principles I
and Chemical Principles II (satisfies both general and analytical chemistry requirements)
10

Physical Chemistry
 

Must complete 4 credits of physical chemistry. Select one of the following options:
CHEM 565 Biophysical Chemistry (recommended)4
CHEM 561
CHEM 563
Physical Chemistry
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
4-5

Biology

Students must complete either Option A (introductory + upper-level biology), or Option B (Biocore), for 16 total credits of biological science coursework.

Option A (Introductory + Upper-Level Biology)

Option A Introductory Biology

Select one of the following introductory biology options:
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  151
BIOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ZOOLOGY  152
Introductory Biology
and Introductory Biology (recommended)
10
BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  101
BIOLOGY/​ZOOLOGY  102
BOTANY/​BIOLOGY  130
Animal Biology
and Animal Biology Laboratory
and General Botany
10

AND Option A Upper-Level Biology

At least 6 credits of upper-level biological science coursework are required (to achieve 16 total credits—more than 6 credits may be required if introductory biology totals less than 10 credits due to transfer credits). Select from the course list below. To see courses offered in specific upcoming semesters, please see the Biochemistry website

Important: Biochemistry courses on this list can count only for "upper-level biology" if they are above-and-beyond what is needed to fulfill the "biochemistry" portion of the major. For example, if students have taken BIOCHEM 501, they will need one upper-level biochemistry elective to fulfill the biochemistry requirement, and then any additional biochemistry courses taken can count for upper-level biology. A course may not double count in both the "upper-level biology" and the "biochemistry" requirements for the major.

ANATOMY/​KINES  328 Human Anatomy3
ANATOMY/​NTP/​PHMCOL-M/​PHYSIOL/​PSYCH  611 Systems Neuroscience4
ANATOMY/​NTP/​PHYSIOL  625 Brain Cell Cultures and Imaging: A Lab Course4
ANATOMY/​NTP/​PHYSIOL  630 Neuronal Mechanisms for Sensation and Memory in Cerebral Cortex3
ANATOMY 637 Functional Neuroanatomy3
ANATOMY/​AN SCI  660 Electron Microscopy: Theory & Practice3
AGRONOMY 300 Cropping Systems3
AGRONOMY 302 Forage Management and Utilization3
AGRONOMY/​HORT/​SOIL SCI  326 Plant Nutrition Management3
AGRONOMY/​HORT  328 Integrated Weed Management4
AGRONOMY/​HORT  338 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology3
AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​HORT  339 Plant Biotechnology: Principles and Techniques I4
AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​HORT  340 Plant Cell Culture and Genetic Engineering4
AGRONOMY/​A A E/​INTER-AG/​NUTR SCI  350 World Hunger and Malnutrition3
AGRONOMY/​BOTANY/​SOIL SCI  370 Grassland Ecology3
AGRONOMY 377 Cropping Systems of the Tropics3
AGRONOMY/​HORT  501 Principles of Plant Breeding3
AGRONOMY/​ATM OCN/​SOIL SCI  532 Environmental Biophysics3
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  305 Introduction to Meat Science and Technology4
AN SCI/​DY SCI/​NUTR SCI  311 Comparative Animal Nutrition3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  313 Animal Feeds and Diet Formulation1
AN SCI 314 Poultry Nutrition3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  320 Animal Health and Disease Management3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  361 Introduction to Animal and Veterinary Genetics2
AN SCI/​DY SCI  362 Veterinary Genetics2
AN SCI/​DY SCI  363 Principles of Animal Breeding2
AN SCI/​DY SCI  370 Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  414 Ruminant Nutrition2
AN SCI 415 Application of Monogastric Nutrition Principles2
AN SCI 430 Sheep Production3
AN SCI 431 Beef Cattle Production3
AN SCI 432 Swine Production3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology3
AN SCI/​DY SCI/​ENVIR ST/​SOIL SCI  468 Managing the Environmental Impacts of Livestock Operations2
AN SCI 503 Avian Physiology3
AN SCI 508 Poultry Products Technology3
AN SCI 511 Breeder Flock and Hatchery Management3
AN SCI 512 Management for Avian Health3
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  515 Commercial Meat Processing2
AN SCI/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  520 Ornithology3
AN SCI/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  521 Birds of Southern Wisconsin3
AN SCI/​NUTR SCI  626 Experimental Diet Design1
AN SCI/​ANATOMY  660 Electron Microscopy: Theory & Practice3
B M E/​MED PHYS/​PHMCOL-M/​PHYSICS/​RADIOL  619 Microscopy of Life3
BIOCHEM/​NUTR SCI  510 Biochemical Principles of Human and Animal Nutrition3
BIOCHEM 550 Topics in Medical Biochemistry2
BIOCHEM/​M M & I  575 Biology of Viruses2
BIOCHEM 601 Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function2
BIOCHEM/​B M I/​BMOLCHEM/​MATH  606 Mathematical Methods for Structural Biology3
BIOCHEM/​B M I/​BMOLCHEM/​MATH  609 Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology3
BIOCHEM/​GENETICS/​MICROBIO  612 Prokaryotic Molecular Biology3
BIOCHEM/​GENETICS/​MD GENET  620 Eukaryotic Molecular Biology3
BIOCHEM/​BOTANY  621 Plant Biochemistry3
BIOCHEM 625 Mechanisms of Action of Vitamins and Minerals2
BIOCHEM/​PHMCOL-M/​ZOOLOGY  630 Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms3
BIOCHEM/​NUTR SCI  645 Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease3
BSE 349 Quantitative Techniques for Biological Systems3
BSE 364 Engineering Properties of Food and Biological Materials3
BSE 365 Measurements and Instrumentation for Biological Systems3
BSE/​ENVIR ST  367 Renewable Energy Systems3
BSE 460 Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources3
BSE 461 Food and Bioprocessing Operations3
BSE 472 Sediment and Bio-Nutrient Engineering and Management3
BSE/​FOOD SCI  542 Food Engineering Operations4
BSE/​FOOD SCI  642 Food and Pharmaceutical Separations2-3
BMOLCHEM 504 Human Biochemistry Laboratory3
BMOLCHEM/​MICROBIO  668 Microbiology at Atomic Resolution3
B M I/​STAT  541 Introduction to Biostatistics3
B M I/​COMP SCI  576 Introduction to Bioinformatics3
BOTANY 300 Plant Anatomy4
BOTANY 305 Plant Morphology and Evolution4
BOTANY 330 Algae3
BOTANY/​PL PATH  332 Fungi4
BOTANY/​AGRONOMY/​HORT  339 Plant Biotechnology: Principles and Techniques I4
BOTANY 400 Plant Systematics4
BOTANY 401 Vascular Flora of Wisconsin4
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  402 Dendrology2
BOTANY/​ANTHRO/​ZOOLOGY  410 Evolutionary Biology3
BOTANY 422 Plant Geography3
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL  455 The Vegetation of Wisconsin4
BOTANY/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  460 General Ecology4
BOTANY/​ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  473 Plant-Insect Interactions3
BOTANY/​AMER IND/​ANTHRO  474 Ethnobotany3-4
BOTANY 500 Plant Physiology3-4
BOTANY/​ENTOM/​PL PATH  505 Plant-Microbe Interactions: Molecular and Ecological Aspects3
BOTANY/​GENETICS/​HORT  561 Introductory Cytogenetics2-3
BOTANY 563 Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data3
BOTANY/​HORT/​SOIL SCI  626 Mineral Nutrition of Plants3
BOTANY/​GENETICS/​MD GENET  629 Evolutionary Genetics3
BOTANY/​GENETICS/​ZOOLOGY  645 Modeling in Population Genetics and Evolution3
BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  651 Conservation Biology3
BOTANY/​GENETICS/​M M & I/​MICROBIO/​PL PATH  655 Biology and Genetics of Filamentous Fungi3
BOTANY/​LAND ARC  670 Adaptive Restoration Lab2
CRB 650 Molecular and Cellular Organogenesis3
DY SCI 305 Lactation Physiology3
DY SCI 535 Dairy Farm Management Practicum3
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  302 Introduction to Entomology4
ENTOM 321 Physiology of Insects3
ENTOM 331 Taxonomy of Mature Insects4
ENTOM 342 Insect Ecology3
ENTOM 351 Principles of Economic Entomology3
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  371 Medical Entomology3
ENTOM 432 Taxonomy and Bionomics of Immature Insects4
ENTOM/​F&W ECOL  500 Insects in Forest Ecosystem Function and Management2
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  530 Insect Behavior3
ENTOM/​ZOOLOGY  540 Theoretical Ecology3
ENTOM/​GENETICS/​ZOOLOGY  624 Molecular Ecology3
ENVIR ST/​LAND ARC  361 Wetlands Ecology3
ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  471 Introduction to Environmental Health3
ENVIR ST/​POP HLTH  502 Air Pollution and Human Health3
ENVIR ST/​F&W ECOL  515 Natural Resources Policy3
ENVIR ST/​ATM OCN  520 Bioclimatology3
ENVIR ST/​A A E/​F&W ECOL  652 Decision Methods for Natural Resource Managers3-4
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  324 Food Microbiology Laboratory2
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  325 Food Microbiology3
FOOD SCI 410 Food Chemistry3
FOOD SCI 440 Principles of Food Engineering3
FOOD SCI 511 Chemistry and Technology of Dairy Products3
FOOD SCI 512 Principles of Food Chemistry-Lab2
FOOD SCI 514 Integrated Food Functionality4
FOOD SCI 550 Fermented Foods and Beverages2
FOOD SCI 610 Food Proteins2
FOOD SCI 611 Chemistry and Technology of Dairy Products3
FOOD SCI/​MICROBIO  650 Advanced Microbiology of Foodborne Pathogens3
F&W ECOL 300 Forest Biometry4
F&W ECOL 306 Terrestrial Vertebrates: Life History and Ecology4
F&W ECOL/​HORT/​LAND ARC/​PL PATH  309 Diseases of Trees and Shrubs3
F&W ECOL 318 Principles of Wildlife Ecology3
F&W ECOL/​ZOOLOGY  335 Human/Animal Relationships: Biological and Philosophical Issues3
F&W ECOL/​ENVIR ST/​ZOOLOGY  360 Extinction of Species3
F&W ECOL 379 Principles of Wildlife Management3
F&W ECOL 401 Physiological Animal Ecology3
F&W ECOL 404 Wildlife Damage Management3
F&W ECOL 410 Principles of Silviculture3
F&W ECOL 415 Tree Physiology3
F&W ECOL/​SURG SCI  548 Diseases of Wildlife3
F&W ECOL 550 Forest Ecology3
F&W ECOL 561 Wildlife Management Techniques3
F&W ECOL/​LAND ARC/​ZOOLOGY  565 Principles of Landscape Ecology2
F&W ECOL 590 Integrated Resource Management3
F&W ECOL 635 Forest Stand Dynamics1-2
F&W ECOL 655 Animal Population Dynamics3
GENETICS 466 Principles of Genetics3
GENETICS 467 General Genetics 13
GENETICS 468 General Genetics 23
GENETICS 545 Genetics Laboratory2
GENETICS/​HORT  550 Molecular Approaches for Potential Crop Improvement3
GENETICS/​MD GENET/​ZOOLOGY  562 Human Cytogenetics2
GENETICS/​MD GENET  565 Human Genetics3
GENETICS 566 Advanced Genetics3
GENETICS/​MICROBIO  607 Advanced Microbial Genetics3
GENETICS/​AN SCI  610 Quantitative Genetics3
HORT 320 Environment of Horticultural Plants3
HORT 410 Undergraduate Seminar1
HORT/​AGRONOMY  501 Principles of Plant Breeding3
M M & I 301 Pathogenic Bacteriology2
M M & I 302 Medical Microbiology Laboratory3
M M & I 341 Immunology3
M M & I/​ENTOM/​PATH-BIO/​ZOOLOGY  350 Parasitology3
M M & I/​PATH-BIO/​ZOOLOGY  351 Parasitology Laboratory2
M M & I 410 Medical Mycology2
M M & I 412 Medical Mycology Laboratory1
M M & I 460 Techniques in DNA Science for Microbiologists3
M M & I/​MICROBIO/​PATH-BIO  528 Immunology3
M M & I/​PATH-BIO  529 Immunology Laboratory2
M M & I 554 Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism2
M M & I 555 Vaccines: Practical Issues for a Global Society3
M M & I/​POP HLTH  603 Clinical and Public Health Microbiology5
MICROBIO 303 Biology of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 304 Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory2
MICROBIO 330 Host-Parasite Interactions3
MICROBIO/​SOIL SCI  425 Environmental Microbiology3
MICROBIO 450 Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of Microrrganisms2
MICROBIO 470 Microbial Genetics & Molecular Machines3
MICROBIO/​SOIL SCI  523 Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry3
MICROBIO 526 Physiology of Microorganisms3
MICROBIO 527 Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Microbiology2
MICROBIO 551 Capstone Research Project in Microbiology2
MICROBIO/​PL PATH  622 Plant-Bacterial Interactions2-3
MICROBIO 625 Advanced Microbial Physiology3
MICROBIO 632 Industrial Microbiology/Biotechnology2
MICROBIO/​ONCOLOGY/​PL PATH  640 General Virology-Multiplication of Viruses3
NTP/​NEUROL  735 Neurobiology of Disease2
NUTR SCI 332 Human Nutritional Needs3
NUTR SCI 431 Nutrition in the Life Span3
NUTR SCI/​PHM PRAC  672 Herbals, Homeopathy, and Dietary Supplements2-3
ONCOLOGY 401 Introduction to Experimental Oncology2
ONCOLOGY/​M&ENVTOX/​MEDICINE/​PATH/​PHM SCI/​PHMCOL-M/​POP HLTH  625 Toxicology I3
PEDIAT 646 Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment and Counseling2
PHM SCI 310 Drugs and Their Actions2
PHM SCI 401 Survey of Pharmacology3
PHM SCI/​B M E  430 Biological Interactions with Materials3
PHYSIOL 335 Physiology5
PHYSIOL 435 Fundamentals of Human Physiology5
PHYSIOL 533 Molecular Physiology2
PHYSIOL/​NTP/​PHMCOL-M  610 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience4
PHYSIOL/​NTP  629 Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Memory3
PL PATH 300 Introduction to Plant Pathology4
PL PATH/​SOIL SCI  323 Soil Biology3
PL PATH 517 Plant Disease Resistance2-3
PL PATH 558 Biology of Plant Pathogens3
PL PATH 559 Diseases of Economic Plants3
PL PATH 602 Ecology, Epidemiology and Control of Plant Diseases3
PSYCH 454 Behavioral Neuroscience3
SOIL SCI/​F&W ECOL  451 Environmental Biogeochemistry3
SOIL SCI/​CIV ENGR  623 Microbiology of Waterborne Pathogens and Indicator Organisms3
SOIL SCI/​CIV ENGR/​M&ENVTOX  631 Toxicants in the Environment: Sources, Distribution, Fate, & Effects3
ZOOLOGY 300 Invertebrate Biology and Evolution3
ZOOLOGY 301 Invertebrate Biology and Evolution Lab2
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  315 Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources2
ZOOLOGY 316 Laboratory for Limnology-Conservation of Aquatic Resources2-3
ZOOLOGY 425 Behavioral Ecology3
ZOOLOGY 430 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates5
ZOOLOGY 470 Introduction to Animal Development3
ZOOLOGY 504 Modeling Animal Landscapes3-5
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  510 Ecology of Fishes3
ZOOLOGY/​ENVIR ST  511 Ecology of Fishes Lab2
ZOOLOGY/​PSYCH  523 Neurobiology3
ZOOLOGY/​NTP/​PHYSIOL/​PSYCH  524 Neurobiology II: An Introduction to the Brain and Behavior3
ZOOLOGY 535 Ecosystem Analysis3
ZOOLOGY/​GEOSCI  541 Paleobiology3
ZOOLOGY/​GEOSCI  542 Invertebrate Paleontology3
ZOOLOGY/​PSYCH  550 Animal Communication and the Origins of Language3
ZOOLOGY 555 Laboratory in Developmental Biology3
ZOOLOGY 570 Cell Biology3
ZOOLOGY 603 Endocrinology3-4
ZOOLOGY 611 Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology3
ZOOLOGY 612 Comparative Physiology Laboratory2
ZOOLOGY/​ANTHRO/​NTP/​PSYCH  619 Biology of Mind3
ZOOLOGY 625 Development of the Nervous System2

Option B (Biocore)
 

Biocore is an honors-level, integrated sequence of lecture and lab courses that covers introductory and intermediate biology topics. Students must apply to and be accepted to the program to take Biocore classes.

Select ALL of the following lecture courses:
BIOCORE 381 Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics3
BIOCORE 383 Cellular Biology3
BIOCORE 485 Organismal Biology3
BIOCORE 587 Biological Interactions3
AND, select two of the following lab classes:
BIOCORE 382 Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory2
BIOCORE 384 Cellular Biology Laboratory2
BIOCORE 486 Organismal Biology Laboratory2

Physics (calculus-based)

Select one of the following options (students should consult with advisor if they have credit for PHYSICS 103 and/or 104 to discuss options):
PHYSICS 207
PHYSICS 208
General Physics
and General Physics (recommended)
10
PHYSICS 201
PHYSICS 202
General Physics
and General Physics
10

Biochemistry

One set of introductory coursework and the capstone course are required, for a total of three BIOCHEM courses. 

Introductory Courses

Select one of the following options:
BIOCHEM 507
BIOCHEM 508
General Biochemistry I
and General Biochemistry II (recommended)
6
OR
BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry3
AND one of the following upper-level biochemistry electives:
Biochemical Principles of Human and Animal Nutrition
Topics in Medical Biochemistry
Biology of Viruses
Protein and Enzyme Structure and Function
Mathematical Methods for Structural Biology
Mathematical Methods for Systems Biology
Prokaryotic Molecular Biology
Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
Plant Biochemistry
Mechanisms of Action of Vitamins and Minerals
Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms
Molecular Control of Metabolism and Metabolic Disease

Capstone Course (required)

BIOCHEM 551 Biochemical Methods4
 

Residence and Quality of Work Requirements (at time of graduation)

  • 2.000 GPA in all BIOCHEM and major courses
  • 2.000 GPA in at least 15 upper-level major credits in residence (credits taken on campus at UW–Madison or UW–Madison-sponsored study abroad programs). Upper-level major credits are defined as coursework higher than the 300 level that could fulfill major requirements.
  • 15 credits in the major/BIOCHEM taken on campus 

Recommended Courses

First-year students interested in exploring the major can enroll in  Biochemistry Freshman Seminar (BIOCHEM 100). Additional courses in MATH, BIOLOGY, CHEM, BIOCHEM, STAT, and COMP SCI are common elective courses, depending on the student's areas of interest and future career goals.

Honors in the Major

Students may declare Honors in the Biochemistry Major in consultation with the Biochemistry undergraduate advisor. To be admitted to the Honors Program in Biochemistry, students must have declared a major in Biochemistry and achieved a 3.300 overall university GPA.

Honors in the Biochemistry Major Requirements

To earn a B.A. or a B.S. with Honors in the Major in Biochemistry students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • 3.300 overall university GPA
  • 3.300 GPA in courses designated as biological, physical, or natural science breadth
  • Complete two biological science courses for Honors chosen from the list of courses (below) that can fulfill the biological science requirements for the major (introductory biology, upper-level biology, or Biocore)
  • Complete BIOCHEM 507 General Biochemistry I and BIOCHEM 508 General Biochemistry II for Honors. This is in addition to the biological and physical science Honors requirements above.
  • Complete a two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in BIOCHEM 681 Senior Honors Thesis and BIOCHEM 682 Senior Honors Thesis, for a total of 6 credits. Students seeking to complete this requirement in a related department, such as chemistry, must seek approval from the undergraduate biochemistry advisor.
  • Complete at least 20 credits, taken for Honors, from the following list:

Math

MATH 275 Topics in Calculus I5
MATH 276 Topics in Calculus II5
MATH 341 Linear Algebra3
MATH 375 Topics in Multi-Variable Calculus and Linear Algebra5
MATH 376 Topics in Multi-Variable Calculus and Differential Equations5
MATH 521 Analysis I3
MATH 522 Analysis II3
MATH 541 Modern Algebra3
MATH 542 Modern Algebra3

Chemistry

CHEM 109 Advanced General Chemistry5
CHEM 115 Chemical Principles I5
CHEM 116 Chemical Principles II5
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 345 Intermediate Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 344 Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 329 Fundamentals of Analytical Science4
CHEM 547 Advanced Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 561 Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 565 Biophysical Chemistry4
CHEM 563 Physical Chemistry Laboratory1-2
CHEM 562 Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 564 Physical Chemistry Laboratory1

Physics

PHYSICS 201 General Physics5
PHYSICS 202 General Physics5
PHYSICS 207 General Physics5
PHYSICS 208 General Physics5
PHYSICS 241 Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYSICS 247 A Modern Introduction to Physics5
PHYSICS 249 A Modern Introduction to Physics4

Statistics

STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods3
STAT 371 Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences3

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Identify the fundamental biochemical principles that underlie all biological processes.
  2. Communicate biochemical knowledge in both written reports and oral presentations to scientists and non-scientists.
  3. Evaluate how biochemistry relates to other scientific disciplines and to contemporary issues in our society.
  4. Demonstrate professional and ethical responsibility in scientific research.
  5. Design and conduct quantitative experiments and/or interpret data to address a scientific question.

How to Seek Advising

  • To schedule an appointment with the advisor, Kendra Gurnee, use the Scheduling Assistant.
  • Email Kendra Gurnee with brief questions.
  • Drop-in advising hours for quick (10-15 minute) questions, on a first-come, first-serve basis, are posted on the Biochemistry website each semester.

Career Examples

  • Take your skills to a rewarding career in product development, quality control, hospitals, biotechnology, university labs, pharmaceuticals, forensics, and more. Possibilities at top organizations and leading companies include positions such as protein purification scientist, lab manager, medical scribe, clinical research coordinator, and food safety and quality chemist.
  • Pursue a professional degree in medical, dental, or veterinary school, using your background in biochemistry to aid your admission and success.
  • Build on your research experience and continue graduate studies in biochemistry or a related field to shape a career in academia as a professor or in industry.
  • Use your science background to inform patent law, science policy and ethics, sales and marketing for science and technology companies, scientific article publishing, and related fields. 

Professors

Amasino, Rick
Ansari, Aseem
Attie, Alan
Bednarek, Sebastian
Butcher, Sam
Clagett-Dame, Margaret
Cox, Mike
Craig, Elizabeth
Fox, Brian (Chair)
Friesen, Paul
Hayes, Colleen
Holden, Hazel
Kimble, Judith
Landick, Bob
Markley, John
Martin, Tom
Mitchell, Julie
Ntambi, James
Palmenberg, Ann
Pike, Wes
Ralph, John
Rayment, Ivan
Record, Tom
Sussman, Mike
Weibel, Doug
Wickens, Marv

Associate Professors

Henzler-Wildman, Katie
Pagliarini, Dave
Senes, Alessandro

Assistant Professors

Hoskins, Aaron
Raman, Vatsan
Romero, Phil
Venturelli, Ophelia
Wildonger, Jill

Associate Faculty Associate

Prost, Lynne

UNDERGRADUATE ADVISOR

Gurnee, Kendra

The following opportunities can help students connect with other students interested in biochemistry, build relationships with faculty and staff, and contribute to out-of-classroom learning:

  • The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) UW-Madison Student Chapter is a student organization for students interested in biochemistry. ASBMB provides information about careers and job opportunities, how to get involved in research, and volunteer and outreach opportunities.
  • Several biochemistry faculty members offer experiential study abroad programs, where students can immerse themselves in research or global health field experiences. Students can review the Biochemistry Major Advising Page on the International Academic Programs website for information on these and other programs, as well as requirements that can typically be fulfilled abroad and things to consider when fitting study abroad into an academic plan.
  • Students are encouraged to get involved in research, whether in the biochemistry department or through other life science or chemistry-related departments. Research can be performed for either course credit or pay, depending on the opportunity. The Biochemistry website and the advisor can provide more information on finding research opportunities. Summer funding awards for research are available through the department.