Chemical Biology Major

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Biology* provides an understanding of the chemical principles of biological function by emphasizing the development of a solid background in chemistry. In addition to an introductory set of math and physics courses and a broad selection of the same chemistry courses required for the chemistry major, students pursuing the chemical biology major take general and cell biology, biochemistry, biological macromolecular synthesis, and bioinorganic chemistry. The curriculum highlights organic chemistry, quantitative thermodynamics, and kinetics, subjects necessary for understanding the logic of biological systems. The Chemical Biology major is intended for students who are interested in careers as professional chemists, or in the biological sciences including the biomedical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries.

* Please note that Chemical Biology is distinct from Biochemistry. Biochemistry is an emphasis within the Molecular and Cell Biology major, housed in the College of Letters and Science.

Suggested Sequence of Courses

Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Biology
First Year Fall Spring
Chemistry 4A (F), 4B (S) — General/Quantitative Analysis 5 5
Math 1A, 1B — Calculus* 4 4
Physics 7A** — Physics for Scientists & Engineers - 4
Reading & Composition A, B 4 4
Freshman Seminar or other 1 unit course 1 -
Total 14 17
Second Year Fall Spring
Chemistry 12A+ (F), 12B+ (S) — Organic 5 5
Chemistry 96 (F) -- Intro to Research 1 -
Math 53, 54§ — Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra & Differential Equations 4 4
Physics 7B — Physics for Scientists & Engineers 4 -
Biology 1A+1AL - 5
Breadth elective/American Cultures (optional) 3-4 -
Total 14-18 14
Third Year Fall Spring
Chemistry 120A*** 3 -
Chemistry 103 (Fall only) — Inorganic Chem in Living Systems 3 -
Chemistry 135‡‡ (Fall only) — Chemical Biology 3 -
Allied Subjects 3-4 3-4
Molecular & Cell Biology 110**** — Macromolecular Synthesis & Cellular Function - 4
Chemistry C110L***** — Biochemistry lab - 4
Research, Breadth elective, other 3-4 3-4
Total 15-17 14-16
Fourth Year Fall Spring
Chemistry 120B (offered Fall only) 3 -
Chemistry lab requirement (105, 115, 125, C170L, or C182) 3-4 -
Chemistry elective - 3-4
Research, Breadth elective, other 3-4 3-4
Research, Breadth elective, other 3-4 3-4
Seminar, deCal, other - 1-2
Total****** 13-15 13-14

* Math 10A+10B may be substituted for 1A+1B

** Physics 5A+5B/L or 8A+8B may be substituted for 7A+7B

*** Chemistry 120A and 120B should be taken in sequence. 120A may be taken in Spring of the second year; 120B may be taken in Fall of third or fourth year.

**** Biology 1A plus 1AL and Chemistry 135 satisfy the prerequisites for Molecular and Cell Biology 110. 110 is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for C110L.

***** MCB 170L may be substituted for C110L

****** Unit totals may not add up to the minimum 120 units required to graduate. Most College of Chemistry students come in with a substantial number of exam or transfer credits, and/or take classes in addition to those listed here.

† Chem 12A = 112A and Chem 12B = Chem 112B for Spring 2017 or earlier.

§ Physics 89 may be substituted for Math 54

‡‡ Chemical Biology majors may not replace Chem 135 with MCB 102 or MCB 100B

F course offered in Fall only

S course offered in Spring only

↑ page to