Academic Requirements

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major requires six courses in biology, six courses in chemistry, two-course sequences in introductory physics and calculus, the biology junior seminar, the chemistry senior seminar, and the BMB senior capstone experience, for a total of 70 credits.

Requirements for the BMB Major

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program offers a major that culminates in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. This interdisciplinary major provides a comprehensive education at the interface between biology and chemistry that nurtures students to become independent scientists in this rapidly advancing and exciting field. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the discipline, there is not a BMB minor and students may not major in BMB and minor in biology or chemistry.

BIO 111 General Biology I (offered every fall)

BIO 112 General Biology II (offered every spring)

CHE 120 Chemical Principles of Organic Molecules (offered every semester)

CHE 140 Reactions of Organic Molecules  (offered every spring)

Students starting before AY2023-2024, BIO 209 Genetics (offered every semester)

Students starting AY2023-2024, BIO 205 Cell and Molecular Biology (offered every semester)

BIO 409 Biochemistry (offered every fall)

CHE 220 Quantitative Chemical Analysis (offered every semester)

CHE 303 Chemistry of Biological Compounds (offered every spring)

CHE 305 Chemical Thermodynamics & Kinetics w/ Lab (offered every fall) OR CHE 306 Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy w/ Lab (offered every spring)

Two approved BIO electives at the 200-400 level (only one course may be at the 200-level). Examples of approved BIO electives include:

  • BIO 203 Microbiology
  • Students starting AY2023-2024, BIO 209 Genetics
  • BIO 294 Stem Cell Biology
  • BIO 302 Developmental Biology
  • BIO 314 Biotechnology & Molecular Biology
  • BIO 350 Introduction to Toxicology
  • BIO 394 Endocrinology
  • BIO 404 Immunology

One CHE elective at the 200-400 level. Recommended electives include:

  • CHE 240 Chemistry of the Elements
  • CHE 305 Chemical Thermodynamics & Kinetics w/ Lab (if not counted above)
  • CHE 306 Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy w/ Lab (if not counted above)
  • CHE 320 Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHE 403 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHE 405 Biophysical Methods

MAT 201 Differential Calculus (offered every semester) OR MAT 106 Stretch Differential Calculus I and MAT 107 Stretch Differential Calculus II

MAT 202 Integral Calculus (offered every semester)

PHY 101 College Physics I OR PHY 111 General Physics I (offered every fall)

PHY 102 College Physics II OR PHY 112 General Physics II (offered every spring)

CHE 392 Chemistry Junior Seminar (0 credits, offered every spring)

BMB SCE Senior Capstone Experience

Recommended First and Second Year Courses

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the BMB major, students are encouraged to begin their study of biology and chemistry as soon as possible. Recommended first and second year courses for the BMB major are listed below; however, students have some flexibility in how they sequence their coursework depending on when they decide to embark on the BMB major and other academic interests. For example, CHE 120 Chemical Principles of Organic Molecules is offered every semester, so students may begin their study of chemistry at any time. Students may also delay the start of their mathematics and/or physics sequences; however, it is important to keep in mind that MAT 202 and PHY 102/112 are prerequisites for CHE 305 and CHE 306, one of which is required for the BMB major.

Biology Courses: BIO 111 General Biology I and BIO 112 General Biology II

Chemistry Courses: CHE 120 Chemical Principles of Organic Molecules and CHE 140 Reactions of Organic Molecules

Math Courses: MAT 201 Differential Calculus and MAT 202 Integral Calculus

Biology Course: Students starting before AY2023-2024, BIO 209 Genetics

Students starting AY2023-2024, BIO 205 Cell and Molecular Biology

Chemistry Course: CHE 220 Quantitative Chemical Analysis

Physics Courses: PHY 101 College Physics I and PHY 102 College Physics II OR PHY 111 General Physics I and PHY 112 General Physics II

Declaring the BMB Major

Welcome to the BMB major! Students interested in declaring the BMB major should contact the Program Chair, Dr. Mindy Reynolds, to complete the necessary paperwork and develop a plan for completing the academic requirements during your remaining time at Washington College.