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BIOCHEMISTRY/CHEMISTRY (CH31)
The Biochemistry/Chemistry major deals with the chemical processes in living organisms, including structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids.  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.
Note: For students admitted Fall 2016 or earlier, please see the FAQ page for information regarding re-numbering of Organic Chemistry courses.

Lower-Division Requirements

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 CHEM 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

The following courses must be taken for a letter grade: 
  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).

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.

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.
  • 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
BILD 1** MATH 20C
SOPHOMORE YEAR
CHEM 100A CHEM 140B CHEM 143B
CHEM 140A CHEM 143A CHEM 140C
MATH 20D PHYS 2B PHYS 2C/2D
PHYS 2A
JUNIOR YEAR
CHEM 114A CHEM 127 CHEM 105A
CHEM 126 CHEM 114B CHEM 114C
PHYS 2CL
SENIOR YEAR
CHEM 120A Elective Lab* Elective Lab*
Elective Elective Elective