Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
(800) 249-6412
TTY/TDD: (218) 723-6790

Jennifer Maki, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Science Center, Room 3306
(218) 723-6457

Biochemistry Major

Fast Facts: Biochemistry Major

  • Hybrid major of biology and chemistry plus additional coursework in physics and calculus offers students a comprehensive background in the sciences
  • Great choice of major for those planning to attend graduate school to pursue careers in research or within the medical and health professions
  • High-tech instrumentation and computer labs provide in-depth, hands-on learning experiences
  • Small department engaged in student-focused research; students get the personal attention and assistance they need to succeed
  • Excellent placement rates for graduates
  • Student-run Chemistry/Biochemistry Club enables students with similar interests to further connect
  • St. Scholastica was named on the list of Top 200 schools for Native Americans pursuing degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by Winds of Change magazine

Program Requirements

Major: 72 credits

Research or Internships

Opportunities for student research and teaching abound in the Biochemistry major. These include:

  • Assisting faculty with personal research projects
  • Participating in paid summer research programs
  • Working as a paid teaching assistant or general assistant in the department


Graduates of the biochemistry program have gone on to work as research and environmental scientists, lab managers, hazardous materials managers and scientific writers. Others have pursued advanced degrees in biochemistry, chemistry, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.

Pair with a language

Boost your brain power and give yourself a competitive edge in our global economy by pairing your major with a language. St. Scholastica offers programs and courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian and Spanish.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a major or minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse BIO 1110 - General Biology I

Study of living systems with particular emphasis on the molecular, cellular levels of organization within the various kingdoms of life. 3 class hours, 2-hour lab. This course is required of all biology majors.

Expand and Collapse BIO 1120 - General Biology II

Advanced application of concepts presented in General Biology I with focus on the study of population genetics, evolution, ecology, plant biology and animal diversity. Current topics in biology are also investigated, including the genetic modification of organisms and the impact of global climate change on living systems. 3 class hours, 2-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 1110.This course is required of all biology majors.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3020 - Pathophysiology

Study of the general mechanisms of disease at the cellular and molecular levels, including abnormalities of fluid distribution, the inflammatory process, abnormal immune mechanisms, and neoplastic disease, followed by an application of the basic principles of pathologic processes to diseases of the neurologic, endocrine, reproductive, hematologic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal and digestive systems. Prerequisite: a completed course in Anatomy/Physiology.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3100 - Life's History

Study of the events concerning the creation of the solar system, earth and life. The evolutionary history of life and the processes of natural selection will be emphasized. Follow Earth’s 4.6 billion year history as it unfolds, producing from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful. Prerequisite: Must be in second year or higher in college. Recommended for all Biology Majors.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3130 - Embryology

Development of vertebrate animals with emphasis on anatomical development in humans. Coursework includes the differentiation of tissues of all major body systems. Prerequisite: a completed course in Anatomy/ Physiology.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3210 - Field Biology

A survey course of the contemporary and traditional field methods used by biologists. Topics include techniques used in the areas of entomology, floristics, ornithology, mammalogy and mapping. 4 hour lab course. Prerequisite: Bio 1110 and 1120.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3220 - Plant Systematics

Introduction to systematics of vascular plants with emphasis on identification of woody plants, representative families, terminology and use of taxonomic keys. 2 class hours, 4-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 1110 and 1120.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3300 - Virology

A thorough investigation of viral biology from the perspective of both the virus and host cell. Topics covered include viral structure and classification, interactions between the virus and host cell, methods of virology, viral diseases, viral oncogenesis, and therapeutic uses of viruses.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3500 - Genetics

Study of classical and molecular genetics, gene interaction, linkage and population genetics. 3 class hours, 2-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 1110 and 1120. This course is required of all biology majors.

Expand and Collapse BIO 3600 - Cell Biology

Study of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells and viruses to include membranes, receptor proteins, organelles, cytoskeleton, sorting and trafficking, cellular communication, the extracellular matrix, and experimental methods. Prerequisite: BIO 1110 and 1120.

Expand and Collapse BIO 4125 - Biology of Aging

Aging changes evident in humans as the result of time interacting with molecular mechanisms of biological systems. Current knowledge of these mechanisms will be examined, followed by an application of the basic principles of biological aging to the systems of the body. Prerequisite: a completed course in Anatomy/ Physiology.

Expand and Collapse BIO 4130 - Endocrinology

Chemical systems of control of physiologic processes in the vertebrate animal with emphasis on the human. Pathologic activities will be included to the extent that they increase understanding of normal function. Prerequisite: a completed course in Anatomy/Physiology and biochemistry.

Expand and Collapse BIO 4160 - Molecular Biology

Current molecular biology research techniques, hypothesis testing and communication of results. Topics may include molecular cloning, plasmid isolation, restriction digest analysis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA sequencing. Prerequisite: Bio 3500 and instructor permission.

Expand and Collapse BIO 4170 - Ecology

Study of the basic principles of ecology, interrelationships and identification of plants and animals making up principal communities of this region, the dynamic balance of communities and the productivity of natural resources. The course includes a research experience. 3 class hours, 3-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 1110 and 1120.

Expand and Collapse BIO 4180 - Animal Behavior

An introduction to the basic questions and study of animal behavior. From an evolutionary perspective we investigate the adaptive value of behaviors such as foraging, communication, predator avoidance, dispersal, sociality, parental investment and mating systems, among other topics. Laboratory work, including an independent research project, under field conditions emphasizes the measurement and analysis of animal behavior.

Expand and Collapse CHM 1110 - General Chemistry I

Introduces atomic and molecular structure, bonding, stoichiometry, gas laws, chemical periodicity, and equilibrium. Three 50-minute lectures, one 2-hour lab each week. Prerequisite: high school chemistry and appropriate placement test score.

Expand and Collapse CHM 1120 - General Chemistry II

Studies solutions, equilibria, coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, kinetics, nuclear chemistry, and qualitative analysis. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 1110.

Expand and Collapse CHM 2200 - Organic Chemistry I

Introduces structure, properties, and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, alkyl halides, and ethers. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 1120.

Expand and Collapse CHM 2210 - Organic Chemistry II

Introduces the structure, properties, and reactions of aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, aromatic compounds, amines, phenols, carbohydrates, amino acids as well as infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 2200.

Expand and Collapse CHM 3000 - Analytical Chemistry

Introduces the theory and practice of volumetric, spectroscopic, and electrochemical analysis and chromatographic separation techniques. Laboratory covers traditional quantitative analysis and instrumental techniques associated with determination of pH, ultraviolet-visible and atomic absorption spectroscopy, HPLC and gas chromatography. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM1120 and mathematical skill at or beyond college algebra; CHM 2210 suggested.

Expand and Collapse CHM 3220 - Intermediate Organic Chemistry

Studies modern infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectroscopy; molecular orbital theory applied to bonding and pericyclic reactions; organic synthesis; and topic areas including medicinal, bio-organic, or polymer chemistry. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM2210 or equivalent. (Offered fall semester in odd years: fall 2015, fall 2017, etc.)

Expand and Collapse CHM 3240 - Biochemistry I

Studies the structure and role of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids in metabolism. Emphasizes protein structure and function, enzyme operation, metabolic pathways and their cellular role and regulation. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM 2210.

Expand and Collapse CHM 3460 - Physical Chemistry I

Introduces thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, kinetics, and phase equilibria. Prerequisites: C- or higher in PSC 2002, MTH 2222, CHM2210.

Expand and Collapse CHM 3470 - Physical Chemistry II

Covers postulates of quantum mechanics, particle in a box, harmonic oscillator, rigid rotor, and hydrogen atom with application to electronic structure of atoms and molecules and to atomic and molecular spectroscopy. Prerequisites: A grade of C- or higher in CHM 3460. (Offered spring semester in even years: spring 2016, spring 2018, etc.)

Expand and Collapse CHM 4060 - Undergraduate Research

Introduces students to original laboratory research in collaboration with a faculty member; requires literature searching, experimental planning, a minimum of 8 hours laboratory work a week, a final written report and an oral presentation of the work. Prerequisite: junior standing, application according to departmental policy and permission of the instructor.

Expand and Collapse CHM 4120 - Instrumental Analysis

Studies instrumentation for chemical analysis and method selection. Topics covered include ultraviolet- visible spectroscopy, atomic absorption and emission, polarography and voltammetry, thermal analysis, and chromatography. Prerequisite: C- or higher in CHM2210, 3000. (Offered spring semester in odd years: spring 2017, spring 2019, etc.)

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  • "The biochemistry program at the College of St. Scholastica has prepared me for a life of learning in a complex world. I learned to critically think through problems and am forever indebted to the professors and classmates who mentored me throughout my four years in the program."

    – Kelsi Manley, ‘13