Requirements for the Major in Biochemistry (BCH)

All courses offered for the major must be taken for a letter grade. A minimum grade of C must be obtained in all courses in requirements A, B, and C below. Completion of the major requires approx­imately 70 to 74 credits.

Transfer students who wish to complete the requirements for the Biochemistry major must take Biochemistry I and II (BIO 361 and BIO 362) and must complete at least a minimum of nine additional credits at Stony Brook in required upper-division Biology courses (BIO 310, BIO 311, BIO 320, or BIO 365) and/or approved upper-division Biology elective courses.

A. Courses in Related Fields

  1. CHE 131, CHE 132 General Chemistry or CHE 152 Molecular Science I
  2. CHE 133, CHE 134 General Chemistry Laboratory or CHE 154 Molecular Science Laboratory I
  3. CHE 321, CHE 322 Organic Chemistry I, II or CHE 331, 332 Molecular Science II and III (See Note 1)
  4. CHE 327 Organic Chemistry Laboratory A or CHE 383 Introductory Synthetic and Spectroscopic Laboratory Techniques 
  5. CHE 301 or CHE 312 Physical Chemistry
  6. MAT 125, MAT 126, MAT 127 Calculus A, B, C or MAT 131, MAT 132 Calculus I, II or MAT 141, MAT 142 or MAT 171 or AMS 151 and AMS 161 or level 9 on mathematics placement examination. If students do not place into MAT 125 or 131 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 is a required course for the major.
  7. PHY 121/PHY 123, PHY 122/PHY 124 Physics for the Life Sciences and Labs or PHY 125, PHY 126/PHY 133, PHY 127/PHY 134 Classical Physics A, B, C and labs or PHY 141/PHY 133, PHY 142/PHY 134 Classical Physics I, II: Honors and labs

B. Core Courses in Biology

  1. BIO 201 Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
  2. BIO 202 Fundamentals of Biology: Molecular and Cellular Biology
  3. BIO 203 Fundamentals of Biology: Cellular and Organ Physiology
  4. BIO 204 Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences I
  5. BIO 205 Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences II or BIO 207  Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences II or IIB

C. Advanced Courses in Biology

  1. BIO 320 General Genetics
  2. BIO 310 Cell Biology
  3. BIO 361, BIO 362 Biochemistry I,II (See Note 1)
  4. One of the following laboratories: BIO 365 Biochemistry Laboratory (fall only) or BIO 311 Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology (See Note 2)
  5. Two additional courses, totaling at least five credits, chosen after consultation with an advisor from the following list. It is highly recommended that students take more than the suggested minimum number of electives.
  • AMS 333 Mathematical Biology
  • BCP 401 Principles of Pharmacology
  • BCP 402 Advanced Pharmacology
  • BIO 302 Human Genetics 
  • BIO 311 Techniques in Molecular and Cellular Biology or BIO 365 Biochemistry Laboratory (See Note 3)
  • BIO 312 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • BIO 314 Cancer Biology
  • BIO 315 Microbiology
  • BIO 316 Molecular Immunology
  • BIO 317 Principles of Cellular Signaling
  • BIO 321 Introduction to Ecological Genetics and Genomics
  • BIO 325 Animal Development
  • BIO 327 Developmental genetics lab
  • BIO 328 Mammalian Physiology
  • BIO 332 Computational Modeling
  • BIO 334 Principles of Neurobiology
  • BIO 335 Neurobiology Laboratory
  • BIO 337 Neurotransmission and Neuromodulation: Implications for Brain Function
  • BIO 338 From Synapse to Circuit: Self organization of the Brain
  • BIO 339 Molecular Development of the Nervous System
  • BIO 350 Darwinian Medicine
  • BIO 354 Evolution
  • BIO 358 Biology of Human Social and Sexual Behavior
  • BIO 364 Laboratory Techniques in Cancer Biology
  • BIO 367 Molecular Diversity Laboratory
  • BME 304 Genetic Engineering
  • CHE 346 Bio-molecular Structure and Activity

Note 1. BIO 361 and BIO 362 must be taken in order. Students who wish to take BIO 362 before BIO 361 must get permission from the course instructor. A grade of C or higher in BIO 202 and CHE 321 & CHE 326 or CHE 322 is required to enroll in BIO 361 and BIO 362.

Note 2. Neither BIO 311 nor BIO 365 can be used to satisfy both the upper division laboratory and an upper division elective requirements.

D. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

To fulfill the upper-division writing requirement in Biochemistry, a sample of writing from an upper-division course in the biological sciences must be submitted for evaluation and approved. The writing sample must contain a minimum of 750 words of text and can be a graded laboratory report, a graded term paper, or a graded report from a readings or research course. The original graded writing sample and the Upper Division Writing Requirements (UDWR) form should be signed by both the student and instructor and should be submitted to the Undergraduate Biology office. The Writing Center will evaluate the submission and contact the student directly if remediation is needed.

The deadline for submission of the writing sample is February 1 for students graduating the following May or August, and October 1 for students graduating the following December. However, students are urged to submit appropriate materials in their junior year, or by the end of their next-to-last term, in order to allow for evaluation and possible revision. Later submissions are considered, but may delay graduation. 

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with  university graduation requirements for General Education.  Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate.  The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

Honors Program in Biochemistry

Graduation with Honors in Biochemistry requires the following:
1. A cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.50 in all courses required for the major.
2. Presentation of an acceptable thesis based on laboratory research project. Students interested in graduation with Honors must contact the Biochemistry Honors Coordinator for more detailed information no later that the second week of classes during their last semester.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry/Master of Science Degree in Chemistry Program

A student interested in this research intensive graduate program, intended to prepare students for professional employment in the chemical or pharmaceutical industries, may apply for admission at the end of the junior year. The program leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry at the end of the fourth year, followed by a Master of Science in Chemistry at the end of the fifth year. During the senior year the student is expected to take two 500-level CHE courses and begin research. In the fifth year, the student works full-time on research, earning 24 credits in CHE 599. The two 500-level CHE courses taken during the senior year may be counted toward the two electives required by the Biochemistry major. Please visit the Chemistry website for further information on the Chemistry graduate degree.