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    Jul 23, 2024  
American University Catalog 2023-2024 
American University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry (BS)

Offered by the Department of Chemistry , College of Arts and Sciences , the Biochemistry (BS) is appropriate for students who are interested in the molecules that define life on Earth and in the design of new molecules that can advance the health of individuals and societies. All biochemistry majors will be well prepared for private sector work or further training in graduate school or in the medical professions. 

The Biochemistry degree features specializations in Biochemistry and Medical Biochemistry. The Biochemistry specialization is designed for students interested in the chemical analysis of biological molecules (proteins, DNA, RNA, lipids, etc) and in the synthesis and chemical characterization of pharmaceutical molecules. Students completing the Biochemistry specialization receive a degree that is accredited by the American Chemical Society. The Medical Biochemistry specialization is designed for students interested in the medical relevance of biological molecules (proteins, DNA, RNA, lipids, etc) and in the medical application of pharmaceutical molecules. This specialization provides fuller coverage of topics that are relevant for medical training.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires a grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale). The department counsels first-year and transfer students, as well as declared biochemistry majors.

University Requirements

AU Core Requirements

For additional information, see AU Core Curriculum .

Major Requirements

  • 74-75 credit hours with grades of C or better, including at least 18 credit hours at or above 300-level
  • Specializations: Biochemistry; Medical Biochemistry

Course Requirements

Combined Biochemistry (BS) and Chemistry (MS)

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. See Admission to a Combined Bachelor’s / Master’s Program  and Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees  for more information.

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for combined bachelor’s/master’s programs:

  • Admission is open to undergraduates whose overall grade point average and grade point average in chemistry courses is 3.00 or higher. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. Students should discuss their interest in the program with members of the faculty before submitting a formal application. Interested students are encouraged to enroll in CHEM-490 Independent Study Project in Chemistry (1-6)  to conduct independent study research before applying
  • Undergraduate students may apply up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate-level coursework in chemistry and/or STAT-614 Statistical Methods (3)  to satisfy the requirements for both degrees