Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry Major

The major consists of a minimum of 12 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major, with the exception that one chemistry course in which a student has earned a grade of D may be used to fill the requirements of the major. However, no courses in which a student has earned a D grade may be counted as prerequisites.

arrow View the catalog page for the chemistry and biochemistry department.  

Note(s) on Requirements

  • Students placing into and beginning the biochemistry major with CHEM 102  do not need to take an additional course in place of CHEM 101 .

ACS-Certified Major Requirements

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry curriculum is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and certifies graduates who satisfy the ACS guidelines.

arrow Read the ACS’s publication on why to obtain an ACS-certified bachelor’s degree.

For ACS certification in biochemistry, majors must successfully complete:

  • The Minimum Major Requirements
  • One Full (or Two Half) Additional 300-Level Chemistry Course(s)
  • One Full (or Two Half) Research Course(s)

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

Transferred credit for CHEM 101  or CHEM 102  counts toward the major.

Study Away and Other Outside Coursework

Prior approval is required for chemistry coursework taken away from Oberlin to be applied to the biochemistry major.

Note: Except for coursework transferred in at the time of entry by transfer students, the department cannot approve transfer of credit for courses taken at community colleges.

At least half of the full courses (or equivalent) required for the major must be completed while in residence at Oberlin or enrolled in Oberlin programs. Students desiring an exception to this policy must obtain the explicit approval of the department chair.

Normally, transfer credit for chemistry courses numbered 300 and above will not count toward the requirements of the biochemistry major.

arrow View the detailed procedure and required forms for the department’s transfer of credit process.

Course of Study

Entry-Level Course Sequence Options

The normal general chemistry sequence is CHEM 101  and CHEM 102 . All students are eligible to enroll in CHEM 101 , regardless of prior study in chemistry.

  • Students with no high school preparation may benefit from taking a 000-level course (i.e., courses designed for non-majors) prior to enrolling in CHEM 101 .
  • Students with strong high school preparation may be able to begin with CHEM 102 .
  • Students with exceptional preparation can petition to enter at CHEM 205 .

arrow See the Initial and Advanced Placement section of the department catalog page for details.  

Recommended Pathways

Potential biochemistry majors are encouraged to take:

Key Constraints:

Biochemistry Major Pathways table

Honors in Biochemistry

Students with outstanding records are invited to apply to participate in the Honors Program in Biochemistry. Selection of honors students occurs in the spring semester for the following fall.

Seniors in the program elect a minimum of 1.5 full courses of CHEM 525/526 (with at least one half course in the first semester) and work year-long (including Winter Term) on a research project.

Honors students write a thesis based on their research, give two presentations, and take an oral examination. Students majoring in both chemistry and biochemistry must choose which major will be applied to any honors conferred.

Detailed Major Requirements