Sep 28, 2022  
2020-2021 University Catalog 
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry (Chemistry), BSCH

About the Program

Biochemists study the chemical basis of life. Some of the major problems include the transfer of genetic information to biological structures, the conversion of nutrients into cell constituents and their utilization as sources of energy, the storage of memory, and the chemical nature of neural processes. Furthermore, biochemists are interested in the chemical details of important processes such as photosynthesis, blood clotting, fertilization, and other functions that may be unique to certain organisms. This program includes six credits of undergraduate research in a wide range of fields, including drug discovery, nano-medicine, protein structure determination, development and application of novel chemical tools to dissect different biological processes.
By concentrating advanced elective credit hours in biochemistry and by taking biology courses, this degree provides an excellent preparation for medical, dental, or veterinary schools. This program would particularly benefit those planning careers in medical research.

Biochemistry Website

Chemistry Department Major Change (CODO) Requirements  

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Curriculum and Degree Requirements for College of Science

A College of Science degree is conferred when a student successfully completes all requirements in their degree program.  Students will complete coursework or approved experiential learning activities to meet the following three degree components:

  1. Major
  2. Science Core Curriculum
  3. Electives

Students may use any of the following options to meet College of Science degree requirements:

  • Purdue Coursework
  • Ap, IB, and CLEP credit.  The use of AP and IB coursework varies between College of Science degree plans.
  • Transfer Credit. Students should consult the Admissions Transfer Credit Resource page for all available transfer options.

College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of the proceeding options and thus students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors and to regularly consult their MyPurduePlan to view the use of each option in their degree plan. 

Most College of Science degree programs contain elective credits students may use to pursue courses that relate to their interests or which support their major area of study. The elective area of a degree plan may also be used to complete minors, second majors and certificates such as the Entrepreneurial Certificate. With the exception of courses on the No Count List, any Purdue course may be used to meet the elective area of a student’s degree plan.

College of Science Core Requirements

All Students starting Purdue University Fall semester, 2007 or later are required to pursue the 2007 Science Core curriculum.

The College of Science Core Curriculum requires the completion of approved coursework and/or experiential learning opportunities in the following academic areas:

Earning Core Curricular Requirements through Experience

Students may meet selected core curriculum requirements through approved experiential learning opportunities. Interested students should contact their academic advisor for more information on this option and incorporating experiential learning into their four-year program of study. For more information on earning requirements through experience, please click here.

Departmental/Program Major Courses (81-86 credits)

Other Departmental /Program Course Requirements (21-57 credits)


  • FIRST-YEAR COMPOSITION – Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00 (satisfies Written Communication and Information Literacy for core)

  • or
  • or

  • TECHNICAL WRITING AND PRESENTATION*- Credit Hours: 0.00 - 6.00 (Select courses COULD satisfy Oral Communication for core; COM 21700  is strongly recommended)


  • TEAM-BUILDING & COLLABORATION* - Credit Hours: 0.00 - 3.00 (fulfilled by PHYS 17200 in major)


    LANGUAGE & CULTURE^* - Credit Hours: 0.00 - 9.00 (Select courses COULD satisfy Humanities for core)

                    Language/Culture Option I

                    Language/Culture Option II

                    Language/Culture Option III


    GREAT ISSUES IN SCIENCE - Credit Hours: 3.00


    MULTIDISCIPLINARY EXPERIENCE^* - Credit Hours: 0.00 - 3.00 (Select courses COULD satisfy Science, Technology, Society for core)


    LABORATORY SCIENCE - Credit Hours: 0.00-8.00 (fulfilled by Required Major Courses)


    MATHEMATICS - Credit Hours: 0.00-5.00 (fulfilled by Required Major Courses)


  • STATISTICS - Credit hours 3.00

  • or

  • COMPUTING - Credit Hours: 3.00-4.00

  •  or

  • GENERAL EDUCATION^ (Select courses COULD satisfy Behavioral/Social Science for core) - Credit Hours: 9.00

                    General Education Option I

                    General Education Option II

                    General Education Option III

  • ^ Labeled as a Science Core Selection in the four year plan of study

    *Requirement may be met with a zero credit experiential learning option. See your advisor for more information

Electives (0-18 credits)

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC)

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.


Program Requirements

15-19 Credits

Spring 1st Year

14-16 Credits

14 Credits

15 Credits

16-17 Credits

15 Credits

16 Credits

Spring 4th Year

13 Credits


  • **Satisfies a Non-departmental Major Course Requirement
  • Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all CHM courses.
  • Students must have 32 credits at the 30000 level or above taken at Purdue.
  • 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Students may graduate with Honors in Chemistry distinction.  An approved honors thesis and a min of 3.4 GPA are required.  Consult your CHM advisor.

World Language Courses

World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor.

ASL-American Sign Language

ARAB-Arabic CHNS-Chinese FR-French
GER-German GREK-Greek (ancient) HEBR-Hebrew (Biblical) HEBR-Hebrew (modern)
ITAL-Italian JPNS-Japanese KOR-Korean LATN-Latin
PTGS-Portuguese RUSS-Russian SPAN-Spanish  

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.