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Biochemistry

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers opportunities for study leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Students wishing to enter second-year Biochemistry Major, Honours, or Combined Honours specializations must apply using the online process administered by the Faculty of Science. Students will receive an email communication regarding the process in late May or early June. Due to the similarity between the major and honours biochemistry specializations in second year, the Faculty of Science only admits students directly to either the Major or Combined Honours. Qualified students wishing to transfer to Honours Biochemistry should contact the Undergraduate Advisor for advice. Students accepted to one of the specializations will register using a Standard Timetable (STT) available on the registration system. The progress of continuing biochemistry students will be reviewed at the end of each academic year. Students making satisfactory progress do not require annual specialization approval. The Department will contact students with unsatisfactory standing in honours or combined honours.

The major specialization provides a strong background in biochemistry and is sufficiently flexible for students to develop their interests in allied fields (e.g., microbiology, food science, and chemistry). It is also appropriate for students who anticipate a professional career in the health sciences. The honours specialization is the recommended route for students interested in graduate studies in biochemistry or related disciplines. However, students enrolled in a major specialization with a strong academic record may also apply for graduate studies. For more information, see Biochemistry.

Co-operative (Co-op) Education Option

The department offers an optional Co-op Education Option (honours and majors). The program is open to interested and qualified students and is intended to provide additional practical and technical biochemical and molecular biological experience in academic and industrial research laboratories. This is normally achieved through a period of 12 to 15 months of approved work placement under the supervision of practicing professionals. A faculty advisor will be assigned to each internship student. Acceptance into the Co-op Option is based upon academic standing and general suitability to perform in a technical research environment. The first phase is a placement for three or four months (summer following third year) in an academic research or industrial laboratory (either at UBC or at an off-campus site). This is normally followed by placement in off-site laboratories for three consecutive, four-month terms. Placements are arranged by mutual agreement of the student, employer, and faculty advisor through the Office of Co-operative Education. Students participating in the Co-op Option must register for off-site placements by using BIOC 398, 399, 498 and, where appropriate, 499, and pay the co-op education program fee for each course. After completion of the work terms, students return to the University for completion of the normal fourth-year major or honours academic requirements. This option requires five years and is not a requirement for admission to the graduate program in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Enrolment in the Co-op Education Option is limited; continuation in the option is contingent on the availability of suitable work placements. For more information contact the Co-operative Education Program.

Specializations

Major (0244): Biochemistry (BIOC)

First Year Credits
Communication Requirement1 6
BIOL 121, 1402 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 1043 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1054 3
PHYS 100-level5 3
Electives6 3
Total Credits 31
Second Year
BIOC 2037 3
BIOL 200 3
BIOL 2348 3
CHEM 211 4
CHEM 2039 4
CHEM 213, 245 4
MATH 200 3
Electives6 6
Total Credits 30
Third Year10  
BIOC 30110 3
BIOC 3037 6
BIOC 304 3
BIOL 335 3
Third or Fourth Years10  
CHEM 304, 313 6
CHEM 315, 335 2
Electives6 24
Fourth Year10  
BIOC 402, 410 6
Two of BIOC 403, 421, 440, 450, 460 6
Total Credits 59
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 If students do not have Biology 11 or Biology 12, then they must also take BIOL 111 or BIOL 112, in addition to BIOL 121 and BIOL 140.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in a later year by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in a later year by 3 credits.
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in a later year by 1 credit.
5 Students require 3 credits of 100-level physics beyond PHYS 100. Students lacking Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course, using PHYS 100 as an elective. Students are encouraged to complete this specialization requirement in their first year.
6 The elective credits in this specialization must fulfill: a) The Faculty of Science Arts Requirement; b) The Faculty of Science Breadth Requirement; c) The Faculty of Science Upper-level Requirement. Note: Upper level arts (or breadth) electives concurrently fulfill BOTH the upper and arts (or breadth) elective requirements. Also, any extra elective credit taken in the first, second, or third years can be applied to later elective credit requirements. Note that students in honours specializations must complete a minimum of 30 credits in each Winter Session.
7 Students with a mark of 76% or higher in BIOL 201 or BIOC 202 may apply for admission to the Biochemistry specialization and will be allowed to use these courses in place of BIOC 203. However, BIOC 203 is the preferred route into biochemistry specializations.
8 Students with a mark of 70% or higher in BIOL 233 may use BIOL 233 in place of BIOL 234.
9 Students with CHEM 235 and a mark of 76% or higher in CHEM 233 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use CHEM 233 and 235 in place of CHEM 203.
10 All students in the Biochemistry Major specialization are required to register for the laboratory course BIOC 301 in the third year of their specialization. Space is limited in this laboratory course. Students who cannot take BIOC 301 in their third year must switch to another specialization. They are not eligible to continue with a biochemistry specialization.

Honours (0186): Biochemistry (BIOC)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
BIOL 1122 3
BIOL 121,140 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 1043 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1054 3
PHYS 100-level5 3
Electives6 3
Total Credits 34
Second Year
BIOC 2037 3
BIOL 200 3
BIOL 2348 3
CHEM 2039 4
CHEM 213, 245 4
CHEM 211 4
MATH 200 3
MICB 202 3
Electives6 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year
BIOC 3037 6
BIOC 301 3
BIOC 304 3
BIOL 335 3
CHEM 304, 313 6
CHEM 315, 335 2
Electives6 9
Total Credits 32
Fourth Year
BIOC 402, 410 6
BIOC 404 3
BIOC 420 3
Two of BIOC 403, 440, 450, 460 6
BIOC 44910 6
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Electives11 3
Electives6 6
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses, see Communication Requirement.
2 If students do not have the prerequisites for BIOL 112, then they must take BIOL 111 in the first year and BIOL 112 in the 1st term of the second year. Students who have credit for either Biology 11 or Biology 12 may defer BIOL 112 to the 1st term of the second year, allowing 3 credits of electives in the first year.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in a later year by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in later years by 3 credits.
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives in a later year by 1 credit.
5 Students require 3 credits of 100-level physics beyond PHYS 100. Students lacking Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking any other 100-level PHYS course, using PHYS 100 as an elective. Students are encouraged to complete this specialization requirement in their first year.
6 Electives must be taken to ensure the Faculty of Science Arts Requirement is met. Note that any extra elective credit taken in the first, second or third years can be applied to later elective credit requirements. Note that students in honours specializations must complete a minimum of 30 credits in each Winter Session.
7 Students with a mark of 76% or higher in BIOL 201 or BIOC 202 may apply for admission to the Biochemistry specialization and will be allowed to use these courses in place of BIOC 203. However, BIOC 203 is the preferred route into biochemistry specializations.
8 Students with a mark of 70% or higher in BIOL 233 may use BIOL 233 in place of BIOL 234.
9 Students with CHEM 235 and a mark of 76% or higher in CHEM 233 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use CHEM 233 and 235 in place of CHEM 203.
10 Alternatively, under exceptional circumstances and with the prior agreement of the Biochemistry Advisor, this requirement may be substituted with BIOC 421 and an additional 3 credits of biochemistry and molecular biology electives (see footnote 11).
11 At least 3 credits of biochemistry and molecular biology electives are required in the third and fourth year from the following list: BIOC 403, 440, 450 or 460; 300- or 400-level chemistry courses; MICB 302, 306, 325, 403 or 405; PCTH 325; CAPS 301 (or PHYL 301). Please note that BIOC 403, 440, 450 or 460 cannot be double counted. If a student uses one of these courses to complete their specialization requirements, they cannot use the same course as a biochemistry and molecular biology elective.

Combined Major (3382): Biochemistry and Chemistry (BIOC, CHEM)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
BIOL 121, 1402 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 1043 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1054 3
PHYS 100-level5 3
Electives6 2
Total Credits 30
Second Year
BIOC 2037 3
BIOL 200 3
BIOL 234 3
CHEM 2038 4
CHEM 208 3
CHEM 211 4
CHEM 213, 245 4
MATH 200 3
Electives6 3
Total Credits 30
Third Year9
BIOC 3019 3
BIOC 303 6
BIOC 304 3
BIOL 335 3
CHEM 304 3
CHEM 313 or CHEM 330 3
CHEM 315, 33510 2
One of CHEM 218, 305, 311, 312, 327 3
Electives6 4
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year9
BIOC 402, 410 6
One of BIOC 403, 440, 450, 460 3
BIOC 421 or CHEM 44511 3
CHEM selections12 6
Electives6 12
Total Credits 30
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 A total of 6 credits of course work is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement. Students taking CHEM 300 defer 3 credits of the Communication Requirement to third year.
2 Students without Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take BIOL 111 before taking BIOL 121 and BIOL 140.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
5 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses.
6 Elective credits must be taken to ensure the Faculty of Science Arts Requirement, the Faculty of Science Breadth Requirement and Upper-level Requirement are satisfied. Elective credits can be redistributed among the years in this specialization, provided the total number remains the same. The year level of an elective does not need to correspond to the year level of the specialization.
7 Students with a mark of 76% or higher in BIOL 201 or BIOC 202 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use these courses in place of BIOC 203. However, BIOC 203 is the preferred route into biochemistry specializations.
8 Students with CHEM 235 and a score of 76% or higher in CHEM 233 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use CHEM 233 and 235 in place of CHEM 203.
9 All students in the Combined Major Biochemistry and Chemistry specialization are required to register for the laboratory course BIOC 301 in the third year of their specialization. Space is limited in this laboratory course. Students who cannot take BIOC 301 in their third year must switch to another specialization. They are not eligible to continue with a biochemistry specialization.
10 CHEM 325 and 345 may be substituted for CHEM 315 and 335 and 2 credits of CHEM 300-level lecture electives.
11 With permission, CHEM 449 or 6 credits of CHEM 445 may be substituted for 3 credits of CHEM 445 and 3 credits of 400-level CHEM lecture selections.
12 Chosen from 400-level CHEM lecture courses.

Combined Honours (0565): Biochemistry and Chemistry (BIOC, CHEM)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
BIOL 121,1402 5
CHEM 121 (or 111) 4
CHEM 123 (or 113) 4
MATH 100 or 102 or 1043 3
MATH 101 or 103 or 1054 3
PHYS 100-level5 6
Electives6 2
Total Credits 33
Second Year
BIOC 2037 3
BIOL 200 3
BIOL 2348 3
CHEM 2039 4
CHEM 208 3
CHEM 211 4
CHEM 213, 245 4
MATH 200 3
Electives6 6
Total Credits 33
Third Year
BIOC 301 3
BIOC 303 6
BIOC 304 3
BIOL 335 3
CHEM 304 3
CHEM 313 or CHEM 330 3
CHEM 319, 329 2
Laboratory Requirement10 4
One of CHEM 218, 305, 311, 312, 327 3
Electives6 3
Total Credits 33
Fourth Year
BIOC 402, 404, 410 9
One of BIOC 403, 440, 450, 460 3
BIOC 449 or CHEM 449 6
CHEM Electives11 9
Electives6 6
Total Credits 33
Total Credits for Degree 132
1 A total of 6 credits of coursework is required to meet the Communication Requirement. For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement. Students taking CHEM 300 defer 3 credits of the Communication Requirement to third year.
2 Students without Biology 11 or Biology 12 must take either BIOL 111 or BIOL 112 before taking BIOL 121 or BIOL 140.
3 MATH 180 or 184 or 120 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit. MATH 110 may substitute for any of the specified differential calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 3 credits.
4 MATH 121 may substitute for any of the specified integral calculus courses listed by decreasing the electives by 1 credit.
5 Chosen from 100-level PHYS courses, excluding PHYS 100. PHYS 109 or 119 are recommended. Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 before taking other 100-level PHYS courses.
6 Electives must be taken to ensure the Faculty of Science Arts Requirement is met. Elective credits can be redistributed among the years in this specialization, provided the total number remains the same. The year level of an elective does not need to correspond to the year level of the specialization. Note that students in honours specializations must complete a minimum of 30 credits in each Winter Session.
7 Students with a mark of 76% of higher in BIOL 201 or BIOC 202 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use these courses in place of BIOC 203. However, BIOC 203 is the preferred route into biochemistry specializations.
8 Students with a mark of 70% or higher in BIOL 233 may use BIOL 233 in place of BIOL 234.
9 Students with CHEM 235 and a score of 76% or higher in CHEM 233 may apply for admission to this specialization and will be allowed to use CHEM 233 and 235 in place of CHEM 203.
10 Students select either a) CHEM 325 and CHEM 345 or b) CHEM 315 and CHEM 335 and BIOC 420. With option b), the number of electives is decreased by 1 credit, and BIOC 420 is taken in fourth year. Students should select the option best suited to their preference for fourth year thesis project.
11 Chosen from 300- and 400-level CHEM lecture courses. At least 6 credits must be chosen from 400-level CHEM lecture courses.

Combined Honours (3508): Biochemistry and Forensic Science

See Forensic Science.

Minor (1184): Biochemistry (BIOC)

Biochemistry Minor course requirements vary depending on the first area of specialization (e.g., Major, Honours) of the student and must be decided upon in consultation with the Biochemistry advisor. A maximum of 6 credits of overlap between the requirements of the two areas of specialization is allowed.

In general the Biochemistry Minor consists of all of BIOC 303, 402, and 410; and 6 credits selected, in consultation with the Biochemistry advisor, from: BIOC 403, 440, 450, 460; BIOL 335; CHEM 305, 313; MICB 302, 306, 325, 405, 425. BIOC 302 can be substituted for BIOC 303, with an additional 3 credits of upper level credit selected from the list provided.

For Chemistry Major or Honours students, the Biochemistry Minor consists of all of BIOC 303, 402 and 410; one of BIOC 403, 440, 450, 460; and one of BIOL 335, MICB 325. BIOC 302 can be substituted for BIOC 303, with an additional 3 credits of upper level credit selected from the list provided.

Page last updated: July 27, 2017

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