BS in Biochemistry

Units required for Major: 81-85

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science degrees are recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in Chemistry or Biochemistry or those desiring a strong technical background for work in the chemical or biotechnology industry or other highly technical areas.


Due to the potential hazards some chemicals may present, safety is an essential element of all Chemistry laboratory classes, including independent research. All students must adhere to the Department of Chemistry Laboratory Safety Policies. Failure to adhere to the Safety Policies may constitute grounds for withdrawal from a course and/or dismissal from the program. 

Contact Lenses

Chemistry Department policy states that contact lenses are prohibited in all chemistry laboratories; prescription glasses should be worn instead. In addition, safety goggles are required in all laboratories. Laboratory aprons are recommended.


The Department believes advising of students is an important function. Members of the Chemistry Department who have a strong interest in advising have been selected to serve as advisors for students wishing to major in chemistry. Each represents a particular area of chemistry: analytical, inorganic, biochemistry, organic, and physical. Each Chemistry major will be assigned to one of these advisors when entering the Chemistry Department, coordinated to the area of each student's expressed interest.

Prerequisite Requirements

When enrolling in a course, it is required that the student will have met the specific prerequisites listed. A course listed as a prerequisite may have its own set of prerequisites. All must be met prior to enrolling in a chemistry course. Students not meeting the prerequisite requirements for a course will be administratively removed from the class.

Minimum Grade Requirements

In all courses required for the Chemistry major and minor, a minimum grade of "C-" must be earned with the exception of CHEM 1A which requires a grade of C or better. A minimum grade of "C-" is required in all prerequisite courses with the exception of CHEM 1A which requires a grade of C or better to meet the prerequisite requirement for CHEM 1B if a student has not achieved a "C-" in all prerequisite courses for a particular chemistry course, the instructor of the course will administratively remove the student from class.

Transfer Majors and Minors

Transfer students majoring in Chemistry must complete at least three of the required courses in chemistry while fulfilling the residence requirements of California State University, Sacramento. Transfer students seeking a minor in Chemistry must complete at least one upper division chemistry course at the University.

Note: Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (46-50 Units)
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
BIO 2Cells, Molecules and Genes5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I 15
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
CHEM 24Organic Chemistry Lecture I3
CHEM 25Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 31Quantitative Analysis4
MATH 30Calculus I4
MATH 31Calculus II4
Select one of the following sequences:8 - 12
General Physics: Mechanics, Heat, Sound
General Physics: Light, Electricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics
General Physics: Mechanics
General Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics
General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
Required Upper Division Courses (29 Units)
BIO 184General Genetics4
CHEM 124Organic Chemistry Lecture II3
CHEM 125Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 141Physical Chemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 142Introduction to Physical Chemistry4
CHEM 160AStructure and Function of Biological Molecules3
CHEM 160BMetabolism and Regulation of Biological Systems3
CHEM 162General Biochemistry Laboratory3
CHEM 164Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory3
Upper Division Elective Courses (6 Units)
Select 3 units of Chemistry from approved list:3
Inorganic Chemistry Lecture
Organic Synthesis
Chemical Instrumentation
Senior Research
Selected Topics in Chemistry
Protein Biochemistry
Nucleic Acid Chemistry
Select 3 units of Biological Sciences from approved list:3
Molecular Cell Biology
General Microbiology
Pathogenic Bacteriology
Immunology and Serology Laboratory
Advanced Molecular Biology
Introduction to Scientific Inquiry
Molecular Biology
Total Units81-85

Passing a placement exam or obtaining a passing grade of "C" or better in CHEM 4 is required to enroll in CHEM 1A.