Biochemistry

The Wabash College Chemistry Department believes in a challenging curriculum, which thoroughly investigates all areas of modern chemistry and in a significant hands-on laboratory experience in which students become progressively more independent as they proceed through the curriculum. We believe that such an education prepares chemistry majors for a variety of career outcomes, including those in research, medicine, teaching, and industry. In recent years, three-fourths of our majors have gone to graduate school in chemistry/biochemistry or to medical school following graduation. Others have chosen to take jobs as chemists or high school teachers or to attend other professional schools (business, law, and physical therapy). We strive to provide chemistry minors and pre-medical students with the knowledge base they need to succeed in their chosen fields. We seek to involve all Wabash students in the study of chemistry through non-majors courses‚ CHE-101 Survey of Chemistry and CHE-106 Survey of Biochemistry. We attempt to teach all chemistry students about the relationship between chemistry and the world around them.

Goals

The core goals of the Biochemistry Major are:

  • Students will acquire a broad-based knowledge of chemistry, biology, and biochemistry, and understand how these areas are interconnected.
  • Students will be able to connect theory with experimental work, including being able to design, execute, and analyze experiments, and to present their results effectively.  Students will develop confidence and precision in their laboratory technique.
  • Students will have the ability to identify, comprehend, evaluate, and discuss primary chemical literature.
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate chemical concepts to chemists, scientists, and the general public.
  • Students will develop as scientists through research experiences.
  • Students will engage the chemical and biochemical communities at Wabash and beyond.

Faculty Advisors

Majors are strongly urged to select an advisor from the Chemistry Department when they declare their major.

ACS Certified Degree

To meet the certification requirements formulated by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training (CPT) as a chemist and for adequate preparation for graduate school, additional classroom and laboratory work beyond the minimum nine-course major is required. The student should consult with the Chair of the Chemistry Department concerning ways in which the remaining requirements may be fulfilled.

Advanced Placement

Please refer to the Credit by Examination and Advanced Placement Credit guidelines under Academic Policies - Transfer Credit. Potential chemistry majors and minors who wish to claim advanced placement credit should discuss placement options with the Department Chair. A placement examination will determine if students are eligible to being coursework beyond CHE-111 General Chemistry

Requirements for the Biochemistry Major

Core Courses
CHE-111General Chemistry1
CHE-241Inorganic Chemistry1
CHE-221Organic Chemistry I1
CHE-321Organic Chemistry II1
CHE-331Analytical Chemistry1
or CHE-351 Physical Chem I
CHE-361Biochemistry1
CHE-461Advanced Topics in Biochemistry0.5
CHE-462Advanced Biochemistry0.5
Electives
Select one credit at the 300-400 level from the Chemistry Department. 11
Select one credit from the following courses from the Biology Department: 21
Microbiology
Molecular Genetics
Developmental Biology
Approved 37X courses
Total Credits9
Collateral Requirements
MAT-110Calc. I With Pre-Calc. Review1
or MAT-111 Calculus I
BIO-111General Biology I1
BIO-112General Biology II1
BIO-211Genetics1
BIO-212Cell Biology1
For the CHE-351 option also take:
Calculus II
General Physics I
General Physics II - Science Majors
Total Credits5

The mathematics courses are best taken in the freshman year (e.g. MAT-010 Pre-Calc. With Intro. to Calc. and MAT-110 Calc. I With Pre-Calc. Review or  MAT-111 Calculus I and MAT-112 Calculus II), and the physics sequence is best in the sophomore year if the physical chemistry option is selected. Biochemistry majors who intend to pursue a graduate degree are strongly encouraged to take the CHE-351 option and the collateral requirements: MAT-112, PHY-111, and PHY-112.

Suggested order of courses for the biochemistry major

There are many possible routes through the Biochemistry major; please consult with the department chair for special circumstances.

Plan of Study Grid
FreshmanCredits
Fall Semester
CHE-111 General Chemistry 1
MAT-111 Calculus I 1
 Credits2
Spring Semester
CHE-241 Inorganic Chemistry 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take MAT-112 this semester.  
 Credits1
Sophomore
Fall Semester
CHE-221 Organic Chemistry I 1
BIO-111 General Biology I 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take PHY-111 this semester.  
 Credits2
Spring Semester
CHE-321 Organic Chemistry II 1
BIO-112 General Biology II 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take PHY-112 this semester.  
 Credits2
Junior
BIO-211 Genetics 1
CHE-351
Physical Chem I
or Analytical Chemistry
1
CHE-361 Biochemistry 1
BIO-212 Cell Biology 1
 Credits4
Senior
CHE Elective 1
BIO Elective 1
CHE-461
CHE-462
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry
and Advanced Biochemistry
1
 Credits3
 Total Credits14

Or 

Plan of Study Grid
FreshmanCredits
Fall Semester
BIO-111 General Biology I 1
MAT-111 Calculus I 1
 Credits2
Spring Semester
BIO-112 General Biology II 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take MAT-112 this semester.  
 Credits1
Sophomore
Fall Semester
BIO-211 Genetics 1
CHE-111 General Chemistry 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take PHY-111 this semester.  
 Credits2
Spring Semester
BIO-212 Cell Biology 1
CHE-241 Inorganic Chemistry 1
Students selecting the CHE-351 option should take PHY-112 this semester.  
 Credits2
Junior
CHE-221 Organic Chemistry I 1
CHE-351
Physical Chem I
or Analytical Chemistry
1
CHE-321 Organic Chemistry II 1
CHE-361 Biochemistry 1
 Credits4
Senior
CHE-461
CHE-462
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry
and Advanced Biochemistry
1
CHE Elective 1
BIO Elective 1
 Credits3
 Total Credits14

Biochemistry majors who wish to transfer chemistry credits from another institution as part of their major must have prior approval of the Department Chair to do so.

Comprehensive Exams

The written comprehensive examination for senior majors emphasizes both knowledge of basic chemical concepts and the ability to apply these concepts to new problems. The exam includes written questions over material from courses, a laboratory practical, a literature component, and an experimental design essay. Students that fail to complete their courses by the time of the written examination must petition the Department Chair for a special exam no later than the fall prior to their comprehensive examination.

Walter Ray Pendola Novak

Ann Taylor