Interdisciplinarity is the hallmark of the biological sciences in the 21st century.  In addition to a foundation in chemistry and biology, the biochemistry major provides students with an understanding of the central elements of biochemistry and molecular biology.  The biochemistry program curriculum is designed to prepare the student for graduate school, medical school, or other professional programs of study.  In addition, graduates should be highly competitive in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology marketplace. 

Required Courses:

(All courses are four credits unless otherwise noted.)

BIOL 211 Biology I with lab
BIOL 212 Biology II with lab
CHEM 211 General Chemistry I with lab
CHEM 212 General Chemistry II with lab
CHEM 311 Organic Chemistry I with lab
CHEM 312 Organic Chemistry II with lab
PHYS 221 University Physics I with lab
PHYS 222 University Physics II with lab
BIOL 303 Genetics with lab
BICM 405 Biochemistry I with lab
BICM 406 Biochemistry II with lab
Elective Courses: (Eight credits are required.)
BIOL 305 Molecular Biology with lab
BICM 415 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (2 credits)

       Possible Topics Include:

  • Transcription Control of Gene Expression
  • Biochemistry of Cancer
  • Organic Mechanisms of Drug Action
  • Advanced Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry of Viral Action
  • Advanced Biochemical Techniques (lab)
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics
  • Enzyme Kinetics and Mechanism
  • Protein Trafficking
  • Natural Products Biochemistry
  • Bio-organic Chemistry

BICM 497 Directed Research (variable credits)

Biochemistry at AMU

The Department of Biology and Chemistry is pleased to announce the introduction of a new Biochemistry major. Chemistry and biology have long been considered separate disciplines, each applying its own technology and method to solve problems within their respective fields. The boundaries between the chemical and biological sciences are rapidly dissolving as scientists increasingly use chemical tools and concepts to explore mechanism, structure and function in complex biological systems at the biochemical, genetic and organismal level. Interdisciplinary approaches toward tackling important biological problems are the hallmark of science in the 21st century.

Along with these interdisciplinary challenges comes need to expose the student and future scientist to a broad background in chemistry, biophysics, genetics and molecular biology. The Biochemistry major at AMU will provide this rigorous and modern introduction to the chemical and biochemical sciences in an environment that incorporates both classroom teaching and independent research. Together, these pedagogical strategies foster the development of independent thinking skills, complex problem solving skills, and the technical skills characteristic of the effective scientist.

Broadly, our goal is to provide pre-professional training to those interested in pursuing graduate studies or embarking on a career in the biological, chemical or medical sciences. Graduates should be highly competitive in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology marketplace. In this regard, we can point to our already strong record in placing Biology graduates in top-tier graduate, medical school, dental school programs and industry/ academic research positions. While this is an important practical goal, we also recognize that the natural and chemical sciences are not simply technological disciplines, but are truly liberal arts with which we seek to know truth for its own sake. Fostering a proper appreciation of the role the sciences play in our understanding the world around us, while providing students with the practical skills for a future career is at the heart of our educational philosophy.

The program faculty are dedicated teachers and scholars, each with their own independent research programs in areas such as mechanistic enzymology, drug discovery and design, the development of artificial protein receptors, and vesicle transport. Serious students are provided with the opportunity to participate in these research efforts alongside the faculty mentor. The department is well equipped to handle the demanding needs of the teaching and research labs. Students are exposed to hands-on experience of leading edge techniques in the biochemical sciences such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and capillary gas chromatography as well as modern methods in areas like protein purification, molecular biology, organic synthesis and computer modeling.

Please browse our website and see what opportunities are available to you in the Biochemistry major at Ave Maria University. If you have any questions concerning our program, or would like to visit our labs, feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.

James A. Peliska, Ph.D.
Department of Biology and Chemistry

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."