|Major Code: 7028
||Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science
|Age Restriction: N
||Admission status: undergraduate
|Delivery Mode/s: classroom only
||Location/s: main campus
J. Clayton Baum, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry
Charles D. Polson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Biochemists, in studying all kinds of living organisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals (including humans), have found that many of the fundamental biochemical properties of living systems are shared throughout the hierarchy of life forms. Because biochemists try to unravel the complex chemical reactions that occur in such a wide variety of life forms, biochemistry provides the basis for practical advances in medicine, veterinary medicine, agriculture and biotechnology. Biochemistry underlies and includes such exciting fields as molecular biology and bioengineering. As the broadest of the basic sciences, biochemistry includes many subspecialties, such as inorganic biochemistry, bioorganic chemistry, physical biochemistry, biochemical and molecular genetics, biomedical pharmacology and immunochemistry. Recent advances in many areas of biochemistry have created links among technology, chemical engineering and biochemistry. More than ever, this is the age of biochemistry because the techniques of so many different disciplines can now be applied in studying the chemistry of living systems.
Career opportunities for biochemistry majors are rapidly expanding in the areas of agricultural research, biotechnology firms, governmental laboratories, industrial research, and development and research institutes, as well as university research and teaching. Far-reaching advances in many areas of basic and applied research are projected over the next few years. These areas include plant genetics; the biochemistry of cell receptors for hormones and neurotransmitters; the diagnosis and treatment of disease, particularly inherited diseases; and toxicology. All require an understanding of biochemistry and the use of biochemical techniques.
The course of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary program jointly administered by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry. The curriculum has flexibility in that technical electives can be selected to provide a strong emphasis in either biology or chemistry, and prepare the biochemistry major for a variety of careers. All students take a core curriculum of basic science and mathematics during the first two years. During the junior and senior years, students take many specialized courses that reflect their choice of emphasis between biology and chemistry.
Students entering the biochemistry program as freshmen will normally be assigned faculty advisers in the department of chemistry. A student selecting an upper-division curriculum with a biological emphasis should indicate this intention by the beginning of the second semester of the sophomore year, at which time a new faculty advisor in the department of biological sciences will be assigned. A student’s request for a change of advisers from chemistry to biology, or vice versa, will be honored at any time during the program.
Students intending to apply for admission to study for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry should complete at least one year each of high school biology, chemistry and physics. Prospective students should also have at least three years of high school mathematics, including second-year algebra and trigonometry.
Florida Tech has articulation agreements with many of the community colleges in Florida. Students contemplating transfer to Florida Tech should consult with their counselors to determine transferability of community college credits. If there is a question regarding specific courses needed, either of the biochemistry program chairs listed above should be contacted.
Candidates for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry must complete the minimum course requirements as outlined in the following curriculum that includes a strong chemistry emphasis. See the Department of Biological Sciences for the program plan with a strong biology emphasis. Electives are selected in consultation with the faculty advisor to reflect the knowledge a student needs either for employment or graduate school. Deviation from the stipulated program may occur only under unusual circumstances and requires approval of the chair. The bachelor’s degree in biochemistry requires 129 credit hours for graduation.