|Major Code: 7028
||Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
||Admission Status: Undergraduate
|Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
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 administered by the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and Sciences. 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 should indicate their desired emphasis by the beginning of the second semester of the sophomore year, at which time a faculty advisor in the department may be assigned. A student’s request for a change of advisers 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 the 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.
The biochemistry curriculum allows for significant undergraduate research experience, culminating in a senior thesis for those students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies and are maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better in all science and mathematics courses. A qualified student wishing to participate in the senior thesis program must notify the department no later than the end of the fall semester of the junior year. A thesis committee, consisting of one or more faculty members from the department, will be formed to consider the thesis proposal, which must be submitted during the spring semester of the junior year. After the approval of the senior thesis committee and the appropriate department head, based on both the proposal and the student’s academic record, the student will be permitted to register for BCM 4991 Senior Thesis in Biochemistry 1 and BCM 4992 Senior Thesis in Biochemistry 2 during the senior year. These courses and COM 2012 Research Sources and Systems substitute for CHM 4800 Undergraduate Research 1 and four credit hours of restricted chemistry electives toward meeting the degree requirements listed below. Senior Thesis in Biochemistry students are encouraged to include at least one year of foreign language (French or German) in their degree programs.
Candidates for a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry must complete the minimum course requirements as outlined in one of the emphasis areas below. 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 the approval of the chair. The bachelor’s degree in biochemistry requires 128 credit hours for graduation