Biochemistry Concentration

Haverford’s biochemistry program is located at the interface between the biological, chemical, and physical sciences. For our ambitious students and faculty who seek to understand biological processes from physical and chemical points of view, this is an especially exciting place to be.

Students pursuing the concentration must be biology, chemistry, or physics majors; and we offer a range of courses of study depending on the student’s particular area of interest. Concentrators can choose to focus on biochemistry, biophysics, or biochemistry/biophysics, all of which provide exceptional training for students interested in pursuing Ph.D. and/or M.D. degrees.

Curriculum & Courses

Our rigorous program combines classroom and laboratory training along with significant faculty mentorship—all in an environment that facilitates moving freely between traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Our curriculum varies depending on the particular concentration each student chooses to pursue. However, all students in the program must complete our core curriculum, which includes courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Required courses include Biology 200, which covers cell structure and function; Biology 300, a lab in biochemistry and molecular biology; and Chemistry 112, which covers chemical dynamics. Concentrators must also take a math course at the level of calculus II or higher and an introductory physics class.

Additional courses specific to each student’s major combined with their biochemistry concentration are also required.

  • Concentration

    Biochemistry/Biophysics Core Curriculum (required of all)

    • BIOL 200 (Cell Structure and Function; full-year course).
    • One semester of BIOL 300 (Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, cross-listed as CHEM 300) or BIOL 390 (Laboratory in Biochemical Research).
    • CHEM 112 or 114 (Chemical Dynamics).
    • One semester mathematics course numbered 118 (Calculus II) or higher.
    • PHYS 105 and 106, or 101 and 102 (two semesters of Introductory Physics), or the Bryn Mawr equivalents.

    If students do not take these courses at Haverford or Bryn Mawr, they must have the substitute course(s) approved for college credit by the relevant departments. Beyond this foundation, students must take the following advanced interdisciplinary coursework:

    Biology Major with a Biochemistry Concentration

    Biology majors seeking a biochemistry concentration must complete the biochemistry/biophysics core curriculum (see above) as well as the following additional requirements:

    • CHEM 111 or 113 or 115 (Chemical Structure and Bonding), 222 and 225 (Organic Chemistry).
    • CHEM 304 (Statistical Thermodynamics and Kinetics) or 305 (Quantum Chemistry).
    • CHEM 301 or 302 (Laboratory in Chemical Structure and Reactivity) or CHEM 390 (Laboratory in Biochemical Research).
    • Two half-semester advanced courses with significant biochemistry content: CHEM 351 (Bioinorganic Chemistry), 352 (Topics in Biophysical Chemistry), 357 (Topics in Bioorganic Chemistry) and 359 (Topics in Protein Chemistry); students may take topics courses multiple times with different topics.
    • Two half-semester courses with significant biochemistry content: BIOL 301 (Genetics), 302 (Cell Architecture), 303 (Structure and Function of Macromolecules), 304 (Biochemistry: Metabolic Basis of Disease), 306 (Inter- and Intra-Cellular Communication), 308 (Immunology), 310 (Molecular Microbiology, 314 (Photosynthesis), 316 (Biochemical Adaptations), 351 (Molecular Motors and Biological Nano-Machines); 354 (Molecular Virology), 357 (Topics in Protein Science).
    Chemistry Major with a Biochemistry Area of Concentration

    Chemistry majors desiring a biochemistry area of concentration must complete the biochemistry/biophysics core curriculum (see above) as well as the following additional requirements:

    • Two half-semester courses with significant biochemistry content: CHEM 351 (Bioinorganic Chemistry), 352 (Topics in Biophysical Chemistry), 357 (Topics in Bioorganic Chemistry) and 359 (Topics in Protein Chemistry). Students may take topics courses multiple times with different topics.
    • Two half-semester courses with significant biochemistry content: BIOL 301 (Genetics), 302 (Cell Architecture), 303 (Structure and Function of Macromolecules), 304 (Biochemistry: Metabolic Basis of Disease), 306 (Inter- and Intra-Cellular Communication), 308 (Immunology), 310 (Molecular Microbiology, 314 (Photosynthesis), 316 (Biochemical Adaptations), 351 (Molecular Motors and Biological Nano-Machines); 357 (Topics in Protein Science).

    Students may use courses meeting concentration requirements for the chemistry major in lieu of either CHEM 301 or 302.

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You can find detailed instructions and information on the Application Instructions page. If you need to contact us directly, please send an email to admission@haverford.edu.

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