Sample Schedules for Completing the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology BS Degree

Typical Four-Year Degree Sample Plan

The attached link provides a sample plan for the BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB). This is just one example of a schedule of coursework that will allow students to complete the degree in four years. There are many other possibilities; in addition, course offerings are subject to change and the suggested courses may not be available as listed. Students should work with their BASC adviser during the mandatory advising period to come up with an individual plan that suits their needs and interests.

To complete the course of study in four years, it will be necessary to take 2-3 science/math courses simultaneously during several quarters. As shown in the sample, we recommend that Freshmen start with CHE 2A or CHE 2AH and MAT 17A or MAT 21A in the Fall Quarter. Students that do well should try to add a third science or math class in Winter Quarter; BIS 2A is recommended because it is a prerequisite for other prepatory and upper division coursework required for the BMB major. Students that are not able to handle three science/math courses in Winter should return to a lighter load, but realize that they may need to use summer sessions to complete the degree in four years. Summer session courses are limited and so meeting with a BASC adviser to evaluate revised study plans is strongly recommended.

Link to the Sample Plan for the BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB)


Sample Plan for Completing the Four-Year Degree in Three Years

Some students may desire to complete the BMB BS degree in less than four years. However, attempting to complete the BMB degree in three years is not recommended for the reasons below. Students interested in attempting a three-year plan must meet with a BASC advisor to for an individual plan. The posted three-year plans are merely examples of possible pathways to attempt completing the BMB degree in three years.

  • A three year schedule should only be considered by students with exceptional ability who are willing to dedicate more than sixty hours each week to coursework and studying. Exceptional study habits will be necessary.
  • The curriculum in BMB is challenging and cumulative. Students normally need time to practice and assimilate material in prerequisite courses to effectively learn material in subsequent courses. Completing the major in three years would not allow this for the majority of students.
  • A three year schedule is time-intensive and should only be considered by students who do not need outside employment while attending the University.
  • The plan shown is just an example. Normal and summer session offerings are subject to change. There is not a guarantee that the suggested schedule will be available as written. Students should re-evaluate their entire schedule each quarter to adjust their schedule to accommodate such changes.
  • A key aspect for BMB majors is carrying out internships and/or research outside of the classroom over multiple quarters. Such experience is needed for students to directly obtain employment following graduation, or to be competitive for admission to professional or graduate programs. The heavy course load required to finish in three years makes it difficult to obtain the necessary in-depth experience.
  • Some mitigation of the time constraints could be provided by moving courses to the final summer session.

Link to the Sample Four-Year and Three-Year Plans for the BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology