Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Upon completing the BS degree with a major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of biology with particular emphasis on biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply the modern scientific method, including designing experiments and/or building mathematical models, and collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data using common statistical methods and software programs.
  3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills, including an ability to communicate effectively and work with diverse groups and the ability to interpret and communicate the results of original research.
  4. Locate primary scientific literature and demonstrate the ability to use critical thinking and problem solving skills to evaluate published and proposed research in the biological sciences and to apply these skills.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the practice and culture of science, scientific ethics, and the relationship between science and society.
  6. Develop quantitative reasoning via the construction of models and/or the analysis of data.

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

For general university requirements, see Graduation RequirementsStudents pursuing the BS degree with a major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology must complete:

  • A minimum of 28 courses (69 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 129 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 12 courses (31 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

The BS degree path emphasizes a broad understanding of biochemistry and cell biology, provides room for exploration anywhere in the Natural Sciences or Engineering, and culminates in two required 400-level capstone courses from an approved list of courses. Students in Biochemistry and Cell Biology are strongly encouraged to pursue their research interests through independent research experiences. The BS degree program offers greater coverage and depth as compared to the BA.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biochemistry and Cell BiologyMinimum of 69
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell BiologyMinimum of 129

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Non-Biology Courses 1
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
PHYS 125GENERAL PHYSICS (WITH LAB)4
PHYS 126GENERAL PHYSICS II (WITH LAB)4
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II
4
CHEM 211 / CHEM 213ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I3
CHEM 212 / CHEM 214ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II3
CHEM 215ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB2
Core Lecture Courses
BIOC 201INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY3
BIOC 301BIOCHEMISTRY I3
BIOC 302BIOCHEMISTRY II3
BIOC 341CELL BIOLOGY3
BIOC 344MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS3
BIOC 352PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY FOR THE BIOSCIENCES 23
Core Laboratory Courses
BIOC 211INTERMEDIATE EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES2
BIOC 311ADVANCED EXPERIMENTAL BIOSCIENCES2
Advanced Laboratory Courses
Select 2 additional courses from advanced labs at the 300-level or higher from the following:2-4
INTRODUCTORY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY
LABORATORY IN TISSUE CULTURE
EXPERIMENTAL MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
EXPERIMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY
LAB MODULE IN NMR SPECTROSCOPY AND MOLECULAR MODELING 3
PRACTICAL X-RAY CRYSTALLOGRAPHY 3
1 independent research experience. 4,5
Elective Lecture Courses 6
Select 2 courses offered by the School of Natural Sciences and/or the School of Engineering.Minimum of 6
Capstone Requirement 7
Select 2 additional courses from the following:Minimum of 6
UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH 5
UNDERGRADUATE HONORS RESEARCH 5
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR 5
MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
PLANT MOLECULAR GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT
ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS IN MODERN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
ADVANCED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
COMPUTATIONAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
CANCER BIOLOGY
EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX
COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA
MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS I
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Biochemistry and Cell BiologyMinimum of 69
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit HoursMinimum of 129

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology 

Advising 

Rice University policies are governed primarily by the General Announcements; students are encouraged to look there first for academic policies. Advising information specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website by clicking on the tab for Undergraduate Studies: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.   

Opportunities for the BS Degree with a Major in Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honors

Instructions on applying for the Distinction in Research and Creative Work award from the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

Research in the BioSciences

Research is highly encouraged for all biosciences majors, and there are many opportunities for independent research at Rice. Information about research for credit and research internships specific to the Department of BioSciences can be found at the department website, by clicking on the link for Undergraduate Studies, at: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.

For additional information, please see the BioSciences website: http://biosciences.rice.edu/.