Specialized Honours in Biochemistry

The Departments of Chemistry and Biology jointly offer a Specialized Honours (4-year) BSc degree in Biochemistry.  Enrollments in this program are limited.

It features courses with the BCHM designation which have cross-listed equivalents in either Biology, Chemistry or in both, and are thus fully transferable to other programs. Depending on course selection, the program has the equivalent of 32-41 CHEM credits and 47-56 BIOL credits. Students will get a strong foundation in both Chemistry and Biology but with predominance of biochemical topics beyond second year. As well, the program requires first-year courses in Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science and, as with all Science degrees, General Education courses in Humanities and/or Social Sciences.

As explained below, there are other degree programs available that combine different amounts of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology.

This degree is suitable for pursuits at the graduate level, as well as for entrance into professional schools in the health sector, law or business. [More on suitability for graduate studies]

This program has its own mini-Calendar. The requirements are also given here.

Alternative Programs

Students interested in biochemistry but not wishing a full degree in biochemistry have other choices.

They can instead choose to earn an Honours Double Major degree combining CHEM and BIOL, within which any amount of Biochemistry can be included, since Biochemistry courses can count toward the Chemistry major or the Biology major. This avenue provides more flexibility in course choices but has a higher gpa requirement (the minimum cumulative gpa over all SC courses is 6.0 for this combination) while still involving at least 36 BIOL credits.

For students wishing more emphasis in chemistry, alternative choices are the Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry stream, with 18 or more credits in BCHM/BIOL courses, or the Honours Major/Minor degree with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology, which requires 30 or more BCHM/BIOL credits. The requirements over the first two years of the Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry stream of the Specialized Honours Chemistry degree are nearly identical to those for the first two years of the Specialized Honours Biochemistry degree. The Major-Minor option allows more freedom in choosing courses. For even more flexibility. the Honours Major degree in Chemistry is a 4-year single-major degree that has the fewest specified Chemistry requirements, and therefore allows students to add courses in several disciplines, without committing to an additional 30-credit Minor or a 36+-credit Major in any one discipline. This degree is useful for students who are primarily interested in Chemistry, who are also interested in some Biology or Biochemistry, but who also want the freedom of exploring other disciplines. For instance, students preparing for entry into medicine and other health fields may also wish to take courses from Kinesiology & Health Science or Psychology, but may otherwise have difficulty fitting such choices within another Chemistry degree. This degree is also useful to develop several subjects for a teaching career. The first two years of the Honours Major degree are identical to those of the Specialized Honours BSc in Chemistry and virtually identical to those of the 3-year degree in order to facilitate transfers between them as students' interests develop.

For students wishing less emphasis in Chemistry and more in Biology, there are several other choices. For instance, the Honours Major/Minor degree with a minor in Chemistry and a major in Biology requires 36 or more BIOL credits, some of which can be from courses in Biochemistry that are cross-listed to Biology courses, and only 30 credits in Chemistry, some of which can be from courses in Biochemistry that are cross-listed to Chemistry courses. There are other degrees offered by the Department of Biology that require or that can be used to include various amounts of Chemistry. These other choices are described in the Biochemistry Handbook available on the Biochemistry web site, and most require a higher minimum gpa.