Courses | Biochemistry, B.S.

Course Overview

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.


Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

Major Courses

Introductory course for majors emphasizing the principles of cellular and molecular biology, genetics, and development.

This laboratory accompanies Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Biology and is divided between observational and experimental approaches, with emphasis on the collection and interpretation of quantitative data. Frequent lab discussion of relevant issues and literature will be included.

Discusses the molecular organization and function of cells and their organelles, with emphasis on chromosome structure, gene expression, membrane structure and function, energy conversion, and experimental methods used to study subcellular components.

Principles and theories of the structure and properties of matter including stoichiometry, atomic theory, the periodic table, chemical bonding, molecular structure, nomenclature, chemical reactions, states of matter, gas laws and solutions.

Continuation of General Chemistry I. Subjects include chemical kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics, solubility, acidity, electrochemistry, coordination complexes and various special topics.

The first semester of the traditional yearlong course in organic chemistry. Structure, properties and reactivity of carbon-containing compounds with emphasis on reaction mechanisms. An introduction to the major functional groups and the instrumental methods for structure determination: IR, NMR, and MS.

Continuation of Organic Chemistry I. Continued work with more complicated reactions and mechanisms. An introduction to computer-based drawing and searching tools. The last third of the course is devoted to the structure and properties of major biochemical substances.

Basic laboratory techniques for the synthesis, isolation, purification and analysis of organic compounds including the major chromatographic methods, TLC, GC, LC.

Continuation of the laboratory methods in organic chemistry including the major structural determination and analysis tools of NMR, IR, HPLC, UV/Vis.

Covers classical chemical methods of analysis such as titrimetry and gravimetry along with various instrumental methods including electrochemistry, spectroscopy and chromatography.

Molecular energetics: the thermodynamic principles underlying energy changes in chemical systems and governing chemical reactions. Energetics of solutions, electrochemical cells, phase changes, and chemical equilibria are discussed. Quantum mechanics is introduced, including solutions to the time-independent Schrodinger equation, multi-electron systems, and polyatomic molecules.

Structures and properties of the biomolecular components of cells and their action in biological systems. Topics include: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, nucleic acids, vitamins and coenzymes.

Mathematical treatment of bioenergetics emphasizing major concepts and problem solving; principles of metabolic processes.

A laboratory course to accompany CHEM 411, 412 (BIOS 411, 412). The isolation, characterization and analysis of biomolecules including the use of biochemical instrumentation and methodology for work in protein isolation, enzymology, and immunology.

Limits, differentiation and integration of rational and trigonometric functions, with applications.

A study of mechanics, heat and sound. Intended for non-Physical Science majors. Principles are treated quantitatively but without a calculus requirement.

Continued from Physics I; includes electricity, magnetism, elementary circuits, optics, and modern physics.

Elective Courses

Introductory course for biological science majors emphasizing the principles of systematics and biodiversity, population genetics and origins theories, ecology, and anatomy and physiology.

This laboratory, which accompanies Fundamentals of Organismal Biology, will involve dissection as well as experimentation. A field project involving the La Mirada Creek is included.

A study of the basic concepts of physiological regulation from the level of the cell to the integrated intact organism including neural, muscular, and neuro-endocrine regulatory systems. Laboratory includes human systems analysis and electrophysiology.

A study of microbial organisms with emphasis on bacteria and viruses, including their morphology, physiology, metabolism and genetics; host parasite interactions; humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Laboratory practice in handling microorganisms, including identification and culture techniques.

Discusses the embryology of the nervous system, the structure and function of the different cells of the nervous system and transmission by neurons. Emphasis on understanding cellular organization and neurophysiology of major subsystems of the vertebrate nervous system.

Practical application of traditional and current laboratory techniques used in research and industry, including microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, histology, chromosomal analysis, tissue cell culture, isolation and purification of DNA, RNA and proteins, PCR, proper documentation and protocols and other laboratory writing skills are emphasized.

Integrates principles of Mendelian and molecular genetics toward understanding structure and function of the gene. Emphasizes quantitative analysis of genetic data and explores current issues of genetic engineering from technical and ethical viewpoints.

Discusses the mechanisms of integration and homeostasis at the cellular, organ and system levels. Muscular, neural, vascular, excretory, and endocrine interactions are studied. Variations between vertebrate groups are presented. Includes a major research project.

Analyzes the molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms that control fertilization, the development of body form, cell specialization and differentiation as well as metamorphosis, maturation and aging. Laboratory emphasizes gametogenesis, fertilization, comparative embryology of vertebrates and invertebrates and directed experimental manipulation of embryos.

A study of the structures and functions of the immune system, humoral and cell mediated immunity and analysis of medically significant disorders of the immune system.

Quantitative introduction to the chemistry of the atmosphere and air pollution, energy and climate, toxic organic compounds, water pollution and purification, soil chemistry and waste disposal.

Introduction to the structure-property relationships of engineering and natural materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. Examines the strength of materials, strengthening mechanisms, diffusion, phase transformations, heat treatment and microstructure control. Considers how materials are selected for design of a product.

Covering the chemistry of the entire periodic table, the course begins with atomic theory and then introduces symmetry and group theory before looking in depth at chemical bonding and acid-base chemistry, the chemistry and properties of solids, coordination chemistry, organometallic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, and nanomaterials.

Building upon the thermodynamic and quantum mechanical foundation of Physical Chemistry I, this course applies quantum mechanics to Hartree-Fock theory and electronic, vibrational, and nuclear spectroscopies. Quantum effects are used to explain the origins of bulk material properties, the behavior of ensembles of molecules, diffusion, kinetics, and complex reaction systems.

Subjects include such areas as the chemical literature, various instrumental methods, polymers, organometallics and industrial chemistry.

Research or industrial internship.

Differentiation and integration of logarithmic, exponential and inverse trigonometric functions; various methods of integration; infinite sequences and series; parametric equations, polar coordinates.

Prepares the student for biostatistical application essential to practice in evidence-based professions. Content includes: descriptive statistics; probability theory and rules; discrete and continuous probability distributions; sampling distributions; confidence intervals; hypothesis testing; experimental design; ANOVA; linear and multiple regression; contingency table analysis; non-parametrics; survival analysis; discussion of the use of statistics in journal articles.

This course is intended for Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Department majors or anyone else interested in learning to develop their intuition for problem-solving using formal and informal techniques. Involves the use of MATLAB, Excel and other computer tools for data analysis.

Wave theory, sound, geometric optics, interference and diffraction, relativity, wave properties of particles, and introduction to quantum physics.

Use of computation tools using MATLAB and LabVIEW in chemistry, physics and engineering, digital signal analysis and instrument control.

Introduction to circuit elements, network theorems, response, semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, and the operation and design of analog DC/AC circuits. Also introduces the fundamentals of Boolean logic and digital design. Laboratory work involves extensive construction and analysis of circuits, as well as introduction of soldering and assembly techniques.

Varying course content. Topics such as optics, special relativity, nuclear and biophysics will be offered.