Chemistry and Biochemistry

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Chair’s Office
2040 Urey Hall Addition
(858) 534-5489
http://www-chem.ucsd.edu

Undergraduate Student Affairs
4010 York Hall, Revelle College
(858) 534-4856

Graduate Student Affairs
4010 York Hall, Revelle College
(858) 822-6014

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.

Introduction

The UC San Diego Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was founded in the 1950s by the late Professor Harold Urey and a group of colleagues who strove to create a department that would stress the fundamentals of chemistry and, at the same time, embrace diverse applications of those principles at the frontiers of knowledge.

Degrees offered include

Biochemistry

Chemistry

Chemistry—Premedical Majors

Either a biochemistry/chemistry major or a chemistry major with appropriate choice of electives provides a strong background for students intending to pursue careers in the medical sciences.

Premedical students are encouraged to complete a three-quarter general chemistry series (Chem 6A-B-C or 6AH-6BH-6CH) in their first year. Medical schools may not accept Advanced Placement exam scores to satisfy admissions requirements (see below). Students should complete the organic chemistry series (Chem 140A-B-C) in their sophomore year. The lower-division biology (BILD 1-2-3) series or equivalent is also required for most medical schools, along with certain upper-division biology courses, some of which may be counted toward the major requirements in chemistry. Students should meet with the department’s undergraduate adviser early in order to plan their courses and discuss their options.

General Chemistry

The General Chemistry Chem 6 sequence (6A-B-C) is intended for science and engineering majors as well as others who need a quantitative course. It satisfies all preprofessional programs. Chem 4 is a one-quarter preparation for 6A to be taken by those advised to do so. The Honors General Chemistry sequence (6AH-6BH-6CH) is designed for science and engineering majors with strong preparation in science and mathematics. A student intending to major in chemistry can thus begin with 4, 6A, or 6AH depending on the level of preparation. A student intending to major in a discipline other than chemistry should consult his or her adviser in the appropriate department to determine which chemistry course is recommended.

Advanced placement: A score of AP3 exempts from Chem 4 only. A score of AP4 exempts from Chem 4 or Chem 11 and may take Chem 6A-B-C or Chem 6AH-BH-CH for credit. Such students are encouraged to consider the honors sequence. A score of AP5 exempts from Chem 6A-B-C but may take Chem 6AH-BH-CH for credit and are encouraged to do so.

Chem 11, 12, 13 is a terminal sequence for nonscience/nonengineering majors. Chem 15 is a one-quarter survey course suitable for nonscience majors. Students should check with their college advisers to determine applicability toward general-education requirements.

General Information on Undergraduate Major Programs

The minimum passing grade in chemistry course work is a D, although students may not graduate with more than one D grade in upper-division required major course work and must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in the major. All courses for the major, except for independent research (Chem 196 and 199) and chemistry instruction (Chem 195), must be taken for a letter grade. Chem 195, 196, and 199 must be taken on a P/NP basis. All chemistry majors, including transfer students, must complete forty-eight units of upper-division chemistry course work at UC San Diego and fulfill the campus senior residency requirement.

Any departure from the requirements outlined below must be approved by petition. This applies to lower- and upper-division requirements.

The suggested programs following each of the major descriptions are only examples.

All undergraduate degree programs, unless otherwise noted, are certified by the American Chemical Society.

Biochemistry/Chemistry Major (CH31)

The biochemistry/chemistry major deals with the chemical processes in living organisms, including structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. It is suitable for those planning to go to graduate school or to medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional schools. It is also suitable at the bachelor’s level for jobs in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical field. Note the requirement for two advanced elective courses in biochemistry. If one does not wish to take so much biochemistry, one should major in chemistry and use electives to take the desired number of biochemistry courses.  

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-C or 6AH-CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (Math 20A-D, or equivalent)
  3. Calculus-based physics, including laboratory (Phys 2A-B and either 2C or 2D and either 2CL or 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Three quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A or AH, B or BH, C or CH)
  2. Two quarters of physical chemistry (Chem 126-127 recommended, or the equivalent)
  3. One quarter of inorganic chemistry (Chem 120A)
  4. Three quarters of biochemistry (Chem 114A-C)
  5. Six laboratory courses (Chem 100A, 143AH or 143A, 143B, 105A, either 108 or 109 and one additional chemistry lab from the following: Chem 100B, 105B, 108 or 109, 123, 143C, or 143D)
  6. Two elective courses from the following list: Chem 104/204, 113/213, 114D, 116, 118, 125/225, 157/257, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 221, 280. Other biochemistry-related courses may be approved by petition.
  7. One additional elective course chosen from among all of the upper-division and graduate courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (except nonletter graded courses) or from the following list of courses offered by the Division of Biological Sciences (some biology courses will require additional course work to fulfill prerequisites): BICD 100, BICD 110, BICD 140, BIMM 114, BIMM 120, BIPN 100, BIPN 102, BIPN 140. Other electives, including Chem 195 and Chem 199, may be approved by petition.

Suggested Program for Biochemistry/Chemistry BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

Math 20B

Chem 7LM

 

BILD 1*

Math 20C

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Chem 100A

Chem 140B

Chem 140C

Chem 140A

Chem 143AH

Chem 143B

Math 20D

Phys 2B

Phys 2C

Phys 2A

 

 

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 114A

Chem 114B

Chem 105A

Chem 126

Chem 127

Chem 114C

Phys 2CL

Chem 105A

 

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 120A

Chem 109

Chem 108

Elective

Elective

Elective

*Recommended, but not required.

Bioinformatics Major from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Also see the program information listed under “Bioinformatics” in the catalog.

The bioinformatics major offers rigorous, interdisciplinary training in the new and rapidly evolving field of bioinformatics, with a strong focus on chemistry and biochemistry. Bioinformatics is the field of advanced computational and experimental methods that model the flow of information (genetic, metabolic, and regulatory) in living systems to provide an integrated understanding of the systems properties of model organisms. This is a new and rapidly evolving field in which large volumes of both qualitative and quantitative data will accrue at an increasing pace, and the bioinformatician must have a substantial mastery of both the sciences and engineering. This interdisciplinary specialization is offered jointly with computer science and engineering, bioengineering, and biological sciences, each with its own set of requirements and electives.

Admission to the Bioinformatics Major

It is strongly recommended that students meet with an adviser in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to discuss requirements for the Bioinformatics Program.  

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. Calculus and linear algebra (Math 20A-20C, 20F)
  2. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-C or 6AH-CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  3. Physics (Phys 2A-B)
  4. Biology (BILD 1-2)
  5. Computer programming (CSE 11-12)
  6. Mathematics for algorithm and systems (CSE 21/Math 15B)
  7. Bioinformatics seminar (BILD 94)

The department recommends that students complete an introductory C programming course before taking CSE 11 and CSE 12, either in their first year or during the summer between their first and second years.

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A-B)
  2. Organic chemistry (Chem 140C) or structural biochemistry (Chem 114A)
  3. Metabolic biochemistry (Chem 114B)
  4. Physical chemistry (Chem 127 accepted, Chem 131 and 132 recommended)
  5. Molecular and cellular biochemistry (Chem 114D)
  6. Two quarters of biochemistry laboratory (Chem 108-109)
  7. Genetics (BICD 100)
  8. Cell biology (BICD 110)
  9. Two computer science courses (CSE 100 or Math 176; and CSE 101 or Math 188)
  10. Two additional upper-division electives offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (each course must be at least four units) with only one quarter of credit allowed for any given course. Recommended courses are Chem 100A, 118, and 143A.

The bioinformatics series comprising the following courses:

  1. Molecular sequence analysis (BIMM 181 or CSE 181 or BENG 181)
  2. Biological databases (Chem 182 or BIMM 182 or CSE 182 or BENG 182)
  3. Applied genomic technologies (BENG 183)
  4. Computational molecular biology (BIMM 184 or CSE 184 or BENG 184 or Chem 184)
  5. Bioinformatics lab (BIMM 185)
  6. Probability and statistics (Math 186)

Suggested Program for the Bioinformatics BS from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

BILD 1

 

 

Math 20B

Math 20C

   

BILD 94

SOPHOMORE YEAR

CSE 11

Chem 140A

Chem 7LM

BILD 2

CSE 12

Chem 140B

Phys 2A

Phys 2B

CSE 21/
Math 15B

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 114A/140C

Chem 114B*

Elective

 

BICD 100

BIMM 181/
BENG 181/
CSE 181

CSE 100/
Math 176

Math 186

BICD 110

Math 20F

CSE 101/
Math 188

 

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 182/
BIMM 182/
BENG 182/
CSE 182

Chem 108*

BIMM 185

BENG 183

 

Chem 109*

Chem 127*

BIMM 184/
BENG 184/
CSE 184

Elective
Chem 114D    

*Certain prerequisite courses are waived for the bioinformatics majors. See the department adviser for details.

Chemistry Major (CH25)

The chemistry major provides a broad introduction in biochemistry, organic, physical, and inorganic chemistry. This major will enable a student to pursue further studies in chemistry or in related fields of science, medicine, or engineering.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-C or 6AH-CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (Math 20A-D, or equivalent)
  3. Calculus-based physics, including laboratory (Phys 2A-B and either 2C or 2D and either 2CL or 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Three quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A-C or 140AH-CH)
  2. Three quarters of physical chemistry (Chem 130-132)
  3. Two quarters of inorganic chemistry Chem (120A-B)
  4. One quarter of biochemistry (Chem 114A)
  5. Six laboratory courses (Chem 100A, 143AH or 143A, 143B, 105A and two of the following: Chem 100B, 105B, 108, 109, 123, 143C, or 143D)
  6. Three additional four-unit upper-division or graduate courses in chemistry and biochemistry or related areas. One of Chem 195 or 199 may be petitioned.

Suggested Program for Chemistry BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

Math 20B

Math 20C

   

Chem 7LM

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Chem 140A

Chem 140B

Chem 140C

Math 20D

Chem 143AH

Chem 143B

Phys 2A

Phys 2B

Phys 2C

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 120A

Chem 120B

Chem 105A

Chem 100A

Chem 131

Chem 132

Chem 130

Phys 2CL

 

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 114A

Elective Lab

Elective

Elective Lab

Elective

Elective

 

 

 

Environmental Chemistry Major (CH34)

Students have an option of earning a BS in environmental chemistry with or without ACS-Certification. The ACS-Certified version is recommended for those who intend to apply to graduate school in chemistry. The noncertified program is designed to prepare students to enter the industrial, governmental, or legal workforce, or to continue studies in some of the environmental sciences.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-C or 6AH-CH, and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (Math 20A-D, or equivalent)
  3. Calculus-based physics, including laboratory (Phys 2A-B and either 2C or 2D, and either 2CL or 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A-B)
  2. Physical chemistry (Chem 131-133 recommended, or Chem 126-127)
  3. Four advanced laboratory courses (Chem 100A, 100B-BL, 105A, and 143AH or 143A)
  4. Two quarters of environmental chemistry (Chem 171, 172)
  5. Atmospheric chemistry (Chem 173) and marine chemistry (Chem 174)
  6. Electives: Any four with at least two upper-division among: Chem 114A, 120A, 140C, 143C, 166, BILD 1, 2, 3, BIEB 121, 140, 144, 176, ESYS 101, SIO 50, 101, 102, 103, 144, Math 183, or others (including labs) by petition. One of 195 or 199 by petition.

For ACS Certification

  1. Increase electives by one to a total of five
  2. For three of the electives, choose Chem 140C, 114A, and 120A
  3. For two of the electives, choose two labs from among Chem 143B, 143C, 143D, 108, 109, 123, 105B

Recommended Elective Courses

Suggested Program for Environmental Chemistry BS Major (ACS certification requires one additional course)

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

Math 20B

Chem 7LM

 

Phys 2A

Math 20C

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Chem 100A

Chem 140B

Phys 2CL

Chem 140A

Chem 143A

Phys 2C

Math 20D

Phys 2B

 

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 130

Chem 131

Chem 132

Chem 171

Chem 172

Chem 173

Elective

Elective

Elective

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 105A

Chem 100B

Chem 174

Elective

 

 

Molecular Synthesis Major (CH36)

The molecular synthesis major offers a thorough training in all aspects of the molecular synthesis of organic, inorganic, and biological substances, along with a fundamental understanding of their structure and reactivity. This major provides an excellent preparation for employment in biotechnology, diagnostic, electronic, and pharmaceutical enterprises as well as for graduate programs in organic, bioorganic, and inorganic chemistry.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-6C or 6AH-CH and 7LM or 7L)
  2. Calculus (Math 20A-D, or equivalent)
  3. Calculus-based physics, including laboratory (Phys 2A-B and either 2C or 2D and either 2CL or 2DL)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Three quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A-C or 140AH-CH)
  2. Two quarters of physical chemistry (Chem 126, 127)
  3. Two quarters of inorganic chemistry (Chem 120A-B)
  4. One quarter of biochemistry (Chem 114A)
  5. Six laboratory courses (Chem 100A, 143A or 143AH, 143B, 105A, and two of 143C, 143D, 123)
  6. Synthetic methods (Chem 152)
  7. Structural or mechanistic organic chemistry (Chem 154 or 156)
  8. Bioorganic or bioinorganic chemistry (Chem 125 or 157)
  9. One additional course from the following: Chem 114B, 114C, 155, 185, or 199

Suggested Program for Molecular Synthesis BS Major

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

Math 20B

Chem 7L

  Phys 2A

Math 20C

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Chem 100A

Chem 140B

Chem 140C

Chem 140A

Chem 143AH

Chem 143B

Math 20D

Phys 2B

Phys 2C

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 120A

Chem 120B

Chem 105A

Chem 127

Chem 126

 

Chem 143C*

Phys 2CL

 

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 114A

Chem 156**

Chem 125/157

Chem 152

Chem 123

Elective

*Chem 143D may be substituted.
**Chem 154 may be substituted.

Pharmacological Chemistry Major (CH35)

The pharmacological chemistry major provides a strong background in chemistry. The major is intended primarily to prepare students for pharmacy school (PharmD). As for any professional school, students will need to supplement this program with other courses to meet all entrance requirements. Many pharmacy schools require a course in Economics (usually Econ 1 or 3) and a course in public speaking. Many pharmacy schools also require a year of biology with lab. Students may elect an upper-division biology lab or they may consult with pharmacy schools as to their requirements. Students fulfilling their elective requirements with appropriate courses should be prepared for graduate school in biochemistry or other areas of science. Degree recipients would also be prepared for jobs in the biotechnology and chemical industries.

Advanced Placement: Pharmacological chemistry students are encouraged to complete a full year of general chemistry and a full year of lower-division biology. Some pharmacy programs may not accept tests such as the Advanced Placement exam to satisfy these requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. Biology (BILD 1, 2 and 3). Alternatively, a year of biology with laboratory at a community college may be petitioned
  2. General chemistry, including laboratory (Chem 6A-C or 6AH-CH, and Chem 7LM or 7L)
  3. Calculus-based physics, including laboratory. (Phys 2A-B and either 2C or 2D and either 2CL or 2DL)
  4. Calculus (Math 20A–D, or equivalent)
  5. Pharmacology seminar (Chem 92)

Upper-Division Requirements

  1. Two quarters of physical chemistry (Chem 126-127 recommended; 130-132 acceptable)
  2. Three quarters of organic chemistry (Chem 140A-C or 140AH-CH)
  3. Three quarters of biochemistry (Chem 114A-B-C)
  4. Four laboratory courses (Chem 100A, 143AH or 143A, 143B and either 108, 109, or 143C)
  5. One quarter of pharmacology and toxicology (Chem 118)
  6. One chemistry elective course chosen from among all the upper-division and graduate courses offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (except nonletter graded courses). Chem 167 and 168 are strongly recommended.

If ACS certification is desired, Chem 120A, plus two additional laboratory courses (Chem 105A and a lab chosen from Chem 100B-BL, 105B, 123, or 143C/108/109, if not already taken), are required. Any of these courses would satisfy number 6 above.

Suggested Program for Pharmacological Chemistry BS Major (ACS certification requires additional courses)

Many courses have enforced prerequisites or are offered once per year.

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

FRESHMAN YEAR

Chem 6A

Chem 6B

Chem 6C

Math 20A

Math 20B

Math 20C

 

BILD 1

Chem 92

SOPHOMORE YEAR

Chem 7LM

Chem 140B

Chem 140C

Chem 140A

Chem 143AH

Chem 143B

Math 20D

Phys 2A

Phys 2B

JUNIOR YEAR

Chem 114A

Chem 114B

Chem 114C

Chem 100A

Chem 118

BILD 3

Phys 2C

BILD 2

Econ 1/3*

SENIOR YEAR

Chem 127

Chem 126

Chem 167***

Lab**

Bio lab**

 

*Recommended, not required
**Chem 108 or 109 or 143C
***Or other elective

Honors Program

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers an Honors Program to those students who have demonstrated excellence in any of the majors. Students are eligible for Departmental Honors at graduation when they have met all of the following:

  1. Achieved a GPA of 3.2 overall and 3.4 in chemistry courses.
  2. Completed a minimum of eight units of Chem 199, distributed over at least two quarters. A student who registers for 199 and subsequently fails to complete the Honors Program may apply up to four units to any major that normally allows 199 as elective credit. A student who has successfully petitioned to use a Chem 199 course to fulfill elective credit may not use that course to fulfill honors requirements as well.
  3. Submitted a final honors research report to three UC San Diego faculty members, including their research adviser, for approval.
  4. Presented an oral report about their research before a group of at least three faculty. This can be at an undergraduate research conference or at a seminar involving honors students and faculty.

Students who are interested in the Honors Program should contact the Undergraduate Advising Office in 4010 York Hall, and are invited to do so at any time.

Education Abroad

Majors are encouraged to explore the programs that allow students to study abroad or at other US universities for a term or longer. Consider especially the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) and UC San Diego’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Subject to approval by our faculty, courses taken through EAP/OAP may be accepted for credit toward the major. Students interested in studying abroad, should see a departmental program adviser to discuss appropriate courses and programs for their plan of study.

Minor Program in Chemistry and Biochemistry

A typical minor in chemistry consists of three lower-division lecture courses and at least one laboratory course, followed by a minimum of five upper-division courses, including at least one laboratory course, focused in physical, inorganic, organic, environmental chemistry, or biochemistry. Lower-division course requirements may not be satisfied by advanced placement credit, although transfer units may be used to satisfy lower-division minor requirements.

Upper-division courses required by a student’s major may not be applied toward a minor.

Upper-division courses for the minor must be taken at UC San Diego in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and must be taken for a letter grade. The minimum overall GPA requirement for the minor is a 2.0.