Jul 14, 2024  
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry, Chemistry Education Option, B.A.

Biochemistry (B.A.) 180 units

Program Description

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provides a strong education in chemistry and biochemistry that prepares its students to function and thrive in our society. The department attempts to increase the problem solving and critical thinking skills of all students. Non-science students learn about the scientific and chemical aspects of everyday life that allow them to understand issues related to the environment, energy production, disease prevention, and nutrition. Students of the sciences learn the fundamentals of chemistry that control the interactions of elements and molecules which form the building blocks in nature. Chemistry majors receive extensive instruction in predicting chemical reactivity. Building on an understanding of mathematics, physics, and biology, chemistry majors receive a background in the major disciplines of chemistry including inorganic, analytical, organic, physical, and biochemistry. Students learn the protocols and techniques for working safely with chemicals. The department recognizes the importance of the pursuit of new knowledge in the development of skilled scientists and productive members of society, and encourages its students to participate in research projects and cooperative educational opportunities.

The undergraduate programs offered by the department include: Chemistry, B.S.; Biochemistry, B.S.; Chemistry, Forensic Science Option, B.S.; Chemistry, B.A.; Chemistry, Chemistry Education Option, B.A.; Biochemistry, B.A.; Biochemistry, Chemistry Education Option, B.A.; and a Chemistry Minor. Descriptions of these programs and their requirements are listed below. (See the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Graduate) for descriptions of the department’s Chemistry, M.S. and M.S. Option in Biochemistry.)

The Chemistry, B.S. degree is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS). A certified degree is a valuable credential that serves as national-level recognition for completing a rigorous academic chemistry curriculum in an ACS-approved department. The extra rigor of an ACS certified degree is valued by both potential employers and graduate schools.

Mission Statement

It is imperative that CSUEB chemistry students possess sufficient theoretical and practical training in chemistry and biochemistry so that they will be able to assume the significant technical responsibilities required by the chemical and biotechnology industries that will employ them. It is important that our students are not only trained in chemistry (and biochemistry), but will become respected scientists and research technicians. In addition, it is important that students planning for entrance into Ph.D. programs or pre-professional programs are more than adequately prepared for entrance into these programs.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in the various areas of chemistry, including inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry.
  2. Work effectively and safely in a laboratory environment to perform experimental procedures and operate modern chemical/biochemical instruments.
  3. Use quantitative reasoning to analyze chemical problems and evaluate chemical data.
  4. Write and speak clearly on chemical or biochemical issues.
  5. Work collaboratively in teams to solve chemical problems.

Career Opportunities

Analytical Chemist
Chemical Engineer
Environmental Chemist
Food and Drug Inspector
Forensic Chemist
Health Professional
Materials Scientist
Organic Chemist
Pharmaceutical Chemist
Physical Chemist
Pollution Control
Public Health Educator
Quality Control Technician
Water Purification Chemist


The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry employs highly qualified and experienced technical staff to assist faculty and students in their course and research experiences.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry maintains laboratory equipment and instruments typical of comparable institutions. These include a 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer; UV-Visible (diode array), infrared and atomic absorption (AA: flame, graphite furnace and cold vapor) spectrophotometers; high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and ion chromatograph (IC); an FTIR spectrometer; and capillary gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS). Other specialized equipment includes a research-grade dry box, growth chamber, anaerobic chamber, and environmental field sampling equipment. There are PC-controlled and various desktop versions of the HPLC and visible spectrometers. A molecular modeling facility is also available for instruction and research.

The university offers Cooperative Education coursework which provides chemically related employment opportunities and students may, with department approval, obtain credit for this work.

The Alchemist Club, a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society, is available to students majoring in Chemistry. They are active in many aspects of the department and provide free peer tutoring, participate in fund-raising for special projects, and take interesting field trips to local industries.

Preparation and Prerequisites

For Advanced Placement course equivalencies, see Registration. Prerequisite courses for all chemistry courses must be passed with a grade of “C-” or better. Requests for Grade Forgiveness will be allowed only on a space-available basis.

Major Requirements (B.A.) 93-111 units

The Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Biochemistry, is designed to prepare students for employment in biochemistry, biotechnology, and related fields. It can also be utilized by students as a preparation for professional health-related programs, secondary school teaching, or non-traditional career paths (e.g., computer science, bioinformatics, business administration, and pharmaceutical sales). Students electing to pursue the B.A. in Biochemistry Degree could also earn a minor in another appropriate discipline such as biology.  The B.A. degree consists of 180 units.

  • The core major consists of 90-91 units;
    • the additional elective units for the “no-option” major consists of 3-6 units
    • the Chemistry Education Option consists of 20 units
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) consist of any remainder units to reach the 180 total units (see your advisor). 

Upper Division Core (36-37 units)

The following are required upper division courses in the shared core group for Biochemistry B.A. majors:

Option Requirements

An additional 3-6 units are required to complete the Biochemistry B.A. degree.  Student’s wishing to take Biochemistry electives (3-6 units) refer to the list below to complete the degree.  If a student chooses to pursue the Chemistry Education option (below link) the additional units to complete the degree will be 20 units.  

B.A. Biochemistry, Option in Chemistry Education (20 units)

The Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Biochemistry with an option in Chemistry Education, is designed for students interested in a career teaching chemistry at the high school level, but also prepares students to work as biochemists in an industrial setting. This program will prepare graduates to enter a single subject credential program. The major in Biochemistry with a Chemistry Education option consists of 111 units, the B.A. degree requires a total of 180 units.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described throughout this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.