McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


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Chemists explore the molecular structure of matter in order to develop theories about how these structures work and to apply those theories to the development of useful new products. Biochemistry applies the ideas and theories of chemistry to the complex realm of biological systems. Biochemists explore the chemical structure and functioning of biological molecules such as proteins, enzymes and DNA. Biochemists also study the chemical reactions that provide energy to cells so that they can carry out their physiological functions. An important goal of biochemistry is to use an understanding of the chemical basis of biological systems to develop new and more effective pharmaceutical agents to prevent or cure serious illnesses.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s), Research


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus


McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


415 Rieveschl
PO Box 210172
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0172
Anne Vonderheide
Phone: 513-556-9331

Student Success Factors

UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) BS program in biochemistry is well suited for students with a background and interest in sciences such as biology and chemistry. The BS biochemistry program is most appropriate for students with strengths in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Also, since the program requires extensive laboratory work, an enjoyment of hands-on laboratory work is important. Biochemistry majors learn to critically observe and record what happens in the laboratory; they analyze data and apply knowledge learned in the classroom to draw conclusions about their observations.

Career Possibilities

Graduates of this major are employed as:

  • scientists in the pharmaceutical industry
  • scientists in state, local or federal government laboratories
  • scientists in biomedical research labs
  • chemistry and biochemistry teachers and professors
  • industrial research and development scientists, including personal and health care products
  • forensic scientists
  • toxicologists
  • physicians and health care professionals

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

This degree is intended for students planning on graduate work in biochemistry or health-related fields after completing the BS degree. It consists of the foundational courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and physical chemistry, to which introductory courses in freshman and sophomore biology, as well as undergraduate biochemistry courses, have been added. Students have the opportunity to study the chemistry of living systems, while obtaining solid chemistry training in biochemistry as well as analytical, organic and physical chemistry.

The program requires four full years to complete and includes opportunities for students to explore biochemistry both through course work and undergraduate biochemistry research via courses such as CHEM 5030 and 5040L. If a student selects an academic internship during the undergraduate years, this will extend the time to five years.

The UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences' flexible degree requirements allow for and highly encourage students to pursue multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.

  • Foreign languages
  • Biological sciences
  • Mathematical sciences

Minor Details

Click here to declare the program online

Chemistry Minor

The minor is designed for students who want a strong background in chemistry to complement their major area of study. Students who are enrolled in pre-professional programs may also find a minor in chemistry to be helpful to their professional preparation. To obtain a minor in chemistry, a minimum of 26 credits must be successfully completed, with the following distribution:

  • General Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 1040-1041, 1040L-1041L (10 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry and Lab: CHEM 2040-2041, 2040L – 2041L (10 credits)
  • At least six credits from any additional chemistry courses numbered 2050 or higher [except 2080, 4080, 5020, 5030 and 5080].

Certificate Program
There is no certificate program in chemistry for students currently enrolled in a major at the University of Cincinnati. Rather, the minor in chemistry described above is available. Students not currently enrolled in a major may earn a certificate in chemistry (but not a minor in chemistry) by completing the same set of requirements needed for the minor.

Individuals not yet enrolled as UC students may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

Students interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry should see the undergraduate program director to plan a program.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Biochemistry (BS) Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    Fall (Year 1)
    • CHEM1040, General Chemistry I, NS, 4
    • CHEM1040L, General Chemistry Laboratory I, NS, 1
    • BIOL1081, Biology I: Molecules, Cells, and the Foundation of Life, NS, 3
    • BIOL1081L, Biology I Laboratory, NS, 1
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • MATH1061, Calculus I, QR, 4
    Spring (Year 1)
    • CHEM1041, General Chemistry II, NS, 4
    • CHEM1041L, General Chemistry Laboratory II, NS, 1
    • BIOL1082, Biology II: Evolution, Physiology, and Ecology, NS, 3
    • BIOL1082L, Biology II Laboratory, NS, 1
    • MATH1062, Calculus II, QR, 4
    • XXXXxxxx, Freshman Seminar (only for Freshmen admits), 3
    Summer (Year 1)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 2)
    • CHEM2080, Sophomore Seminar for Chemistry Majors, 1
    • CHEM2040, Organic Chemistry I, 4
    • CHEM2040L, Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, 1
    • PHYS2001, College Physics I (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Sequence Course, 5
    Spring (Year 2)
    • CHEM2041, Organic Chemistry II, 4
    • CHEM2041L, Organic ChemistryLaboratory II, 1
    • CHEM2050, Analytical Chemistry, 3
    • PHYS2002, College Physics II (Calculus-based), QR, NS, 4
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Sequence Course, 5
    Summer (Year 2)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 3)
    • CHEM3020, Physical Chemistry I: Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Kinetics, 3
    • BIOL2081C, Genetics and Cell Biology, 4
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Course, SS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) Course, HU, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Interdisciplinary Course (may double count), 3
    Spring (Year 3)
    • CHEM3040, Introduction to Biochemistry, 3
    • CHEM3045L, Characterization and Analysis of Biological Molecules, 2
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Science (SS) Course, SS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) or Fine Arts (FA) , HU, FA, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspectives (HP) Course, HP, 3
    Summer (Year 3)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 4)
    • CHEM3046L, Characterization and Analysis of Biomolecular Interactions, 2
    • CHEM4040, Intermediate Biochemistry: Synthesizing the Molecules of Life, 3
    • CHEM5080, Senior Seminar for Chemistry Majors, 1
    • XXXXxxxx, HIST Course, HP, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Elective, 3
    Spring (Year 4)
    • CHEM4041, Intermediate Biochemistry: Transducing and Storing Energy in Biological Systems, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Capstone: either CHEM5030 or CHEM5040L, 2
    • XXXXxxxx, Social & Ethical Issues (SE) or Technology & Innovation (TI) Course (may double count), 0 - 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Electives, 4 - 7
    Summer (Year 4)
    • N/A
    • CHEM5030, Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, 1 - 6
    • CHEM5040L, Senior Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Biochemistry Research, 2

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

Important experiential opportunities are available to students in this program, including undergraduate research and academic internships. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged, and many undergraduates co-author journal articles from the research they conduct in the department. The optional academic internship program in chemistry allows students in the program to have industrial lab experience along with their formal course of study.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.