This program page is for current students (enrolled prior to Fall 2010) in the B.S. in Biochemistry.  If you are interested in this area of study, please go to our new academic program at: Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program.

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of the molecular basis of life. There is currently much excitement and interest in Biochemistry for a number of reasons:

  • The chemical basis of many biological processes are now understood. The discovery of DNA, the flow of genetic information from DNA to protein, and the elucidation of metabolic pathways have all been accomplished in the last several decades.
  • Common principles underlies the variety of living organisms. Bacteria, plants, and animals all use essentially identical building blocks to construct biomolecules for their energy requirements.
  • Biochemistry is crucial to an understanding of modern medicine. The molecular and endocrinological mechanisms of many diseases have recently been determined, allowing specific therapies to be developed. Clinical diagnosis of genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancers rely on biochemical techniques.
  • Agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry are being transformed by recent advances in recombinant DNA technology. Rapid advances in the manipulation of genetic material has led to the ability to alter the genetic endowment of organisms.
  • Basic biological questions are being addressed at the molecular level. Development of powerful biochemical techniques has allowed researchers to obtain answers to some aspects of the following questions: How does a fertilized egg differentiate into muscle, liver, and brain cells? How does cancer occur? What is the molecular basis of memory? How do plants convert sunlight into biochemical energy?


Students with an overall 3.20 grade-point average (GPA) and a 3.20 GPA in major coursework, who may or may not be in the University Honors Program, are encouraged to complete the requirements for Honors in Major which will appear on their diploma and academic record. If you wish to pursue Honors in Major, you must take at least 16 credits of Honors work in your major. [Note that students who enter the university in fall 2008 and in subsequent years must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.40 in order to graduate with a University Honors designation; an overall 3.20 GPA for major coursework remains the requirement for Honors in Major.]


  • Maintain overall GPA of at least 3.20 (3.40 if entry to UNH occurred on or after the Fall 2008) and a 3.20 GPA in major coursework.
  • Complete a minimum of 16 credits of honors credits (12 credits coursework plus 4 credits of Senior Honors Thesis), as follows:
  • Twelve credits of Honors coursework must be successfully completed . At least two courses must be drawn from courses listed with the BMCB (Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology) designation. Most BMCB 700-level courses are available for honors credit with instructor's permission; once enrolled in the course, you must file an Honors Designation Form. Other 600- or 700-level Honors-designated courses may be taken from the listings under ANSC, BMS, CHEM, GEN, NUTR, PBIO, or ZOOL, subject to approval of the major advisor.
  • Successfully complete 4 credits of Senior Honors Thesis (BMCB 799H; 2 cr. per semester). Identify and consult with senior thesis advisor during the junior year, as the summer after junior year is an excellent opportunity to commence thesis research. Students identify a research project, prepare a written proposal for evaluation, and begin conducting independent research (at least 10 hours per week) during the first semester of senior year. At the end of the second semester, students submit a written thesis of the work completed.
  • For a complete list of the Biochemistry Curriculum, click here