Courses of Study

The undergraduate degree program for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The University of New Mexico is based on instructional practices that maximize interaction between students and faculty. The program promotes research-based and inquiry-based learning and encourages all students to take advantage of the department's research and teaching opportunities. Each spring, a group of Honors students present their individual research reports as part of a capstone experience at the annual departmental retreat.

Students majoring in biochemistry should seek academic advisement from the Arts & Sciences advisors and contact our department early in their college experience. To complete degree requirements within four years, biochemistry majors should plan on taking at least two science or math courses each semester. No minor course of study is required for the biochemistry major.

Students should plan on beginning the biochemistry courses during their junior year. Completing the biochemistry degree in four years requires both a strong high school science and math background and taking five courses each semester during college. Prospective students should understand that there is no typical four-year program. Students bring unique backgrounds and career goals, all of which are reflected in their course schedules.

Because the biochemistry major requires a number of prerequisite courses, you probably won't take any of the courses taught by Biochemistry faculty until at least your junior year, but you should declare your major as soon as possible and develop a plan for completing all your degree requirements.

  • You should plan carefully for the courses that are only offered once a year. Remember, you must complete both the biochemistry major and the Arts & Sciences group requirements simultaneously. If you delay starting your science courses until you have completed the Arts & Sciences Group requirements, you will extend the time required to finish your bachelors degree.
  • Good grades are important: this will help you, no matter what your ultimate goal.
  • Allow two full academic years to complete your Biochemistry courses. This will enable you to get the most out of your education and provide an opportunity to accomplish a significant research project.
  • All students should routinely check the announcements for summer research and education programs that are posted on bulletin boards in the Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry departments. Summer program application deadlines usually arrive early in the year.

There are courses in other A&S UG programs, and in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program within the School of Medicine, that can be used as upper level electives for the Biochemistry degree. You can use ONE of these outside-of-the-Biochemistry-department courses as an upper-level elective to meet the requirements for the program.

Please keep in mind that not all of these courses are offered every year; some are offered in alternate years, and some are offered only when the instructor has sufficient enrollment. Also, your enrollment into any of these courses will be at the discretion of the course instructor. He/she may have to override pre-requisite courses and capacities, and only the instructor of record can make this determination.

If you choose to enroll in one of the graduate elective choices courses at the 500-level course, additional requirements must be met. Courses numbered above 500 are normally open only to graduate students; however, senior students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher may receive undergraduate credit in these courses. They must obtain approval in advance from the instructor concerned, the chair of the department, and the dean of their undergraduate college. Undergraduates may not enroll in graduate “Problems” courses for undergraduate credit.