A minor is offered in biochemistry. Declaration of a biochemistry minor is open to any student enrolled at CU Boulder, regardless of college or school.


A minimum of 21 credits is required for the minor, at least 9 of which must be upper-division. The College of Arts & Sciences will allow a maximum of 9 hours of transfer credit, including 6 upper-division credit hours to count toward a minor. Students may transfer courses through organic chemistry only. All courses required for the minor must be completed with a grade of C- or better, and the overall GPA in all BCHM and CHEM courses taken must be a 2.00.

Students who have taken CHEN 1211/CHEM 1221 may substitute them for CHEM 1113/CHEM 1114

General Chemistry5-10
Select one of the following two options:
Option 1:
General Chemistry 1
and Laboratory in General Chemistry 1
General Chemistry 2
and Laboratory in General Chemistry 2
Option 2:
Foundations of Chemistry
and Foundations of Chemistry Lab
Organic Chemistry10-11
Organic Chemistry 1
Organic Chemistry 1 for Chemistry and Biochemistry Majors
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry 1
Organic Chemistry 2
Organic Chemistry 2 for Chemistry Majors
Organic Chemistry 2 for Biochemistry Majors
Laboratory in Organic Chemistry 2
Laboratory in Advanced Organic Chemistry
Biochemistry 16-8
Select one of the following:
Foundations of Biochemistry
Principles of Biochemistry
Select one of the following:
Mechanisms of Cancer
Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Core Concepts in Physical Chemistry for Biochemists
Computational Genomics Lab
Metabolic Pathways and Human Disease
Biochemistry of Gene Transmission, Expression and Regulation
Therapeutic and Diagnostic Nucleic Acids
Total Credit Hours21-29

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the program, students will be able to:

  • Master the foundational concepts of general and organic chemistry, including equilibrium, kinetics, bonding (covalent and non-covalent) and reactivity and apply these concepts to biological systems. \
  • Explain how biomolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and metabolites) are synthesized and control biological processes.
  • Identify the factors that determine the three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins), and membranes (including organelles) and explain how structure relates to function.
  • Describe how cells sense their environment and use this information to regulate cellular functions such as DNA replication, gene expression, signal transduction, cell division and cell death.
  • Develop a conceptual, mechanistic and mathematical understanding of biomolecular interactions, including binding and catalysis.
  • Explain how energy is stored, transformed and harnessed in biological systems.
  • Analyze data, interpret graphs, solve quantitative problems to interpret results of scientific studies. Evaluate the rigor and reproducibility of scientific results.
  • Learn and apply the rigorous scientific methods on which (bio)chemical knowledge is built: making observations, formulating hypotheses, executing experiments, evaluating rigor and reproducibility.
  • Effectively communicate scientific information in oral, written and visual formats to specialized and general audiences.