Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Mission of the Discipline of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

This  interdisciplinary program, composed of courses in biology, chemistry, physics and natural sciences, enables students to explore and ask fundamental questions concerning the molecular events that occur in living organisms. Coursework includes content from the atomic to the molecular to the cellular, and integrates concepts across the required disciplinary and cognate courses to yield an understanding of the structures of biological molecules, the chemical reactions involved in biological energy interconversion, the formation and organization of complex cellular structures, and the communication of biological information spatially and temporally.

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology curriculum, including encouraged research for six of the student's eight semesters at  Fisk and during the summers nationally, seeks to develop students who:

  • possess a broad and fundamental understanding of chemistry and biology with particular focus on how molecules found in biological systems confer the properties of living organisms
  • are able to perform the common methods and use the tools of the field, including both laboratory and computational techniques
  • are able to locate, evaluate, and communicate scientific information both in writing and in oral presentations
  • can design, analyze and interpret hypothesis-testing experiments
  • maintain awe concerning the molecular mechanisms underlying living processes and joy in the exploration of these processes

Meet our other Academic Discipline Coordinators for our Component Disciplines Phyllis Freeman, PhD Discipline Coordinator for Biology, Lee E Limbird, PhD  discipline coordinator for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Robert Wingfield, PhD Discipline Coordinator for Chemistry.

  1. Required Courses

Course NumberCourse Name
NSCI 361Biochemistry I
NSCI 361LBiochemistry I Lab
NSCI 362Biochemistry II
NSCI 362LBiochemistry II Lab
BIOL 360Molecular Cell Biology
BIOL 360LMolecular Cell Biology Lab
BIOL 410Molecular Methods (formerly Biotechnology)
BIOL 410LMolecular Methods Lab (formerly Biotechnology)
CHEM 341Physical Chemistry
CHEM 341L Physical Chemistry Lab
NSCI 285Bioinformatics
NSCI 285LBioinformatics Lab
BCMB 497Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Senior Seminar I
BCMB 498Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Senior Seminar II

Eight additional elective credits are required for the major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
These courses should be chosen in consultation with a discipline advisor from the advanced undergraduate courses listed below.

Course NumberCourse Name
BIOL 350Genetic Principles
BIOL 350LGenetic Principles Lab
CHEM 470 Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 470L Analytical Chemistry Lab
BIOL 420Introduction to Neurobiology
BIOL 420LIntroduction to Neurobiology Lab
CHEM 582B Polymer Chemistry + Laboratory
BIOL 270Microbiology
BIOL 270LMicrobiology Lab
MATH 270Introduction to Ordinary differential equations
CSCourses above CS 110

In addition to these elective courses, BCMB Majors are expected. To do at least six semesters of Undergraduate Research during the Academic Year

Required cognates (36 credits)

Course NumberCourse Name
BIOL 101General Biology I
BIOL 101LGeneral Biology I Lab
BIOL 102General Biology II
BIOL 102LGeneral Biology II Lab
CHEM 113General Chemistry I
CHEM 103LGeneral Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 114General Chemistry II
CHEM 104LGeneral Chemistry II Lab
CHEM 233Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 203LOrganic Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 234Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 204LOrganic Chemistry II Lab
PHYS 130General Physics I
PHYS 130LGeneral Physics I Lab
PHYS 140General Physics II
PHYS 140LGeneral Physics II Lab
CS 110 Computer Science

Mathematics requirement (8 credits)
In lieu of the core mathematics course (CORE 130), majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology take MATH 121 , Biocalculus. The second mathematics course can be Calculus II, or approved substitute for Calculus II: Mathematical Modeling (MATH 280) or Statistics (NSCI 360)