May 12, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Biochemistry Major (BS)

Please see the UNLV College of Sciences, Chemistry department web page at for information about department programs, faculty and facilities. Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at

Please see advising information at the UNLV College of Science Advising at


Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of all undergraduate programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry, students will have a broad understanding of chemistry’s sub-disciplines by satisfactorily completing

  • Introductory and foundational course work in chemistry, and in-depth course work in chemistry; all with laboratory emphasis. Additionally;
    • Students completing the B.S. program in Chemistry will complete intensive and comprehensive courses as identified by the American Chemical Society Guidelines for Bachelor Degree Programs including a research experience that provides for the development of the skills needed to be an effective professional chemist. The B.S. program in Chemistry is recognized by the ACS-CPT, and has enjoyed this status for over 40 years. Only about 30% of B.S. Chemistry programs in the United States have achieved this recognition.
    •  Students completing the B.S. program in Biochemistry will complete most of the same intensive and comprehensive courses in Chemistry with laboratory emphasis as students in the B.S. ACS program above. Additionally, students in this program will complete four intensive and comprehensive courses in Biochemistry along with an advanced Biochemistry Lab. This program also provides for flexibility in the selection of in-depth Biology course electives to complement the rigorous chemistry foundation of the program.
    • Students completing the B.A. program in Chemistry will complete much of the in-depth course work in chemistry along with elective courses offered by departments from within the College of Sciences as well as other colleges within the university. There is greater flexibility in program design for customization of the program to individual student’s career interests.
  • Build and develop communication skills through writing laboratory reports, term papers, and presentation of seminars and poster seminars.
  • Develop critical thinking. Critical thinking skills, development of problem solving abilities are implemented in the very first introductory courses common to all undergraduate programs offered. These skills are developed as students progress through the sequence of courses (meeting each course prerequisite in a well thought out and logical pattern) required for graduation in all of our programs.
  • Develop intellectual growth by integrating into all of our courses concepts of ethics, laboratory safety and environmental stewardship applicable to the profession as well as to local, state, regional, national and international communities and society. Emphasis will be placed on the development of UULOs regarding Global/Multicultural Knowledge and Awareness, and Citizenship and Ethics.
  • Graduates shall be able to demonstrate technical competency in the performance of basic laboratory operations, including solution preparation and standardization, common synthetic procedures, standard qualitative and quantitative analysis procedures, and operation of standard laboratory equipment.
  • Graduates shall have an in-depth understanding of the theoretical basis of biochemistry, as well as areas of application of chemical principles.
  • Graduates must be well versed in the language of biochemistry and should be capable of effectively communicating chemical knowledge in both written and oral forms.
  • Graduates shall be able to function as chemical professionals in entry-level jobs or to succeed in graduate studies in biochemistry or related scientific fields.

University Graduation Requirements

Biochemistry Degree Requirements - Total: 120 Credits

General Education Requirements - Subtotal: 33-36 Credits

First-Year Seminar - Credits: 2-3

 (See note 1 below)

English Composition - Credits: 6

Second-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

Constitutions - Credits: 4-6

Mathematics - Fulfilled by the major requirements

Distribution Requirements - Credits: 18

Please see Distribution Requirements  for more information.

  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 Credits
    • Two courses 3 credits each from two different humanities areas - 6 credits
    • One course in fine arts- 3 credits
  • Social Science: 9 Credits
    • One course each from three different fields
  • Life and Physical Sciences and Analytical Thinking:
    • Automatically satisfied by Major requirements

Multicultural and International

Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
International, one 3 credit course required

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements.  A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to:

Major Requirements - BS in Biochemistry - Subtotal: 87 Credits

Total Credits: 120


  1. It is strongly recommended that students take SCI 101  to satisfy the First-Year Seminar requirement.
  2. The sequence PHYS 180  - PHYS 181  -PHYS 182  (including labs) is an acceptable replacement for PHYS 151A -PHYS 152A   (including labs) sequence; however, any two course combination from PHYS 180, 181, and 182 is not an acceptable replacement.
  3. At least 40 credits must be earned at the upper-division level (300 and above).