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Biological Chemistry Specialist

The Biological Chemistry Program, with its solid core of chemistry, plus the required biology and biochemistry courses, will provide an interesting and challenging option in this increasingly important, interdisciplinary area of chemistry. Biological Chemistry examines Nature at the molecular level by using a combination of synthetic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry as well as the tools of molecular biology and biochemistry.  This program provides the setting to understand the chemical reactions and interactions that occur in biological processes, as well as how chemical strategies can be used to control these systems. This program includes sufficient flexibility to allow focus in areas such as bioinorganic, bioorganic, biophysical or medicinal chemistry.  Students graduating from this program will be prepared for career paths in the biotechnology, biomedical and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as for research and teaching in related areas of chemistry and biology. This program is accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.

Biochemistry vs. Biological Chemistry

In biological chemistry the focus is more on the chemistry of biological systems and the study of nature at the molecular level, whereas in biochemistry the emphasis tends to be on whole systems. Biological chemists study individual biomolecules so that they can understand the chemical reactions and interactions that go on in biological systems. In addition, biological chemistry involves manipulation of biological systems, either to figure out how they work or to apply what we know about nature in order to design new systems.

In terms of different undergraduate programs, in biological chemistry there is obviously the opportunity to take more chemistry. Depending on interests, students can focus their program with a few extra courses in organic chemistry, or inorganic, physical or environmental. There is a little overlap with the biochemistry program, especially in second year when a lot of the same introductory material is taken. In the upper years the programs are quite different with respect to the approach that we take in studying biological systems.

Consult Professor G. A. Woolley, Biological Organic Chemistry

This is a limited enrolment program.  All students who request the program and obtain at least the specified mark(s) in the required courses will be eligible to enrol. Consult the Registration Handbook & Timetable for details.

Courses for admission: CHM135H1/CHM139H1 and CHM136H1/CHM138H1or CHM151Y1 with a minimum mark of 63%.

Fourteen (14) full courses or their equivalent, including at least three 400-series courses are required to complete the program.

First Year: BIO 120H/150Y, BIO130H; (CHM 151Y strongly recommended)/(135H/139H, 136H/138H); MAT (135H, 136H)/135Y/137Y

First or Second Year: PHY (131H, 132H)/(151H, 152H)/138Y/140Y

Second and Higher Years:
  1. BCH 210H; BIO 230H/250Y/(240H, 241H); CHM 217H, 225Y/(220H/222H. 221H/223H), 238Y, (CHM 249H strongly recommended)/247H
  2. CHM 347H, 348H, 379H
  3. At least one of the following: CHM 317H, 327H, 338H, 343H, 410H, 499Y
  4. Further 300/400-series courses in BCH or CHM, including CHM 437H, 447H, and 479H, to make a total of 14 full courses. CSB 450H is also acceptable