College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science


H. Leonardo Martinez, Department Chair

Sofia Pappatheodorou, Lihung Pu, Oliver Seely, Noel Sturm, Tilly Wang, George Wiger


Gary Greene, David Inafuku, Laboratory Technicians

Department Office: NSM B-202, (310) 243-3376

Emeriti Faculty

Ulrich de la Camp, L. Danette Dobyns, Robert B. Fischer, Eugene N. Garcia, James Lyle, Solomon Marmor, William Wilk

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry will prepare students for graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry; teaching chemistry in secondary schools; employment with industry or government; entry into professional schools such as medicine or dentistry; or entry into law school with a view toward specialization in patent or environmental law.


The department is housed in well-equipped offices and laboratories on the third floor of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Building. The faculty consists of eight full-time members who represent all the major areas of chemistry. Students generally benefit from the smaller class sizes and the individualized attention, which is seldom available at large universities. Students are introduced to modern instrumental techniques and are given many opportunities for “hands-on” experience.

Academic Advising

Students who are majoring in biochemistry should be advised once each semester, prior to registration. Permanent records of advisement are kept in the department office.


High school students should include two years of algebra, one year of geometry and a one-year course in chemistry in their high school preparation. A course in high school physics also is recommended. Students who enter without this preparation must expect to delay their graduation beyond the minimum time-period of four years.

Community college transfers should have completed one year of general chemistry, one year of calculus and one year of physics.

Career Possibilities

A Major in Biochemistry will prepare students for graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry; teaching chemistry in secondary schools; employment with industry or government; entry into professional schools such as medicine or dentistry; or entry into law school with a view toward specialization in patent or environmental law.

Students may prepare for a career in teaching science at the secondary level (junior high or high school) by completing an approved “Subject Matter Preparation Program.”  Completion of such a program is the first step in meeting the state requirements for a teaching credential. As the program requirements for the “Subject Matter Preparation Program” in science have changed recently, interested students should consult the departmentally designated advisor for current information.

Pre-Medical Professions Training in Biochemistry

Students who wish to apply to professional schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or other medical areas following graduation should consider completing the requirement for a B.S. degree in Biochemistry.  In addition, students should complete the elective course that was not selected to fulfill the degree requirements.

The following courses are not usually required for admission to medical school, but it is recommenced that students consider them when planning their academic program.  Many formers students have found them to be a valuable introduction to courses that must be taken in many professional programs.

BIO 422.    Histology (3)

BIO 424.    Histology Laboratory (1)

BIO 453.    Endocrinology (3)

BIO 483.    Human Physiology (3)

Student Organizations

Membership in the Science Society of CSU Dominguez Hills is open to all students. The Society encompasses all of the scientific disciplines and is also a Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society. It was founded to serve the interests and concerns of science students and sponsors scientific, educational, professional and social activities. The American Chemical Society has commended the Science Society for the high quality of its activities and programs. Contact the Department of Chemistry for further information.

Graduation With Honors

An undergraduate student may be a candidate for graduation with Honors in Biochemistry provided he or she meets the following criteria:

1.   A minimum of 36 units in residence at CSU Dominguez Hills;

2.   A minimum grade point average of at least 3.5 in all courses used to satisfy the upper division requirements in the major;

3.   Recommendation by the faculty in the department or program in which the honors are to be awarded.


Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Total Course Requirements
for the Bachelor’s Degree

See the “Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree  in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

Elective Requirements

Completion of elective courses (beyond the requirements listed below) to reach a total of a minimum of 120 or a maximum of 132 units.

General Education Requirements (55-62 units)

See the “General Education” requirements in the University Catalog or the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education requirements and course offerings.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement

See the “Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement” in the University Catalog.

Minor Requirements

Single field major, no minor required.

Major Requirements (82 units)

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

A.   Lower Division Required Courses (42 units)

BIO 120.    Principles of Biology I (3)

BIO 121.    Principles of Biology I Lab (1)

BIO 122.    Principles of Biology II (3)

BIO 123.    Principles of Biology II Lab (1)

CHE 110.  General Chemistry I (5)

CHE 112.  General Chemistry II (5)

CHE 230.  Quantitative Analysis (4)

MAT 191.  Calculus I (5)

MAT 193.  Calculus II (5)

PHY 130.   General Physics I (5)

PHY 132.   General Physics II (5)

B.   Upper Division Required Courses (33 units)

CHE 310.  Organic Chemistry I (4)

CHE 311.  Organic Chemistry Lab I (1)

CHE 312.  Organic Chemistry II (3)

CHE 313.  Organic Chemistry Lab II (2)

CHE 320.  Physical Chemistry I (5)

CHE 322.  Physical Chemistry II (3)

CHE 420.  Advanced Applications for Chemistry (2)

CHE 450.  Biochemistry I (4)

CHE 451.  Biochemistry Lab I (1)

CHE 452.  Biochemistry II (4)

CHE 453.  Biochemistry Lab II (2)

CHE 460.  Chemical Literature (2)

C.  Electives- Select seven units from the following:

BIO 314.    Developmental Biology (3)

BIO 315.    Developmental Biology Lab (1)

BIO 320.    Cell Biology (3)

BIO 340.    Genetics (3)

Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title. For course availability, please see the list of tentative course offerings in the current Class Schedule.

Lower Division

CHE 110   General Chemistry I (5).

Prerequisites: CHE 108 or high school chemistry and satisfactory performance on the General Chemistry Placement test.

Chemical stoichiometry, atomic structure, periodic table, quantum theory, gases, thermochemistry, ionic bonding, Lewis formulas, liquids, solids, solutions. Four hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

CHE 112   General Chemistry II (5).

Prerequisite: CHE 110.

Chemical kinetics, equilibria, thermodynamics, acids and bases, solubility, electrochemistry, covalent bonding, transition metal complexes. Four hours of lecture
and three hours of laboratory per week.

CHE 230   Quantitative Analysis (4).

Prerequisite: CHE 112.

Introduction to the techniques and theory of gravimetric and volumetric analyses, colorimetry, flame photometry and electroanalytical procedures. Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week. Laboratory fee required.

Upper Division

CHE 310   Organic Chemistry I (4).

Prerequisites: CHE 112; concurrent enrollment in CHE 311.

Systematic study of organic compounds, with emphasis on molecular structure and reaction mechanisms; stereochemistry; aliphatic compounds.

CHE 311   Organic Chemistry
Laboratory I (1).

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in CHE 310.

Techniques of separation and purification of organic compounds. Introduction to organic synthesis. Three hours of laboratory per week. Fee required.

CHE 312   Organic Chemistry II (3).

Prerequisites: CHE 310, CHE 311; concurrent enrollment in CHE 313.

A continuation of CHE 310 with emphasis on aromatic systems. Introduction to spectroscopy. Structures and reactions of organic compounds containing oxygen and nitrogen.

CHE 313   Organic Chemistry
Laboratory II (2).

Prerequisites: CHE 310, CHE 311; concurrent enrollment in CHE 312.

Organic synthesis, introduction to spectros copy. Qualitative organic analysis. Six hours of laboratory per week. Fee required. Three hours of laboratory per week. Fee required.

CHE 320   Physical Chemistry I (5).

Prerequisites: CHE 112 and CHE 230; MAT 193; PHY 132.

PHY 122 may be substituted for PHY 132 by students in the biochemistry option and by non-chemistry majors, with consent of instructor. Principles and applications of classical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. Introduction to computer based techniques of treating scientific data.

CHE 322   Physical Chemistry II (3).

Prerequisite: CHE 320.

Introduction to group theory, quantum chemistry, spectroscopy and statistical thermodynamics.

CHE 420   Advanced Applications
for Chemistry (2).

Prerequisite: CHE 320.

Advanced applications for chemistry including computational techniques, molecular modeling, combinatorial approaches to synthesis, data acquisition and analysis, and use of computers to simulate spectral data. One hour of lecture and two hours of activity per week.

CHE 450   Biochemistry I (4).

Prerequisites: CHE 230, CHE 312 and CHE 313, or CHE 316 and CHE 317, and concurrent enrollment in CHE 451.

The chemistry of amino acids and proteins; the chemistry and metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids; energetics in living systems.

CHE 451   Biochemistry Laboratory I (1).

Prerequisites: CHE 230, CHE 312, and CHE 313, or CHE 316 and CHE 317, and concurrent enrollment in CHE 450.

Biochemistry laboratory experiments using advanced techniques for separation and analysis of biologically active compounds. Three hours of laboratory per week. Fee required.

CHE 452   Biochemistry II (4).

Prerequisite: CHE 450.

Metabolism of nitrogenous compounds, discussion of nucleic acid structure/function and metabolic control.

CHE 453   Biochemistry Laboratory II (2).

Prerequisites: CHE 451 and concurrent enrollment in CHE 452.

Biochemistry experiments using advanced techniques for the isolation and purification of macromolecules, and for determination of their activity or function. Six hours of laboratory per week.

CHE 460   Chemical Literature (2).

Prerequisites: CHE 312 and CHE 320.

Chemical literature, including the nature, content, and accessibility. Modern electronic search and retrieval techniques.
CR/NC grading.