Cumberland University

Biochemistry (B.S.)

Students pursuing a B.S. degree in biochemistry will study a combination of organic, analytical, and physical chemistry, as well as microbiology, cellular biology, and genetics.   This program will help students foster their critical thinking skills by requiring an independent research project, scientific journal reviews, and a popular science book review in each upper level chemistry class.  Additionally, the program allows students to tailor the course load to meet their post-graduation goals through the choice of 12 hours of upper level science and math electives from any biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, or physics course at the 200 level or higher.  A degree in biochemistry will prepare students for graduate school, for jobs in the biotechnology industry, or for such professional schools as pharmacy, medical, dental, veterinary, physician’s assistant or physical therapy.

Students will not be allowed to take upper level (300-400) Biology courses prior to admission into the Biology/Biochemistry Major

Biochemistry Major Admission Requirements and Procedures

  1. Admission to Cumberland University with declaration of Biochemistry major.
  2. Completion of all pre-biochemistry coursework during or before the semester of application for admission to the major.
  3. A Letter of Intent to enter the Biochemistry major must be submitted to the Office of Admissions at least one month prior to the semester entering the major.
  4. Official transcript(s) must be on file with the Office of Admissions.


Admission to the Biochemistry major is determined by the following criteria

  1. Successful completion of pre-biology or pre-biochemistry coursework (including BIO 111, BIO 113, BIO 114, BIO 203, CHEM 111, CHEM 112, MATH 111 or MATH 121, MATH 112 or MATH 122 or PSY 205.
  2. A minimum GPA requirement is 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale), with no grade below a "C" in the pre-biology or pre-biochemistry coursework as outlined above.
  3. Present grades of a "C" or better in all Math and Science courses.


Academic Dishonesty/Disciplinary Provisions

A committee of Biology and Chemistry faculty will review each Academic Dishonesty and/or Disciplinary action taken against a student on an individual basis. The committee reserves the right to deny admission into and/or expel from the Biochemistry major based upon any violation.

Special Admission Provisions

A committee of Biology and Chemistry Faculty will review student petitions for admission on individual basis. The Committee reserves the right to attach certain stipulations to admissions (e.g., by limiting the total number of hours in which a student may enroll during a semester and/or requiring specific developmental coursework and/or requiring a peer tutor).

Transfer Policies

Students must first meet the requirements for admission to Cumberland University. The Biology and Chemistry Committee will evaluate each student who transfers from another accredited program on an individual basis. Students who have earned a grade lower than "C" in a biology or chemistry course at another college or university will be evaluated by the committee which will determine admission on an individual basis. Requests to transfer biology and/or chemistry courses from another college or university will also be considered by the committee on an individual basis. Students who desire to transfer from another Biology or Biochemistry major must meet the following requirements:

  1. A letter of good standing from the previous program.
  2. A minimum grade of "C" in any science course the student desires to transfer. A written request for transfer credit must be forwarded to the Biology and Chemistry Committee for a ruling.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 25% or 30 credit hours toward degree earned at Cumberland University


Progression Requirements for all Biochemistry Students

  1. Achievement of a minimum grade of "C" in all science courses, and a minimum overall GPA of 2.8.
  2. Students who receive two final course grades of "D" or lower in any science course or combination of science courses will be dismissed from the program. Once dismissed, the student may appeal for Special Admission Provisions.
  3. All Biology and Biochemistry majors are expected to achieve satisfactory scores on standardized comprehensive examinations during their senior year.
  4. Any biochemistry student who has broken enrollment for more than one semester may not continue in the program but must apply for reinstatement into the major. The Biology and Chemistry Committee will review each student's case individually to determine placement in the Program of Study.


Letter of Intent

Please address the typed letter to the Biology/Biochemistry Admissions Committee and include the following in letter format:

  • Date written
  • Your name and address
  • Request for admission to the Biochemistry major
  • This part of the letter is an informal way to introduce yourself. Explain why you want to be in the biochemistry major and why you feel you should be admitted.
  • Courses in which you are currently enrolled
  • Required lower division coursework that you still need
  • Your signature

120 minimum hours required for graduation.

Total GEC Credit Hours (44-46 hours)
Total Required Chemistry Core Courses (28 hours)
Total Additional Requirements for Major (31 hours)
Total Required Science Electives (12 hours)
Total General Electives (3-5 hours)

For further information about Biochemistry at Cumberland, please contact the program director, Sarah S. Pierce, Ph.D. (Chemistry).

For complete program outlines and course descriptions, please review our undergraduate catalog.