Undergraduate FAQ

  1. Where is the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology office?
  2. Where can I go for biochemistry tutoring?
  3. How do I get into the BMB Undergraduate Resource Room?
  4. How do I find out who my advisor is?
  5. Why do I need an advising code and how do I get mine?
  6. How do I get an override for a course?
  7. How many credits should I take each semester?
  8. How do I request a credit overload if I want to take more than 18 credits in a semester?
  9. Why is Physical Biochemistry recommended for senior year? By then, it’s too late!
  10. Why isn’t Biochemistry of Human Disease a required course?
  11. What’s a good or “competitive” GPA for this major?
  12. How do I get more involved?
  13. How do I get involved with research?
  14. Can I get credit for doing research, if so how?
  15. Can I do research in another department and get BC credit, if so how?
  16. Can I do research outside of CSU and get credit, if so how?
  17. How big is the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department?
  18. What can you do with a biochemistry degree?
  19. How many students typically graduate with biochemistry degrees each year?
  20. Who do I talk to about graduate school?
  21. What should I be doing to prepare for the Biochemistry portion of the GRE? Why would I even need to take it?
  22. What schools have the best biochemistry graduate program?

 

1. Where is the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology office?

First floor of Molecular & Radiological Biosciences (MRB) building, on the northwest corner of Center and Lake, Room 111. 970-491-5602.

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2. Where can I go for biochemistry tutoring?

Contact the BMB Graduate Program Assistant who can provide a list of BMB graduate students who are interested in tutoring, or check the TILT Learning Programs webpage for a current schedule of tutoring sessions by course.

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3. How do I get into the BMB Undergraduate Resource Room?

BMB majors should already have access to the Undergraduate Resource Room, Yates 212A, programmed to their CSU ID; if you have problems accessing the room email csu-bmb@lists.colostate.edu to have access added to your ID. Please remember that this computer lab is for Biochemistry majors and other authorized users only.

 

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4. How do I find out who my advisor is?

Biochemistry majors are assigned a faculty career advisor during their first year in the program. Once an advisor is assigned, the student will receive an email with contact information, and the advisor is also listed in RamWeb.

Aaron Sholders, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and Brian Kalet, Academic Support Coordinator, conduct group registration advising sessions each semester, and it is at this time that you can obtain an advising code if you are a freshman or sophomore. See the Biochemistry Advising webpage for a schedule prior to the start of registration during fall & spring semesters. All Biochemistry students are encouraged to attend the session for their class level.

The Undergraduate Program Assistant is a good first contact for any registration or advising questions you may have. Please see the Biochemistry Advising webpage to submit an advising question.

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5. Why do I need an advising code and how do I get mine?

Advising codes are assigned to freshmen and sophomores in the Biochemistry major to ensure that students receive information on the appropriate courses to take and the order they should be taken early in his/her career. If certain prerequisite courses are not fulfilled early on, graduation can be delayed.

Aaron Sholders, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and Brian Kalet, Academic Support Coordinator, conduct group registration advising sessions each semester, which is where you can obtain an advising code if you are a freshman or sophomore. See the Biochemistry Advising webpage for a schedule prior to the start of registration during fall & spring semesters.

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6. How do I get an override for a course?

You must contact the department through which the course is offered to obtain an override. In most cases, the instructor of the course gives approval for a registration override, either electronically or by notifying the Department Office. Contact the instructor of the course first to determine what is needed for a particular override. If you would like to use a transfer course as a prerequisite, a course description may be needed in order to authorize an override.

For variable credit courses in BMB such as Independent Study, Research, Internship or Supervised College Teaching, contact the Undergraduate Program Assistant in the BMB Office to obtain an Agreement form first.

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7. How many credits should I take each semester?

A normal course load in the Biochemistry major is 14-17 credits per semester for a four year course plan. See the Undergraduate webpage for a sample curriculum in each concentration.

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8. How do I request a credit overload if I want to take more than 18 credits in a semester?

Contact your faculty advisor or Aaron Sholders, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Aaron.Sholders@colostate.edu, or Brian Kalet, Academic Support Coordinator, Brian.Kalet@colostate.edu, to discuss whether an overload is appropriate for you.

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9. Why is Physical Biochemistry recommended for senior year? By then, it’s too late!

To gain access to BC411 you must complete BC401, calculus and physics.  Most students are not able to complete these prerequisite classes until after Fall semester of the Junior year.  BC411 is taught only during Fall semesters, and thus Fall of Senior year is when a typical student must take this course.

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10. Why isn’t Biochemistry of Human Disease a required course?

BC467 has not been made a requirement for two of the Biochemistry concentrations. This is to maintain a higher number of free elective credits to give students more flexibility in determining their schedules.  We do encourage students to take the course, and have made it a required course for the Health and Medical Science Concentration and a Bioscience elective for the General Concentration.

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11. What is a good or “competitive” GPA for this major?

The average GPA in the Biochemistry major is 3.16.  A minimum GPA requirement for most graduate school programs is 3.00.  As such we encourage students to maintain as high of a GPA as possible.  We also discourage students from focusing solely on their GPA as this is typically only one of many components needed to be successful in future employment/admission processes.  By far one of the most important elements in being successful in the field of Biochemistry is to gain significant research experience.

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12. How do I get more involved?

  • Join the Biochemistry Club Student Association by emailing bcsa.csu@gmail.com
  • Volunteer to be a student ambassador at RamWelcome events
  • Participate in lab-based research by contacting faculty members to inquire about openings
  • Attend Department-sponsored seminars
  • Make an appointment with your faculty advisor at least once a year

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13. How do I get involved with research?

Contact individual faculty members to inquire about research openings. Your faculty advisor may have suggestions for labs to contact based on your research interests.  BMB faculty research profiles are found at http://www.bmb.colostate.edu/faculty/.

The BMB Office compiles a list of work-study openings in the department each summer for the upcoming academic year which may include research positions.

Visit the College of Natural Sciences Undergraduate Research Institute webpage for college-wide research listings.

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14. Can I get credit for doing research, if so how?

If you are interested in conducting research for credit, first make contact with a faculty member to inquire about space in their lab. Then complete a BC475/BC495 Agreement Form with your faculty mentor. After obtaining your mentor’s signature, return the form to the office and register for credits through RamWeb after the Undergraduate Program Assistant has processed a registration override.

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15. Can I do research in another department and get BC credit, if so how?

After obtaining permission from a faculty member to conduct research in their lab for credit, complete a BC475/BC495 Agreement Form with your faculty mentor and return it to the office. The Undergraduate Program Coordinator must approve the form prior registration in cases of a faculty mentorship outside of the Biochemistry Department. Register for credit through RamWeb after receiving notification that the form has been approved and an override is in place.

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16. Can I do research outside of CSU and get credit, if so how?

Register for BC487A Internship credit by picking up a BC487A Agreement Form at the BMB Office. Complete the form with your internship mentor, and after obtaining their signature, return it to the BMB Office. The Undergraduate Program Coordinator must approve the form prior to registration. Register for credit through RamWeb after receiving notification that the form has been approved and a registration override is in place. Your internship mentor should communicate your final grade to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator at the end of the semester or internship.

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17. How big is the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department?

The BMB Department has 14 regular faculty members, 4 joint faculty members, approximately 40 graduate students and postdocs, and between 250-275 undergraduate majors.

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18. What can you do with a biochemistry degree?

Possible career opportunities include, but are not limited to: process research technician; production/quality assurance lab technician; biomedical/pharmaceutical researcher or salesperson; molecular biologist; biophysicist; cytologist; toxicologist; industrial hygienist; dairy technologist; environmental analyst, hygienist, or chemist; wastewater treatment chemist; food and drug inspector; museum technician; teacher; writer; fisheries biologist; research analyst; medical or clinical lab technologist; forensic scientist; genetic counselor; scientific writer.

A B.S. in Biochemistry can also be a very good preparatory degree for Graduate School or Medical School.

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19. How many students typically graduate with biochemistry degrees each year?

Since 2005, between 20 and 40 Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry at CSU have been awarded each academic year.

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20. Who do I talk to about graduate school?

Your faculty advisor can help with questions related to career paths, including graduate school.

A listing of graduate programs at CSU is found at http://graduateschool.colostate.edu/prospective-students/degrees.aspx. If you are interested in pursuing a M.S. or Ph.D. in Biochemistry at CSU, contact Neda Amidon, Graduate Program Assistant in MRB316.

There is also a collection of graduate program brochures from institutions all over the world located in the Undergraduate Resource Room, MRB103.

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21. What should I be doing to prepare for the Biochemistry portion of the GRE? Why would I need to take it?

We advise students to take this as late in their curriculum as they possibly can, as course work is by far the best way to prepare for this exam.  There are also a number of helpful resources for this exam offered by both Kaplan and Princeton Review that we suggest you purchase.  The reason to consider taking the Biochemistry section of the GRE is that many graduate schools are now starting to require this exam for admission to their program.

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22. What schools have the best biochemistry graduate program?

A number of websites list graduate program rankings, such as:

http://graduate-school.phds.org/rankings/biochemistry

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools

http://www.gradschools.com/

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