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CHEM 301 is an introduction to biochemistry course that studies “the chemical processes that drive biological systems.” The course “explores the basic principles of biochemistry and develops the student’s appreciation and understanding of biological networks.” The course has two pre-requisites of CHEM 350 and CHEM 360 (which is Organic Chemistry I and II respectively), or any equivalent undergraduate courses that may be taken from other accredited post-secondary institutions. For those interested in taking CHEM 350, don’t hesitate to check out the Voice Course Exam article for those!
Why You Should Take This Course
This course is designed for science majors and minors, requiring two upper-level Organic Chemistry courses as pre-requisites. The course focuses on the biochemical processes with a focus of chemical principles. The course also teaches students the importance of research design and application in the field of biochemistry. Essentially this course is a mix of chemistry and molecular biology.
This course is taken by many science majors and minors and specifically, those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, or their masters and PhD. If you think you may be interested in one of this fields in the future, this is the course for you!
Course, Assignment, Midterm and Final Exam Details
The course itself is divided into ten units with each unit covering five to seven lessons. The units include Cells/Water/Buffers, Energy, Structure/Function, Catalysis, Flow of Genetic Information, Metabolism I and II, Signaling, Biochemical Techniques and finally, Synthesis of Concepts in Biochemistry. The course will prepare students who wish to specialize in Biochemistry or interested in taking further science and biochemistry courses in the near future.
The course consists of two assignments each worth 20%, a midterm worth 25% and a final exam that is worth 35%. Students must achieve a composite grade of 50% or higher and a grade of 50% or higher on each of the assignments and examinations to pass the course.
How to Be Successful in the Course
From personal experience of taking this course, introduction to biochemistry is a diagram filled science course. Like Organic Chemistry I and II, students can expect to see many structural drawings and further learning in this aspect. As it is a biology course as well, molecular biology is also included in the course and students will learn about enzymes, DNA, and many biochemical cycles that will need to be understood and memorized. The best way to tackle this course is to draw out the cycles and processes and add your own personal notes to them. I personally drew out the cycles many times to memorize and understand the bigger picture. I found this the best and most effective way to understand and memorize the details and cycles.
For assignments, I recommend students start early, as they do require time to complete. Even if you’re not confident with completing the entire assignment during one sitting, do as much as you can and complete it as you progress with the course. I personally found that very effective as that way, I was able to test myself if I understood the material shortly after doing the readings.
As this is the start to senior level biochemistry courses, students will find the course to be heavier in content than previous courses. With that said, the course overall was appropriate in level of difficulty, however, to get through the course successfully, I recommend students stay on track with the study schedule and plan ahead for studying for midterm and final exams.
If you have any further questions regarding the course, please do not hesitate to contact the Course Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy studying!