Biochemistry

Course Planning Specifics: Biochemistry

Before coming to campus you are expected to register for your A and B term classes. It is expected that you will take three classes in both terms in most cases. You will register for C and D term classes in December.

In addition to the course recommendations below that are specific to your major, each student must complete 4 PE courses in their four years at WPI. You are welcome to add a PE course to any term. PE courses are worth 1/12 unit, unlike major subjects discussed in course recommendations which are worth 1/3 unit, and can be taken in addition to the 3 courses recommended below.

For more information on the degree requirements for your major click here.

A Term Recommendations

Students considering a major in Biochemistry should take CH 1010. If you have AP or Transfer Credit for CH 1010 you can consider taking  a Biology course in it's place. More information about which Biology courses to take can be found below. CH 1010 is the first course in the sequence and is a recommended background for future Chemistry courses.

CH 1010 and CH 1020 review material that is generally found in high school chemistry courses, and may not be necessary for students with a good chemistry background. CH 1030 and CH 1040 (offered C and D terms) are highly recommended as they provide an introduction to working in a laboratory, a key part of the skills necessary to become a biochemist.

Additional courses can be selected from the Humanities, Great Problems Seminars, and Social Sciences.  For students who receive AP credit for chemistry we recommend taking a Great Problems Seminar in place of the chemistry courses.

 

Your second course should be a GPS, Humanities and Arts, Social Science, or Biology Course. More information is available about these courses below. 

GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. For more information click here.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

You are required to take two Social Science Courses in your time at WPI. The subjects that are considered Social Science are:

  • Development (DEV)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • Environmental Studies (ENV)
  • Government, Political Science, and Law (GOV)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • System Dynamics (SD)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Social Science (SS)
  • Society/Technology Studies (STS)

Note: ID 2050 is a course that is required before you go away for IQP and counts as one of your Social Science Courses. If you are planning on going away for IQP in your junior year, you may only want to take one social science course in your first year. 

Since biochemists work at the interface of chemistry and biology, a background in biology is also essential. Biology course are available at a variety of levels. For those students who have had biology in high school we recommend taking Cell Biology (BB 2550) and Genetics (BB 2920) in the first year. For those students who have no biology background, BB 1035-Intro to Biotechnology should be taken first. 

 

Biochemistry Majors are required to take 6 classes in Math and Physics throughout their four years, with two of those courses typically being Physics. It is recommended that you take Math in A and B terms of your first year. In choosing which Math course you will begin with, please consider the following.  

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 and should begin with MA 1024/1034 in A term followed by MA 2051 in B term. If you received a 6 or 7 on the IB, you will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and you should use your math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  3. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

B Term Recommendations

Students considering a major in Chemistry should take CH 1020 in B term.

CH 1010 and CH 1020 review material that is generally found in high school chemistry courses, and may not be necessary for students with a good chemistry background. CH 1030 and CH 1040 (offered C and D terms) are highly recommended as they provide an introduction to working in a laboratory, a key part of the skills necessary to become a biochemist.

Additional courses can be selected from the Humanities, Great Problems Seminars, and Social Sciences.  For students who receive AP credit for chemistry we recommend taking a Great Problems Seminar in place of the chemistry courses.

Your second course should be a GPS, Humanities and Arts, Social Science, or Biology Course. More information is available about these courses below. 

GPS stands for Great Problems Seminar is a course that is exclusively for first year students and allow students to learn about a problem in the world and work with a group on how to fix it. These courses are helpful with the transition to college as well as useful for students when preparing for projects such as IQP and MQP in junior and senior year. GPS courses run for both A and B term, so you will only need to choose one. For more information click here.

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Huili Zheng (hzheng2@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

You are required to take two Social Science Courses in your time at WPI. The subjects that are considered Social Science are:

  • Development (DEV)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • Environmental Studies (ENV)
  • Government, Political Science, and Law (GOV)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • System Dynamics (SD)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Social Science (SS)
  • Society/Technology Studies (STS)

Note: ID 2050 is a course that is required before you go away for IQP and counts as one of your Social Science Courses. If you are planning on going away for IQP in your junior year, you may only want to take one social science course in your first year. 

Since biochemists work at the interface of chemistry and biology, a background in biology is also essential. Biology course are available at a variety of levels. For those students who have had biology in high school we recommend taking Cell Biology (BB 2550) and Genetics (BB 2920) in the first year. For those students who have no biology background, BB 1035-Intro to Biotechnology should be taken first. 

 

In B Term you should take the next course in the Calculus series beyond your A term course. The following is the typical MA sequence for WPI Students.

MA 1021

MA 1022

MA 1023/1033

MA 1024/1034

MA 2051

In order to select which Math course you should take first please consider the following. 

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 and should begin with MA 1024/1034 in A term followed by MA 2051 in B term. If you received a 6 or 7 on the IB, you will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and you should use your math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  3. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

Once you go through the above recommendations, please be sure to review Registration Information so you know how to register on June 22, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST.

Registration Information

To begin to plan your schedule for next fall, you should use the WPI Planner. This resource can assist you in searching for available courses before building out a saved schedule in Workday, WPI's course registration software.

PRE-REGISTRATION PREP

  • Watch the 10 min. overview video
  • Login to Workday
  • Use Find Course Sections to build at least one Saved Schedule for A-Term, B-Term, and if you're taking any 10 or 14 week classes, Fall Semester (instructions)

JUNE 22, 4PM ET: REGISTER

  • Login to Workday

  • Open a browser tab or window for A-Term, B-Term, and Fall Semester (if you have any 10 or 14 week classes) and View My Saved Schedules for each

  • [Optional] Open tabs for alternate course sections from other Saved Schedules or search results

  • When registration opens, click Start Registration, then click Register (instructions)

  • Open View My Courses, scroll right to Drop or Swap (instructions)

  • Waitlisted? If a spot opens, a notification will be sent to your WPI email asking you to login to Workday and take action