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Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the branch of science that explores the structures and chemical processes of molecules in living organisms that interact to form cells, tissues and whole organisms. The Biochemistry program at Queen’s provides students with in-depth training in a wide range of important topics that are related to these processes, including the mechanisms of cancer progression, cellular communication, and the molecular and chemical basis of infection, inheritance and disease. The program also offers opportunities for students to explore rapidly expanding fields in molecular genetics, metabolism of biomolecules, bioengineering and regenerative medicine through hands-on training with professors in research labs. This program provides students with in-depth training needed to prepare them for entry into graduate programs, industry, and careers in the biomedical sciences.

The first year of the program provides vital background preparation in Chemistry (organic, analytical and physical), Molecular Biology, and Statistical Analysis, to understand the molecules that make up all living things.  In the upper years of the program students receive in-depth exposure to all areas of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, including extensive hands-on laboratory experiences. The Biochemistry program has enough flexibility for students to take elective courses offered in other programs within the Faculty of Arts and Science, including the Life Sciences program, for which they are eligible. 

Normally, students pursuing entry into the fourth-year of the Biochemistry Major Plan require a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the core BCHM courses (BCHM 218/3.0, BCHM 313/3.0, BCHM 315/3.0, BCHM 316/3.0, and BCHM 317/6.0) to access those fourth-year courses required to complete the Plan. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, the requirement for 2020/2021 has been modified so that the cumulative GPA (which would remain as a minimum of 2.5 for acceptance) is calculated from 12 Units in those core courses, rather than 18. 

Students wishing to continue in Biochemistry Specialization Plan (BCHM-P-BSH) in their fourth-year must 1) achieve a minimum GPA in the core BCHM courses (see above) of 2.9 and 2) acceptance into the Plan. Students who secure a research project but do not attain the minimum GPA of 2.9 will not be allowed to enroll in BCHM 421/6.0 and BCHM 422/6.0, but will be allowed to complete the Biochemistry Major Plan.