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Chemistry for the Life Sciences sequence

Chemistry for the Life Sciences Sequence Information

In the fall of 2016, the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry began to offer a 3-course 13-credit Chemistry for the Life Sciences sequence that they created upon the College of Biological Sciences’ request. The courses were developed in collaboration to provide a focused and accelerated chemistry sequence for the life sciences with ensuring that the critical concepts in chemistry were included. This three-semester series was developed specifically to prepare students in life sciences with the chemistry knowledge needed to be successful in their domains. In reducing content that is less central to the life sciences, the sequence allows students to progress through the chemistry content most critical to the life sciences, as well as engage in more advanced coursework.

Upon review of these courses, the University of Minnesota Medical School, College of Pharmacy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Genetic Counseling Program, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program, and Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) Program have agreed that they will accept the Chemistry for the Life Sciences series to satisfy their course prerequisites, and they have all provided us with written documentation of this agreement.

Information for Health Programs and Admissions Professionals

Please read review the following letter from Associate Dean Ward to learn more about this accelerated chemistry course sequence and how it fits into your application prerequisites.

Letter from Associate Dean John Ward

We encourage you to review the course descriptions and syllabi below for the specifics of the Chemistry for the Life Sciences sequence that students complete prior to going onto biochemistry and other advanced science coursework.


Course Descriptions

CHEM 1081/1065: Chemistry for Life Sciences I and Lab (3 credits lecture, 1 credit lab):
Similar to traditional first-semester general chemistry courses, this pairing is paced more quickly, covering content from general chemistry I and moving on to content typically covered in a second semester of general chemistry.

CHEM 1082/1086: Chemistry for Life Sciences II and Lab (3 credits lecture, 1 credit lab):
These courses complete general chemistry education and begin layering organic chemistry content.

CHEM 2081/2085: Chemistry for Life Sciences III and Lab (3 credits lecture, 2 credits lab):
This final semester focuses exclusively on remaining organic chemistry content and its application.

BIOC 3022 - Biochemistry for the Life Sciences (3 credits lecture):
Designed as the fourth semester after the three-semester chemistry sequence, our re-envisioned biochemistry course capitalizes on the knowledge built in the sequence to teach more in-depth and cutting edge biochemistry as relates to the life sciences. This course provides an introduction to biochemistry including discussion of the structure and functions of biomolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids), central metabolic pathways, and the mechanisms of enzyme action. This course is for students in the College of Biological Sciences who have completed BIOL 3020.

Course Syllabi

Chemistry 1081 Syllabus

Chemistry 1065 (Lab) Syllabus

Chemistry 1082 Syllabus

Chemistry 1086 (Lab) Syllabus

Chemistry 2081 Syllabus

Chemistry 2085 (Lab) Syllabus

Biochemistry 3022 Syllabus

For any questions or more information about the Chemistry for the Life Science Series, please email to be put in touch with a CBS Academic Advisor. 

Information for Students

We encourage you to become familiar with the particular admission requirements of your prospective schools, as many institutions have distinct curricula, and students are sometimes asked to provide additional information during the application process. Please share this website with admissions contacts from different institutions to ensure your coursework fulfills prerequisites.

Additionally, to support you in your application, we have also created a webpage related to completing Chemistry for the Life Sciences and applying to health professional school. On this page, you'll find FAQs about the sequence, an overview of CBS's outreach to health professional schools, an application webinar, and contact information for further questions.