BIOL 3131
Introduction to Biochemistry

3.0 Credits


This course is an introduction to cellular chemistry and covers such topics as the structure and function of biological molecules, including nucleic acids, enzymes and other proteins, carbo-hydrates, lipids, and vitamins. Also, the course provides an introduction to metabolic pathways and bioenergetics, including glycolysis, fermentation and respiration, oxidation of fatty acids, and photosynthesis.

Delivery Method

Online, paced


BIOL 2131 or BIOL 2130, CHEM 2120 OR CHEM 2220, CHEM 2123 or CHEM 2223


BIOL 3130 and CHEM 3730


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize how the Standard Free Energy ( G0) and Free Energy ( G) of a reaction or pathway influences the direction of metabolism.
  • Describe what enzymes are and how they allow for metabolism and its regulation.
  • Explain how ATP is synthesized via glycolysis, the TCA cycle, and mitochondrial electron transport.
  • Compare the energetic inputs and outputs of mitochondrial electron transport and photosynthetic electron transport.
  • Compare the processes of fatty acid oxidation and fatty acid synthesis.
  • Describe how amino acids are synthesized and degraded.
  • Describe how nucleotides and deoxynucleotides are synthesized and degraded.
  • Search, retrieve, evaluate, and synthesize information.
  • Communicate scientific knowledge and results effectively.
  • Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively.

Course Outline

  • Introduction and Review of Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics, Reactions, and Pathways
  • Enzymes
  • Regulation of Metabolism
  • Glycolysis, the TCA cycle, Mitochondrial Electron Transport, and ATP Synthesis
  • Regulation of Glycolysis and ATP Synthesis
  • Photosynthetic Electron Transport and the Calvin Cycle
  • Lipid Chemistry and Fatty Acid Oxidation
  • Lipid Synthesis
  • Amino Acid Chemistry
  • Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Maximum Completion

16 weeks

Required Text and Materials

  1. Nelson, D and M Cox. Lehninger: Principles of biochemistry. 7th edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2017.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-4641-2611-6
  1. Osgood, M., Ocorr, K. Principles of biochemistry Study Guide and Solutions Manual. 7th edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2017.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-4641-8797-1

Optional Materials

The following book would be helpful in completing the major literature review assignment but is not required: Pechenik, J. A. (2004). A short guide to writing about biology (5th ed.). New York, NY: Addison-Wesley. Any recent edition of this book can be used.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Discussions 5%
Quizzes 20%
Literature Updates 5%
Author Correspondence 5%
Major Project 30%
Final Exam * 35%
Total 100%

* Mandatory