Earn a hybrid degree in biology and chemistry
One of the most important fields of chemistry, biochemistry is a hybrid of the fields of biology and chemistry. You will gain a thorough foundation in both disciplines and an in-depth study of biochemistry. This major will allow you to consider opportunities in medicine, pharmaceuticals and a variety of biochemical technology fields.
What to Expect
- 51-52 credit hours of courses that are a combination of biology and chemistry
- As a biochemistry major, you will be in the laboratory for a significant amount of time most semesters. One of our goals is to provide you with extensive exposure to chemical techniques and instrumentation.
- A close-knit department where students get a high degree of interaction with knowledgeable faculty.
Students build a firm understanding of biological and chemical principles in the first year with the general chemistry and principles of biology sequences. That foundational knowledge is expanded in the second year with organic chemistry and molecular biology. In the junior and senior years, students learn about chemical instrumentation and theoretical energetics in addition to completing the biochemistry sequence, resulting in biochemistry graduates who are well-prepared for pharmacy, medical, and graduate schools.
Biochemistry I With Lab
Introduction to the major biomolecular compound classes, including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, along with a survey of enzyme kinetics and the overall regulation of key metabolic pathways.
Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences
Physical chemistry for the life sciences focuses on the energetics of biochemical reactions. Using thermodynamics, we can predict which reactions are spontaneous and how to drive nonspontaneous reactions. Kinetics allows us to determine the mechanisms of certain reactions and by studying quantum we can learn how biochemists use spectroscopic techniques to learn about properties of biomolecules.
Organic Chemistry II & Spectroscopy
This organic chemistry course has a research-project-based laboratory, allowing students to experience research while learning organic laboratory principles. Students synthesize and test drug analogs for bioactivity, replicating the industrial drug discovery process.
“I really liked this award because you can [work] one-on-one with a professor, and you learn outside of lecture. It just gives you really hands-on experience … This really gives you an insight of how a lab is done.”Andrew Rodriguez ’24, Biochemistry Major
Andrew was a recipient of the Martin Science Research Institute Award in the summer of 2023. Learn more about research opportunities for students.
Pursue careers in fields such as medical research, medicine, higher education, biotechnology, agricultural chemistry, engineering, computational chemistry, crystallography, oil and petroleum, or viticulture.
- Research Scientist
- Agricultural Chemist
- Clinical Laboratory Scientist
- Genetic Engineer
- Food Chemist
- Patent Attorney
- Science Teacher
- Forensic Biochemist
- Environmental Analyst
Chart your path
Learn more about the career paths and professional organizations in the field of biochemistry from the American Chemical Society.
Graduate School Opportunities
Biochemistry majors go on to medical and pharmacy schools, biotechnology training programs and graduate schools. Most of the requirements for medical and pharmacy schools are met by this major, so you can keep your career options open.
Like many BC graduates, you might enter graduate schools such as:
- Boston University
- George Mason University
- Georgetown University
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Shenandoah University
- University of Tennessee
- University of Virginia
- West Virginia University
Join the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club
Network with your fellow students and faculty as part of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club. Follow the department’s Instagram for an inside look at the club and see the passion for chemistry on campus.
Questions? Contact Us!
Dr. Ellen Mitchell, Department Chair