Education

Best Biochemistry Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Biochemistry programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes that occur in living organisms. Biochemists use their knowledge of chemistry to understand how these processes work, and to develop new ways to diagnose and treat diseases. Biochemistry degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the medical field, including doctor, nurse, and pharmacist.

Biochemistry degrees offer a broad overview of the chemical processes that occur in living organisms. Students in biochemistry degree programs learn about the different types of molecules that make up the human body, and how those molecules interact with each other. They also learn about the ways in which diseases can disrupt the normal functioning of the human body, and how to develop new treatments for those diseases.

How to Choose the Right Biochemistry Program

When it comes to choosing the right biochemistry bachelor’s degree program, there are many factors to consider. Cost, location, and time to degree are all important factors, but students should also research the curriculum and available specializations.

Many biochemistry programs offer specializations, so students should research the options available at each school. For example, some programs offer a specialization in biochemistry and molecular biology, while others offer a specialization in medicinal chemistry. Students should also research the graduation requirements to learn how many general biochemistry classes they must take versus the specialized courses in their track.

In addition to these factors, prospective biochemistry students also need to consider the research opportunities available at each program. Many programs offer research experiences for undergraduates, so students should inquire about the possibility of conducting research with a faculty member.

Finally, students should consider the location of the school. Some students may prefer to be in a big city, while others may prefer a smaller town. Location can also affect the ability to gain internship opportunities and network for jobs after graduation.

Best Bachelor’s in Biochemistry Programs

The best programs for Biochemistry ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from University of Southern California is a joint degree offered by the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. The program is designed to give students a solid foundation in the principles of biochemistry and prepare them for careers in the field. The program requires the completion of courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, as well as eight units of upper-division, non-core coursework in biological sciences or chemistry. Students have the option of completing the program with honors by completing additional research and coursework.

Rank 2
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology is a technology-focused program that provides students with a strong foundation in the principles of biochemistry. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers in fields such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, and research science. The program offers several key advantages, including the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects with world-class faculty and facilities, and the ability to customize the degree to fit specific interests and career goals.

Rank 3
The University of Texas
Austin, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from The University of Texas is a degree that is intended to prepare students for professional careers as biochemists. The degree can also be useful for those seeking work in biotechnology, computational biology, biomaterials, forensics, biomedical research, pharmaceutics, patent law, biotechnology/biomedical business, or environmental science. The Honors Option is intended to prepare students for academic or research careers.

Rank 4
Lewis University
Romeoville, IL

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Lewis University is a great degree choice for students with strong math skills and an interest in both Biology and Chemistry. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in medicine and pharmaceuticals, food science, agriculture, medical pharmacology, and many other related fields. The program also prepares students to pursue graduate studies in biochemistry, molecular biology, forensic science, and other related fields.

Rank 5
Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion
Marion, IN

The Indiana Wesleyan University Biochemistry major is designed to integrate the Christian perspective with a rigorous background and training in this field. Graduates of this program will be equipped with knowledge and skills for a wide variety of options in chemistry and the life sciences including graduate school.

Rank 6
Catawba College
Salisbury, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Catawba College is an interdisciplinary major offered by the Biology and Chemistry departments. The program aims to capture the modern synthesis of molecular biology and chemistry. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in both Biology and Chemistry. Faculty mentoring, experiential learning opportunities, conducting and presenting research at professional conferences, travel, and carefully selected internships help Biochemistry majors understand and master critical concepts.

Rank 7
Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Seton Hill University is a 72-credit program that combines the disciplines of biology and chemistry. Students in the program learn how chemical processes occur in living organisms, which can lead to careers in a variety of fields such as healthcare, clinical research, and forensics. The program also provides students with the opportunity to take part in research projects and internships.

Rank 8
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Texas A & M University is a versatile degree that provides students with a strong background in chemistry and the physical sciences, as well as in the biological sciences. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers, including graduate school, professional school, or a variety of jobs in the field.

Rank 9
Indiana University-Bloomington
Bloomington, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Indiana University-Bloomington is designed for students preparing for graduate work or other research work in industry or government laboratories.

The major requires study in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. Students can then choose to take elective courses in disciplines like inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and surface chemistry. Courses in math, physics, and biology are also required. Students have plenty of opportunity to develop their laboratory skills through course requirements and electives, and many students work with faculty in their labs for further mentoring.

Rank 10
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Clemson University is a great choice for students interested in a career in the sciences. The program provides a strong foundation in the principles of chemistry, biology, and physics, and also offers courses in areas such as molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. The flexible curriculum allows students to tailor their degree to their specific career goals, and the program also provides a great foundation for graduate programs.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry Program

A bachelor’s degree in biochemistry typically requires four years of full-time study and includes both general education and major coursework. The core curriculum for a biochemistry degree emphasizes math and science, including classes in biology, physics, and chemistry. Students also take classes in biochemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry.

In addition to the core curriculum, many programs offer electives that allow students to explore specific areas of interest. For example, students might take classes in immunology, pharmacology, or toxicology. Some programs also offer opportunities to participate in research projects.

Overall, a biochemistry degree provides students with a strong foundation in math and science. Students who pursue a biochemistry degree should be prepared to take challenging coursework and complete extensive laboratory work.

Common Biochemistry Courses

The coursework for a biochemistry degree program will typically include classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. In addition, students will take specialized classes in biochemistry. The following is a list of five common courses found in a biochemistry degree program.

Organic Chemistry

This course covers the study of organic chemistry with an emphasis on structure, reactivity, and synthesis. Topics include: alkanes and cycloalkanes, alkenes and alkynes, stereochemistry, aromaticity, alkanes and cycloalkanes, alkenes and alkynes, stereochemistry, aromaticity, alkyl halides, alcohols and phenols, ethers, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives, and amines. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules and be able to apply this knowledge to the synthesis of new organic compounds.

Molecular Biology

This course covers the study of the structure and function of genes at the molecular level. Topics include an overview of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis; regulation of gene expression; genetic engineering; and genomics. Emphasis is placed on the role of molecular biology in the understanding of the structure and function of cells and the genetic basis of inheritance. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the role of DNA, RNA, and proteins in the cell; transcribe and translate a gene; and apply molecular biology techniques to solve problems in biochemistry.

Cell Biology

This course covers the structure and function of cells with an emphasis on the molecular basis of cell function. Topics include cell membranes, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, cell division, cell signaling, and cell communication. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between cell structure and function at the molecular level. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the structure and function of cells and their organelles, and describe the molecular basis of cell function.

Calculus

This course covers differential and integral calculus with an emphasis on their applications in the natural sciences. Topics include limits, continuity, derivatives, integrals, and an introduction to differential equations. Upon completion, students should be able to apply calculus concepts to model and solve problems in the natural sciences.

Laboratory Practices

This course covers the basic principles and practices of biochemistry laboratory work, including safety, aseptic technique, and standard operating procedures. Emphasis is placed on the use of common biochemistry laboratory equipment and instruments, as well as the proper techniques for handling, storing, and disposing of biochemistry laboratory materials. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and effectively use biochemistry laboratory equipment and materials, and follow proper biochemistry laboratory procedures.

Career Options for Biochemistry Graduates

Graduates of biochemistry programs work in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and biotechnology. They may also work in fields such as research, development, and manufacturing.

Biochemist

Biochemists are scientists who study the chemical processes that occur in living things. They use their knowledge of chemistry to understand how these processes work and how they can be applied to solve problems in areas like healthcare, agriculture, and the environment. Biochemists typically have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or a related field, and they may work in a research lab, a hospital, or a pharmaceutical company.

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving human health. They use clinical trials, among other methods, to test new treatments—such as drugs, medical devices, and behavioral therapies—to determine whether they are safe and effective. Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D. in an area of science or health-related field.

Quality Control Chemist

Quality control chemists test products and materials to ensure they meet quality standards set by the company, government, or other regulating bodies. They work in a variety of industries, including food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and environmental science. Quality control chemists typically work in a laboratory setting and use a variety of scientific instruments and techniques to test products for things like safety, potency, and purity. They also develop and validate new testing methods, write reports on their findings, and may train other laboratory technicians.

Clinical Laboratory Technician

Clinical laboratory technicians work in healthcare settings and are responsible for conducting tests on patients’ blood, tissues, and other bodily fluids. These tests can be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, from cancer and heart disease to infections and allergies. Clinical laboratory technicians typically work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities and report to a medical technologist or other supervisor. They must be able to follow complex instructions, maintain accurate records, and use a variety of laboratory equipment.

Process Engineer

Process engineers are responsible for the design, implementation, and improvement of systems that turn raw materials into finished products. They work in a variety of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, oil and gas, and manufacturing. Process engineers often have a background in chemical engineering, and their work typically involves using computer-aided design (CAD) software, process simulations, and other tools to design and optimize manufacturing processes. They also develop process control systems, troubleshoot process issues, and train operators on new processes.

Insights From a Biochemistry Graduate

Brock Barnes is a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School. He has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Boston College. Brock has over 3 years of experience in biomedical research.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Biochemistry program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Brock Barnes: I think the biggest takeaway from my biochemistry program was learning how to think critically about scientific problems. In order to be a successful scientist, you need to be able to read the scientific literature, identify problems, and design experiments to test your hypotheses.

I also think that my biochemistry program did a great job of preparing me for the real world. I was able to get involved in research early on and had the opportunity to work with some amazing mentors.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Biochemistry be good at?

Brock Barnes: Students interested in biochemistry should be good at chemistry and biology. They should be able to understand and apply concepts from both disciplines. In addition, students should be able to use mathematical skills to solve problems.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about a Biochemistry degree, and what would you tell them?

Brock Barnes: I think the biggest misconception about a biochemistry degree is that it’s all about memorizing a bunch of facts and formulas. Yes, there is some memorization involved, but it’s mostly about understanding the concepts and being able to apply them to new situations.

A lot of people also think that all you can do with a biochemistry degree is work in a lab, but that’s not true either. There are plenty of other options, such as teaching, writing, or working in the pharmaceutical industry.

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