The BS degree in Biochemistry provides thorough training in the fundamental principles and experimental techniques of chemistry and biology as they apply to biological systems, and emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of these sciences. This program prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including biological or biochemical research, health sciences, government, industry, or with additional coursework in the College of Education, secondary science teaching. For students seeking careers in industry, the biochemistry major may lead to work in interdisciplinary sciences such as biotechnology, forensics, environmental science, or pharmacology, and it is well suited to the needs of pre-professional students, including pre-medical students and pre-pharmacy students.
Location: Chicago, Schaumburg
Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Type: Major
The BS in Biochemistry provides students a rigorous background including 15 semester hours of core biology content, 25 semester hours of core chemistry content, and 12 semester hours of core biochemistry content. Additionally, 10 semester hours of advanced electives allow students to pursue their own interests in biochemistry and its contributing disciplines. Students are well-prepared for technical employment, with over 450 hours of hands-on training in biology, chemistry and biochemistry laboratories outfitted with modern scientific equipment. Many courses include laboratory research projects, and students are encouraged to complete undergraduate research with a sponsoring faculty member. Students are also well-prepared for graduate study, including professional programs in pharmacy and medicine.
Expectations & Requirements
Students should be well-prepared, with a minimum of three years of high school science and three years of high school mathematics, including college algebra and pre-calculus. Students should expect to be challenged by rigorous courses that provide a sound base in the disciplines and experimental techniques of biology and chemistry, as well as their application to biochemistry.
Biochemistry majors are encouraged to select a minor, but are not required to do so. Appropriate minors include psychology and mathematics. Biochemistry majors are not permitted to minor in either biology or chemistry. Because of the large number of prerequisite courses which must be completed before students can enroll in biochemistry courses, a minor in biochemistry itself is not available. Non-science majors with an interest in biochemistry should minor in either biology or chemistry.
- Physical Chemistry for Bioscience
- Advanced Biochemistry
- Biochemistry Seminar.
Biochemistry BS majors can move directly into paid employment in academia, industry or government, for example in analytical chemistry, clinical biochemistry, clinical research associate, forensic science, toxicology, or as a laboratory technician. Additionally, many biochemistry majors pursue graduate study in biochemistry, or professional study in pharmacy or medicine.
Just a few of the grad schools our alums have attended:
- Rush University, PhD program in integrated biomedical sciences
- Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
- University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy
Job Placement Data
For the classes of 2013-2015:
- 29 percent are enrolled in graduate or professional programs,
- 50 per are employed directly in industry, including placements at Abbot Laboratories (Associate Scientist), Gift of Hope (Research Analyst), Northwestern Memorial hospital (Laboratory Technician), Reliable Solutions (Laboratory Technician), Walgreens (Pharmacy Service Representative), and SC Johnson (Laboratory Technician).
- Job placement information is not currently available for the remaining 21 percent.
Clubs & Activities
Preprofessional club, Prepharmacy club