Department of Biochemistry - Undergraduate Program

Biochemistry is the basic science which has as its goal an explanation of life processes in physical and chemical terms. It deals with the chemical and physical properties of living matter and with the chemical changes occurring in living matter. This includes the properties and chemical changes in genes (DNA) generally referred to as molecular biology.

The major in biochemistry is designed to fit the needs of the student who wishes to achieve B.S. level training as well as those planning to pursue graduate or professional school study. The degree will serve as an excellent background for medical school or veterinary school admission. This major also provides an excellent background for graduate study in biochemistry or other allied fields such as biology, bacteriology, genetics, molecular biology or oncology. The basic requirements for the degree include courses in biology and general, organic, quantitative, and physical chemistry. Depending on his/her particular interest, the student can concentrate on electives in either of these areas to lead to a degree that contains as much chemistry as a chemistry major, or that is more complete in the biological sciences.

Many opportunities for laboratory research experience are available on this campus for undergraduate students and such experience is strongly encouraged. Independent study courses and senior thesis complement and extend these experiences. Research experience is viewed favorably by employers and admission committees for graduate and professional schools.

Graduates in biochemistry are in demand for interesting jobs as participants in research groups in hospitals, medical schools and academic institutions, as well as a large number of different government laboratories and research institutions. There are many opportunities for biochemists in industries concerned with food processing and drug production and in the various areas of the chemical and petroleum industry.

Any student desiring further information about the degree program in biochemistry should contact the undergraduate advisor, Kendra Gurnee, at or 608-265-9846. The advising office is located at 1142 Student Services Suite, in the Biochemistry Building, 420 Henry Mall. Students can schedule an appointment online to meet with the advisor. Students who enter the Biochemistry program are strongly urged to see an advisor each semester for discussion of course programs and postgraduate planning.

Biochemistry Building, 420 Henry Mall
Hector F. DeLuca Biochemistry Building
(Hector F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Building in background)
420 Henry Mall
Photo Courtesy of Hedrich Blessing