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Biochemistry

Degree

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science | College of Arts and Science

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry involves the study of life on the molecular level. Biochemists use a variety of chemical techniques to affect this study. This program is for students interested in a career in life or health science or biochemistry. Many who chose this major also want to enter the chemical industry or graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, or related areas.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Top ranking

In recent years, Miami's chemistry department has ranked first in Ohio in the total number of chemistry graduates. About half go on to graduate or professional school each year. Chemistry is the second most common major, behind zoology, for Miami students choosing to attend medical or dental school. Others go on to graduate school in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, business, and education. During the past 25 years, about a fourth of our B.S. graduates have gone on to earn a Ph.D. degree.

Top-notch facilities

Miami's chemistry and biochemistry department offers hands-on training on modern instrumentation. Through grants from the NSF and support from the university, we have acquired an impressive array of state-of-the-art instrumentation especially for use by undergraduates. Since 2000, the department has received more than $2 million in teaching and research equipment that is available for undergraduate use in the classroom or as part of independent study projects.

Research projects

Many students collaborate with faculty members on individual research projects. Chemistry majors can begin research work as early as the freshman year. Summer research fellowships are also available. Undergraduates are given the opportunity to publish and present their work at national conferences and have been co-authors of numerous research articles published in chemistry or biochemistry journals.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

For the Bachelor of Science degree, you take courses and laboratory work in biochemistry and the life sciences during the third and fourth years with somewhat fewer courses in other areas of chemistry.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in chemistry, with the flexibility to incorporate training in engineering and the other physical sciences, or the life sciences, respectively. This degree can be taken in a teaching certification track, where you would be required to complete additional related credit hours taken from the School of Education, Health, and Society and results in teaching certification.

Students in biochemistry are strongly encouraged to take a technical writing class. This class teaches you viable skills in both written and oral communication, enabling you to explain things clearly and concisely to others who may not have a technical background and to develop interpersonal skills. Written skills are essential in order to provide accurate documentation. As our undergraduates are given the opportunity to publish their research work in scientific journals, this is an especially important asset.

Presentation skills are also emphasized. You will present the results of your research in class, and some students also present their work at national conferences.

What can I do with this major?

Of the B.S. graduates who seek employment immediately after graduation, most take positions as chemists and biochemists in industry. Major employers are chemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, and rubber companies; many manufacturing industries also employ chemists.

Most A.B. graduates who go on to work immediately after graduation are also employed by industry, but often not as chemists. Many work in technical or scientific sales; others report job titles as diverse as staff programmer and market research analyst.

If you chose not to enter the workforce after graduation, you could attend graduate or professional school after graduation. These additional degrees are often earned in biochemistry, business or medicine. Our B.S. graduates with excellent academic records have been accepted for graduate studies in chemistry or biochemistry at nearly every major university in the country. Several have gone on to college or university teaching careers. If you're interested in medical research, this degree is also a good choice. Our A.B. degree recipients often pursue further studies in the chemical and health professions, business, or the life sciences. Both B.S. and A.B. graduates with excellent academic records are accepted to medical and dental schools; most frequently, these are schools in the state of Ohio.

Biochemistry is also an attractive major for pre-law students. Today patent law and environmental law are rapidly expanding fields which require a scientific background.

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
160 Hughes Hall
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-2813