- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Biochemistry is the study of life on the molecular level. It combines approaches from chemistry, physics, and biology to study the fundamental mechanisms of living things and is a central discipline in the molecular biosciences and their biomedical applications.
Biochemistry majors choose one of two emphasis options in the program:
- Molecular Biology provides increased emphasis on cell biology and molecular genetics, integrating genetics with the study of life on the molecular level.
- Biochemistry/biophysics provides increased emphasis on physics and mathematics, applying physics and math to the study of life on the molecular level.
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- Learn research techniques and operate advanced equipment.
- Undertake a research project of your own, mentored by a faculty researcher.
- The prestigious STARS program helps ambitious, high-achieving students get an early start on research and earn their Ph.D. in biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, or microbiology up to two years faster.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Individualize your course of study within the School of Molecular Biosciences.
- Study with faculty noted for their work in protein biochemistry, DNA repair, structural biology, molecular plant sciences, food science, and reproductive biology.
- Featured courses & requirements
To start with, you'll take chemistry and biology courses that give you a strong foundation to build on. Then, beginning in your sophomore year, you can start delving into biochemistry and choose which emphasis to take.
Students take the following core courses as well as other university, college, and degree requirements.
Biol 106 & 107—Introductory Biology I & II
Chem 105 & 106—Principles of Chemistry I & II
Chem 345—Elementary Organic Chemistry I
Chem 348-Organic Chemistry II
Math 140—Math for Life Sciences
or 171—Calculus I
Math 212—Intro to Statistical Methods
or Stat 412—Biometry
Phys 101 & 102—General Physics I & II
or 201 & 202—Physics for Scientists and Engineers I & II
MBioS 301—General Genetics
MBioS 303—Introductory Biochemistry
MBioS 304—Micro/Molecular Biology Lab
MBioS 305—General Microbiology Lecture
MBioS 401—Cell Biology
MBioS 404—Molecular Biology
MBioS 413—General Biochemistry I
MBioS 414-General Biochemistry II
MBioS 454-Biochemistry Laboratory
MBioS 465-Principles of Biophysical Chemistry
MBioS 494—Senior Project
One lecture and one laboratory elective course.
For detailed information on the program and its requirements, check out the biochemistry home page on the School of Molecular Biosciences site.
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Biochemistry facilities
Biochemistry students have access to the following outstanding facilities:
- Equipment for ultracentrifugation, recombinant DNA techniques, HPLC, protein analysis and purification, DNA sequencing and synthesizing, and more
- Bioanalytical Laboratory
- Electron Microscopy Center
- Nuclear Radiation Center
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center
- X-ray Crystallography Laboratory
- Owen Science and Engineering Library, the largest library of its kind in the Northwest
- Scholarships and financial aid
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
For biochemistry majors
Biochemistry majors are eligible for scholarships offered by the College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Molecular Biosciences. Additionally, a variety of federal, state, and University-sponsored programs are available to assist students with education costs.
For all students at WSU
Students must complete the WSU scholarship application to be eligible for scholarships from the University. All students should also complete the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Good high school preparation in biology, chemistry, and mathematics
At least three years of sciences and math in high school recommended
Strong reading, writing, reasoning, and computer skills
Transfer students are encouraged to complete a year each of introductory biology and chemistry, and math through calculus 1 before arriving at WSU
- Careers in biochemistry
Biochemistry majors have wide and diverse career opportunities in the life sciences.
Careers open to graduates in this major include technical positions in pharmaceutical, agricultural, food, and biotechnology industries; private or governmental laboratories; and nonprofit institutions such as clinical and hospital laboratories and at institutes that focus on research.
Graduates are also prepared to pursue advanced professional degrees in human medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, and other fields.
With advanced degrees, they practice medicine, teach at the college level, or conduct basic or applied research in the government, higher education, or private industry. Others have careers in law, business, or government.