Biochemistry (B.S.)

ABOUT

Just below the surface of every living organism lies a complexity of millions of chemical reactions, each of which is necessary for an animal, plant or even virus to thrive. Even a simple task like eating an apple will kick your metabolism into gear with biochemical reactions that allow you to break down that apple into carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which in turn provide you with energy. As a biochemistry major, you’ll learn about how these biochemical processes can affect human disease, genetics or even bacteria. This degree provides a strong preparation for many scientific careers and is an excellent foundation for professional health schools such as medical, veterinary, dental and pharmacy, as well as for graduate research in multiple science disciplines. 

FAST FACTS

  • More than 30 percent of our students are members of Clemson's Calhoun Honors College.
  • Once you have completed general course requirements, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in choosing advanced courses.
  • More than 75 percent of our students go on to professional or graduate school programs.
  • Our department interacts closely with the Institute for Translational Genomics.
  • Clemson’s partnership with the nearby Greenville Health System is working to advance health care research.

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

One of the first courses biochemistry majors are required to take is designed to introduce you to careers, professional organizations, ethical issues and the requirements for advanced studies. In the first two years, you’ll take various courses in the sciences such as general, organic, quantitative and physical chemistry as well as physics and biology. Each of these courses builds a foundation for you to be successful in the upper-level course work in biochemistry, metabolism, cell biology and bioinformatics. Additionally, you can tailor your degree to your specific career goals as you choose your upper-level science classes. Pick from approved science requirements such as human anatomy and physiology, plant pathology, genetics, microbiology, pathogenic bacteriology and immunology.

Because biochemistry spills over into pharmacology, physiology, microbiology and clinical chemistry, a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry can offer a direct path to a career in government or industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency are just a few of the government agencies that employ biochemists specializing in basic research. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries employ biochemists in research as well as in areas outside the lab such as marketing, management, science information, technical writing and editing. This degree is also a great foundation for professional programs such as medical, dental, veterinary and even law.

Popular Minors

  • Biological Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Modern Languages

EXPERIENCES BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Outside the classroom, you’ll often find a biochemistry student in the lab, many times working alongside our nationally recognized faculty whose diverse research interests range from spiders to cancer. You'll also have a chance to participate in internships and study abroad, as well as join any of Clemson’s hundreds of student organizations.

Take a part-time position, volunteer or earn course credit through research opportunities available in faculty laboratories. Our faculty have diverse research interests such as alternative fuels and hereditary diseases of canines.
Through independent research, you’ll learn the latest cutting-edge methodologies in biochemical and genetic research while improving observation and communication skills.
More than 30 percent of biochemistry majors are in the Calhoun Honors College. In 2015, two genetics and biochemistry majors were named Goldwater Scholars, the top national award for undergraduates in science and engineering.
Clemson's Biochemistry/ Genetics Club hosts speakers, watches films and discusses current topics related to the fields of biochemistry and genetics. This club is a great way to meet and network with like-minded students, professors and researchers.

AFTER GRADUATION

Your college decision isn't really about the next four years. We get it. It's about what doors are opened by your degree and whether those opportunities are what you had envisioned for yourself. For Clemson biochemistry majors, more than 75 percent go on to professional or graduate school. Here's a snapshot of what life after graduation looks like for some of them.

WHERE OUR RECENT GRADUATES HAVE GONE

KEY
  • 41-100%
  • 21-40%
  • 11-20%
  • 0-10%

RECENT EMPLOYERS

  • Clinical Lab Technician

    Precision Therapeutics
  • Research Associate

    Alion Science and Technology
  • Laboratory Technologist

    Greenwood Genetic Center
  • Consultant

    Progressive Healthcare

RECENT POSTGRADUATE STUDIES

  • M.D./Ph.D.

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • M.D./Ph.D.

    University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • M.D.

    Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine
  • PharmD

    South Carolina College of Pharmacy
  • Ph.D. Molecular and Cell Biology

    University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences

    University of Virginia

COMMON CAREER AREAS

  • Research
    • Basic Research
    • Applied Research
    • Grant Writing
    • Administration
  • Teaching
    • Elementary
    • Secondary
    • Post-secondary
    • Non-classroom Settings
  • Health Care
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Optometry
    • Podiatry
    • Pharmacy
    • Chiropracty
    • Veterinary Medicine
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Public Health
  • Other Professional Opportunities
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Technical Writing
    • Scientific Journalism
    • Scientific Illustration
    • Regulatory Affairs
    • Administration and Management
    • Scientific or Technical Recruiting
    • Intellectual Property or Patent Law
    • Bioinformatics

Used with permission from the University of Tennessee.

FIND OUT MORE

Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Katie Black

Student Recruitment Coordinator
864-656-6662
hulse@clemson.edu