Genetics and Biochemistry

Biochemistry Program

A Clemson biochemistry degree is a strong preparation for many careers. The degree is an excellent foundational degree for medical, veterinary, or pharmacy school, as well as graduate research in any discipline related to biology (e.g. bioinformatics, molecular biology, and bioinorganic chemistry.

Because biochemistry spills over into pharmacology, physiology, microbiology, and clinical chemistry, a B.S. 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. Combined with a law degree, a B.S. in biochemistry is a good background for a career as a patent attorney.

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of the structure, composition, and chemical reactions of substances in living systems. Biochemistry emerged as a separate discipline when scientists applied the molecular approaches of chemistry to the vast variety of biological systems. Some biochemists study the most basic of life processes, such as the synthesis of DNA, which carries the genetic information, and the function of proteins, which can provide structure or catalyze biological reactions. Biochemists work with all sorts of organisms, from viruses and bacteria to plants and man. With knowledge of the basic molecular mechanisms, biochemists study how life processes are integrated to allow individual cells to function and interact to form complex organisms. Thus, the aim of biochemistry is to provide an understanding of every aspect of the structure and function of living things at the molecular level.