Biochemistry (B.S.)

FAST FACTS ›

  • More than 30 percent of our students are members of the Calhoun Honors College.
  • In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked biochemistry No. 2 on its list of top 15 most valuable college majors.
  • Summer research opportunities are available through the National Science Foundation.
  • The majority of our students go on to graduate or professional school programs.
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. 

CLASSES.

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 will be able to tailor your degree to your specific career goals as you choose your upper-level 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.

Curriculum:

Popular Minors:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Modern Languages
  • Political Science

Similar Majors:

BEYOND THE CLASSROOM.

Outside the classroom, you’ll typically 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.

Internships and Research Projects:

LABS:
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.
RESEARCH:
Through independent research, you’ll learn the latest cutting-edge methodologies in biochemical and genetic research while improving observation and communication skills.
JOIN:
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.

Connect with Other Students:

CAREERS.

What are students doing at graduation?*

13%

Employed

75%

Grad School

6%

Seeking Employment

6%

Other

Where are students headed at graduation?*

Recent employers and job titles*

  • Alion Science and Technology — Research Associate
  • Greenwood Genetic Center — Laboratory Technologist

Recent graduate schools and sought degree types*

  • University of California, Berkeley — Ph.D.
  • Medical University of South Carolina — M.D.
  • Case Western Reserve University — J.D.
  • South Carolina College of Pharmacy — Pharm.D.

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/Marketing
    • Technical Writing
    • Scientific Journalism
    • Scientific Illustration
    • Regulatory Affairs
    • Administration/Management
    • Scientific/Technical Recruiting
    • Intellectual Property/Patent Law
    • Bioinformatics
*Represents only Clemson University graduates who completed Michelin Career Center surveys from 2009 to 2011.
**Used w/permission from Univ. 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