Biochemistry, the study of the chemical structures and processes of living organisms, is an interdisciplinary field with foundations in both chemistry and biology. Its study ranges from basic topics such as macromolecular structure and function, catalytic strategies of enzymes, DNA replication and repair, transcription and translation, to the molecular understanding of complex processes including development, disease and aging. An undergraduate degree in Biochemistry provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in the life sciences and for further professional studies leading to careers in medicine, health care and biotechnology.
The Biochemistry Program is housed in the Department of Chemistry, which has five full-time faculty, and dovetails its program with the Department of Biology, which has 10 full-time faculty.
Majoring in Biochemistry provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in the life sciences and for careers in medicine, healthcare, and biotechnology. Completion of the Biochemistry degree requirements will increase students` chances of admission to medical school or other health professional schools by helping them develop such qualities as a strong academic foundation for success in the medical school curriculum and advanced laboratory experience for success in potential medical research endeavors.
Students majoring in Biochemistry take one year each of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Biology, Calculus, and Physics plus one semester each of Analytic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Senior Research and two upper division Biology elective courses. Four inter-related and overlapping sub-disciplines of chemistry are required for this major:
* the chemistry of inorganic substances (general and analytical chemistry)
* the chemistry of carbon compounds (organic chemistry)
* the physical behavior of substances (physical chemistry), and
* the chemistry of life (biochemistry)
Of equal importance to the quality of the Biochemistry program is the biology component of this major. Two required semesters of general biology provide an understanding of simple biological systems, preparing the student for the biological aspect of the Biochemistry courses. Two advanced biology courses must be completed in the fields of Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics or Cell Biology, thus enabling students to broaden their exposure to the life sciences. Students interested in graduate studies in the life sciences are also encouraged to go beyond the minimum advanced biology requirements and to complete additional advanced biology courses.
Stetson`s Biochemistry program provides the student with great flexibility. The Biochemistry student has the option to specialize in a related field, i.e., Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics or Cell Biology, by simply choosing the appropriate courses from the list of biology electives. Completion of these electives in combination with Biochemistry requirements provides the student with solid preparation for advanced studies in the life sciences, and for further professional studies leading to careers in medicine, health care, and biotechnology. Some of our alumni teach in high schools, colleges and universities; others work in environmental labs and for manufacturers of healthcare products.