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Biochemistry deals with the chemical foundations and properties for all living processes. Research by biochemists increases our knowledge about chemicals and processes that govern the living world and has led to the discovery and development of new and improved medicines, agricultural breakthroughs, and other areas that unveil the mysteries of living things. The biochemistry option can prepare you for a career as a scientist, researcher, professor, or developer. This is a great major for those interested in traditional biochemistry, forensic DNA analysis, biotechnology, or professional studies, such as medicine.

What You'll Do

  • Interact closely with experienced faculty who are recognized for their writing, training, professional affiliations, and expertise
  • Gain valuable real-world experience with the completion of a required undergraduate research project or internship
  • Study in the state-of-the-art, first-rate learning environment provided by the newly renovated Magill Hall of Science 
  • Have opportunities to pursue research and scholarship that help develop independent thinking and problem solving

What Can You Do with a Biochemistry Degree?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Internship, Employment, and Graduate School Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Biokyowa
  • Buzzi Unicem USA
  • Eli Lilly
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Monsanto
  • Pharmacia (currently part of Pfizer)
  • PPG Industries
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • MilliporeSigma
  • Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime laboratory
  • Indiana University
  • John Hopkins University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • Southern Illinois University (School of Medicine)
  • Texas A&M
  • University of Illinois (School of Medicine, Graduate School)
  • University of MissouriColumbia (School of Medicine, Graduate School)
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of WisconsinMadison
  • Washington University
  • Numerous other graduate/professional programs of study and employers

Biochemistry Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Outcomes & Careers

  • $114k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a biochemist and biophysicist is $114,740.

  • $82k

    Chemist and Materials Scientist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a chemist and material scientist is $81,810.

  • $90k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a chemist is $90,530

What You'll Study

Degree Map

As a biochemistry major, you’ll gain a rigorous foundation in biochemistry, chemistry, science and math. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours. A minor is required. 

“Critical Courses” areitalicized and bolded. Data shows that students who havecompleted this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are mostlikely to complete this program of study

Required Courses:

  • CH184 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CH185 General Chemistry I (3)
  • CH186 General Chemistry II (3)
  • CH187 General Chemistry II Lab (1)
  • CH195 Chemistry Seminar I (1)
  • CH271 Foundations of Analytical Chemistry (5)
  • CH295 Chemistry Seminar 2 (2)
  • CH306 Inorganic Chemistry (3)
  • CH341 Found of Organic Chem (4)
  • CH342 Organic Chemistry Lab I (1)
  • CH360 Polymer Chemistry (1)
  • CH495 Chemistry Seminar 3 (1)
  • CH531 Found of Biochemistry (3)

Biochemistry Option Courses:

  • BI173 Cell/Organismal Biology (4)
  • BI245 Lab Methods in Biotechnology (3)
  • BI283 Genetics (4)
  • BI310 General Microbiology (4)
  • CH343 Adv Organic Chem (3)
  • CH344 Organic Chem Lab II (2)
  • CH420 Forensic Chemistry (4)
  • CH532 Advanced Biochemistry (2)
  • CH575 Chemical Instrumentation (4)
  • Choose 3-4 hours of BI, CH, or FS electives (300-500 level)
Choose one course:
  • BI404 Cell Biology (3)
  • FS552 Forensic Serology & DNA Analysis (2)
Choose one course:
  • BI450 Investigative Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (3)
  • CH533 Biochemistry Laboratory (2)

Choose one course:

  • MA223 Elementary Probability and Statistics (3)
  • MA423 Statistical Analysis for Forensic Science (3)
Additional Requirements:
  • MA139 Applied Calculus (3)
  • CS101 Introduction to Computer Programming (3)
  • MA140 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (5)
  • PH120 Introductory Physics I (5)
  • PH121 Introductory Physics II (5)
  • PH230 General Physics I (5)
  • PH231 General Physics II (5)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     
  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • CH184/CH185 (4) 
  • CH195(1)
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (14-16 Hours)     
  • BI173 (4)
  • CH186 (3)
  • CH187 (1) 
  • Mathematics course (3-5) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (17 Hours)  
  • BI283 (4) 
  • CH271/071 (5) 
  • CH341 (4)
  • CH342 (1)
  • General Education or CS101 (3) 
Spring Semester (14 Hours)    
  • BI310 (4)
  • CH295 (2)
  • CH343 (3)
  • CH344 (2)
  • General Education (3)

Milestone: Maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

(summer courses are encouraged to avoid 18 hour semesters)

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)    
  • CH306 (3)
  • CH360 (1)
  • CH531 (3) 
  • PH120/020 or PH230/030 (5) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (16 Hours)     
  • BI245 (3)
  • CH532 (2)
  • PH121/021 or PH231/031 (5) 
  • MA223 or MA423 (3) 
  • General Education (3)

Milestone: maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (12-14 Hours)     
  • CH420 (4)
  • CH533/BI450 (2-3) 
  • BI/CH/FS Elective (3-4)
  • General Education (3)
Spring Semester (12-18 Hours)  
  • CH495 (1)
  • CH575 (4)
  • FS552 or BI404 (2-3)
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (2-7)

Milestone: maintain 2.0 cumulative GPA

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Class of 2021, Biochemistry, ACS Certified Chemistry, Forensic

"In May 2021, I graduated from SEMO with a Bachelor of Science in three majors: ACS Certified Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Forensic Chemistry; as well as a minor in Biology. With the knowledge and skills I have acquired during my undergrad, I received offers of admission into Ph.D. programs at multiple universities and medical centers. Those that interviewed me were impressed with the course work, research, and work experiences I have gained while at SEMO. Another great opportunity found at SEMO that was highly praised in my graduate school interviews was my work experience as a teaching assistant for multiple semesters. I have currently accepted admission to the University of Georgia to begin their Ph.D. program in fall 2021, and my experiences at SEMO have served as a stepping-stone in reaching my educational goals."

Sydney Bedillion

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