Studying The Chemical Processes and Components of Life: Biochemistry Degree

Are you interested in living systems and would like to understand how they operate, survive and die? Would you like to study in a field that could prepare you for working on biological problems, research new products or taking on diseases? If so, you would benefit from a degree that bridges the gap between biology and chemistry; biochemistry. This degree is aimed at people who would like to not only study living organisms, but do so on a molecular level. The genetic research done by biochemists can lead to the development of new treatments and medicines for diseases and genetic disorders, which means the work you might end up doing can be extremely important for humanity.

Biochemistry Degree Information

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry degree is suitable for students who are interested in entry level positions in laboratories or who wishes to continue their studies toward a Master’s or Ph.D. in the field. This type of degree typically takes about four years to complete. The courses needed to fulfill the degree requirements for biochemistry may include General Biology, Molecular Genetics, Organic Chemistry, General Physics, Tissue Culture, Biochemistry of Metabolism, Biochemistry Laboratory and more.

Master of Science in Biochemistry

The Master of Science in Biochemistry degree is aimed at students who are interested in career choices such as biotechnology, DNA forensics, biomedical engineering, toxicology and plant and animal sciences. Typical course topics include Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Medical Molecular Genetics, Metabolic Regulation, Bioinformatics, Enzymology, Neurobiology, Molecular Biology, and Molecular Pharmacology. This type of degree usually involves a number of compulsory courses along with elective courses and a Master’s Thesis project. Students interested in a master’s degree in this field typically have to have a bachelor’s degree with a major in biochemistry, chemistry or another biological science as a prerequisite.

Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry

Biochemistry is also available as a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry degree. This degree is aimed at those who seek specialized knowledge of biochemistry with the purpose of working as professionals at research laboratories or in academia. Obtaining this type of degree usually requires a mixture of formal courses along with research and seminar courses. Entry requirements often consist of passing a written cumulative exam, oral comprehensive examination and submission of a research proposal. In many cases, doctoral students have up to six years to complete all the degree requirements.

Biochemistry Degree FAQs

Is It Possible To Study Biochemistry Online?

Because biochemistry is a degree that typically involves laboratory courses, it is rare to find degree programs that can be completed fully online. However, a number of hybrid courses do exist where you complete a portion of the degree via online classes and the rest in-person at a campus. Often the laboratory courses are scheduled for a specific portion of the year, giving you the freedom to study from home for the rest of the period. Biochemistry is also available as a non-degree online course. The purpose of these types of courses are to assist students who are interested in health professional programs that require first semester biochemistry as a prerequisite for admission. Degrees programs in this field that are fully online tend to be at a master’s or Ph.D. level and are aimed at scientists who are already working in the field. This can assist them with advancing their careers without having to give up their jobs in order to continue their studies.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study For A Biochemistry Degree?

Before enrolling in a biochemistry program, it is important to have an interest in the subject as well as some background in science. Good grades in subjects such as mathematics, biology or physics will also be an advantage. Good oral and written communication skills are a must as you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with other people when presenting your work. A good understanding of computers and technology is also essential as most jobs in the field of biochemistry requires you to work with advanced equipment and analytical software.

What Kind Of Career Options Are Potentially Available With A Degree In Biochemistry?

Completing a degree in biochemistry can help to prepare students for a variety of scientific careers. These include, but are not limited to, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as chemical industries. Other career paths in government and health-care are also a possibility. In addition, biochemistry graduates also often go on to work in fields such as teaching or research. Most career options related to biochemistry involve some degree of scientific research. After obtaining a degree in biochemistry, students can also go on to gain additional experience or training to work in other fields.

What Are The Median Salaries That Are Available In The Field of Biochemistry?

When pursuing a career in the field of biochemistry your income potential will depend on your geographical location as well as place of employment. The type of degree you have will also play an important role as those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree typically only qualify for certain entry-level positions in the field of biochemistry. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2016 median pay for biochemists and biophysicists was about $82,180 per year, which is about $39.51 per hour. The top industries for salaries in this field are management, scientific, and technical consulting services, followed by research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences.

What Are The Other Advantages To Studying Biochemistry?

 Like many scientific fields, biochemistry can open up doors to careers where you can make a real difference to the lives of others. Scientists working in the field of biochemistry are looking for breakthroughs that can assist with not only creating the tools to detect diseases, but also the treatments and cures to help those affected. Biochemistry is also one of the fields in which most of the major scientific discoveries in recent years have been made, which makes it a very exciting area in which to work. Biochemistry is also a great area of study for anyone interested in environmental quality as it can be useful in a number of “green” jobs.

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