BS in Biochemistry

Degree Program Description

Biochemists are the locksmiths of life science.  They use their imagination, ingenuity and understanding of the basics of living processes to unlock life’s mysteries.  By unraveling the complexities of nature, they improve the quality of life.  Biochemistry combines the tools of biology, chemistry and genetics to fight human disease, increase the production and quality of food, and protect the environment.  The knowledge acquired through the program prepares students for careers in many areas, including Medicine, Biotechnology, Agriculture and Government. 

Premedical Track Students interested in a medical career may choose from a variety of science-based majors. The most common choice of students is biochemistry because it is a collaborative program between CAFNR and the School of Medicine. The Biochemistry degree provides excellent preparation for the intellectual demands of the medical profession.  This training includes, as part of the degree requirements, all of the science courses necessary for application to medical school or related professional fields.  Many graduates of this program matriculate at medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy or optometry schools. 

In Biotechnology, some of the nation’s largest and most respected private biotechnology companies, such as Bayer, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, employ biochemists in a wide range of specialties, including molecular biology, genetics engineering, pharmaceutical development and microbiology.  Many graduates have chosen to pursue Masters or Doctoral degrees at major research institutions across the country. Some have been selected for internships at National Institute of Health and others have earned National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Awards. 

In Agriculture, biochemists find employment with agricultural industry companies such as Cargill, Bayer (Monsanto), and Novartis.  They may work on projects to develop new varieties of crops that resist drought and insects, produce pharmaceutical compounds, or tolerate herbicide application.  

In Government, state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Energy and the Missouri Department of Agriculture employ biochemists in many fields.  They might research biological alternatives for reclaiming sites contaminated with radioactive material or search for ways to protect against food-borne pathogens. 

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Major Program Requirements

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry are required to complete all University general education, University undergraduate requirements, and degree requirements, including selected foundational courses, which may fulfill some University general education requirements.

Foundational Courses

CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
or CHEM 1320H College Chemistry I - Honors
BIO_SC 1500Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory5
or BIO_SC 1500H Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory Honors
MATH 1500Analytic Geometry and Calculus I5
or MATH 1500H Analytic Geometry and Calculus I - Honors
AG_ED_LD 2220Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources3
or COMMUN 1200 Public Speaking

Degree and Major Courses

Major core requirements
BIOCHM 1090Introduction to Biochemistry3
BIOCHM 1094Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory (Spring semester only)2
BIOCHM 2480Introduction to Macromolecular Structure and Function (Spring semester only)2
BIOCHM 2484Macromolecular Techniques Laboratory (Fall semester only)2-3
or BIOCHM 2484HW Macromolecular Techniques Laboratory - Honors/Writing Intensive
BIOCHM 4270Biochemistry (I: First semester of two semester sequence)3
BIOCHM 4272Biochemistry (II: Continuation of BIOCHM 4270)3
BIOCHM 4300Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems (Fall semester only)3
BIOCHM 4974WBiochemistry Laboratory - Writing Intensive5
BIOCHM 4970Senior Capstone in Biochemistry (Capstone)2
BIO_SC 2200General Genetics4
or AN_SCI 3213 Genetics of Agricultural Plants and Animals
or PLNT_S 3213 Genetics of Agricultural Plants and Animals
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
CHEM 2100Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2110Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2130Organic Laboratory I (Concurrent with CHEM 2110)2
MATH 1700Calculus II5
PHYSCS 1210College Physics I4-5
or PHYSCS 2750 University Physics I
PHYSCS 1220College Physics II4-5
or PHYSCS 2760 University Physics II
Advanced science *9 or more

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
BIOCHM 10903CHEM 13304
CHEM 13204ENGLSH 10003
BIO_SC 15005MATH 15005
RU_SOC 10003BIOCHM 10942
 Elective (Social or Behavioral Science)3
 15 17
Second Year
CHEM 21003CHEM 21103
BIO_SC 22004CHEM 21302
BIOCHM 24842BIOCHM 24802
MATH 17005BIO_SC 23004
 14 14
Third Year
BIOCHM 42703BIOCHM 42723
PHYSCS 12104PHYSCS 12204
HIST 11003AG_ED_LD 22203
Elective (Writing Intensive)3Advanced Science Elective (3000 level or above)4
 15 14
Fourth Year
BIOCHM 43003BIOCHM 49702
Advanced Science Elective (3000 level or above)3BIOCHM 4974W5
Humanities Elective3Humanities Elective3
 15 16
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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