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The course framework for the Biochemistry program provides a solid foundation necessary for advanced study in medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, chemistry and biology, as well as forming the basis for entry-level positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries. While the degree requirements may satisfy many professional or graduate programs, it is important to consult the admission requirements as early as possible for the particular programs at schools to which the individual is likely to apply. Additional coursework may be taken as electives which may be applicable to postgraduate work.

Why Study Biochemistry?

Biochemists are involved in the study of life in a level as minute as the molecular level. Biochemistry involves the study of the structure and the function of cellular components, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids enzymes etc.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Good teamwork skills and independent worker
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good mathematical background including knowledge of statistics
  • Knowledge of operating scientific equipment and posses strong technicalskills
  • Application of biological theories into practice
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Strong work ethic and professional behavior
  • Flexibility in thought and adaptive to new ideas

Related Fields


  • Basic
  • Applied
  • Medical
  • Grant Writing
  • Administration


  • University laboratories
  • Federal government laboratories/agencies including:
    • National Science Foundation
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Armed Services
  • State and local government laboratories/agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Hospital laboratories
  • Commercial medical laboratories
  • Private testing laboratories including forensics
  • Independent research foundations
  • Industry laboratories:
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • Biotechnology firms
    • Food processors
    • Cosmetic manufacturers
    • Chemical and petroleum industries
    • Agricultural industry


  • Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry qualifies one for laboratorytechnician or research assistant positions.
  • Choose courses with laboratory work.
  • Get on the job experience in a laboratory and/or complete a senior researchproject.
  • Complete a certificate training program, usually one year, to learnspecialized laboratory techniques.
  • Take a course in grant writing.
  • Earn master's degree in biochemistry for better positions, advancement opportunities,more responsibility and higher pay.
  • Obtain Ph.D. to direct research projectsand lead research teams.


  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Allied Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy


  • Hospitals
  • Medical centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practice


  • Plan on attending medical school or other related graduate program.
  • Maintainan outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences.
  • Secure strongfaculty recommendations.
  • Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically.
  • Join relatedstudent organizations.
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities.
  • Volunteer to work ina hospital or healthcare setting.
  • Find a summer job or internship in a hospital.
  • Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied.
  • Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistants.
  • Researchall of the various fields within medicine to determine a particular career goal.


  • Elementary
  • Secondary
  • Post-secondary


  • Public and private elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Two-year community colleges/technical institutes
  • Four-year institutions
  • Medical schools


  • Complete an accredited teacher preparation program for certification/licensurein biology and/or chemistry.
  • Ph.D. required for college or university teaching.
  • Some teaching positions in two-year institutions may be available for thosewith a master's degree.
  • Prepare to attend graduate school by maintaining a highgrade point average and securing strong faculty recommendations.
  • Serve as atutor for high school or college students.
  • Learn to communicate effectively.

Other Professional Opportunities

  • Sales/Marketing
  • Technical Writing
  • Scientific Journalism
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Administration/Management
  • Scientific/Technical Recruiting
  • Intellectual Property/Patent Law


  • Biotechnology industry
  • Pharmaceutical and chemical companies
  • Publishers: Textbook, magazine, newspaper, book
  • Software firms
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Search firms
  • Law firms
  • Legal departments of corporations


  • For sales positions, gain sales experience through internships, part-time work,or summer jobs.
  • Take business and/or computer classes. Become familiar withdesktop publishing and other software packages.
  • Develop strong written and oralcommunication skills.
  • Get experience writing for a school or local newspaper.
  • Obtain an MBA or Ph.D. to reach high levels of administration. Plan on attendinglaw school if interested in law.

Other Professions

  • Anatomist
  • Biochemist
  • Clinical researcher
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Histopathologist
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Laboratory Tech.
  • Marine Biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Mycologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Oceanographer
  • Paramedic
  • Pharmacist
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Virologist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Zoologist

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone Note
Elisha Swanson  (309) 438-7232  Professional Practice 
Shawn Hitchcock  317 Science Laboratory Building  (309) 438-7854  Research 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing periodfor freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

2.96 - 3.59

Required Courses

For students with 45 or more earned hours, completion of the following courses with grade of C or better:

  • Calculus I (MAT 145),
  • General Chemistry I (CHE 140), and
  • General Chemistry II (CHE 141).

Recommended Courses

  • Calculus I (MAT 145)
  • Calculus II (MAT 146)
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHE 230/231)
  • Organic Chemistry II (CHE 232/233)
  • Engineering Physics I (PHY 110)
  • Engineering Physics II (PHY 111)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Hope Fine  Julian Hall 214A  (309) 438-1522 

Middle 50% GPA

2.96 - 3.59

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Applications are always available.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on

Major Requirements

If 45 or more earned hours: Grade of “C” or better in MAT 145, CHE 140 and CHE 141.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Hope Fine  Julian Hall 214A  (309) 438-1522 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016