Biochemistry

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About the Biochemistry Major

Do you love chemistry? Are you interested in biology? When you look at a plant or an animal, whether it be a tree, your dog, or even your brother or sister, do you see the entire organism, a smoothly functioning whole? Beneath the surface of plants, animals, and humans is a living machine. At scales much too small for us to see with the naked eye, there are chemical reactions going on that enable organisms to live. For example, when you eat, proteins called enzymes help speed up the chemical reactions that break down food so you can get the energy you need to live. If you major in biochemistry, you'll examine these and other chemical reactions.

Biochemistry majors study the chemistry of living things including the molecular compounds, substances, and physiology that make them tick. You can think of it as teeny biology. Biochemists study the minute, discrete characteristics of every organism and biological process. You'll be the envy of pre-med majors everywhere because, since you'll probably like it, you will actually understand organic chemistry. This major is also good preparation if you are considering medical school as a possibility.

Students of biochemistry learn about the chemistry, molecules, and chemical processes necessary for life to exist. You'll earn about substances like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and the nucleic acids that make up the genetic code. All university courses will vary slightly in course structure, module topics, amount of time in the lab, and assessment. It is important you do your research and check the details with specific universities before applying to any course. Most university or college science courses require extensive lab time, so be prepared to spend a significant amount of time with your lab partner!

Biochemistry majors typically pursue an undergraduate degree, which normally lasts three or four years. During that time you will learn all the basic knowledge and skills you will then build on throughout your career. Some universities offer degrees with a built-in master's course, year in industry or year abroad, which can last four or more years.
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