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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts

A Biochemistry degree at Clarke University not only prepares you for careers in exciting and growing fields but unlocks an understanding of the life around you. Biochemists explore the chemical processes of organic systems and play a critical role in medicine, materials science, environmental science, and research across a wide variety of industries.

Clarke’s biochemistry major is designed to help you make links between the molecular design of life – be it plant, animal, or human health and nutrition. As a biochemist, you will study how a living organism processes and uses energy, how pharmaceuticals interact with the body, the chemical nature of genes, and more. Thanks to the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry, you will have access to the advanced microscopy, modeling software, and other equipment that make observing these molecular miracles possible. As early as your first year, you will have the opportunity to conduct experiments and research that advance your understanding of biochemistry, mathematics, and related sciences under the guidance of experienced and engaged faculty.

One of the most exciting aspects of biochemistry is its increasing interaction with medicine. Biochemists study the molecular basis of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS – all areas we explore in Medicinal Chemistry and other courses here at Clarke. If medical school is your long-term goal, a bachelor’s in biochemistry provides an excellent foundation for continued study.

Whether your goal is graduate or professional school or to begin work in the sciences, a biochemistry degree from Clarke University puts you on the path to success.

 

Clarke University Biochemistry students working in lab.

Learning in Action

Below is a small sampling courses you may take as a Biochemistry major:

METABOLISM — Deepen your understanding of metabolic, biosynthetic, and degradation pathways.

BIOCHEMICAL METHODS — Learn and practice multiple biochemical techniques, such isolating and purifying a protein from a once living source such as a beef heart or a pig’s brain.

MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY — Gain insight into the chemistry of pharmaceuticals with an in-depth exploration of the molecular reactions.

Life as a Clarke Biochemistry Major

You may pursue one of the following degrees: B.A. Chemistry, B.A. Biochemistry, or B.S. Biochemistry. The degrees differ in the number and types of course required to provide you with flexibility in your studies. You will receive professional guidance from faculty to make this decision. The Clarke Biochemistry Program offers a truly unique undergraduate experience to its majors, including:

  • Learn in small classes and experience one-on-one interaction with faculty.
  • Conduct research every semester and on projects of your choosing, if you desire.
  • Work with modern and well-maintained facilities and industry-grade instrumentation.
  • Develop work-ready experience including hands-on training on instrumentation.
  • Attend regional and national chemistry conferences (ACS, Pittcon) and present your research.
  • Join a close-knit and nurturing community and develop your leadership skills.
  • Receive professional mentorship from faculty to assist in internship, graduate school, and job placement.
  • Participate in social gatherings and outings such as field trips and attending conferences.
  • Make money and gain additional experience by working as a Lab Assistant or Chemistry Tutor.
Clarke University biochemistry students in class

 

Program Details

How You’ll Learn

Clarke’s use of technology is pervasive – from hand-held data collection to molecular modeling. Visualization and the use of software is key to understanding. You will be able to use this equipment and more in the lecture-lab classrooms found in the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry. Introductory research classes are an option as early as first year.

Classes You'll Take

Admission to Clarke University

What careers are available with a Clarke Biochemistry degree?

A degree in biochemistry provides a strong foundation in science and mathematics that gives graduates the flexibility to pursue a wide range of careers across Academia, Industry, Government, and Health Care. Some example careers within these sectors include:

Academia: Teacher/Professor, Lab Manager, Researcher, Technical/Grant Writer

Industry: Lab Tech, Research Scientist, Fermentation Scientist, Brew master

Government: Forensic Scientist, Agricultural and Food Scientist (FDA), Environmental Scientist (EPA), Food Regulatory Agent (USDA)

Health Care: Pharmacist, Toxicologist, Physician, Medical Lab Tech

A bachelor’s degree in biochemistry also provides the foundation for many biomedical careers and continuing education paths:

  • Medical school
  • Dental school
  • Pharmacy school
  • Graduate school in Biochemistry, Toxicology or biomedical fields

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

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Meet Our Faculty

When our Biochemistry major graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Karen Glover, Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry

The technology-rich environment at Clarke provides students with great hands-on opportunities.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Tony Breitbach, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

My goal as an instructor is to facilitate students in realizing their educational goals, and to foster a deeper understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment for the subject.

Sunil Malapati, Ph.D.

When an alumna at a medical school tells me that she is the go-to person for biochemistry first-year students and credits my course for her preparedness, I know I made an impact.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Jason Stecklein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics

I believe I push for each student to develop and think deeply about their knowledge of science and not simply give ‘understanding’ to them. We do lots of talking, arguing, laughing, and negotiating our understandings, together as a class group.

Necla Demir, Ph.D.

Necla Demir, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry/Food Science

I am passionate about teaching and learning from challenging students. It has been so rewarding helping a new program come to fruition.

Apple in Clarke University classroom
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond


But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Josh Prindle

Josh Prindle

Biochemistry and English '18

I’ve had some really cool experiences in graduate school that are a direct result of the combination of my English and Biochemistry degrees. The UVA chemistry department asked me to join their science communication mentorship due to my “strong science communication skills.” I’m developing content for UVA’s chemistry department in their science communication mentorship. I also want to showcase the varying opinions scientists have in regards to how science should be written, ultimately with the hopes of helping graduate students understand that there is not one “correct” way to convey information.

Rachel Crawford

Rachel Crawford

Biochemistry '21 & winner of the prestigious McElroy Trust Fellowship
Chemistry can be a really challenging subject, but the faculty make it fun. You can tell they love what they are doing and they want to see you succeed.
Brad Weimerskirch

Brad Weimerskirch

Biochemistry '13

After Clarke, I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa in 2018. Clarke really was the foundation for my success. At Clarke, I had access to research-grade chemistry instruments. I gained an enormous amount of respect for these high-dollar pieces of equipment. At one point, I was asked to perform periodic maintenance and minor repairs. I can’t think of a better way to understand instrumental methods than to take an instrument apart.


11 %
Job growth

Percent the biochemistry workforce will grow by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

100 %
Job placement

Percent of Clarke biochemistry graduates who secured a job in their chosen field or enrolled in graduate school by August.

85.2 %
Happy people

Chemistry majors rate among the highest in job satisfaction after graduation – 85.2% – according to studentsreview.com.

Other Programs to Explore

Experience Clarke Biochemistry for Yourself

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