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Program

 
 

 The Department of Biochemistry is in the College of Agriculture

 

​Biochemistry explores the basic molecular proceses underpinning all life. Consequently, a degree in biochemistry prepares you to contribute to a variety of disciplines including medicine (human or animal), pharmacy, agriculture and all other life-science fields. In Land Grant Universities like Purdue, Wisconsin, University of Missouri, etc., biochemistry is usually found in the College of Agriculture for historical reasons: the field of biochemistry grew out of research on agricultural problems and since Land Grant Universities were the institutions with agriculture, departments of biochemistry were situated in those colleges.

In universities with medical schools, biochemistry is almost always a part of the College of Medicine, since it is one of the basic medical sciences that all first-year medical students take. It is rare for an independent department of biochemistry to be housed in the College of Science in any university. Instead, a "division" of biochemistry is often part of a larger chemistry department rather than an independent department.

The subject matter, no matter where the department is located, is the same----humans, animals, plants and microbes share the majority of their biochemical pathways, and a well-educated biochemist is prepared to deal with research in any life science field.
 

 Why this is good for our students

 

Our students benefit from the College of Agriculture’s strong tradition of faculty and staff working closely with students to help them succeed. The College also enjoys one of the highest rates of scholarship funding to students. Consequently, students in the Department of Biochemistry are quite successful, with over 40% receiving scholarships from the College each year. In addition, graduates of the College of Agriculture benefit from a very high placement rate with over 90% of students employed or continuing their education following completion of the bachelor’s degree.

It is worthwhile to note that even though we are part of the College of Agriculture, no agricultural experience or interest in agriculture is necessary to succeed in our program, and no agricultural coursework is required for a degree in biochemistry.
                                                                                                
 

 Additional Strengths

 
The undergraduate biochemistry program provides a strong foundation in science and incorporates broad preparation in chemistry and biology, supplemented by one year of mathematics and physics. The focal point of our curriculum is a four-semester sequence of cutting-edge biochemistry coursework. Additional analytical biochemistry courses provide experience in advanced laboratory techniques employed by industry and academia.
 
100% of students in the Department of Biochemistry take part in undergraduate research. Students select a research project in consultation with a faculty mentor, and then conduct that project in the mentor’s research laboratory. Students work directly with faculty and advanced graduate students, utilizing state of the art research equipment and facilities. Our students learn how research is done and develop the ability to design meaningful hypothesis and undertake appropriate experiments to test those hypotheses. Students are also given many opportunities to present their research to others, including as a poster at the Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium held at Purdue each spring. Our mentored research program provides critical thinking and communication skills that are highly sought after no matter what career path you select after graduation.