The Deparment of Biochemistry and Biophysics supports about 350 students in two undergraduate programs:  Biochemistry and Biophysics (BB) and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB). The BB program is the only Bachelors of Science degree in Biochemistry & Biophysics (BB) in Oregon and is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). 

The BS degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics provides a degree path centered on the chemistry and physics of life processes with training that integrates the principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biochemistry, genetics, and computer science.  Biochemists explore the chemical structure of living matter and the chemical reactions occurring in living cells. Biophysicists use the methods of physical science to study the structure and functions of macromolecules and solve problems at the intersection of biological and physical sciences.

Biochemistry and Biophysics majors receive excellent training for careers in medicine and related health professions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, or for graduate study in biochemistry and biophysics. Training in biophysics is especially valuable for students who are interested in drug design. Since a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics involves life science, quantitative work, and physical science training, graduates of our program are well-prepared for postgraduate research or training in all aspects of modern biology. These include, but are not limited to, medicine, forensics, pharmacy/pharmacology, physiology, neurosciences, microbiology, immunology, dentistry, genetics, cell biology, marine biology, numerous fields in agriculture and biological oceanography.

Faculty in the department provide research strength in many arenas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, including structural biology, enzymology, metabolic regulation, signal transduction, protein chemistry, development, gene expression, epigenetics, cell cycle control, cell movement and adhesion, and micronutrients and antioxidants in relation to human health. We encourage our majors to extend their education outside the classroom by taking advantage of opportunities for undergraduate research.

Learning Outcomes

1. Biochemistry Specific Core Knowledge:

Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to Biochemistry.

2. Biophysics Specific Core Knowledge:

Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to Biophysics.

3. Biochemistry & Biophysics Specific Laboratory Knowledge:

Students will participate in research laboratories and contribute meaningfully to research efforts by applying skills from coursework supplemented with laboratory-specific techniques.

4. General Knowledge and Skills:

Students will communicate scientific concepts, experimental results and analytical arguments clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.

5. Student Engagement:

Students will demonstrate engagement in the Biochemistry & Biophysics major through involvement in research or internship activities, the Biochemistry Club and outreach or mentoring activities specific to Biochemistry & Biophysics.

What can I do with a Biochemistry & Biophysics Degree?

Since a Bachelors of Science program in Biochemistry and Biophysics involves life science, quantitative work, and physical science training, graduates of our program are well prepared to do postgraduate work in other biological fields including medicine, pharmacology, physiology, neurosciences, microbiology, immunology, dentistry, genetics, cell biology, entomology, agricultural science, biological oceanography, fisheries and wildlife, toxicology, food science and technology, environmental sciences, forensics, marine biology, and nutrition. Thanks to their rigorous research experiences, classroom training, and advising by faculty, biochemistry and biophysics majors are among the top students at Oregon State and are highly successful in gaining admission to medical and dental school, graduate school, pharmacy and other professional school as well as finding employment in biotechnology companies and research labs.

Biochemists and Biophysicists find employment in colleges and universities, in medical schools, in government and private research institutes, in hospitals, and in industry. Industrial employers include chemical companies, food-processing plants, drug manufacturers, the cosmetic industry, and manufacturers of agricultural chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.). Biochemistry is extensively intertwined with biotechnology, which is the use of modern techniques in biology to achieve practical objectives. This has greatly expanded the industrial market for biochemists and biophysicists. Many rewarding careers require completion of a doctoral degree—PhD or a professional degree. This is essential for anyone who wants to direct an independent research program.

Biochemistry is extensively intertwined with biotechnology, which is the use of modem techniques in biology to achieve practical objectives. This has greatly expanded employment opportunities for biochemists and biophysicists at all degree levels.