Campus: St. John's Faculty: Faculty of Science
Department: Biochemistry Honours available: Yes
Degree(s): Bachelor of science; Joint arts and science degree
Length: Four years
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Biochemistry is the study of cell and molecular processes associated with living organisms. It is an interdisciplinary science and uses concepts from biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to unravel the complex puzzles of life. Biochemists study how cells reproduce and grow, how they communicate to regulate activity, and how these processes relate to health and disease.

Biochemistry at Memorial

The biochemistry program initially provides a foundation in the cellular and molecular processes of health and disease. Through upper year elective courses, students can then gain more in depth knowledge in areas of health and disease specific to their interests. Many of our undergraduates conduct research through the Memorial University Career Experience Program (MUCEP), ISWEP, Student Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) and other summer research programs. Ongoing research activities include studying the progression of cancer, the development of the immune system, describing protein structures that may lead to drug development, the role of small RNA in the control of gene expression, and how proteins that detect chemical signals in the body are involved in health and disease.

In addition to the major, minor and honours options in biochemistry, joint programs are offered in:

  • biochemistry/cell biology (B.Sc. honours)
  • biochemistry/chemistry (B.Sc. honours)
  • biochemistry/physics (B.Sc. honours)
  • biochemistry/behavioural neuroscience (B.Sc. honours)

Admission requirements

You may apply for admission into the Faculty of Science by indicating bachelor of science as your program choice on the undergraduate application for admission.

Direct entry into the Faculty of Science from high school is subject to meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University, including appropriate courses in mathematics and a laboratory science.

Admission to the major

Entry into the biochemistry major is based on academic standing. To be considered for admission to the major, you must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours (10 courses), including the following: 

  • Mathematics 1000 and 1001 (or 1090 and 1000)
  • Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or 1010 and 1050)
  • Physics 1050 (or 1020) and 1051 (or 1021) or Biology 1001 and 1002
  • six credit hours in critical reading and writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English.

You must successfully complete the courses mentioned above with a minimum overall average of 60%.

Upon completion of these courses, you must apply to the major. You are strongly recommended to apply by May 31 of their first year. Failure to apply by this date may result in your application not being processed before your registration time.

Sample first year

Wondering what courses you would take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses for biochemistry students.

Sample courses beyond first year

BIOC 3206 - Metabolism
BIOC 3207 - Nucleic Acid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
BIOC 4200 - Bioenergetics and Biological Oxidation

Career opportunities

A bachelor of science degree, with a major in biochemistry, prepares students for a variety of careers including:

  • researcher (academia/industry)
  • technical sales representative/marketing consultant
  • scientific/technical writer or editor
  • forensic scientist
  • clinical biochemist
  • professor/lecturer/teacher
  • medical doctor/dentist/veterinarian
  • patent lawyer
  • environmental consultant
  • biomedical engineer
  • physiotherapist/occupational therapist
  • genetic counsellor

Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.