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What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is a branch of Chemistry that asks and answers how thousands of different biomolecules organize into tens of thousands of amazing organisms and biological functions. Those living organisms vary from simple single cells (such as bacteria) to very complex and fascinating animals -- like we mammals -- who are made up of trillions of cells working together in concert. In all organisms, cells sense and respond to tiny changes in their environment, reproduce, and amazingly, evolve over time. Surprisingly, all those different living organisms share common properties and a fundamental similarity in their biochemistry and the reactions that build and break them. This is a hint of the fascinating journey you will undergo in our biochemistry degree program.


What can you do with a Biochemistry degree?

Biochemistry answers fundamental questions about life and how living things function. Therefore, a biochemistry graduate has the background to enter all life science-related fields, including the medical field and biomedical research. With a bachelor degree in biochemistry, you can go directly into a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company as a technician, or into an academic and governmental research laboratory as a lab assistant or research technician.

After studying biochemistry, you may choose to go on to graduate school to earn a masters or doctorate degree. Alternatively, you may choose a health professional school to study medicine (D.O. and M.D.), dentistry, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine.

Regardless, those with bachelors' or advanced degrees in biochemistry have a very wide list of possible careers to choose from

  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology - on the front lines of fighting disease and developing treatments and cures.
  • All medical professions - (D.O. and M.D.), dentistry, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine.
  • Academic professions - as a research professor, both teaching and working in your field.
  • Environmental Sciences - for the government or a private agency.
  • Careers in law - such as patent law or environmental law.
  • Careers in Biology and Chemistry Education - at a liberal arts college, community colleges, or in a high school.

(For a comprehensive list of specific careers click here!)


Why study biochemistry at HPU?

HPU Loa CampusIn our program, you will receive an exceptional biochemistry education. As a faculty and a program, our primary focus has always been -- and continues to be -- delivering an outstanding and thorough undergraduate education that prepares our graduates to be highly competitive after they leave HPU. Our vision of a solid science education consists of two intertwined parts: classroom learning and laboratory research. This provides students with “real world” scientific experience where students further hone their scientific problem-solving skills. This experience will also be recognized and highly valued by prospective graduate schools, medical schools, and employers. Furthermore, our active research keeps us as faculty current, engaged, and energized with the latest developments in our respective fields. ( Click here to see recent publications from faculty and students) .

This concerted effort towards building our research program has enabled us to amass an impressive array of highly technical research instrumentation, the same as found in big pharmaceutical companies and large research labs. With each new instrument acquired, we have made a very conscious effort to integrate that instrumentation into the undergraduate course curriculum. This is a less common educational approach, and is contrary to the usual practice of keeping instrumentation only in the arena of research. This harkens back to our overriding commitment to maintain and continuously improve our biochemistry program. (for a list of our research instrumentation and the undergraduate courses they are used in click here!) .

On a personal level, we are a close knit group of faculty that takes pride in being outgoing, welcoming, and involved with our students -- inside and outside the classroom. We strive to provide individualized guidance to our students the moment you enter our program; on your degree plan, in the planning and preparation for further professional school or employment, and beyond.  (For a list of our faculty in our biochemistry program please click here!)