Biochemistry is an exciting variation of the BS chemistry program, with an emphasis on gaining an understanding of biology through chemistry. Students who enroll in the program often have an interest in combining the life and health sciences with a chemistry degree. During the first two years students take a year of general biology, in addition to the general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. During upper-level years students take advanced electives in biochemistry and biology, along with liberal arts requirements.
- Bachelor of Science
- BS/MS (dual degrees, Biochemistry/Chemistry)
- Approximately 49 undergraduate students
Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component
- All students have the option (recommended) of participating in co-op employment during any term following completion of 1st year courses.
Co-op: $21.05 $12.50-$25.65
Student Skills & Capabilities
- In a technician capacity, students are able to perform many general chemistry and analytical chemistry laboratory tasks, with minimal supervision, even after their first year of coursework. They continue to enhance their lab skills in upper level courses to increase their ability to eventually contribute to research initiatives independently.
- Based on their elective choices, senior students may have skills in microbial and genetic manipulations, separations and environmental applications.
AccreditationThe biochemistry program offers two tracks, one that follows the guidelines of the American Society of Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (ASBMB) and one that is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The ASBMB program allows more science and university-wide electives in such fields as biology, while the ACS program is for students interested in a graduate chemistry program such as that offered by RIT.
Equipment & FacilitiesNew NMR Spectrometer
The school recently acquired a 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which is used to determine the structure and dynamics of molecules as well as images of plants and materials.
Chemical Analysis Laboratory
The school has a wide range of analytical instrumentation which can be used to perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of chemical or materials samples. Our well-trained faculty, staff, and students are experienced with a variety of analyses, including UV-Visible and IR Spectrophotometry. Students also gain experience with electrophoresis and chromatography in their biochemistry and biology courses.
The Nano Imaging Lab conducts research into the design, development, and application of imaging to material and biological systems on very small scales, in conjunction with the schools of chemistry and physics. The lab conducts research into the creation of nano-materials for biological imaging and imaging display technologies.
Nature of WorkBiochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes such as cell development, growth, and heredity. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition)
Training / QualificationsA bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or a related discipline usually is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level chemist jobs. However, many research jobs require a master’s degree. Students planning careers as chemists and materials scientists should take courses in science and mathematics, should like working with their hands building scientific apparatus and performing laboratory experiments, and should like computer modeling. Perseverance, curiosity, and the ability to concentrate on detail and to work independently are essential. Because R&D chemists are increasingly expected to work on interdisciplinary teams, some understanding of other disciplines, including business and marketing or economics, is desirable, along with leadership ability and good oral and written communication skills. Graduate students typically specialize in a subfield of chemistry, such as analytical or organic chemistry, depending on their interests and the kind of work they wish to do. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)
Job OutlookEmployment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. More biochemists and biophysicists are expected to be needed to do basic research that increases scientific knowledge and to research and develop biological products and processes that improve people’s lives. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)
Job TitlesAnalytical Chemist, Chemist, Graduate Researcher, Perioperative Support Associate, Post-Bac Research Scholar, Quality Control Analyst, Research Technologist, Scientist
EmploymentChemists and materials scientists held about 34,100 jobs in 2014. Chemists accounted for most of these. In addition, many with a background in chemistry and materials science hold teaching positions in high schools and in colleges and universities. Chemists are employed in all parts of the country, but are mainly concentrated in large industrial areas. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)
- 53% of graduates continue their education pursuing masters and PhD degrees at institutions such as: Duke University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, and University of Tennessee
- A bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or a related discipline is the minimum educational requirement; however, many research jobs require a Masters degree or more often a Ph.D.
- Job growth will be much faster-than-average and concentrated in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies and in professional, scientific and technical services firms.
- Graduates with a bachelor’s degree will have opportunities at smaller research organizations; those with a master’s degree, and particularly those with a Ph.D., will enjoy better opportunities at larger pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.
Selected Employer Hiring PartnersClarkson University, ICON Laboratory, Q Laboratories, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester Medical Center
Contact UsWe appreciate your interest in your career. We will make every effort to help you succeed. Call our office and ask to speak with Kris Stehler, the career services coordinator who works with the Biochemistry program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at www.rit.edu/careerservices.
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY 14623-5603