The Biochemistry and Biophysics major provides a foundation in both the physical and biological sciences. It is designed to help a student prepare for a career in the health sciences, for technical employment at the BS level, or for graduate study in the life sciences. Graduates of the department’s programs have found challenging careers in:

  • medicine
  • dentistry
  • clinical chemistry
  • biotechnology
  • genetics
  • cell biology
  • forensic science
  • pharmacology
  • physiology
  • toxicology
  • nutrition
  • as well as in biochemistry or biophysics.

Others have used the degree as a springboard to nontechnical careers that benefit from a broad scientific background, including business, intellectual property law, journalism, and health care administration.

High school students interested in careers in biochemistry or biophysics should prepare for college by taking four years of mathematics and at least one year each of physics and chemistry. Additional course work in biology, computer science, written and spoken English, and foreign languages is highly desirable.

Students transferring from a community college should have completed one year each of the following by the end of the sophomore year, if they plan to graduate in four years’ total time:

  • general chemistry
  • organic chemistry
  • calculus-based physics
  • and general biology.
  • Three semesters or four quarters of college-level math should have been taken, starting with calculus.

High school students, community college, and other transfer students interested in the BB program are encouraged to contact Dr. Kevin Ahern, the lead advisor for advice about preparatory courses before they attend or apply to OSU. He welcomes opportunities to meet with potential students and their families. Tours of BB facilities are also available through Dr. Ahern. The alternate advisors are Dr. P. Andrew Karplus, Dr. Viviana Perez, Dr. Kari van Zee, Dr. Gary Merrill and Dr. Afua Nyarko. Also, students are encouraged to seek out any other member of the faculty for informal advice.

BB Required Courses

BB 111

CH 231/261, 232/262, 233/263

MTH 251, 252, 254, 256 or 253 or 306

BI 211, 212, 213

BI 311

CH 334, 335, 336

PH 211, 212, 213

BB 317

CH 361, 362

CH 440, 441, 442

BB 490, 491, 492

BB 481, 482, 483

BB 493/497, 494/496

BB 314 strongly recommended, but not required

Baccalaureate Core Courses


WR 121

Writing II


Fitness: HHS 231 AND one PAC class or HHS 241 or MS 130


Cultural Diversity

Literature & Arts

Western Culture

Social Processes and Institutions

Difference, Power, Discrimination


Contemporary Global Issues

Science Technology and Society

More information on OSU’s Baccalaureate Core courses is available at:

A large proportion of B.S. graduates in Biochemistry and Biophysics go on to graduate school or professional school. Preparation for postgraduate work normally requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. It is imperative that students consult frequently with faculty advisors during their studies. It is also important for each student to become personally acquainted with the faculty because recommendations are an essential part of applications for postgraduate schools. Serious students are urged to seek part-time employment in the department, do research with one or more faculty members, and participate in departmental seminars.

The department has one set of curricular requirements (see below), which lead to the BS degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics. All upper division students are encouraged to take additional elective courses in areas related to their major fields of interest (e.g., chemistry, microbiology, genetics, nutrition, physics, pharmacy, biology, or computer science). All students are strongly encouraged to carry out a research project in the laboratory of a faculty member.

Biochemistry and Biophysics Undergraduate Major (BS, HBS) Knowledge and skills are developed in biochemistry, biophysics, and related areas. Choice of electives that support career goals • courses by yearprintable PDF course checklist