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.

Completion of an option is required to earn a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Majors must select an option either in Advanced Biophysics, Neuroscience, or Pre-medicine

The first two options are designed for students who want to pursue graduate work in biophysics, neuroscience, bioinformatics, and pharmaceutical research as well as work in health professions. The third option is ideal for students interested in careers in medcince and related health professions.

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. Students will demonstrate a core knowledge base in the theory and practice of modern Biochemistry and Biophysics (BB).

2. Students will function successfully in the laboratory and use safe laboratory practices.

3. Students will critically evaluate data and design experiments to test hypotheses relevant to the practice of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

4. Students will read and evaluate primary literature in the discipline.

5. Students will effectively communicate scientific data and ideas, using various formats appropriate for different target audiences.

6. Students will use databases, computational tools and other online resources effectively.

7. Students will demostrate awareness of ethical issues in the practice of science.

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.