The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) major provides a foundation in the molecular basis of life. 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. Students majoring in BMB are well-prepared for careers in:

  • medicine
  • dentistry
  • clinical chemistry
  • biotechnology
  • genetics
  • cell biology
  • forensic science
  • pharmacology
  • physiology
  • toxicology
  • nutrition
  • as well as in molecular biology and biocomputing.

Others may use 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 BMB 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
  • physics
  • general biology.
  • Two quarters of college-level math should have been taken, starting with calculus.
  • 90 total quarter credits including baccalaureate core courses and electives.

High school students, community college, and other transfer students interested in the BMB program are encouraged to contact Dr. Kari van Zee, 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. Gary Merrill and Dr. Afua Nyarko.
Also, students are encouraged to seek out any other member of the faculty for informal advice.

BMB Required Courses

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

BB 111

MTH 251, 252

BI 211, 212, 213

CH 334, 335, 336

CH 337

CH 324

PH 201, 202, 203

ST 351

BB 317

BB 490, 491, 492

BB 481

BB 315, 494, 498

BB 486

Baccalaureate Core Courses


WR 121

Writing II

Writing III

HHS 231

ONE exercise-related class, such as: HHS 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248 or NFM 232, or any PAC class


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:

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