The Oregon State University Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics is part of the School of Life Sciences. The Department has world-class faculty, a tradition of interdisciplinary research, teaching excellence and extraordinary laboratories to facilitate undergraduate and graduate learning. The department ranks high nationally and internationally in many research areas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, including structural biology, genetic code expansion technology, metabolic regulation, signal transduction, protein chemistry, gene expression, epigenetics, cell cycle control and cell movement and adhesion.

Undergraduate Degrees

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.  The Department offers two BS degrees, both accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB):

Both degrees provide students a foundation in the physical and biological sciences. They are designed to help students prepare for careers 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 rewarding careers in medicine, dentistry, clinical chemistry, biotechnology, genetics, cell biology, forensic science, pharmacology, physiology, toxicology, and 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. Both majors benefit from the wealth of departmental course offerings and faculty research programs. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students majoring Biochemistry and Biophysics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology cannot seek a dual major or double degree in both majors or in the BioHealth Sciences, Biology, Zoology and Microbiology majors.

Prospective Students:

High school students interested in careers in biochemistry, molecular biology, or biophysics should prepare for college by taking four years of mathematics and at least one year each of physics, chemistry, and biology. 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, general biology and three semesters or four quarters of calculus, including vector calculus. An excellent advising program is available to undergraduates, and prospective students are encouraged to consult with a departmental advisor or with faculty members working in an area of interest to them. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to participate in research in the laboratory of a faculty member. 

Lead Advisor Kari van Zee is happy to meet with prospective students and arrange tours of laboratory facilities.  Contact her at vanzeek@science.oregonstate.edu  or call 541-737-1773.

Mailing Address:

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
2011 Ag Life Sciences Bldg
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-7305 USA

Department Phone and FAX:

Phone: 541-737-4511
FAX: 541-737-0481

Department email address:

BB.office@oregonstate.edu

Department Head (Andy Karplus) email address:

andy.karplus@oregonstate.edu

Lead Undergraduate Advisor (Kari van Zee) email address:

vanzeek@science.oregonstate.edu