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Kari Van Zee with a group of undergraduate students analyzing data in a lab.

Undergraduates in the BMB major participate in course-based undergraduate research in BB 315 Molecular Biology Laboratory. Here students are communicating the results of their protein expression experiment to instructor Kari van Zee.

Studying biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology at Oregon State

Join a community that is passionate about “revealing how life works for the benefit of all.” As an undergraduate student studying biochemistry in combination with molecular biology or biophysics, you will have the opportunity to learn and conduct research alongside award-winning teaching and research faculty. We guide you to find experiential learning opportunities that fit your interests, such as health internships, laboratory research, and other hands-on learning opportunities that will enhance your preparation for your desired career.

Majors and minors

With world-class faculty, a tradition of interdisciplinary research, teaching excellence and extraordinary laboratories, our department ranks high nationally and internationally in many research areas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Undergraduates can choose from our two majors, biochemistry and biophysics (BB) or biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB). Both majors are accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). We also offer a minor in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Our advisors are champions of undergraduates

Our advisors consider advising a collaborative process, taking care to guide students through multiple ongoing conversations and engaging with you to develop plans and make decisions in support of your professional goals. They make an effort to learn your interests, goals and unique circumstances, and will strive to connect you with outstanding opportunities that will complement your academic work.

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Pre-health and pre-med

A degree from the BB department is an excellent way to prepare for a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or other health-related professions. We are proud to offer degrees that provide the rigorous academic foundation, skills and hands-on research background to get into any school you apply to. BB and BMB alumni have an outstanding track record of being admitted to competitive medical schools and other health profession programs across the nation.

Opportunities and experiences

Our undergraduate students put their passion for biochemistry into practice by engaging in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research with faculty across the university. Many of our students participate in summer experiences in labs around the nation. Our students have opportunities to share their knowledge at training workshops, conferences and events for members of the international scientific community, as well as Oregon teachers, students and the general public.

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Student life

Our BB community is made up of artists, musicians, athletes and explorers with diverse interests and career aspirations — in both molecular life science and extracurricular activities. We strive to build a vibrant learning community beginning with our "cohort" professional development class for first-year and new transfer students. Throughout your academic journey, you will meet BB faculty, peers and other professionals to explore the wealth of opportunities and career pathways available to biochemistry students.

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Scholarships and awards

Financial contributions to our department make a big difference that help students in the College of Science and the Biochemistry department each year. Funding has allowed students to present their research at conferences, do paid research opportunities, receive emergency relief funds, be awarded academic scholarships among other initiatives.

Still in high school but want to explore biochemistry?

In this new and exciting 2-week online program for high school students, you'll explore the exciting field of biomedical science and receive a head start learning college-level topics! Make friends this summer and get a jump start on learning with Biochemistry Blast!