Biochemistry can be most simply defined as the study of life at the molecular level.

Every process occurring within the living organism, from metabolism to muscle contraction to vision and even including our thought processes, happens as a result of a series of chemical reactions. All of these processes are of interest to the biochemist, who tries to answer such questions as: What is the chemistry which enables this process to occur? By what molecular mechanism is it controlled? What techniques can I develop to allow me to better understand this?


The field of biochemistry accommodates people with a wide spectrum of interests, from those with a strong biological orientation to those who view themselves more as chemists. Biochemistry is a relatively young, rapidly growing, and exciting field of study. Genetic engineering, biotechnology, and immunology are just three of the areas in which biochemists are playing a major role.


The Program

Your course of study in biochemistry at Geneseo will reflect the fact that the field lies at the interface of biology and chemistry. Extensive background in the basic sciences and mathematics is the foundation for the program. Requirements include a series of courses in biology, including: genetics, cell biology, molecular biology and molecular techniques. Required chemistry courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry. You'll also enroll in a seminar in biochemistry during your senior year and take seven credits of electives such as: immunology, the biology of cancer, and bioinorganic chemistry. These courses provide the breadth and depth necessary for a modern scientist.


In addition, you'll take forty-six semester hours in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences, giving you a solid liberal arts background. Your individual program will be arranged in consultation with a biochemistry faculty advisor from either the Chemistry or the Biology Department. For more specific information regarding course requirements, please consult our Undergraduate Bulletin or visit the Biochemistry Department's website.


Biochemistry, one of the College's most rigorous programs, is jointly offered by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Students develop a strong sense of camaraderie and the environment is very supportive. You'll be assigned a faculty advisor when you start at Geneseo so that both close contact with faculty and help in meeting your educational goals will be available to you at all times.