Undergraduate Program Biochemistry

Professor and student working with an electronic microscope

Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree Overview

As the central science, chemistry is foundational to understanding and improving the world in which we live. From diagnosing and treating disease, through solving the world’s energy crisis, to understanding the origins of life itself, chemistry majors gain an appreciation of the role of chemistry in the economy, in society, in the environment, and in medicine.

The biochemistry track is designed for students seeking to pursue careers in the life sciences, and in addition to quantitative course work on fundamental chemical and physical systems also includes course work in biology as well as in the chemical systems and processes underlying biology.

Degree Details

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

PSU's biochemistry program is distinguished by the active incorporation of research discoveries into teaching programs and by the opportunity to pursue undergraduate research with leading faculty scientists, providing students with a world-class interdisciplinary education.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to our students' education; our diverse and knowledgeable faculty, graduate students, and staff are dedicated to helping students achieve their educational and career goals. The biochemistry curriculum is defined by hands-on learning experiences in teaching and research laboratories and by innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including flipped classrooms, peer-led workshops, and available tutoring.

Portland State offers students a wide variety of options for pursuing a career in healthcare. Students can choose from one of 15 different specialization areas and receive expert advising and professional school preparation.

Portland State University's position in the heart of Oregon's economic and cultural center provides a dynamic and exciting environment in which to pursue science.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry?

Biochemistry students are prepared for careers in professional health, STEM business and industry, STEM education and policy, scientific communication, research, and related fields.

Trained biochemists may work with (or start their own) companies that apply scientific principles to develop and enhance products, tools, and technological advances in fields such as medicine (medical supplies or pharmaceuticals), basic chemical research, sports technology, and environmental, agricultural, and food science. They may also work in sales marketing, technical training and support, and public relations positions.

Biochemists who enjoy working with people and encouraging them to learn about scientific principles and emerging issues find employment in schools, universities, museums, and other organizations. They may also work at universities or organizations to develop best practices for STEM education. Science policymakers and advisors directly develop STEM education policy or work with lawmakers to create legislation.

Biochemists with excellent writing and communication skills can be employed by scientific journals, textbook publishers, online magazines and science blogs or print/media networks, or by universities, government labs or non-profit organizations, trade journals other entities in positions that require educating the public about relevant and emerging biochemistry issues.

Research biochemists conduct basic or applied research.

Featured Courses

  • CH 320 Quantitative Analysis
  • CH 440 Physical Chemistry
  • CH 426 Instrumental Analysis
  • CH 490 Biochemistry: Structure and Function
  • CH 491 Biochemistry: Enzymology and Metabolism
  • CH 492 Biochemistry: Nucleic Acids and Biological Information Flow


  • CH 411 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • CH 4/510 NMR Spectroscopy
  • CH 4/586 Environmental Chemistry
  • CH 487 Aquatic Chemistry


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The curriculum, faculty, library, and facilities of the Department of Chemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS).