Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Biochemists tackle big problems and ask hard questions. They figure out how pollutants and chemicals in the environment affect humans and wildlife, and work on growing high-yield, nutritious crops that can feed hungry populations of people. Others study ways to convert energy found in algae or waste products into biofuels. Biochemists help to solve pressing problems and have the potential to improve life for people around the globe.


Biochemistry courses at Alvernia are taught in the O’Pake Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility with two floors of laboratory and classroom space, all offering the latest in educational technology. As a Biochemistry major at Alvernia, you’ll learn more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world.


In addition, Alvernia partners with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to offer an early acceptance program for students who quality to enter the college’s School of Dental Medical, School of Pharmacy or Medical College following completion of their degree at Alvernia.

In This Section
Majors

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email sfs@alvernia.edu.

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Biology lab
Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.


Program Overview

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Biochemistry majors must complete 69-72 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)


Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (BIO 103 required)
    • Math (MAT 209 required)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON 3
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence (6 credits)
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre


Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level) (3 credits)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level) (3 credits)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Biochemistry majors must complete 69-72 credits in the major. 

Major Requirements (34 credits)

  • CHE 104 (co-requisite: CHE 110)
  • CHE 105 (co-requisite: CHE 111)
  • CHE 107
  • CHE 201 (co-requisite: CHE 210)
  • CHE 202 (co-requisite: CHE 211)
  • CHE 301 (co-requisite: CHE 310)
  • CHE 302 (co-requisite: CHE 311)
  • CHE 401 (co-requisite: CHE 410)


Select One:

  • 6 credits of Internship (SCI 480)
  • 6 credits of Research Sequence SCI 406 and 407


Major Electives

  • Select 1 course from CHE 212, 221, 315; BIO 205, 315, 405, 409; MAT 231
     

Related Areas (41-46 credits)

  • BIO 103
  • BIO 104
  • BIO 221
  • BIO 303 (co-requisite: BIO 309)
  • BIO 304/311 or BIO 409
  • SCI 402
  • MAT 209
  • MAT 220
  • MAT 230 (MAT 131 recommended)
  • PHY 200
  • PHY 201
Experiential Learning Opportunities

Biochemistry courses at Alvernia are taught in the O’Pake Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility with two floors of laboratory and classroom space, all offering the latest in educational technology. As a Biochemistry major at Alvernia, you’ll learn more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world.


In addition, Alvernia partners with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to offer an early acceptance program for students who quality to enter the college’s School of Dental Medical, School of Pharmacy or Medical College following completion of their degree at Alvernia.

Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning your Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Traditional laboratory and research settings
  • Chemical or pharmaceutical industry
  • Research assistant
  • Testing and inspection professional
  • Quality control technician
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Scientific editor
  • Associate chemist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Technical sales or service representative


Or, you might choose to enter graduate school to study pharmacology, physiology, chemistry or biochemistry. Alvernia biochemistry graduates have also pursued further study in dentistry, medical school, pharmacy school, optometry, microbiology, forensic pathology and education.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in biochemistry are expected to grow 15 percent between 2021 and 2031, much faster than average for all occupations. The median salary for the industry is $102,270.

Opportunities for Majors

Science Association

The object of this club is to afford an opportunity for the students of science to become better acquainted, to secure the intellectual stimulation that arises from professional association, to obtain experiences in preparing and presenting technical material before chemical audiences, to foster a professional spirit among the members, to instill a professional pride in the sciences, and to build an awareness of the responsibilities and challenges facing the modern scientist. Membership of this association is open to students pursuing their study in the area of science and related fields. Contact Rosemarie Chinni (610-568-1492, rosemarie.chinni@alvernia.edu) or Kevin Burns (kevin.burns@alvernia.edu, 610-790-2865) for more information.
 

Pre-Health Club

The Pre-Health Professions Club includes, but is not limited to, Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Physician Assisting, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and Pre-Veterinary students. It provides a setting in which students who are working toward future careers in the health professions can get together, share information, learn more about the health professions in general, and develop friendships with students who share some of their interests. Members of this organization are composed of students pursuing study in several areas of science and related health fields.
 

Environmental Club

The purpose of this student organization is to maintain the temperate deciduous forest, riparian, and freshwater ecosystems about Alvernia University and the community it serves. The organization does this by recruiting new members, educating the public, and holding events that draw attention to the environment. Such events are Eco-Fun Day, trail clean-up days, and hosting public speaker seminars.
 

Beta Kappa Chi

Beta Kappa Chi is the National Science Honor Society composed of chapters which seek to encourage and advance scientific education through original education, the dissemination of scientific knowledge and the stimulation of high scholarship in pure and applied science.
 

Epsilon Gamma Chapter of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society

This is a National Scholastic Honor Society for students, faculty, and alumni of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition.
 

The Washington Center Experience

Alvernia students have an opportunity to earn college credit by spending a semester or summer in Washington, D.C. where they serve as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper or news network, or agencies devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics. They also may intern with one of several non-profit groups dealing with the environment, women’s issues, the arts, education, science, or labor relations among others. Participants are customarily juniors or seniors who have achieved grade point averages of 2.5 or better and who have the endorsement of the appropriate academic area. In addition to their internship, students select one seminar dealing with the arts and humanities, communication, public policy, the legal system, business, and government. Interested students should see their academic advisor.


Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Biochemistry program contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu. Or reach out directly to Chemistry Program Director Joshua Smith at 610-790-1915 or joshua.smith@alvernia.edu.