The Biochemistry Program

The Saint Vincent College Chemistry Department seeks to provide students with a solid foundation in chemistry set in the broad context of the liberal arts. We provide our graduates with knowledge of chemical principles, laboratory skills, communication skills and research experiences so that they can pursue a variety of career possibilities in chemistry, biochemistry and environmental chemistry.

What Can I Do With a Degree in Biochemistry?
  • B.S. degree program for majors in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry; minors in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry, and secondary school teaching certification in Chemistry also available.
  • Chemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.
  • Curriculum includes common foundation courses, a strong emphasis on oral/written communication skills and group work, and a required senior research project
  • Students have lots of opportunities for “hands on” work with instrumentation in state-of-the-art labs. Labs feature $500,000 of new equipment.
  • Optional Pre-Health Professions program for Chemistry majors preparing for medical and other health professions schools.
  • Environmental Chemistry majors benefit from opportunities to be involved with the award winning Environmental Education Center and Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve.
  • Students have opportunities to get involved in the Saint Vincent College Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which has been recognized for a number of years by the ACS for its quality program.
Biochemistry Results
  • Students in our department get hands-on instruction with instrumentation and equipment that is widely used in the chemical industry, government labs, and graduate schools. In addition, the department has recently acquired an inert atmosphere glovebox, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an ion chromatograph.
  • 100% of our seniors who have applied to graduate school have been accepted. 56% of our seniors who apply to a health profession school are accepted (national avg is about 44%). 48% of our students who are looking for jobs are employed as of the time they graduate.
  • Many of our students participate in summer internships either in industry (PPG, Johnson-Matthey, R.J. Lee Group) or at larger research universities (Univ. of Pittsburgh, Univ. of Montana)
  • The Saint Vincent College chemistry club is a Student Affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society and has received awards of commendation from ACS for its service to the community, educational outreach and social events for the past 11 years.
  • Applicants to the program have the opportunity to apply for a four year, $5000 annual STEP Scholarship. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program or STEP, is a national initiative that encourages global competitiveness in the sciences. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the Collaborative Learning Program, a peer-led learning program.
Major Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry (B.S.)
Biochemistry Major Requirements (75 credits):
BL 150,152 General Biology I and II - 6 credits
BL 151,153 General Biology I and II Laboratory - 2 credits
BL 208 Cell Biology - 3 credits
BL 209 Cell Biology Laboratory - 1 credit
BL 214 Molecular Genetics - 3 credits
BL 215 Molecular Genetics Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 101-102 General Chemistry I, II* - 6 credits
CH 103-104 General Chemistry Laboratory I, II* - 2 credits
CH 221-222 Organic Chemistry I, II - 6 credits
CH 223-224 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I, II - 2 credits
CH 231-232 Physical Chemistry I, II - 6 credits
CH 233 Physical Chemistry I Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 242 Instrumental Analysis - 2 credits
CH 251 Proteins and Metabolism - 3 credits
CH 253 Proteins and Metabolism Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 252 Nucleic Acids and Membranes - 3 credits
CH 254 Nucleic Acids and Membranes Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 282 Advanced Physical Methods -  2 credits
CH 301 Research Laboratory -  2 credits
CH 300, 302 Research Seminar I, II -  2 credits
MA 111-113 Calculus I, II, III* - 12 credits
PH 111-112 General Physics I, II - 6 credits
PH 113-114 General Physics Laboratory I, II - 2 credits


*General Chemistry I & II with Laboratory fulfill the Natural Science core requirement. Calculus I fulfills the Mathematics core requirement.

Electives (1 credit) 

Requirements for Minor in Biochemistry (28 credits):
CH 101-102 General Chemistry I, II - 6 credits
CH 103-104 General Chemistry Laboratory I, II - 2 credits
CH 216 Quantitative Analysis - 3 credits
CH 218 Quantitative Analysis Laboratory - 1 credit
CH 221-224 Organic Chemistry I, II, with Laboratory - 8 credits
CH 251, 253 Proteins and Metabolism with Laboratory - 4 credits
CH 252, 254 Nucleic Acids and Membranes with Laboratory - 4 credits

Typical Freshman Schedulebiochemistry-freshman-schedule

CH 101 General Chemistry I - 3 credits
CH 103 General Chemistry I Laboratory - 1 credit
MA 111 Calculus I - 4 credits
BL 150 General Biology I - 3 credits
BL 151 General Biology I Laboratory - 1 credit
EL 102 Language & Rhetoric - 3 credits
Total Fall 15 credits

CH 102 General Chemistry II - 3 credits
CH 104 General Chemistry II Laboratory - 1 credit
MA 112 Calculus II - 4 credits
BL 152 General Biology II - 3 credits
BL 153 General Biology II Laboratory - 1 credit
TH 119 First Theology - 3 credits
Social Sciences - 3 credits
Total Spring 18 credits

Total Freshman Year 33 credits 

All students will take one three (3) credit course designated as a Freshman Seminar which will satisfy a core curriculum requirement.

Accreditations and Affiliations
American Chemical Society approved chemistry program.
Internships and Careers in Biochemistry
  • Health professions - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, University of Maryland Medical School, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, and West Virginia University School of Dentistry.
  • Graduate programs - Duquense University, Northeastern University, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, University of Kentucky, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Employment - National Institutes of Health, Agentase, and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. 
  • Learning Objectives

    The degree in Biochemistry is designed to:

    • Students graduating with a degree in biochemistry will have an understanding of chemical principles in organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry that allows them to apply those principles to advanced topics. Students in biochemistry and environmental chemistry will be able to apply principles specific to their disciplines to advanced topics.
    • Students will be able to perform a variety of modern chemical laboratory techniques and run modern instrumentation. Students in biochemistry will be able to perform laboratory techniques specific to their discipline.
    • Students will be able to communicate in both oral and written forms that are appropriate to the modern practice of chemistry. Students should be able to apply the Six Principles of Good Writing to their chemistry writing.
    • Students in their junior and senior years in chemistry will be able to design, develop, conduct and report on an independent research project.
    • Students will develop higher order thinking skills of synthesis, analysis and applications.