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Concentrations 101: Biochemistry

What is biochemistry?

The biochemistry concentration has a fairly flexible course list focused on the microscopic aspects of health and humans. Students have options to take courses in chemistry, health sciences, chemical biology, biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry to fulfill their requirements.

What is the difference between biochemistry and chemical biology?

Chemical biology focuses on small molecules (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc.) that make up proteins, membranes and mechanistically control pathways in the body. Labs perform techniques such as mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy.


Biochemistry focuses on proteins and nucleic acids (i.e. DNA and RNA) in the body, rather than individual molecules. Labs utilize techniques such as PCR and gel electrophoresis.

Why some upper years chose this concentration:

“I thought this concentration would help meet a lot of prerequisite knowledge for professional school.”


“I chose this concentration because I am very interested in the study of micro and macroscopic biological systems, their interactions at the molecular, intermolecular, and organismal levels, and have a preference for genetically and physiologically oriented subject-matter. I also intend to apply for medical school, and I believe the biochemistry concentration is the academic pathway that best supports me in achieving my goal while providing me with an education geared towards my personal interests.”


“I was volunteering in a biology lab that required a lot of assay work and have had an interest in biochemistry since high school. I switched into biochemistry, from PnB, at the last minute.”


“I was interested in exploring the etiology and novel treatments for various diseases. I also liked that I could take courses from biology, chemistry, health sciences, etc. to explore different areas of interest.”

What courses are required?


There are no specific first year electives are required for this concentration.

Have more questions? Upper year contacts:

Brian Yu (Class of 2019)

Angela Dittrich (Class of 2020)

Coulter Montague (Class of 2020)

Maryanne Oketch (Class of 2020)

Meghan Kates (Class of 2020)

Gemma Barber (Class of 2021)