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  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Undergraduate research students have presented work at national meetings of the Council for Undergraduate Research and the American Chemical Society as well as regional meetings of organizations such as Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

  • GU Possibilities
    • Undergraduate research students have presented their work at national meetings of the Council for Undergraduate Research and the American Chemical Society as well as regional meetings of organizations such as Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
    • The first student to graduate from the biochemistry program entered dental school in the fall of 2016.
    • A recent Gannon University chemistry graduate is now a candidate for a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame.

    You Will Learn

    Biochemists explore the structure and activity of molecules, and study their reactions in living systems. The biochemistry major attracts students who enjoy the study of chemistry, but prefer to focus on the biological chemistry facet. Students in the biochemistry major take courses directing their study to the interface of these sciences. Their core coursework includes a strong foundation in chemistry, physics and mathematics, complemented by a suite of biology courses. Biochemistry majors participate in undergraduate research experiences under the guidance of expert faculty members in the chemistry or biology departments. According to the American Chemical Society, the field of biochemistry is expanding. Job growth is expected to continue at a faster than average pace.


    You Will Experience

    Biochemistry majors are able to pursue opportunities within the broad field of chemistry or specifically within biochemistry. While at Gannon, the student will have the opportunity to work with a faculty member on an undergraduate research project, which may lead to professional presentations or publication. In addition to internships connected to the chemical industry, students may pursue Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) supported by the National Science Foundation, especially in the summer months following their junior year of study. REUs are programs designed for the student who may be interested in pursuing a master’s or doctoral (Ph.D.) degree. Many students in the chemistry department have participated in these summer programs as an opportunity to expose themselves to research at institutions that grant the Ph.D. degree.


    You Will Achieve

    Successful students who graduate with a biochemistry degree may enter full-time employment in these areas, and more:

    • food science
    • agriculture
    • toxicology
    • pharmacology
    • microbiology
    • clinical chemistry
    Biochemistry majors are eligible to pursue graduate research programs in chemistry or biochemistry. They are well positioned to apply to health professional schools such as medical, pharmacy, veterinary and dental school.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $42,900
    • Mid-career salary: $80,200

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Coursework in the biochemistry major provides students with a background in chemistry, mathematics and physics that is complemented by an emphasis on specific biology and biochemistry coursework.

    CHEM 366: Structural Biochemistry

    A systematic study of biologically important compounds including the amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes, carbohydrates and lipids. Emphasis is placed on the structure, properties, reactions and functions of these compounds.

    BIOL 373: Cellular Biochemistry

    This course will explore the synthesis of nucleotides, DNA, RNA, amino acids and proteins, along with fundamental concepts of gene expression and signal transduction. Students will discuss DNA-based information technologies and how to apply these technologies to study nucleic acid and protein structure and function. Students will be expected to use this knowledge to interpret experimental data and propose scientifically sound explanations consistent with presented data.

    CHEM 414: Computational Chemistry

    Chemists use computational methods to examine the effect of chemical structure at the molecular level on the chemical and physical properties of chemical substances. The models provide powerful tools for prediction of properties, examining reaction mechanisms and how structure affects physiological properties of pharmaceuticals.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.