Create your future. Shape your world.
This interdepartmental major offers an alternative to students who are interested in both Biology and Chemistry. The interface of Biology and Chemistry has become extremely important as an area of research with applications in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medicine and biotechnology. An example of the importance of this field of study is the completion of the sequencing of the human genome. This accomplishment marks the beginning of an exploration to identify and determine the function of the various genes, which will require a large number of scientists that have strong backgrounds in both chemistry and biology.
During the course of study, students not only gain a strong foundation in cell biology, molecular biology and chemistry, but also encounter specialized topics such as mechanisms of cancer. A goal is for students to understand specific molecular interactions and reactions that occur in living organisms and their consequences.
In addition to coursework, Biochemistry majors participate in a collaborative research project either on or off campus. Topics have included cloning and expression of human genes, contemporary genomics focused on malaria parasites, synthesis of biologically relevant molecules, and the isolation and characterization of compounds in natural products, among others.
The Biochemistry Major is particularly attractive to pre-health science professional students (including those interested in attending medical and veterinary schools and schools of public health, among others) and to students who plan to pursue graduate study in biochemistry or cellular/molecular biology. Medical programs accepting Earlham graduates include: Harvard, University of Chicago, The Ohio State University, Case Western, Dartmouth, Yale and Johns Hopkins. A number of students have pursued M.D.-Ph.D. programs at these schools. Veterinary schools that our graduates have attended include Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, and University of California, Davis. Students pursuing a Ph.D. or M.P.H. have entered graduate programs at Notre Dame, Northwestern and Johns Hopkins, among others. Other Earlham graduates have chosen to work in industry directly after Earlham.
A student wishing to pursue the Biochemistry Interdepartmental major should contact a Biology or Chemistry faculty member as soon as possible. Many of the courses are sequenced so that enrolling in the introductory Biology and Chemistry courses early in a student's career is critical to maximizing options in the Junior and Senior year. Careful planning is particularly important when a student wishes to participate in a semester-long off-campus program. Our students have participated in a variety of off-campus opportunities, including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Science Semester, and the New Zealand, Tanzania and London programs.
Health Careers Advising