What do Biochemistry Majors study?


Student Highlight

Jason Wasserman, Class of 2016
Biology Major, Chemistry Minor

Why CHC? 


Biology Major Testimonial, Wasserman“I chose Chestnut Hill College because of the family-like dynamic. It’s so easy to befriend new people, regardless of majors. I also made my decision based upon the professors. From the beginning, I was able to tell that the professors take an interest in their students. It is a unique place because of all of the different types of people it attracts. Everyone comes together to create CHC, a place where anyone can easily call home.” 


 Jason's Internships 


”Through Dr. Wendling, I received the tools and guidance needed to apply for several positions. I was selected for a placement at a biology lab at Xavier University through their NSF REU program.” 


Jason's Activities: 

  • Archery Club 
  • Commuter Club 
  • Chemistry Club 

Fundamentally, chemistry is the study of the matter in the universe and how it changes. Modern chemistry is central to our lives and impacts diverse fields such as medicine, energy generation, cosmetics, food production, and more. The curriculum for chemistry majors is varied and includes specialization in various areas, one of which is biochemistry. Biochemistry combines the traditional study of chemistry with the added biology courses that provide a foundation in both of the natural science fields.


Why study at Chestnut Hill College?


At Chestnut Hill College, you are going to get a lot more than just an understanding of molecular structures. Along with your classroom and laboratory instruction - by highly qualified and experienced professors - you are also going to get a well-rounded liberal arts education. This education will help you think for yourself and overlay your scientific decisions with an ethical perspective. 


And geographically, you'll be in just the right place. Chestnut Hill College is centrally located near several major pharmaceutical, chemical, and forensic science companies such as Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, National Medical Services, Centocor, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth-Ayerst, Dupont and many more. We are also close to several public and private schools that are committed to developing more and better science teachers. All of this provides an exceptional learning opportunity for our students - not to mention a great location from which to launch a career.



What is the difference between Biochemistry, Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry Majors?


The core of all of these majors is gaining a solid understanding of chemistry through fundamental courses and laboratory work. The difference between these majors is the additional, specialized coursework required. Biochemistry majors take biology courses as part of their major while still acquiring a solid foundation in the most important areas of chemistry. Forensic chemistry majors on the otherhand, take toxicology courses and learn to use instruments such as those seen in crime shows. Unlike biochemistry and chemistry, forensic chemistry majors are required to perform an internship.


For more information on these majors, please visit the Department of Chemistry and Physics.


What are the requirements?


Biochemistry majors complete a minimum of 18 courses (66 credits) to qualify for a B.S. degree. These requirements include:
  • 12 credits in Biology 
  • 40 credits in Chemistry 
  • 8 credits in Physics 
  • 9 credits in Mathematics 

For more information on the specific course requirements as well as a sample academic plan, please see the Biology/Chemistry section (pages 203-04, 209-10) of our 2014-15 SUS Course Catalog. 


What internships are available?


There are many opportunities in pharmaceutical, biotechnological, agricultural, and forensic research throughout the Philadelphia region - and Chestnut Hill College is close to all of them. This increases the opportunities for chemistry majors to gain valuable real-world experience through internships. Some of these internships even lead to full-time employment after graduation. Several of the places at which our majors have held internships are the following:

  • Jefferson Medical College
  • Georgetown University
  • Purdue University
  • Boise University
  • The ME's Office of Philadelphia
  • The Research Center of the US Dept of Agriculture

What can I do after graduation?


Majoring in chemistry opens students to a wide range of exciting and fulfilling career choices post-graduation. These include:

  • Going to graduate school
  • Going to medical, dental or veterinary school
  • Working in a laboratory in a pharmaceutical company, an industrial chemical company, or a medical examiner's office
  • Becoming a High School Chemistry Teacher
  • Becoming a Patent Attorney


If you are interested in becoming a chemistry major at Chestnut Hill College, please contact Joseph Kulkosky, Chairperson of the Biology and Natural Sciences Division (KulkoskyJ@chc.edu).
To apply to Chestnut Hill College, please visit Admissions.