Biochemistry Major

A biochemistry major allows you to pursue careers that span the fields of chemistry and biology. A biochemistry major is intended to prepare you for advanced study in areas such as biochemistry, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, and the health sciences including medical school. It is also excellent preparation for you if your are interested in a career in the areas of cell and molecular biology and medical research.


  • If you are seeking an entry-level positions after graduation you are strongly encouraged to seek out internship opportunities. With Simpson College’s close proximity to Des Moines, internships are readily available.
  • You are encouraged to begin research as soon as you are interested and ready.  You may also elect to receive credit for research off campus in industrial, governmental, university or medical laboratories.
  • You will participate in seminars where you will investigate one or two selected topics by the group. You will read current scientific literature and take turns, along with faculty presenting papers to the group. This is a great way to enhance and demonstrate your skills in analyzing and presenting scientific concepts.

Recent Jobs & Internships

  • Aarhus University - Denmark
  • Heska
  • Iowa Donor Network
  • Jackson Labs
  • Kossuth Regional Medical Center
  • Monsanto
  • Pioneer Hi-bred
  • ProbioFerm
  • University of Iowa MD/PhD summer research program

Recent Graduate Schools

  • Des Moines University
  • Northwestern University Medical School
  • Rush Medical School
  • University of Houston
  • University of Iowa Medical School
  • University of Kentucky at Lexington
  • University of Michigan
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Yale University

Courses Required:

  • Chem 101 General Chemistry I
  • Chem 102 General Chemistry II
  • Chem 201 Organic Chemistry I
  • Chem 202 Organic Chemistry II
  • Chem 301 Physical Chemistry
  • Chem 330 Biochemistry
  • Chem 330L Cellular Biochemistry Laboratory
  • Biol 111 Principles of Biology II
  • Biol 334 Cellular Biology
  • Biol 360 Molecular Genetics
  • Mat 151 Calculus
  • Biol/Chem 370 Biochemistry Seminar (.5 course)
  • Biol/Chem 398 Research (.25 course)
  • Biol/Chem 386 Capstone Writing and Presentation in Biochemistry (.5 course)

In addition to above classes, an additional 8 credits of biology and chemistry electives are required.

For those students planning on going to graduate school in a field related to biochemistry, it is recommended to take at least 2 additional electives selected from the following:

  • Biol 251 Microbiology
  • Biol 285 Developmental Biology
  • Chem 205 Quantitative Analysis
  • Chem 307 Instrumental Analysis
  • Biol/Chem 398 Independent Research
  • Biol/Chem 390/390 Special Topics

And all of the supporting courses listed below:

  • Physics 151/152 OR 191/192
  • Math 152
  • Math 135

Success Story

Courtney Klyn: Cargill

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