Biochemistry

Biochemistry in the 21st century will continue to uncover the biochemical basis for life. Emerging knowledge in biochemistry will help to unravel the molecular basis for diseases such as cancer and hypertension, and in turn lead to the development of  new tools for disease detection and new therapies for treatments and cures.

The biochemist applies the basic principles of chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology to the study of cellular processes; thus a good grounding in these subjects is an integral part of the program. Biochemistry at Queen’s offers a wide scope of diverse topics ranging from molecular genetics and structural biology to the functional basis of enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. These biochemistry courses incorporate an understanding of specific organisms, as well as organ systems such as musculoskeletal and cardiovascular.

The co-operative education option in the Biochemistry program at Queen’s offers students an experience that integrates on-campus academic study with relevant work experience in industry, government, or a research institute. The work experience enhances the students’ intellectual, professional and personal development by providing opportunities for applying academic theories and knowledge, evaluating and adjusting career directions, and developing skills in working with people. The co-operative education program opens doors to a diverse set of employers throughout Canada and the United States, which allows students to build professional networks outside of Queen’s University.

See our Major Map to learn more

Location: 
Botterell Hall
Room number: 
650
Telephone: 
Associate Dean, Life Sciences and Biochemistry: 
Michael D. Kawaja
Life Sciences Program: 
Honz Slipka
Biochemistry Program: 
Denise Cameron

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - BScH

Specialization in Biochemistry
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the subject of study.

Specialization in Biochemistry - Cooperative Program
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within the subject of study.

Major in Biochemistry
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Minor in Biochemistry
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar
Graduate Degree Options

Biochemistry - PhD
Biochemistry - MSc (Anatomical Sciences)
Biochemistry - MSc

Job and Career Opportunities for Biochemistry Grads

Biochemistry, the study of chemical processes in living tissues, is one of the fastest developing subjects within the biological sciences. Many of the major scientific discoveries during the last forty years have been in the are a of biochemistry, which is benefiting greatly from the recombinant DNA revolution. The sequencing of the entire genomes of many organisms including humans is the start of a new era in Biochemistry which will involve the use of microchips to study patterns of protein and gene expression changes occurring in disease states. In addition, global efforts are underway to identify all protein lipid and metabolite components of a given state of health or disease. Biochemistry in the 21st century will uncover the biochemical basis for life, continue to unravel the cause for many diseases including cancer and heart disease offering new pathways for the development of cures and establish new tools for the development of emerging nanotechnologies. Biochemistry has wide scope and deals with such diverse topics as molecular genetics, the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins, enzymology, metabolism and bioenergetics, hormones and vitamins and the specialized biochemistry of specific organisms or tissues such as muscle or brain.

Where could Biochemistry students go after graduation?

  • Academia
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Business
  • Dentistry
  • Education
  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Forensic Science
  • Forestry
  • Genetics
  • Graduate Studies
  • Journalism
  • Medicine
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Public Health
  • Medical Research
  • Sales, Retail and Wholesale
  • Textile Industry
  • Veterinary Medicine

Note: Some of these careers may require additional training.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

The first two years of study in the Biochemistry program involve courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, mathematics and biology, the latter giving a first introduction to biochemical themes. The first full course in biochemistry is offered in the second year of the program. In the third year, students will vastly expand their experience in biochemistry by exploring detailed structures and functions of proteins and biological molecules, the molecular basis of diseases, and modern biochemical research methods. They will also participate in an intensive laboratory course. The fourth year is devoted almost entirely to biochemistry, covering some of the latest advances, and including a large proportion of advanced laboratory experience.

Undergraduate Admission to Biochemistry

Students apply to Queen’s Science (QS) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include English 4U, Advanced Functions 4U, Calculus and Vectors 4U, plus two of Biology 4U, Chemistry 4U, or Physics 4U. Visit queensu.ca/admission for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.