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.

Top 5 Reasons to study Biochemistry:

  1. Gain knowledge of chemical and biological processes within the human body and other organisms
  2. Work directly in our laboratories to become familiar with all types of equipment.
  3. Build specific skills that employers are looking for in the industry.
  4. Learn from top professors, who conduct research on cancer, reproductive health, and infection and disease.
  5. Our internship program (QUIP) offers a range of careers to explore and companies to learn from.

 “Queen’s Biochemistry facilitated my first step along the path of scientific research, and it taught me the skills to take all the steps that followed.”
                                                                                                                                   -Tyler Vance, BScH ‘13

 

Location: 
Botterell Hall
Room number: 
650
Telephone: 
Undergraduate Chair: 
John Allingham
Undergraduate Assistant: 
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

Alumni Career Statistics

  • 5% of alumni work in GOVERNMENT
  • 11% of alumni work in PHARMACEUTICALS
  • 17% of alumni work in HEALTH CARE
  • 40% of alumni work in EDUCATION & RESEARCH

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.

A degree in Biochemistry can take your career in many directions. Many students choose to continue their academic inquiry with a Master’s. Our students are equipped with a strong foundation for careers in:

  • 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

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation.

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.

Two highlighted undergraduate Biochemistry courses are:

BCHM 218: Molecular Biology
Molecules and macromolecules that participate in the replication and expression of genes. Current methods for exploring the structure, function, and manipulation of genetic material.


BCHM 316: Metabolism
Metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. Role of coenzymes. Generation and storage of metabolic energy. Principles of regulatory mechanisms, membrane structure and function, hormone action, and cellular signalling.

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.

Biochemistry (BScH)
OUAC Code:
QS (Kingston Campus)
QF (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIS (The Castle)

See Full Admission Requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2017-18 thresholds for Biochemistry are: 2.5 Cumulative GPA for PENDING LIST or 2.9 Cumulative GPA with minimum pass in CHEM 112 for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE.

Information on Plan Selection