Interest in Biochemistry Grows in the College of Sciences

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Jennifer Leavey, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Academic Services, School of Biology

One of the fastest growing majors on campus is the new Biochemistry (Biochem) major offered by the School of Chemistry. While Biochem certificates have been offered for many years, the Biochemistry major was only approved in 2007. Currently 170 students are enrolled in the rapidly expanding major. For more about the new major, I spoke with Carrie Shepler, an academic professional in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

What is Biochemistry?
Biochemistry is the application of chemistry to the study of biological processes at the cellular and molecular level.

Why was the Biochemistry major established?
The "bio" emphasis in all areas of science and engineering increased dramatically in the last decade, so we felt it was beneficial to Tech students to offer a program to prepare them for the many job opportunities that emphasize the biological aspects of chemistry.

What career goals do most Biochem majors have?
Our students have a variety of career goals including attending medical school or other forms of graduate school and pursuing a career in the industry sector which includes pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Is there a Biochemistry minor?
No, but we do have a certificate in organic/biochemistry.

How does the Biochemistry major differ from the Chemistry major?
Chemistry focuses on the atomic and molecular composition of the world around us. Biology concentrates on the study of life. The Biochemistry degree merges chemistry and biology by studying the chemistry of life, through coursework in both fields.

Why should someone major in Biochemistry at Georgia Tech?
Aside from being an interesting area of study, our biochemistry curriculum is excellent preparation for a variety of post-graduation opportunities. It prepares students for professional school as well as jobs in government laboratories, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, cosmetics, food science, and more. In addition to a sound technical background, our program emphasizes career preparation skills. Though growing, our department still offers one-on-one advising and support for each student, and we strive to maintain this level of service.

For more information on obtaining a Biochemistry degree at Georgia Tech, please visit


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Created: 01/31/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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