Biochemistry, B.S.

Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is designed for students interested in the applications of chemistry to the life sciences. The program prepares students for professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, law and pharmacy. The program provides excellent preparation for students interested in working in biochemistry, molecular biology or biotechnology.

The chemistry department at Saint Louis University emphasizes participation in undergraduate research, and majors have ample opportunities to involve themselves in research projects under the close mentorship of a full-time faculty member. Students can use a variety of specialized equipment and computers in their instructional and research laboratories.

Each year, the department hosts several social events and sponsors a chemistry club for interested students.

Program Highlights 

  • A rigorous program that makes graduates competitive for employment in STEM areas.
  • Opportunities for students to strengthen their scientific communication skills through research activities that pair an undergraduate with a faculty researcher.
  • A unique mentoring program that continues from freshman to senior year, providing guidance and support for students in reaching their professional goals.

Curriculum Overview

  • First Year: General Chemistry 1 and 2, Calculus I and II, Principles of Biology I and II
  • Second Year: Organic Chemistry 1 and 2, Analytical Chemistry 1, Engineering Physics I and II
  • Third Year: Biochemistry 1 and 2, Chemistry Literature, Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry 1 and 2, Physical Chemistry Lab, undergraduate research
  • Fourth Year: Principles of Genetics, undergraduate research, one chemistry elective

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Selected undergraduate students may have opportunities to work with faculty members as assistants in undergraduate laboratories and receive a stipend.

The benefits of SLU's biochemistry program also include many internship and career opportunities. In addition, undergraduates who study biochemistry at SLU can attend professional meetings and present their research results. SLU students have presented numerous talks and poster presentations at regional and national meetings of the American Chemical Society and other scientific conferences in recent years.


Career options in biochemistry include:

  • Teaching at the university, college or high school level
  • Chemical research and development in industry or government laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Drug discovery and drug development
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental research
  • Management and administration in the chemical industry
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical sales
  • Patent law and environmental law
  • Opportunities in the public health sector

A Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry is good preparation for students who want to continue their education in graduate school studying chemistry, biochemistry and health-related areas such as pharmacology and toxicology, as well as in professional school studying medicine, law, pharmacy or dentistry.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.


Tuition Cost Per Year
Undergraduate Tuition $54,760

Additional charges may apply. Other resources are listed below:

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided through grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

Saint Louis University makes every effort to keep our education affordable. In fiscal year 2023, 99% of first-time freshmen and 92% of all students received financial aid and students received more than $459 million in aid University-wide.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by December 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit


The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry has been continuously certified by the American Chemical Society since 2004.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate a foundational understanding of organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry, and advanced knowledge in biochemistry.
  2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate proficiency in basic (general, organic, analytical and physical) and advanced biochemistry laboratory techniques and conduct laboratory experiments safely.
  3. Graduates will be able to collect, interpret and analyze quantitative data.
  4. Graduates will be able to communicate scientific results effectively, especially through written reports and oral presentations.
  5. Graduates will be able to design and conduct independent research.

Biochemistry students must complete a minimum total of 72 credits for the B.S. major.

University Undergraduate Core32-35
Major Requirements
BIOL 1240
BIOL 1245
General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
and Principles of Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 1260
BIOL 1265
General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter
and Principles of Biology II Laboratory
CHEM 1130
CHEM 1115
General Chemistry 1 for Majors
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory
CHEM 1140
CHEM 1125
General Chemistry 2 for Majors
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
CHEM 2200
CHEM 2205
Analytical Chemistry 1
and Analytical Chemistry 1 Laboratory
CHEM 2430
CHEM 2435
Organic Chemistry 1 for Majors
and Organic Chemistry 1 Lab for Majors
CHEM 2440
CHEM 2445
Organic Chemistry 2 for Majors
and Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory for Majors
CHEM 3100The Chemical Literature1
CHEM 3970Undergraduate Research (Students take 1 credit for 3 semesters for a total of 3 credits)1
CHEM 3330
CHEM 3345
Physical Chemistry 1
and Physical Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 3340Physical Chemistry 23
CHEM 4500Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 4610
CHEM 4615
Biochemistry 1
and Biochemistry 1 Laboratory
CHEM 4620
CHEM 4625
Biochemistry 2
and Biochemistry 2 Laboratory
Additional CHEM 4000 Elective3
Required biological elective 13
Select 3 credits of electives from the approved list 1
MATH 1510Calculus I4
MATH 1520Calculus II4
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1620
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory 2
PHYS 1630
PHYS 1640
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory 2
General Electives21-24
Total Credits120

BIOL 3010 Evolutionary Biology (3 cr), BIOL 3030 Principles of Genetics (3 cr), BIOL 3400X Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic (3 cr)BIOL 4070 Advanced Biological Chemistry (3 cr), BIOL 4250 Neurobiology of Disease (3 cr), BIOL 4430 Principles of Virology (3 cr), BIOL 4460 Exercise Physiology (3 cr), BIOL 4520 Biochemical Pharmacology (3 cr), BIOL 4540 Human Systemic Physiology (3 cr), BIOL 4600 Developmental Biology (3 cr), BIOL 4630 Foundations of Immunobiology (3 cr), BIOL 4640 General Microbiology (3 cr), BIOL 4720 Cancer Biology (3 cr), BME 2200 Applied Physiology for Engineers (3 cr), PPY 2540 Human Physiology (4 cr), PPY 4410 Molecular Pharmacology (3 cr)


Engineering Physics I and II with lab are recommended for majors unless they are pre-medical. Physics I and II with lab PHYS 1310 Physics I, PHYS 1320 Physics I Laboratory, PHYS 1330 Physics II, and PHYS 1340 Physics II Laboratory also fulfill the physics requirement and are recommended for pre-medical students.

Non-Course Requirements

All Science and Engineering B.A. and B.S. students must complete an exit interview/survey near the end of their bachelor's program. 

Continuation Standards

The following standards apply to all new freshmen and transfer students:

  • Students must earn a "C-" or better in CHEM 1110 General Chemistry 1 or CHEM 1130 General Chemistry 1 for Majors) and a "C-" or better in CHEM 1120 General Chemistry 2 or CHEM 1140 General Chemistry 2 for Majors, or the equivalent in transfer.
  • Students must earn a "C-" or better in CHEM 2200 Analytical Chemistry 1.

Students who do not earn a "C-" in any of the identified courses must retake the course at SLU in the following semester. If a "C-" is not earned on the second attempt the student will be dismissed from the major. A student who withdraws from one of these courses on the first attempt thus has one more attempt to earn a "C-."

Students must maintain a 2.00 GPA in their major (CHEM) and required related courses (BIOL, PHYS, MATH, etc.) If a student falls below a 2.00 major GPA the student must meet with the undergraduate program director to review their academic performance. If the student cannot raise the major GPA to 2.00 in two semesters, the student will be dismissed from the major.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CHEM 1130 General Chemistry 1 for Majors 3
CHEM 1115 General Chemistry 1 Laboratory 1
MATH 1510 Calculus I 4
BIOL 1240 General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution 3
BIOL 1245 Principles of Biology I Laboratory 1
University Core 4
CHEM 1140 General Chemistry 2 for Majors 3
CHEM 1125 General Chemistry 2 Laboratory 1
MATH 1520 Calculus II 4
BIOL 1260 General Biology: Transformations of Energy and Matter 3
BIOL 1265 Principles of Biology II Laboratory 1
University Core 3
Year Two
CHEM 2430 Organic Chemistry 1 for Majors 3
CHEM 2435 Organic Chemistry 1 Lab for Majors 1
CHEM 2200 Analytical Chemistry 1 2
CHEM 2205 Analytical Chemistry 1 Laboratory 2
PHYS 1610 University Physics I 3
PHYS 1620 University Physics I Laboratory 1
University Core 3
CHEM 2440 Organic Chemistry 2 for Majors 3
CHEM 2445 Organic Chemistry 2 Laboratory for Majors 1
PHYS 1630 University Physics II 3
PHYS 1640 University Physics II Laboratory 1
University Core 6
Year Three
CHEM 4610 Biochemistry 1 3
CHEM 4615 Biochemistry 1 Laboratory 1
CHEM 3330 Physical Chemistry 1 3
CHEM 3100 The Chemical Literature 1
University Core 9
CHEM 4620 Biochemistry 2 3
CHEM 4625 Biochemistry 2 Laboratory 1
CHEM 3340 Physical Chemistry 2 3
CHEM 3345 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 1
CHEM 3970 Undergraduate Research 1
University Core 6
Year Four
CHEM 3970 Undergraduate Research 1
CHEM 4500 Inorganic Chemistry 3
Required biological elective (see program notes below) 3
University Core 4
General Elective 3
Completion of Exit Interview  
Completion of Undergraduate Thesis  
CHEM 4XXXElective 3
CHEM 3970 Undergraduate Research 1
General Electives 10
 Total Credits120

Program Notes

Engineering Physics (PHYS 1610 University Physics I (3 cr)-PHYS 1640 University Physics II Laboratory (1 cr) is recommended. However, Physics (PHYS 1310 College Physics I (3 cr)-PHYS 1340 College Physics II Laboratory (1 cr) also fulfills the physics requirement.

The required biological elective can be satisfied by selecting 3 credit hours of electives from the approved list: BIOL 3010 Evolutionary Biology (0,3 cr)BIOL 3030 Principles of Genetics (0,3 cr)BIOL 3400X Introduction to Neuroscience 1: Cellular, Molecular and Systemic (3 cr)BIOL 4070 Advanced Biological Chemistry (3 cr)BIOL 4250 Neurobiology of Disease (3 cr)BIOL 4430 Principles of Virology (3 cr)BIOL 4460 Exercise Physiology (3 cr)BIOL 4520 Biochemical Pharmacology (3 cr)BIOL 4540 Human Systemic Physiology (3 cr)BIOL 4600 Developmental Biology (3 cr)BIOL 4630 Foundations of Immunobiology (3 cr)BIOL 4640 General Microbiology (3 cr)BIOL 4720 Cancer Biology (3 cr)BME 2200 Applied Physiology for Engineers (3 cr)PPY 2540 Human Physiology (4 cr)PPY 4410 Molecular Pharmacology (3 cr)