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2021 Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Degree Guide

If you find studying the smallest particles that makeup living organisms fascinating, a major in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology could be for you.

This major dives into minuscule details undetectable to most observers. You get to look at organisms as a whole, but also break them down to look at the chemical reactions that keep the organism alive. Included in this major is the study of chemistry, molecules, biology, and chemical processes. You will learn about different enzymes and how genetic codes are made. You will also learn about different substances like proteins or fats and how they affect the living process. Chemicals that are considered the building blocks of life will be studied in great detail as you advance in your degree.

Some courses that you may take are: genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, physics, inorganic chemistry, advanced mathematics, and organic chemistry.

Concentrations of this major include: Molecular Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics, Structural Biology, Photobiology, and Radiation Biology.

Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Degrees Remain Stable

#68 Most Popular Major
13.8k Degrees Awarded
-0.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology was the 68th most popular major nationwide with 13,799 degrees awarded. This represents small change only -0.3% from the prior year's total of 13,835 biochemistry degrees awarded.

Approximately 608 colleges in the U.S. offer a biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology degree of some kind. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology ranking analyzes 64 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology students. Explore this or one of our many other custom biochemistry rankings further below.

Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Degree Requirements

A fascination with the natural world will greatly aid you in your classes. You will get to look at organisms as a whole and break them down to specific chemical reactions. You will need to be able to conduct research and work independently. Although some projects will involve working with a group or a lab partner, you will also spend a lot of time on your own finishing lab work or writing reports.

Working in the lab will allow you to apply what you've learned during class. You will get practice putting theory into practice in order to reinforce the ideas you learn. Writing reports and oral presentations will also be a part of your program. These presentations may be individual or in groups. Work on your writing and public speaking skills while still in college to make this easier for you.

Students with a passion to understand how things live and function will thrive in this major. Don't be intimidated to ask for help when solving unique puzzles. As you get closer to graduating, many programs will offer one-on-one research or independent studies that will allow you to dig deeper into an area of interest. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of to meet personal goals, as well as to attract future employers.

Prior Education for a Biochemistry Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most biochemistry degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional biochemistry certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Degree Types

Biochemistry degree levels vary. Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest biochemistry degree you can get. The type of biochemistry degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to biochemistry, with approximately 31.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to biochemistry tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 30.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 21.7%
Doctoral Degree 21.7%
Master’s Degree 16.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 3.7%

Most workers in biochemistry have at least a master's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which biochemistry career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Biochemistry Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$33.9k Average Starting Salary
12% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

This degree will set you up to continue your education. If you want to become a biochemist you will need to get a minimum of a master's degree, but most biochemists have a Ph. D.

Other career tracks you could take could be becoming a biological scientist, a clinical laboratory technologist, a forensic scientist, a medical scientist, a pharmacist, a science technician, a physician's assistant, pharmaceutical laboratories, or a nurse. Most jobs in this field will require you to continue your education.

Solid Growth Projected for Biochemistry Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your biochemistry degree? Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology careers are expected to grow 11.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Medical Scientists 136,100 13.4%
Biological Science Professors 71,700 15.1%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Biological Scientists 41,800 8.0%
Biochemists and Biophysicists 35,100 11.4%

How Much Money Do People With a Biochemistry Degree Make?

Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $33,860 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $19,500 to as high as $58,700. As you might expect, salaries for biochemistry graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Biochemistry Majors

Salaries for biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers biochemistry grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Biochemists and Biophysicists $105,940
Biological Science Professors $97,340
Medical Scientists $96,420
Biological Scientists $83,600

Getting Your Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Degree

With over 1,399 different biochemistry degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased biochemistry school rankings to help you with this.

One of 14 majors within the Biological & Biomedical Sciences area of study, Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Biology 97,804
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,408
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 7,840
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,811
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,657

View All Biochemistry Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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