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Biochemistry

Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary major, combining both biology and chemistry into a powerful toolkit of knowledge and training for a wide variety of professional studies. Small class sizes, along with state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation, create an environment where students can engage in hands-on and experiential learning in collaboration with science faculty.

  • Biochemistry is a versatile field, partially because of the ever-increasing range of use and opportunities in the job market. The ability to apply chemistry to biological systems allows us to understand the very basis of life and create new and effective medical treatments. Our biochemistry students learn how to manipulate and research DNA, protein, and other macromolecules of life. Wisconsin Lutheran College biochemistry faculty strongly believe real research experiences are important to truly understand and incorporate knowledge into demonstrable skills. Our goal is to inspire highly competent graduates who are excited about biochemistry and can step directly into great jobs and professional programs!

    2017 College Factual banner - BCH

    What Makes the Program Distinctive?

    The biggest problem with acquiring training in a biochemistry field is getting real-life research experience, whether you want to go directly into a job or receive training for a professional program (medical, veterinary, physician’s assistant, graduate schools). At larger schools, students very rarely interact directly with professors, even fewer conduct meaningful research side-by-side with those same professors. Wisconsin Lutheran College faculty work directly with each and every student who wants research experience, much of the time culminating in poster presentations and some publications in professional fields! Students do not require previous experience or training, WLC faculty trains each student personally, and works with every student to develop practical laboratory techniques and skills.

  • ACADEMICS AND RESEARCH

    Undergraduate Student Research

    WLC's biochemistry students benefit from the opportunity to engage in diverse research projects with faculty in both the biology and chemistry departments. Some examples of student projects include:

    • Engineering microbial phosphate biosensors using recombinant DNA technology
    • Applying cellular and molecular genetic strategies to investigate heart development
    • Soil analysis
    • Studying protein structures and enzyme kinetics
    • Biochemical analysis
    • Testing new antibiotics on bacterial infections

    State-of-the-Art Facilities

    The biology and chemistry departments are located in Generac Hall. This 81,700-square foot facility allows undergrads to experience state-of-the-art equipment and techniques that students at many other institutions would be able to access until graduate school, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry, and protein purification techniques.

    BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

    Field Research

    WLC biochemistry students have an opportunity to conduct research both in the lab and in the field. Previous projects include improving water quality in constructed wetlands, studying Ag nanoparticle effects on zebrafish, constructing printed sensors, performing stop-flow kinetic measurements, and experimentation with sulfonamides. In addition, research collaborations with the Milwaukee County Zoo and St. George's University in Grenada offer WLC students the chance to participate in marine and freshwater biological monitoring and terrestrial herpetology studies in the tropics.

    International Competition

    Wisconsin Lutheran College biochemistry students have participated in iGEM - the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition for the last seven years. If you don't know anything about genetic engineering, but want to, don't worry, we will train you in the latest techniques! This is a student-led club, conducting real research, and presenting the results at an international meeting. Participation usually involves lab work with synthetic biology, education initiatives, and traveling to Boston to present your findings and compete against some of the best schools in the world. Wisconsin Lutheran College is the only school in Wisconsin, and the only Christian school to compete in this competition! Our iGEM club teaches students laboratory techniques and scientific communication skills, while providing a realistic and exciting research experience.

    GRADUATE SCHOOL AND CAREERS

    In the last 5 years, declared majors in biochemistry have increased 300% at WLC, demonstrating the need and interest in this important field. Our graduates get jobs in the fields they want - more than 90% of biochemistry graduates from WLC are employed in an associated field or in the professional degree program of their choice, demonstrating the effectiveness of training at WLC.

    Professional and Graduate School

    Many of our students choose to attend graduate school, or a professional school (medical, graduate, or veterinary). In fact, 88% of graduates who expressed interest in these fields are currently enrolled in the professional degree program of their choice, with the remaining 12% of graduates currently applying for various professional schools.

    A WLC biochemistry degree, along with experience in undergraduate research, provides a solid educational foundation to succeed in graduate classes. Our articulation agreements with the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy or Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) makes our biochemistry degree a smart choice for your future career as a pharmacist or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. 

    For future medical doctors and physician's assistants, knowledge of biochemistry is crucial for the MCAT and admittance into most major schools. For students interested in veterinary school, training in biochemistry is critical for acceptance in this competitive field. A WLC biochemistry degree will prepare you for all of these highly competitive fields!

    Careers

    Upon graduation, WLC biochemistry majors benefit from broad career opportunities in pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, biomedical engineering, and molecular medicine. Historically, a large percentage of biochemistry majors have continued their education in medical or graduate school. The biochemistry major provides a solid foundation for professional careers in medicine, dentistry, nutrition, and public health.

    ADVISING INFORMATION

    Learn more about course offerings, sample programs, and entrance requirements for this major:

    BIOCHEMISTRY ADVISING PAGE