The nitty-gritty of how life works

About Biochemistry at Keuka College

Can you image yourself discovering the causes of diseases and finding cures for them, devising strategies to improve crop yields, developing and/or utilizing techniques for forensic analysis, or learning how to sustain life in space? Then you’ll want to consider a major in biochemistry.

Biochemistry Program Highlights

Focus on Careers

With a biochemistry degree, doors are wide-open for careers in scientific research, medical practice, pharmacy, veterinary practice, and more.

Real-World Experience

Your Field Period™ experiences give you the chance to work with professional scientists and researchers and explore different career paths while you're still in school.

State-of-the-Art Lab Equipment

The College has four new Perkin-Elmer instruments usually only found at large universities, and they’re all available for undergraduate student research.

Explore Biochemistry

Program Overview

In our biochemistry major, you’ll learn to understand biological processes at the molecular level. Then, as a critical thinker, problem solver and communicator, you’ll use that knowledge to help find solutions to complex biochemical challenges of today and tomorrow.

Keuka College’s biochemistry major embraces the study of biology and chemistry, through which you’ll develop an understanding of biological processes at the molecular level. The study of biochemistry opens doors for multiple career paths, including scientific research, medical practice, veterinary practice, and pharmacy, among others.

Program Requirements

Faculty

At Keuka College, you’re able to work with published, world-class scientists every day. Here, your professors are eager to teach, work on research projects with you, and share their knowledge. All of Keuka College’s natural science professors hold doctoral degrees from top-tier institutions, including Yale and MIT.

Those interested in the science of life and matter will discover the specialties our world-class faculty provide to enhance what’s learned onscreen or in our state-of the art chemistry analysis lab. Try your hand at forensic analysis, for example, with CSI-like lab challenges from Dr. Andrew Robak. Concoct a chemical solution, or reverse-engineer one, with Dr. Mike Keck.

Faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Digital Learning

Science and technology go hand-in-hand. As a biochemistry student, you’ll learn to master digital tools, systematic thinking, and data analysis—core skills for success in any biochemistry-related career.

You’ll have the opportunity to conduct experiments to collect data from our state-of-the-art laboratory instrumentation, and use best-in-class mathematics, statistical, and scientific software to analyze and visualize to draw conclusions and make scientific arguments.

Global Education

Thanks to Keuka College’s Field Period™, biochemistry students like you have had the chance to explore life across the world. While many students choose to work with scientists or in labs closer to home, some students have traveled to Africa, Australia, and South America to conduct research projects.

Many Keuka College alumni hold distinguished positions in the worldwide scientific community, and they’re all eager to host student Field Period™ experiences. Thanks to our alumni network, you can work alongside one of the world’s leading authorities on schizophrenia, get hands-on experience with the drug development process, or help combat breast cancer. The choice is yours, and your professors and the Office of Alumni Relations can help you access our global network of scientists who, like you, earned their undergraduate degree at Keuka College.

Research

In keeping with Keuka College’s emphasis on experiential learning, you’ll also become a scientist outside the classroom. You’ll be encouraged to work professors on independent research projects, and many students have had the opportunity to present the results of their work at professional conferences.

Numerous undergraduate research opportunities, both on-campus and off, have involved the development of surfboard polymers, the biology of zebra mussels, nesting and migratory activities of birds, studies within a cancer lab, and more.

Facilities

Keuka College’s lakefront campus in New York’s Finger Lakes region is ideal for those interested in biochemistry. You can also explore nearby Finger Lakes National Forest, or experience the development of numerous species of bird nestlings first-hand.

As a biochemistry student, you’ll have full access to the Jephson Science Center’s state-of-the-art chemical analysis lab, which features four different Perkin-Elmer machines typically found at large research universities.

The Jephson Science Center is one of the College’s most recently-renovated buildings. A highlight of the center is that the laboratories weren’t simply designed by architects, but by the professors who use and teach in them. That means the labs you’ll use at Keuka College mimic real-world laboratories, and include much of the same equipment.

Research in chemistry often involves determining the chemical components of a solution and finding how much is there. The equipment in our laboratory includes:

High-Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC)

The HPLC is used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture. It carries liquids from glass bottles through thin plastic tubes, passing through several compartments containing an oven, vacuum pump, solution tray, and detectors for analysis.

Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

The GC/MS separates mixtures into individual components and identifies separate fragments so you can determine what the molecules are. The GC/MS features a rotating unit that can extract samples from a tray of up to 108 small vials at one time, conducting analysis as programmed by a small touch screen at the side. Connected to the CG/MS is a computer running high-performance software that converts the data readings of molecular ions into a bevy of colorful charts and graphs. Based on the peaks and plunges of a fragment’s chart, the computer searches a large digital library to find the closest match–all in a matter of seconds.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR)

The FTIR contains an oval plate with a small diamond reflective element through which infrared light can pass. Connected to another computer running high-speed software, the FTIR is able to provide information about the identity of liquid or solid compounds.

Lambda-35 Ultraviolet Spectrometer

The UV spectrometer uses visible and ultraviolet light to determine the absorption spectrum of a solution, which will show how much light it absorbs across a range of wavelengths. This information is then used to determine the concentration of particular chemical components.

Extracurriculars

Chi Beta Phi, the natural science, math, and psychology honor society offers students the opportunity to network with like-minded peers and have their scholarly accomplishments recognized.

Biochemistry students have also enhanced their education by participating in a number of projects throughout the campus and the community.

Award Opportunities

James E. White Freshman Biology Award

Awarded to a freshman for outstanding academic performance in the biological sciences

CRC Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award

Awarded to a top student in the freshman chemistry program

Judd Prize

Awarded to students for outstanding work in precalculus and calculus

Hazel Ellis Loomis Award

Awarded to a junior for exceptional academic performance in the biological sciences

Dr. Marion Lougee Award

Awarded to a junior clinical science major for outstanding academic performance

Strasenburg Award

Awarded to a junior for outstanding work in chemistry

Roy Shortt Award

Awarded to a junior for outstanding work in mathematics

Environmental Science Award

Awarded to a junior for exceptional academic performance in environmental science

ACS Senior Chemistry Award

Awarded to a senior student for outstanding work in chemistry

What can you do with this degree?

Thinking about your future career? Here are some sample job titles that people with similar degrees have at organizations around the country.

• Agricultural Research Director
• Geochemical Manager
• Geophysical Manager
• Ocean Program Administrator
• Communication Manager
• Biochemist
• Biological Chemist
• Biophysicist
• Clinical Biochemist
• Physical Biochemist
• Cancer Researcher
• Clinical Pharmacologist
• Clinical Research Scientist
• Gerontologist
• Histologist
• Histopathologist
• Immunochemist
• Industrial Pharmacist
• Medical Health Researcher
• Medical Research Scientist
• Medical Scientist
• Neuroscientist
• Pharmacologist
• Serologist
• Toxicologist
• Anatomy Professor
• Bacteriology Professor

Demand & Salary Data

Career Group Career Summary Median Annual Wage in 2015sort ascending Predicted Openings Between 2014 and 2024 Change in Demand for These Jobs, 2024 vs. 2014 Education Typically Needed
Natural Sciences Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.

$120,160 13,300 1,800 Bachelor's degree
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists

Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities. Includes physicians, dentists, public health specialists, pharmacologists, and medical pathologists who primarily conduct research.

$82,240 42,400 9,000 Doctoral or professional degree
Biochemists and Biophysicists

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

$82,150 11,900 2,800 Doctoral or professional degree
Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary

Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

$75,320 21,800 10,400 Doctoral or professional degree

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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