Both the biochemistry and microbiology majors are offered through both the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Letters and Science (L&S). The major coursework requirements are distinct for each major but the same across the two colleges. What differs between the colleges are the general education requirements. Additionally, L&S offers both a Bachelor of Science degree and Bachelor of Arts degree. One degree or college does not “look” better than the others for purposes of employment, medical school, or graduate school, so students are encouraged to select the option that fits best given their academic interests, advanced standing credit, courses already taken, and/or courses they’d like to take in the future.

Key differences between L&S and CALS include:

  • amount and type of breadth requirements (humanities, social sciences, literature, etc.)
  • GPA requirements to graduate
  • access to different scholarships and career advising resources
  • academic policies regarding items like double majoring or probation status

Please contact an advisor for a comparison or explanation of differences between the different colleges and degrees. Below are descriptions of both majors, with links to the Guide for further information on each degree option.

The Biochemistry Major 

Biochemistry is a very broad science that studies the molecules and chemistry of life. Biochemistry focuses on the structure, properties, and interactions of molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, sugars and lipids. Biochemistry’s aim is to understand how these molecules participate in the processes that support the various functions of the living cell.

The Microbiology Major 

Microbiology, the study of microorganisms, helps us understand our world and solve major problems. Microorganisms, or microbes, were the first life forms on earth and influence our lives and our planet in innumerable ways. The field of microbiology is constantly expanding as we learn more about the role of microbes in infectious disease, environmental remediation, bioenergy, food safety, antibiotic resistance, biotechnology and much more.