• Biochemistry student at Chapman University
Schmid College of Science and Technology

BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

» Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry: the study of chemical processes as they relate to living organisms. Molecular biology: the study of the building blocks of life at a molecular level. Where the two intersect: Chapman’s Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program.

As a student in the program, you’ll explore the ins and outs of scientific research, learn about career paths in the biomedical sciences and other relevant fields and discover how you can make an impact as a scientist.

A student uses lab equipment.

In this program, you will:

  • Get experience in the classroom, the lab and the field.
  • Explore all your post-graduation opportunities.
  • Tackle real-world challenges in biochemistry and molecular biology alongside your professors and peers.
  • Contribute to real research and become a published scientist.
A student wearing a flannel shirt sits in a classroom.

By the time you graduate, you'll be able to: 

  • Get involved in cutting-edge bioscience research in fields like gene therapy, drug design, genomics and proteomics, genetic engineering, biomedical engineering, stem cell research and much more.
  • Apply to professional schools such as medical school or veterinary school, or to graduate school.


collaborative lab spaces with cutting-edge equipment in our Keck Center for Science and Technology.


final capstone project that you can use to demonstrate your skills and knowledge once you graduate.


extra year of study to earn a master’s degree on top of your BS in our accelerated (4+1) master’s programs.

Vidal Arroyo ‘19
Rhodes Scholar
After graduating from Chapman, Vidal earned a Rhodes Scholarship, which provided all expenses for four years at the University of Oxford, where he continued his research. His goal? Design artificial intelligence algorithms to personalize cancer treatment.
Ashley Nichols '20
First-gen student Ashley Nichols got involved in lab work in her very first year at Chapman, building her skills and learning how to “think critically like a scientist.” Now she’s taking her passion for biomedical research further by pursuing a Ph.D. in immunology, the study of disease immunity and immune systems.
Sara Siwiecki ‘18
Sara earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that will support her as she pursues her Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics, quantitative biology and structural biology at Yale.

What You Will Learn

Here’s what you’ll learn as a student in our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program.


As a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology student at Chapman, you’ll take classes with a focus on biology and chemistry, plus math and physics classes along the way.

For a more detailed look at the classes you will take, check out our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology catalog page.


Research is a fundamental part of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get involved, starting as early as your first semester.

You’ll have the chance to do hands-on research in:

  • Developing potential drugs in experimental therapeutics.
  • Discovering markers of disease.
  • Engineering nanomaterials with characteristics of blood platelets.
  • Improving the nitrogen fixation for more environmentally friendly agriculture through genetic engineering.
  • Determining how nutrition affects the human genome.
  • And much more.

At the end of the program, you’ll complete a capstone research project as a culmination of your research and present it at our Student Scholar Symposium Schmid Honors and Capstone Conference.

Two students draw a molecular formula on a whiteboard.



Are You Up to the Challenge?

There’s a lot that sets a Chapman education apart. But the biggest factor? The Grand Challenges Initiative.

What is the Grand Challenges Initiative?

The Grand Challenges Initiative is research experience that you will take part in during your first two years in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program.You’ll work with your peers and other science students to formulate solutions to relevant scientific problems.

Along the way, you’ll work in real labs and start learning how to do the work that scientists do.

Abbigael Eli '20
After graduating from Chapman in 2020, Abbigael went on to continue the research she started as an undergrad. Now she’s on the road to earning her Ph.D. in cancer biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Kiersten Chong ‘20
For her capstone project, Kiersten travelled to Honolulu to take part in the Summer Student Research Program from healthcare nonprofit Hawaii Pacific Health. There, she learned all about modern transformations in healthcare and found her path in the medical sciences.

Explore Your Opportunities and Plan Your Post-Grad Path

Studying what you’re passionate about is great. Putting it to use after you graduate is even better. As an aspiring scientist at Chapman, you’ll have all the resources you need to pursue your post-grad goals:

  • Career advising specifically for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology students.

  • On-campus career fairs.

  • Industry connections and internship opportunities.

Not quite sure what you want to do yet? That’s ok too. We’ll help you find out. You’ll be able to get advice from your career advisor, get ideas for potential career paths on our Biochemistry and Molecular Biology careers page, or explore your options through internships.


Internships: they’re a great way to get credit towards your degree, get experience in real workplace settings and maybe even get paid.

They’re also one of the best ways to explore career paths in the sciences. We partner with local organizations to give you an internship network in medicine, medical technology, healthcare and other fields:

  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County
  • City of Hope
  • Ecos
  • Hoag Hospital
  • Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Irvine Scientific
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Masimo
  • Medtronic
  • Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
  • Spectrum Chemicals
  • UCI Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders


12:1. That’s the student-to-teacher ratio at Chapman. Here, you won’t just watch your teachers lecture. You’ll get to know them as mentors, learn from them as research partners, and work with them personally on achieving your post-graduation goals.

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Join the Beckman Scholars Program

The Beckman Scholars Program is a three-year-long research experience and scholarship that gives you the chance to hone your skills as a scientist, attend networking events, train with state-of-the-art tools, attend workshops and much more.

Interested in becoming a Beckman Scholar yourself? You can check out all the details on our Beckman Scholars Program page.

A student wearing a tie-dye lab coat performing an experiment outside

Clubs and Organizations

Chapman is home to a community of supportive, passionate Chemistry students. You can join in with Schmid College student organizations such as:

  • American Chemical Society: Network with professors, professionals and your fellow Panthers in our student-run chapter of organization of the world’s largest scientific society.
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB): Since Chapman is accredited by this national biochemistry and molecular biology organization, you'll have the chance to get ASBMB certified and demonstrate your skills as a scientist.
  • Be KYnd to Your Heart Foundation: Help local athletes get crucial heart screenings and work to promote heart health awareness.
  • Women in Science and Technology: Get involved with this group of students and faculty who provide professional development and mentoring to women in STEM fields.
  • STEMtors: Lead outreach events and inspire a passion for the sciences within young scientists in the local community.
  • Schmid Student Leadership Council: Become an ambassador for Chapman's Shcmid College of Science and Technology and promote the sciences on campus and in the larger community.

Beyond our science organizations, we have clubs for any interest or hobby you can imagine. Nearly 200 of them in fact! Check them out on ou full list of clubs. Plus, we hold plenty of events throughout the year, like when we get together to tie-dye lab coats and make nitrogen ice cream (as pictured!).

Study Abroad

Take your passion for science abroad in one of our many study abroad programs. We'll work closely with you to find one that aligns with your schedule and goals so that you can go abroad and still graduate on time. Our programs range from a full year living and studying abroad to international internships over summer/winter break, and everything in between.

Admission and Tours

Interested in taking the next step? Learn how to apply or check out our transfer prerequisites.

Want to learn more about Chapman? We are always available for tours of campus and tours of our Keck Center for Science and Engineering. We’d love to meet you!

Related Majors

Biological Sciences


Environmental Science and Policy

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Contact Us

Program Questions
Elaine Benaksas Schwartz, Ph.D.
Chemistry Program Director


Admission Questions
(714) 997-6711

Grand Challenges Initiative

Chapman University students partaking in the Grand Challenges Initiative

The Grand CHalleneges Initiative (GCI) is a unique two-year research project that lets you get involved in research your first year at Chapman

Keck Center for Science & Engineering

Keck Center at Chapman University

With over 25 collaborative research labs, our Keck Center for Science and Engineering has the tools you need to succeed.

Become a Beckman Scholar at Chapman

We're one of 12 institutions in the United States to offer the Beckman Scholars Program, a research experience and scholarship for aspiring scientists.

ASBMB Accreditation

ASBMB logo

Our accreditation from ASBMB means that Chapman students have great opportunities for graduate school and beyond.