Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering
This major is part of an interdisciplinary program between the biology and chemistry departments at Western. The BA degree in biochemistry (with greater emphasis on the biochemistry fundamentals and laboratory applications) is offered via the chemistry department. The requirements for the BA in biochemistry are listed below.
Why Consider a Biochemistry Major?
The Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry is specifically designed for students who seek admission to medical programs or employment in biochemistry or molecular biology after graduation. The major provides many benefits to students through coursework and research opportunities and is designed to meet diverse career goals. There is close student-faculty contact and relatively small classes. The students have direct access to modern laboratory equipment and instrumentation, and there are opportunities for research work under the direction of a faculty advisor.
Chemistry Department Chair
P. Clint Spiegel
Chemistry Building 270A
Chemistry Program Coordinators
Chemistry Building 270
Chemical/Pharmaceutical Sales | Physician | Crime Lab Analyst | High School Teacher | Industrial Chemist | Technical Writing | Dentist | Forensic Scientist | Quality Assurance Specialist | Research Scientist | Occupational Safety Specialist | Veterinarian | Science Lab Technician | Biochemist | Biotechnology Scientist | College Professor | Environmental Scientist/Consultant
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Admission to the Bachelor of Arts major in biochemistry is based upon an application process that considers both the applicant’s academic performance in prerequisite courses and responses to prompts about their motivations, career goals, and past experiences. There is frequently more demand for the BA biochemistry major than space and resources allow. Therefore, neither completion of the prerequisites nor attainment of any specific GPA guarantees admission to full-major (Phase II) status. The range of GPAs and the median GPA for recent rounds of Phase II admission to the BA biochemistry major are available on the department webpage chemistry.wwu.edu.
A typical four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry is described on the department’s website.
Students may apply for pre-major (Phase I) status any time after completion of CHEM 161 or CHEM 175 by meeting with the Chemistry Department program coordinator. The pre-major (Phase I) declaration process is completed by meeting with a faculty advisor assigned by the program coordinator.
Major Application Process
Students are eligible to apply to Phase II of the BA biochemistry major once they have accomplished the following:
- Completion of the pre-major (Phase I) declaration process.
- Completion (with a C- or above) of the following prerequisite (Phase I) courses: CHEM 161, CHEM 162, CHEM 163, (or CHEM 175, CHEM 176, and CHEM 225), CHEM 351, CHEM 352, BIOL 204, BIOL 205, and MATH 124.
Applications for full-major (Phase II) status are reviewed twice per year and are due by either the end of the first day of spring quarter or by the end of the first week of fall quarter. The online application includes written responses to several prompts and reporting grades in the prerequisite (Phase I) coursework listed above. The application and further information about the process can be found on the Chemistry Department website chemistry.wwu.edu.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.