Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the chemical composition, structure, and molecular functions of living organisms. Knowledge derived from the disciplines of chemistry, physics, and biology is used to understand the processes that operate in cells and organisms, including their metabolism and regulation. Biochemistry attempts to understand the uniqueness of complex evolving living systems; how living organisms harvest energy from their environment to produce and maintain their complexity; and how these structures replicate themselves. The knowledge obtained from biochemical research has been applied to solve problems in areas ranging from agriculture to medicine. Specific areas of biochemistry include principles of protein structure (amino acid chemistry, peptide and protein structure and protein folding), enzymes (mechanisms, enzyme kinetics and inhibition), nucleic acids (nucleotides and nucleic acid chemistry, DNA sequencing, protein and genetic engineering) and metabolism (carbohydrate structure, glucose catabolism, citric acid cycle).
A bachelor’s degree in biochemistry provides the essential background and training that can open a variety of career pathways for students upon graduation. The biochemistry major is excellent preparation for professional studies in the health sciences; for secondary school teaching in the biological and physical sciences; for research in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry; for technical writing, sales, and service; and as the basis for graduate studies. The combination of chemistry, molecular biology, enzymology, and genetic engineering found in biochemistry provides the foundation to contribute to the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.
Biochemistry students taking both Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Lecture & Lab (CHEM 451 and 451L) as an elective can be certified by the American Chemical Society.
At the end of their studies at Ramapo, graduating Biochemistry majors should:
- have a general knowledge of the basic area of biochemistry and have the ability to apply it in a problem-solving environment; be proficient in basic chemical, biochemical, and physical laboratory skills.
- have conducted a research project as part of an upper level course or as a participant in active, individual laboratory research within the college or appropriate cooperative education assignment.
- have the ability to communicate scientific information clearly and precisely, both orally and in writing.
- have an understanding of the principles and applications of modern instrumentation, computation, experimental design, and data analysis.
- have the ability to formulate and carry out strategies for solving scientific problems.
Ramapo has modern laboratories for chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and physics that are utilized in the major. There are opportunities for students to do research with faculty and for experiential learning through cooperative education in nearby industry. The program is supported by computer labs that are available for student use to supplement their instruction in the lecture and laboratories. The major in Biochemistry is offered by the School of Theoretical and Applied Science and leads to a B.S. degree.