The Biochemistry Major

Student in the biochemistry labThe Interdepartmental Major in Biochemistry provides exceptional training for students with interests at the interface of chemistry and biology. The major includes courses in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Math and Physics to provide a broad training in fundamental principles and contemporary ideas in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology. Students are exposed to contemporary research throughout the curriculum through both investigative lab experiences in coursework that start at the introductory level and extensive research collaborations with faculty in Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

The Biochemistry major began in 1966 as “Molecular Biology,” and is the longest-continuing interdisciplinary major at Wellesley.  In 2016-2017 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our program--one of the oldest biochemistry majors at a liberal arts college.  The major has evolved through the years to reflect changes in the field, most recently with the introduction of a new integrated laboratory course in biochemistry and biophysics. 

Overhead shot of the first floor of the science center

Students in courses and research utilize state-of-the-art instruments and tools used in current biochemistry research. Wellesley College was among the first colleges to acquire an electron microscope and a confocal microscope.  Our most recent acquisitions include an enhanced confocal microscope, a circular dichroism spectrometer, an atomic force microscope (AFM), a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer and a 500 MHz NMR spectrometer.  Examples of some of the student research projects using these instruments and others can be seen in Student Research.   

If you are considering whether a major in biochemistry is right for you or have other questions, check out the Biochemistry FAQs or contact a member of the advisory committee to talk more about our program.