Biochemistry studies the chemistry of life, from microorganisms and Drosophila to humans. Biochemistry covers many different research areas: the three-dimensional structure of proteins, DNA and membranes, how enzymes function in metabolism, how the genetic code directs protein synthesis, how proteins are modified within cell compartments, how ions are transported across membranes, how hormones trigger cellular responses, how DNA mutations cause disease, how cells carry out phagocytosis or respond to infection and the design of programs that survey families of related proteins.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Life Sciences admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English and Calculus and Vectors are required
  • Senior high school Biology and Chemistry are required preparation for first-year courses
  • Senior high school Physics is recommended for Biochemistry and for several other life science programs, especially those jointly offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Faculty of Medicine
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits


Honours Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Biochemistry (specialist and major options)
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (specialist)


First-Year Courses

There are no first year courses in biochemistry.  The introductory biochemistry courses are given at the second year level.


Advice for First Year

Students wishing to be considered for entry into the Biochemistry programs should take:

  • CHM 135H1 (formerly CHM139H1) - Chemistry: Physical Principles or CHM 151Y1 – Chemistry: The Molecular Science
  • CHM 136H1 (formerly CHM138H1) - Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • BIO 120H1 – Adaptation and Biodiversity
  • BIO130H1 – Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Introductory Calculus: MAT 135H1 and MAT 136H1 or MAT 137Y1 or MAT 157Y1

Students who wish to pursue a specialist program should also take PHY 131H1 and 132H1 – Introductory Physics (two half courses).

The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Specialist Program also requires the following computer science courses: both CSC 108H1 – Introduction to Computer Programming and CSC 148H1 – Introduction to Computer Science, and CSC 165H1 – Mathematical Expression and Reasoning for Computer Science.



    • Biochemists can also be involved in bioinformatics, studies that attempt to relate families of proteins and the genetic material found in different organisms by the construction of databases and novel computer programs used to explore the evolution of molecules.  
    • Technologies used in biochemistry include recombinant DNA techniques and cloning, PCR, X-ray crystallography, antibody binding, high pressure liquid chromatography, NMR and mass spectrometry.

    Direct career options include:
    Research, industry, or hospital laboratories Software development
    Research laboratories within hospitals,
    universities and the government
    Biotechnology sector: food companies and
    companies that design and test pharmaceuticals
    Financial sector (e.g. biotech and
    pharmaceutical investments)
    Designing research equipment Scientific writing and publishing

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