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Degree programs - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Our academic programs

Our students focus primarily in two areas, with seven specific degrees offered. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with ACS Certification is the most rigorous program.  Students take introductory courses in organic, physical, inorganic, analytical and biochemistry, as well as four in-depth courses.  Four credits of research and research preparation are required.  This degree is the best preparation for a career in industry, and for application to graduate school.  The standard Bachelor of Science degree does not contain the introductory course in biochemistry, and does not require research; it is also an option for students interested in industrial work or graduate school.  This can be contrasted to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in chemistry that requires one fewer chemistry course and one fewer math course. This option is ideal for someone who wants to use chemistry as the preparation for work in business, law or a health profession, or who needs more time in college to pursue a double major. Teaching certification for high school chemistry is most easily combined with the B.A. degree, as there are significant education courses and school field experiences that are required in this major.

In a similar way, there are three options for biochemistry. Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary degree with courses required in calculus, physics, chemistry and biology. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with ACS Certification requires introductory courses in organic, physical, inorganic, analytical and biochemistry, as well as four in-depth courses, including Biochemistry II.  Four credits of research and research preparation are required.  This degree is best for students wanting to pursue graduate school.  The standard B.S. degree is best as preparation for graduate study, work in the industry or for application to medical studies at highly prestigious and competitive programs. This degree does not contain the introductory course in inorganic chemistry. The B.A. degree, however, was designed specifically with pre-health professions students in mind. Courses necessary for admission into medical school and the MCAT are required in this major. However, there are fewer upper level biology and chemistry courses. This allows room in a student’s schedule for the pursuit of a minor, double major, or extensive study of a second language – something that will set a student apart from others when applying to medical school.

Program Degree Major Minor Concentration Pre Professional Teaching Certification
Biochemistry B.S., B.A. Biochemistryis a major        
Biochemistry ACS-Certified B.S. Biochemistry ACS-Certifiedis a major        
Chemistry B.S., B.A. Chemistryis a major Chemistryis a minor checked     Chemistryis a certification program
Chemistry ACS-Certified B.S. Chemistry ACS-Certified is a major        

As a program approved by the American Chemical Society, the department is able to offer degrees that will be certified by the ACS to either chemists or biochemists who take the set of courses and laboratories required by the Society. For both chemists and biochemists, these requirements go slightly beyond the college B.S. degree. Please contact the department chair, Dr. Roseann K. Sachs, at rsachs@messiah.edu, for more information about this option.

In addition, we offer a 3+4 Biochemistry B.A./Doctor of Pharmacy collaborative program with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. After three years on campus at Messiah College, up to two positions are reserved for Messiah College students who meet the admissions requirements of the University of the Sciences pharmacy program. At the end of seven years, both a B.A. in Biochemistry and Doctorate of Pharmacy degree are awarded.