While chemistry and biochemistry are related, ASU students can choose an appropriate program based on their individual interests.
Chemistry is a broad discipline that investigates the properties and nature of materials and substances from the ultra-small to the ultra-complex. It is often further divided into specific disciplines of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. However, these areas often overlap heavily, and the divisions can involve extensive collaboration. Biochemistry is a specific discipline that investigates the chemical nature of life, which includes the study of the structure, chemical processes and development of biological systems in organisms.
The chemistry degree program emphasizes the physical principles behind chemical processes, while the biochemistry degree program focuses on the biological aspects of those same processes. The first and second years of both programs provide a strong foundation in chemistry, physics and mathematics, with biochemistry placing an additional emphasis on biology. Students in their third year start to specialize in their respective majors.
As a result of the disciplined science background they develop in these degree programs, ASU chemistry and biochemistry students have been extremely successful with their applications to graduate, medical and professional schools.
This option is ideal for students who want to pursue careers as pharmacists, lab technicians or other positions within the chemical industry. The program also prepares students for graduate or law school.
Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Students
Students planning careers as pharmacists are advised by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. The Biology Department advises students who plan to pursue any other health professions areas. Those students are encouraged to contact the chairperson of the Health Professions Advisory Committee to discuss an area of study and develop an academic program that will meet requirements for health professions schools as well as their chosen major.
Pre-physical therapy students are advised primarily by the department of their undergraduate major. ASU’s physical therapy program is a graduate area of study, but the Physical Therapy Department does advise undergraduates about once a year.
During those yearly meetings, faculty members keep students informed about physical therapy prerequisites and admissions policies. Once admitted to ASU’s physical therapy program, students will be assigned a permanent faculty advisor.