B.S. in Biochemistry and Biophysics

Biochemistry and biophysics, closely-related fields, use tools from a different science to study life. Specifically, Biochemistry studies the chemical processes and transformations in living organisms, while Biophysics applies the theories and methods of physics to questions of biology.

This major is run by the Department of Biological Sciences. Our graduates are exceptionally well prepared for graduate school and to become desirable employees in the biotechnology industry. The curriculum also provides an excellent background for students planning careers in medicine.

Program of Study

Rensselaer’s Biochemistry and Biophysics undergraduate curriculum includes thorough grounding in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, along with modern biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular-level biology. Courses train you in cutting-edge research approaches.

Program Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to apply process of science including an ability to conduct and interpret experiments.
  • An ability to use quantitative reasoning, use modeling and simulation, analyze and interpret experimental results, and interpret statistical significance measures.
  • An ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines, knowledge of interdisciplinary connections, and knowledge of the relationship between science and society. 
  • Knowledge of biological evolution
  • Knowledge of the flow, exchange and storage of genetic information
  • Knowledge of pathways and processes of transformations of energy and matter.
  • Knowledge of the structure function relationship in biology
  • Knowledge of the mechanism whereby enzymes catalyze and regulate reactions, and knowledge of the functioning and structure of the molecular components of living organisms
  • An ability to research, prepare, communicate, and present results.


While rigorous, the undergraduate curriculum offers sufficient flexibility and course choices to allow you to tailor your education.

A student may become a candidate for a second baccalaureate degree when he or she has completed: (1) the equivalent of at least two terms (30 credit hours) of additional work beyond the requirements of a single degree, and (2) the courses in the department in which the student is registered and such other courses as are required for the second degree.

View Curriculum Details


Most students pursue undergraduate research in faculty laboratories.

Biochemistry and Biophysics Minors

Minor requirements for undergraduate students differ depending on the major, since curricula vary in the extent to which they include essential relevant courses.


The Arch is a unique approach to education that provides flexibility in the semester schedule, allowing students to pursue professional and personal development opportunities that prepare them to meet the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century. The Arch is a requirement of the Rensselaer curriculum.


Summer Here
During The Arch, students remain on campus for the summer after their sophomore year, taking junior-level classes, and receive focused attention from professors at this pivotal point in their academic progression. 


The World Away
Then, students leave the Troy campus for a semester during the traditional junior year—either fall or spring—to pursue their passions in the form of co-ops, internships, civic engagement, research, or international experiences. Students who pursue these opportunities during their academic career are better prepared for future professional careers and graduate school.

For more information regarding the Arch, please visit https://info.rpi.edu/the-arch


The science and engineering faculty members of the Center for Biophysics listed below provide a variety of research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the Biochemistry and Biophysics degree programs. Faculty members from the Biology and Chemistry Departments who are involved in the teaching of biochemistry and biophysics courses are designated with an asterisk (*).

Academic Opportunities

Student researchers play a critical role in the world-changing discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs taking place across campus.

A biological honor society for undergraduate students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study, and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

Ecologic is the longest-running environmental club at Rensselaer. Their mission is to make progress toward a greener world and educate the community about environmental issues. They run many fun projects and events throughout the year.

Inspiring a younger audience to explore the role of science in society.