Why Study Biochemistry at CSB/SJU

Our program is designed to help students understand how the sciences of biology and chemistry provide a way to develop an understanding of how living material and processes are constructed, organized, and regulated.

We seek to show how these two disciplines together, but not separately, can provide such an understanding, since neither a reductionistic approach of explaining life by an understanding of individual molecules, or a global approach of studying entire organisms or systems is sufficient.

In accord with the Benedictine traditions, we build these biological and chemical foundations in a context that helps students become scientifically responsible citizens, with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will allow them to be successful in their selected professions. We accomplish this by providing students with a variety of learning opportunities such as:

  • Formal courses with integrated laboratories
  • Hands-on experiences with modern instrumentation and computers
  • Research projects
  • Seminar programs

We carry out this mission in an atmosphere of support and encouragement for both students and staff.

Why major in biochemistry?

It’s a great preparation for careers and graduate school. Students would be able to select a major which will offer them excellent opportunities for employment or continuing education in graduate or professional schools. This major will also prepare students more adequately for the GRE subject test in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology.

What can I do with a biochemistry major?

This major is particularly useful for students interested in graduate school in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, pharmacology, pharmacy and biophysics. In addition, it is great major for students interested in attending medical school as medicine becomes more molecular in its diagnosis and treatment in the post-genomic era. Likewise it is excellent preparation for students interested in entry-level industrial careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutics.

What are some of the graduate schools that CSB/SJU biochemistry majors have attended?

Graduates from our programs have attended the following medical schools:

  • Mayo Clinic/Foundation, Rochester, Minn.
  • Army Hospital, Bethesda, Md.
  • University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
  • University North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.
What type of research projects are available in this program?

The biology and chemistry departments have many opportunities for undergraduate research. You may apply for selection into a ten-week summer undergraduate program. Students live on campus and receive a summer stipend as well as board. You may also continue or start research in the academic year.

Many of our students choose to do summer research off campus. In recent years, our students have done summer research at:

  • Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
  • Texas South West Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
  • Pacific Northwest Research Institute, Seattle, Wash.
  • National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Md.
  • National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.
  • Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
  • Eppley Institute, Omaha, Neb.
  • Montana State, Bozeman, Mont.
Contact the Chemistry Department
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Alicia Peterson
Chair, Chemistry Department
CSB Ardolf Science Center 123 and 246