What Does It Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry?

Written by K Fisher on May 13, 2022

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Master's Degree in Biochemistry

Any student looking to successfully acquire a Master’s degree, understands what hurdles are at stake. No matter how hard the homework, project reports, or research analysis might become, that student will strive to excel at the top of their class.

We will explore what it takes to earn a master’s degree in biochemistry, by breaking down stereotype assumptions and the exact courses to take to earn a full credit from each class.

Table of Contents

  • Biochemistry Master’s Degree Statistics
  • Fundamental Courses Needed for a Biochemistry Master’s Degree
  • Top Biochemistry Universities from Around the World
  • Available Biochemistry Scholarships
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Biochemistry Master’s Degrees
  • How Much do Biochemists Make Annually
  • How Long Does it Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry
  • What Type of Careers are Available to Biochemists Who Graduate with a Master’s Degree
  • To Become a Biochemist, Start with High School
  • Math is an Essential Tool for Biochemistry
  • Why A Biochemistry Degree Allows For More Career Possibilities?
  • Why Are Biochemists Important?
  • Every College Student Taking Biochemistry Should Apply to be a Lab Assistant
  • Equipment That Biochemistry Students Will Learn to Use
  • Ask Your Professors
  • Have One Year’s Experience as a Lab Technician
  • Biochemists Are Part of Ground-Breaking Discoveries
  • Discover Endless Scholarship Opportunities

Biochemistry – Master’s Degree – Statistics

First, we want to point out the statistical analysis of how many students earned their master’s degree in biochemistry in 2020 equaled to 10,071 students in the United States. That number will grow another 5% before the year 2030.

The average salary wage or annual salary has grown to $102,270 per year according to 2021 accounts.

From the University of British Columbia, where they hand out a select 20 to 25 biochemistry full scholarships to eligible students, have noticed the increase of applications reaching past 100 per scholarship deadline. Only 25 out of the 100 plus students who send in their scholarship application are awarded.

For the year 2022, biochemistry is not a competitive field, however, as technology advances and as medical excels biochemistry will see more and more welcomed members who want to earn a master’s or doctorate in this study field.

What Courses are Needed to Earn a Master’s Degree?

Before any student can move onto a master’s degree, they must have earned a bachelor’s degree in that same field. Students will need to have been awarded a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. However, if a student instead earned their bachelor’s degree in chemistry, they can apply for a biochemistry master’s degree.

Topics that students should study when earning this type of degree include:

  • molecular structure
  • functions of various enzymes
  • studies involving and analyzing essential biochemical processes
  • organic chemistry
  • organic physics
  • one year of calculus
  • physical education
  • writing and rhetoric
  • principles of chemistry
  • basic inorganic chemistry
  • genetics
  • nucleic acid biochemistry
  • human molecular and cellular biology 
  • cell biology

While there are electives that students will be able to choose from, no matter the university of college, the fundamental ‘principals of chemistry’ is an automatic course.

We will take a quick look at the best biochemistry/biology universities’ and colleges around the world:

  • Stanford University – United States
  • Harvard University – United States
  • University of Pennsylvania – United States
  • Yale University – United States
  • MIT – United States
  • University of Tokyo – Japan
  • Kyoto University – Japan
  • University of Cambridge – United States
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – United States
  • John Hopkins Medical University – United States
  • University of Oxford – United Kingdom
  • University in Toronto – Canada
  • Karolinska Institute – Sweden
  • Osaka University – Japan
  • University of Munich – Germany
  • University of British Columbia – Canada
  • University of Dundee – Scotland
  • Lund University – Sweden
  • University of Copenhagen – Denmark
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • University of Bristol – United Kingdom
  • University of York – United Kingdom
  • University of California – United States
  • University of Michigan – United States
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison – United States
  • Rice University – United States
  • Iowa State University – United States

Let’s take a look at what a biochemistry program consists of at Stanford University:

  • When a student applies and is enrolled at the Stanford Biochemistry Program, these students will actually be working alongside world leaders.
  • Stanford has a total of 14 home programs that the students can easily go between, these programs consist of: biology, biophysics, genetics, chemical & systems biology, microbiology & immunology, neurosciences, structural biology, biochemistry, biomedical informatics, cancer biology, developmental biology, molecular & cellular biology, and stem cell biology & regenerative medicines.
  • Students will be able to supplement in-class work with 2-3 weeks of mini courses that explores all of the programs mentioned above. Stanford expects their biochemistry students to understand all factions of life and biology.
  • Stanford has shown that their students who were biochemists go on to become global innovators and leaders of the science community.

What Biochemistry Scholarships are Available?

We will look at available biochemistry scholarships that soon-to-be master’s degree earners can look at and apply for when the time comes:

  • Patrick C. Matchette Scholarship
  • Zygmunt Family Scholarship Biochemistry ICM
  • Otto Bayer Scholarships
  • Fully Funded PhD Studentship at University of York
  • The International Postgraduate Research Scholarship 
  • Medizini Hochschule Hannover Biochemistry Scholarship
  • University of Bristol Biochemistry Scholarship
  • The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics – Texas University
  • Chancellor’s International Biochemistry Scholarship
  • Lois Ann Cofer-Monzingo Biochemistry Scholarship
  • ANU Chancellor’s International Scholarship
  • British Chevening Scholarships 2022
  • University of Cambridge – Ph.D. Studentship
  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships for Young Leaders Program
  • Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program
  • Heinrich Boll Foundation Scholarships

Check out these incredible scholarships from California, Unites States, which happens to hold some of the most affordable chemistry-based colleges.

We wanted to provide an all-in-one space for individuals who are thinking about attempting to earn their master’s degree in biochemistry and why they should. By looking at the advantages and disadvantages such as:

The United States is the top country in the world that has the most available biochemistry universities to the public. While around the globe there are few and far between colleges that may seem costly or competitive to be admitted.

Chemists who have earned a biochemistry degree will understand that long work hours are at play. Since the world does not have enough biochemists, this means the biochemists who exist are asked to work long work hours.

Chemists do experience an array of exposures to different chemicals, however, chemists (biochemists) do know how to take the proper measures to ensure their own safety.

Biochemistry does have one of the highest ‘entry requirements’ when it comes to pursuing a career or even a higher degree. There is a lot that is expected of these great individuals who do dedicate their careers to science.

Nevertheless, the advantage of becoming a biochemist is that, the profession can be highly rewarding both academically, professionally, and financially.

How Much Do Biochemists Make Annually?

The typical starting salary for a biochemist is around $60,000 – $75,000 per year. Which can grow to over $170,000 annually. As a matter of fact, biochemists have experienced in the last 5 years a steady increase in wages and annual salary than ever before. We could see biochemists reach a salary of $200,000 per year by the end of 2027.

While each career has a different starting point, salary wise, researching which career offers different opportunities would be the best choice.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry?

All master’s degrees take around 2-3 years to successfully finish. This is the same case for any student who wishes to pursue their master’s degree in biochemistry.

What Type of Careers are Available to Biochemists Who Graduate With a Master’s Degree?

All students know that when you earn a higher degree more career opportunities open. Let’s take a look at what careers are available when a student has graduated and earned their biochemistry master’s degree:

  • Biochemistry Professor
  • Forensic science technician
  • Research scientist
  • Biologist
  • Biochemist
  • Chemical engineer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Medical scientist.
  • Agricultural scientist
  • Food researcher and developer
  • Federal regulator of biochemical products
  • Pharmaceutical researcher
  • Cosmetics developer
  • Patent lawyer
  • Microbiologist
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Fermentation scientist
  • Veterinarian
  • Science writer
  • Physician

As one can see there are multiple routes associated with science that offers an opportunity to change the world in one way or another.

To Become a Biochemist, Start with High School

There are some careers where students should start on the road to success early on in life. When it comes to becoming a biochemist, students will want to begin as soon as their high school years. The reasoning behind this involves the simple fact that all of the primary fundamental science classes are taught in high school. Every science class such as physics, chemistry, basic earth science, microbiology, animal biology, anatomy, and organic chemistry is taught in the last two years of high school. These essential classes will immediately become a helping hand for the student who goes into their first year of college which the ready foundations of biochemistry.

Students should also take advantage of taking the AP college classes while in their Junior (3rd) or Senior (4th) year of high school AP classes can actually help a student to place in advanced college programs when they graduate from high school.

Math is an Essential Tool for Biochemistry

Now, we cannot forget the math courses that are needed to become a biochemist. This essential ingredient which is paired with all matters of science related hypothesis, inquiries, and experiments is a must need.

Math classes needed include:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Pre-calculus
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Reaction rates/ratios

This basic stepping stone classes, are just as important as taking a simple Biology I class.

Why A Biochemistry Degree Allows For More Career Possibilities?

It’s true! A biochemistry degree allows an individual to explore the realms of medical, technological (genetic or bio-gene), research, biology, zoology, and more. As a matter of fact, biochemistry is a fundamental program that allows for any science-based career to grow further and further. This means that biochemistry is needed for pretty much every aspect of daily life (research projects, inventions, corrections in current medical practices) even down to cosmetics which plays a prominent role in society. Because of cosmetics, biochemist are constantly finding better ways to create organic material that will better the lives of everyone on Earth.

Why Are Biochemists Important?

It’s because of biochemists that medical research has been able to advance to the curing stage (for diseases) and developing ways to solve every day living. Since they study the chemical and physical principles of living things along with the biological stages that occur in these principles, this has allowed to extraordinary research to be gathered. Along with being able to pass down research that could ultimately lead to curing an assortment of diseases in the near future.

Everyone has heard of ‘3D Printing’ by now, and this technique requires an engineering aspect as well as a biochemistry one. 3D printing has been able to help biochemists to speed up experimental research, such as creating artificial organs and revolutionizing prosthetics.

Every College Student Taking Biochemistry Should Apply to be a Lab Assistant

Work programs or hands-on learning is the best way for biochemistry students to excel at their craft. In this case, students will need hands-on experience in a laboratory that will be situated at their university. Students will need to understand what type of research is needed to be done in a lab to create a hypothesis for a certain subject or process. This also means that students should understand there is set of rules when entering a lab, along with general hygienic practices.

Another reason students should apply to be a lab assistant is that, this will look incredible on their CV/resume. This is a fact that companies look for when new graduates leave college. Why? This factor has led more than 70% of biochemists to their career right out of college. Some even acquired a career before they finished college.

Equipment That Biochemistry Students Will Learn to Use

Students will learn to use Spectrophotometers, Electrophoresis, Immunoassay autoanalyser, ABG analyzer, Electrolyte analyzer, HPLC, Nephelometer, Analyzer, I Chroma-II, Refrigerated Centrifuge, Micro Spin (RM 02 Plus), Nyco Card Reader, Bio Safety Cabinet (Level – IIA), UPS System with battery backup for Lab, Sample shaker, Micro Pipettes, Vortex Mixer and Shaker, iFUGE M-PCR strip rotor with centrifuge, and Autoanalyser. That is not even the full list of equipment and instruments that will be used by a lab technician, but these are the things that a student will learn to understand and use.

Ask Your Professors

There are multiple ways to research information online, however, asking your senior professors that had a role in biochemistry being taught… they will have a broaden horizon of knowledge that the internet cannot provide. These professors will have first person experience that the student will need throughout their whole career.

Asking your professors is a great way to inquire if they have an opportunity available for biochemist students. This can also help to build a great reputation at the university which may be looking for more biochemistry professors.

Having One Year’s Experience As a Lab Technician

A lot of students may not realize that working as a lab technician is a requirement. If any students wish to enter any medical field, having prior work experience as a lab technician will just further your opportunity with working companies that are at the top of the medical world.

A lab technician is guided by a team scientist that is currently on a research project. The technician will monitor the research, record, calculate, collect data and samples. These record bits of information is highly needed to make any research project work, let alone provide a potential breakthrough discovery.

Biochemists Are Part of Ground-Breaking Discoveries

Yes! Biochemists are one of the prime example individuals who will go throughout their life seeking out ground-breaking discoveries that this world has to offer.

The year 2020 showed us that an international team of biochemist investigators discovered that an AI model had improved breast cancer detection. Or that AI-enhanced that was able to detect a subtype of autism beneath the biomedical layer. Along with the amount of new medical detections that are used to treat or detect cancer.

Biochemists have been utilizing their skills to research ability to uncover vast medical science that has eluded us for centuries.

Discover Endless Scholarship Opportunities

We have a full database of scholarship options that is split into several factors. While this primary article is dedicated to biochemistry as a master’s degree option, students can also look for master’s degree scholarships that are available in all related science fields. For example, students should check out this incredible scholarship opportunity about Plant Molecular Biology.

Most of the time students will be handed scholarship opportunities when they approach the ‘Master’s degree’ stage. This is because universities will gradually increase their funding presence to students who continue to pursue a higher education degree. As a matter of, U.S. based colleges will pay an average of $26,814 towards any Ph.D. student. Solely because they have succeed to such a high degree level, that the school begins to pay for tuition.

Biochemistry students will be able to find fully funded scholarships that will pay for tuition, travel, or any equipment based fees that might arise.

Here at Pick a Scholarship we offer a variety of options and if a student happens to change their mind on what major they wish to apply for, they can search through our vast database to see what is available.

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