Prospective Students

What is Biochemistry and Molecular Biology?

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology aim to understand the chemical and physical principles that make life occur as we know it. They examine biological processes from physical, chemical, and genetic perspectives and, as academic disciplines, have great overlap with many other fields in the biological, chemical, medical, and behavioral sciences. Research areas range from investigations into the chemicals that constitute living organisms, how biochemical reactions are integrated and regulated, and how the genetic information stored in living organisms is expressed and controlled.

What can I do with an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology?

A BMB degree prepares you for opportunities in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Graduate programs in biochemistry, molecular genetics, immunology, pharmacology, virology, physiology, and nutrition
  • Professional schools for medical, dental, pharmacy, and optometry
  • Positions with biotechnology companies, the food industries, clinical laboratories, scientific equipment suppliers, the government, universities, and medical laboratories

While many of our majors go on to graduate school or medical school, there is a wide variety of positions for biochemists who have only completed an undergraduate degree.

What is it like to be a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major?

The Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) program at UMass Amherst offers a rigorous and exciting major designed for motivated undergraduates who want a program that provides numerous opportunities for faculty contact and hands-on research.

Recommended Prerequisites

Our program emphasizes instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Upper level courses in biochemistry build on this foundation, and prepare students well for either employment or further study.

BMB may be a good fit for you if you are strong in:

  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

AP credit in these areas is a plus.

Independent Research

BMB majors can earn Independent Research credits for time spent working on a research project. Students typically start a project in the fall semester of the Junior year. Learn more about our faculty and their research.


Sophomores with a grade point average of 3.4 or better are urged to consult with the Chief Undergraduate Advisor and Departmental Honors Coordinator about the Commonwealth Honors College. BMB Departmental Honors includes a year of laboratory research and a thesis.


We have Academic Advisors who are available for email, Zoom, and in-person appointments. We also have Peer Advisors who can answer any questions you may have about the student experience and are available for drop-in advising throughout the course of the semester.

I'd like to visit your department. Who should I contact?

Call our main office at (413) 545-0352 or email if you would like to meet with one of our Peer Advisors and get a tour of our teaching labs. Please give us at least 72hrs notice so we can accommodate your visit.