Why study biochemistry?

Students who study biochemistry will gain the interdisciplinary tools in the natural sciences that are necessary to break boundaries in scientific exploration.

  • Biochemistry majors value cross-disciplinary experiences across much of the natural sciences — chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics.
  • This major is one of few American Chemical Society (ACS) approved programs in the Midwest.
Academics at AU

Academics at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Programs of Study




Biochemistry at AU


Graduates secure careers as researchers in any chemical or scientific discipline,  physicians, medical and clinical laboratory technicians, research and development managers, as well as public health officials. Many also attend some of the country’s top graduate schools.

Hands-On Learning

Many students in biochemistry undertake paid research, engage in mentorship in research, internship and personalized advanced courses, present at national conferences and co-author peer-reviewed publications.

Internship opportunities include:

  • Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Plains Undergraduate Research Center
  • Medical facilities, such as Avera and Sanford Health, and Veterans Affairs hospitals and research centers
  • Sioux Falls Crime Lab
  • Sioux Falls Water Reclamation Facility
  • Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
  • POET

Students conduct primary research in Augustana’s science labs containing quality equipment for students, including cutting-edge microscopy and chemical detection instrumentation. 

Biochemistry students study away in:

  • Florida and the Gulf Coast — focusing on marine biology with AU faculty
  • Kenya — focusing on global food insecurity and education with AU faculty
  • Guatemala and Belize — focusing on tropical ecology and Spanish immersion with AU faculty
  • Germany — focusing on the chemical industry with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

In courses and research, Augustana’s lab equipment includes:

  • Infrared, UV-visible, NMR, Raman, emission and atomic absorption spectroscopy instrumentation
  • Liquid and gas chromatography instrumentation
  • JEOL 400 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which allows access to 1D and 2D NMR methods of analysis

Biochemistry students often participate in:

  • Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS)
  • Paid laboratory assistantships and tutoring positions
  • Volunteering at Sanford or Avera Health
  • Biology Club
  • Women in STEM
  • Pre-Medicine Club
  • Society of Physics Students

Students considering biochemistry are encouraged to talk with their advisor early on about when to participate, as these curricula are rigorous and sequence-driven.