Are you applying for college soon and don’t know which major to pick, but have fond memories of your high school biology and chemistry classes? Does the possibility of a future wearing white lab coats and conducting rigorous biochemical research excite you? Then look no further because this list of the best biochemistry universities in the world was made exactly for you!

Top Biochemistry Schools

1. Harvard University

Established in 1636, Harvard University is a school that needs no introduction. This illustrious school has a seemingly endless list of accomplishments and distinguished alumni in many fields, including biochemistry. Harvard University is one of the excellent institutions in the world that offer top biochemistry programs to its students. Currently topping this list is its MCB department known for its cutting-edge research and excellent science, allowing students to be right at the frontier of knowledge and discovery.

Its undergraduate degree offers three concentrations – Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience, and Chemical and Physical Biology. Whichever concentration is picked, a myriad of courses and the opportunity for hands-on research is made available to the students. Its doctoral program called Molecules, Cells and Organisms involves rigorous academic training through foundational courses and lab rotations to expose the student to the full spectrum of molecular biology.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT is another household name, a regular at the top of university rankings year in and year out. Its Department of Biology has played a role in the growth of our scientific knowledge with its world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. Research in the department is categorized into 10 subfields, one of which is Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology.

The department’s undergraduate degree teaches students the fundamentals of biology while exposing them to research experience in the lab. Students have three options for a course – Biology, Chemistry and Biology, and Computer Science and Molecular Biology – or they may choose to have a minor in Biology. Its doctoral degree is intensive, collaborative and offers the opportunity to dive into a wide array of research areas. Moreover, it is located in Kendall Square, the university’s hub for biotechnology.

3. University of Cambridge

One of UK’s most famous universities, the University of Cambridge is also one of its oldest and most accomplished and considered as one of the best biochemistry universities in the world.  Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry is a leader in the world for research and education, with the aim to develop the next generation of scientists through the latest scientific innovation and pioneering research.

Undergraduate students from the Natural Science Tripos, the Medical Sciences Tripos and the Veterinary Sciences Tripos study courses given by the department on the biology of cells, molecules in medicine, and molecular biology. In their last year, students may choose to continue into postgraduate research and graduate with an MSci degree. The department also offers research-based MPhil and PhD degrees across a wide variety of research topics, training its students to be competent and professional scientists.

4. Stanford University

Every year, Stanford University enjoys a consistent seat at the top of university rankings worldwide. As one of the most prominent teaching and research institutions, it is noted to be a place of discovery, creativity, and innovation. Stanford University is one of the recognized universities for biochemistry as its Department of Biochemistry is known for its remarkable advances in basic research in the biological science and its strong scientific community.

Though the department has no undergraduate degree itself, interested students may take courses in the closely related Department of Biology. Here, they will be introduced to different fields of biology, gain lab experience, and undergo additional courses in math and statistics necessary for science-related work. Department of Biochemistry’s PhD degree aims to train science leaders who will revolutionize the field and do exceptional research on biological principles from the level of the molecule to that of the organism.

5. University of Oxford

With its teaching roots from way back in 1096, the University of Oxford is the oldest university and certainly one of the most prestigious in the English-speaking world. Its Department of Biochemistry is one of the largest in Europe and it dedicates itself to understanding how biological processes at the molecular level drive cellular and organismal functioning and behavior.

Their undergraduate degree provides a solid foundation in scientific research that helps its graduates to succeed in different career paths, with about half staying in academia and the other half going into industry or management among others. Graduate students take advantage of the department’s huge range of research topics and world-class facilities while being mentored by the greatest minds in the field. The department is open, collaborative, and supportive, making it a perfect spot for outstanding science.

6. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

UC Berkeley is the most well-known campus in the whole UC system and it has reason to be. UC Berkeley is one of the top biochemistry schools in the globe and is a place where the brightest minds across the nation and the world come together. Its distinguished Department of Molecular and Cell Biology executes research in a broad range of specializations, which fall under five main categories that include Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology.

MCB’s undergraduate degree exposes students to the basics of biochemistry and genetics, while giving them the opportunity to direct their studies to one of five foci: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Genetics, Genomics & Development, Immunology & Pathogenesis, and Neurobiology. Their PhD program integrates laboratory research with teaching and career mentorship and allows students to explore a vast extent of biological research under the five aforementioned foci.

7. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

A very prominent and internationally renowned STEM institute, CalTech is a world leader in the latest scientific conquests and groundbreaking innovations. Its Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering boasts of a long tradition of excellence as exemplified by its outstanding alumni and a consistent topping of university subject rankings.

Undergraduate students can take degrees in Chemistry or in Chemical Engineering. In both degrees, students will undergo the Caltech core curriculum which gives them critical thinking and problem-solving skills, a rigorous foundation in the sciences, and an appreciation for the humanities. The doctoral graduate degrees at this top biochemistry school can be taken in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and is designed so that the students can partake in original research right from the beginning.

Applying to these universities will definitely take a lot of preparation and commitment. Admission processes may also take a lot of time and are sure to be incredibly competitive. But these schools aren’t at the top for no reason – the benefits you reap from attending them are incredible. They will open doors for you and guarantee a bright future in biochemistry.


I hope that this article on the best biochemistry universities in the world was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.