Career Opportunities and Professional Schools
Biochemists, molecular biologists, entomologists, and plant pathologists are employed in a variety of industries concerned with genetic engineering, human and animal nutrition, processing of foods, development of drugs and other medications, manufacture of chemicals for a wide range of uses, in ecological studies, and also in the area of sales for biochemical products. They also participate in laboratory research in universities and colleges, in research institutes, in hospitals, forensic laboratories and in government installations.
Many undergraduates continue their education to the master's or doctoral levels. Such training makes available opportunities for teaching and/or independent research in colleges and universities. It also opens the way to research positions in industry and government laboratories.
Career placement of students will depend on the specialization track that they elect to follow. There are more complete descriptions of opportunities with the specific areas of interest on the website of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Consider these possibilities for a student with a B.S. in Biochemistry.
- Government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Energy and individual state (and even local governments) have laboratories that require a skilled workforce in basic research and with analytical skills to analyze food, drugs, air, water, wastes, etc.
- Pharmaceutical Companies have large research programs aimed at drug development for human and animal health applications.Agrochemical and /or Seed Companies hire graduate with knowledge in entomology and plant pathology for positions as crop consultants, pesticide and herbicide development, and molecular genetics and plant breeding positions.
- The FBI, state governments and private forensics laboratories increasingly are looking for individuals skilled in DNA fingerprinting and other analytical methods of identification.
- Biotehncology companies with applications ranging from the environment to energy to agriculture recruit college graduates for work in quality control, clinical research, manufacturing and production and information technologies.
- Science majors also find themselves often pursuing careers in patent law, marketing and management, regulatory affairs and policy, technical writing, and business.
- A degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology also provides the frame-work for those interested in professional programs post-graduation in human medicine, dental school, optometry school, pharmacy school and veterinary medicine.
- Graduates can also pursue post-graduate programs towards a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy, such as those in Bicohemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology, where career opportunities at leading universities as educators and researchers or as senior scientists at large companies are available for those with an inquisitive mind for research and discovery.
For additional assistance with Career Opportunities, visit the Mississippi State University Career Center located in Montgomery Hall.
Professional School Information
For students interested in professional schools after graduation (medicine, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, optometry), here are links to the parent organizations and societies where information on requirements and career prospects can be found. A degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology prepares a student well for advancement into a professional medical program.
- Association of American Medical Colleges
- American Dental Association
- American Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
- Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Information to help you understand the medical school admissions process and application information.
Pathway to Medical School – A presentation by Dr. Steven Case, Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Medical School Applicant Evaluation Letters – A presentation by Dr. Steven Case, Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Note: this presentation is directed towards faculty writing letters of evaluation, but will be helpful to students in understanding the attributes that the admissions office is looking for in their applicants and in the letters of evaluation.
Medical School Application Workshop – A presentation by Dr. Steven Case, Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center regarding the do's and don't's of your application preparation, tips to help you navigate and complete the AMCAS application and other information you may need. See also the AMCAS Work Activity Template provided below.
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Work Activity Template – A template provided by Dr. Steven Case, Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to assist you with formulating your AMCAS application.
Medical School Interview Workshop - Pearls and Pitfalls - A presentation by Dr. Peggy Davis, Director of Medical School Admissions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center regarding the do's and don't's of your interview, how to prepare and what to expect.
For more information about medical school applications, go directly to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) website.
Professionalism - The University of Misissippi Medical Center instituted a 'Professionalism Policy' in 2005 that applies to all students in the program at UMMC. Dr. Stephen Case, Associate Director of Admissions, has provided the following presentation which describes the attributes of professionalism and what constitutes unprofessional behavior.
Pre-Med Interview - Thinking about your upcoming Pre-Med application interview? Here are a list of evaluation criteria and topics for you to consider that evaluators will be addressing in your interview aside from your academic qualifications.
For additional information on careers and to see what kinds of positions are available today and tomorrow check out these sites for just a "taste" of your career choices.
- American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences
- American Chemical Society
- American Phytopathological Society
- Entomological Society of America
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI - Forensics)
- Federation of Animal Science Societies