Biochemistry, by textbook definition, is an effort to understand biology through the context of chemistry. Biochemistry lectures at Wartburg College topically include macromolecules, enzymes, and human metabolism. Techniques taught in biochemistry laboratory are utilized in many fields, including microbiology, forensics, neurobiology, and cancer research.

Through a dynamic curriculum that includes flexibility of course choice to match your interests and a research component anchored by a state-of-the-art science facility, a Wartburg biochemistry degree will uniquely prepare you for a career in health, research, biotechnology, or education.

Program Fast Facts

Excellent Placement in Graduate and Professional Schools
The Wartburg biochemistry program has grown steadily since its inception over fifteen years ago, with over seventy-five students having graduated with degrees in biochemistry in the last ten years. Approximately 40% of biochemistry graduates attended medical school within a year of graduation (94 percent acceptance rate). Since 2011, Wartburg Biochemistry majors have scored 71.1 ± 23.4 % nationally on their MCAT exams.

Numerous Career Options
Recent graduates have gained positions in teaching, biotechnology, or work as technicians in an industrial, state, national, and university laboratory. Other options include technical writer, patent agent, environmental work, or the field of forensic science.

Biochemistry Placement 2008-2018 - 82 students (33 medical school, 13 Ph.D. program, 12 biotechnology, 10 Other, 9 Masters, 5 Dental

Click to enlarge.


The Science Center is designed to encourage student interaction with faculty members and other students.

Conduct research with a faculty mentor.


Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Biochemistry program have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Graduate Student – Pharmacy
  • Graduate Student – Medicine
  • Microbiologist, Tyson Foods – Testing Lab, Waterloo
  • Clinical Lab Scientist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Production Scientist, Integrated DNA Technologies, Coralville
  • Clinical Research Coordinator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 15 Years:

  • Family/Resident Physician, Northwest Iowa Family Practice Center, Waterloo
  • Research Scientist, R&D Systems, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Nuclear Pharmacist, Cardinal Health, Hudson, Wis.
  • Pharmacy Resident, University of Iowa Pharmacy, Shepley Pharmacy, Mt. Vernon
  • Dentist, Lt., U.S. Navy, Houston, Texas
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Gradview Hospital, Dayton, Ohio

From Our Graduates

“I made up my mind I would major in Biochemistry even before my first day of classes at Wartburg. I didn’t know much about the field of biochemistry, but figured I liked biology and chemistry so I might as well give it a shot! I have never regretted my decision since. Biochemistry was—and is—so much more exciting than I could have imagined. Wartburg’s Biochemistry program is top-notch and provided me with many wonderful opportunities. I was able to present research in San Diego, approach big tests with confidence, and am now able to apply the knowledge I learned at Wartburg to help me in my first year at medical school. And most importantly, I was surrounded by a community of friends and faculty that truly cared for me, encouraged me, and mentored me along the way.”

Sarah Shirar ’16
Medical Student
Duke University

“The experience I had at Wartburg College was invaluable because of the outstanding faculty in the biochemistry program. The faculty helped tailor my education to fit my needs and interests. This included academic research that resulted in a publication that set me apart from my peers when applying for medical school. Without this program, I would not be where I am today. Strong faculty, who really take the time to get to know you, makes this department #worthit.”

Aditi Patel ’15
Medical Student
University of Iowa

“The biochemistry program at Wartburg has an established history of academic excellence and provides the tools necessary to gain acceptance into high-ranking graduate schools. Doors are always open to student visits, I lost track of how many times I dropped by to say hello or spend time talking about important life decisions. I can say with certainty that I was among the top of my medical school class when it came to preparedness. If you are hesitant in deciding which school will help you reach your goals, take it from me when I say that choosing to attend Wartburg College and pursue a degree in biochemistry was the best choice in my life.”

Jason Lizalek ’15
Medical Student
St. Louis University

“Wartburg’s biochemistry program laid the groundwork I needed to prepare me for my future aspirations. The curriculum is top notch and offered the environment I needed to balance classes and research with extracurricular activities. Most importantly, the faculty invested their time and resources in helping me excel to reach my goals. I would not have been as prepared for the rigors of medical school had it not been for the excellent foundation I received from Wartburg.”

Nicole Peyton ’13
Medical Student
University of Iowa


Christine DeVries

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Shawn Ellerbroek

Professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry, Ralph E. Otto Endowed Professor in Chemistry

Nicole Stephens

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Leilani Zart

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Faculty Emeriti
Dr. David Hampton
Dr. Warren Zemke