"Biochemistry seeks to explain life in chemical terms. The basic goal of the science of biochemistry is to determine how the collections of inanimate objects that constitute living organisms interact with each other to maintain and perpetuate life."
-Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Second Edition

Quick facts
  • Three or four year degree
  • Full or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

What you will learn

You will discover the practical applications of biochemical research to Medicine, Agriculture, Industry and Biotechnology. You will learn about molecular and cellular approaches in cell biochemistry, chemical approaches, metabolism, molecular biology, plant biochemistry, protein structure and function, or signal transduction.

A first-year schedule sample

This degree program is flexible and offers you the opportunity to take courses in many different subject areas. Here’s what a typical first-year schedule might look like:

Course Description

Fall Term
CHEM 112 General Chemistry I Structure Bonding and Properties of Materials
BIOL 120 The Nature of Life
PHYS 115 Physics and the Universe
MATH 125* Mathematics for the Life Sciences
ENG 114* Literature and Composition Reading Culture

Winter Term
CHEM 115 General Chemistry II Chemical Processes
PHYS 117* Physics for the Life Sciences
STAT 245* Introduction to Statistical Methods
BMSC 200* Biomolecules
PHIL 120* Knowledge Mind and Existence

* These are elective courses. You will be able to choose from a variety of electives based on your interests.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

BMSC 200: Biomolecules
An introduction to the structures, general properties, and functions of simple and complex biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids as well as membranes and solute transport.

BIOC 300: Information Transfer DNA to Proteins
Deals with the structure and function of nucleic acids at an advanced level. Chromosome anatomy, DNA replication, transcription of genes, and translation of mRNA in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are covered. The various mechanisms whereby gene expression is regulated are also discussed.

BIOC 436: Advanced Molecular Biology
Modern and advanced methods and strategies of nucleic acid manipulation, and characterization of genes in cells and whole organisms are presented. Topics include; delivery of genes into cells and animals, generation of transgenic and gene knockout animals, genome editing, DNA forensics, and aspects of systems biology.

This program provides an excellent foundation of knowledge in the biomedical sciences if you are seeking subsequent admission into health science professional schools such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nutrition or Veterinary Medicine.

The Department of Biochemistry has faculty members with expertise in nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymology, metabolism, cell biochemistry, plant biochemistry and structural biology.  Their research interests encompass topics such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases as well as, bioethanol, nanotechnology, structural studies of proteins by NMR and X-ray crystallography, and cell cycle in plants.

The wealth of expertise in the Department of Biochemistry is enriched by the affiliation of professors who are members of other colleges and departments (e.g., Chemistry, and Plant Sciences), centres (e.g., Saskatchewan Cancer Centre) and research agencies {e.g., Canadian Light Source (CLS), the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), and Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI)} located on the university campus.

Our research laboratories are located in the newly renovated Health Sciences Building with state-of-the-art research facilities. We are home to several high-impact research centers that include the VIDO, PBI, Saskatchewan Cancer Center, Saskatchewan Structural Science Center, Agricultural and Ag-Food Canada and dozens of biotechnology firms within Innovation Place.

The city of Saskatoon is the proud home of two of Canada’s largest investments in science infrastructure, the CLS and the newly opened International Vaccine Center (InterVac).

Saskatoon is at the cutting edge of medical and agricultural research. Biochemistry is a core discipline within all these pursuits. The concentration of these research institutions on the campus, together with our own university laboratories provide our students unique research opportunity and advantage.  


Research: A variety of technical positions are available in academia (e.g., universities), industry (e.g., biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies), government laboratories (e.g., agricultural and food agencies and police forensic laboratories) and healthcare system (e.g., hospitals). 

Teaching: Biochemists are involved in teaching at high schools, universities and technical colleges. 

Communications: Some biochemists work as science writers for textbooks and prepare technical reports for industry.

Business: Biochemists play an important role in the management, sales and marketing in science-based companies, such as pharmaceutical firms.

Regulatory/Law: Many biochemists are employed by regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, to develop government policies and patent law.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $6,608 $18,040
Fees $947 $947
Books $1,500 $1,500
Total $9,055 $20,487

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay in your first year if you enroll in a full course load, the maximum number of courses allowed (2019-2020 Canadian dollar rates).
Fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,000-$2,000 per year.

Program options

These Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Biochemistry degrees are offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science:

You should consult with an academic advisor in the college when you begin your studies to decide if you want a four-year, three-year or honours degree.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2020
Dec 1, 2019
Documents due: Dec 15, 2019
Sep 1, 2019
Documents due: Oct 1, 2019
May 2020
Apr 1, 2020
Documents due: May 1, 2020
Feb 1, 2020
Documents due: Mar 1, 2020
July 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
Mar 1, 2020
Documents due: Apr 1, 2020
September 2020
Aug 15, 2020
Documents due: Aug 15, 2020
May 1, 2020
Documents due: Jun 1, 2020
January 2021
Dec 1, 2020
Documents due: Dec 15, 2020
Sep 1, 2020
Documents due: Oct 1, 2020

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CDN is required before your application will be processed.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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