In medicine, it's errors in biochemistry that cause most diseases. That's why so many students interested in medicine are attracted to the biochemistry major at Hanover. By focusing on the molecular aspects of biology, especially DNA, you can better understand the chemical processes and reactions that occur in humans and other living creatures. You may also develop a better understanding of food production, how to grow better crops and how to develop biofuels for energy.

With small class sizes, you'll work closely with experienced faculty and have an uncommon level of access to the college's well-supplied lab.

A (much) closer look

As a biochemistry major, you'll spend your time studying the molecules and reactions found in living systems. You'll study metabolism and how humans convert food and nutrients into energy that allows us to move and grow. And you'll study how humans make complex biomolecules through biosynthesis pathways. Along the way, you'll use sophisticated lab equipment to get a much closer look, including:

  • Spectophometer to study enzyme reactions
  • Gel electrophoresis to isolate and identify proteins and nucleic acids
  • High-pressure liquid chromatography to isolate proteins and metabolites

What do biochemistry majors study?

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Cell biology

Although pre-med is not a major, biochemistry students often consider careers in medicine. The biochemistry program will give you all the necessary prerequisites to attend medical school. Those who take the course in human anatomy have the unique opportunity to work with a human cadaver as an undergraduate.

Educating the whole person

A liberal arts school, Hanover College educates the whole person. In addition to gaining scientific knowledge and skills, you will develop strong skills in communication and critical thinking. Such a broad-based, liberal arts education is the best way to prepare for the future.


  • Medical doctor
  • Biochemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physiologist
  • Bioenergy
  • High school teacher
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Lab technician
  • Research assistant

Internships and research opportunities

You will have opportunities for research through the college faculty, as well as through relationships with other top research universities, including Indiana University and the University of Louisville. Students can also propose research projects and engage in faculty collaboration. The college encourages students to experience summer internships and assists with those placements.


BIO 161
Ecology and Evolution
An introduction to the scientific study of life with an emphasis on evolution, ecology and classical genetics. The nature and practice of science will be examined throughout the course. For prospective pre-health-profession students and natural science majors. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Satisfies the QL ACE. This class is open only to first-year students. Lab fee.
BIO 185
Cell and Molecular Biology
An introduction to the scientific study of life with emphasis on the chemistry of life, cells, and physiology. For prospective natural science majors and pre-health-profession students. Prerequisite: Bio 161. Satisfies the QL ACE and partially satisfies SM/SL CCR. Lab fee.
BIO 221
A survey of molecular, organismal, and population genetics. Laboratory work illustrates basic genetic principles and modern laboratory techniques. Prerequisites: BIO 185. Prerequisite/co-requisite: CHE 161 or equivalent. Lab fee.
BIO 314
Molecular Biology
A detailed survey of gene structure, function, regulation, and replication as well as the experimental techniques used to understand these phenomena. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Satisfies the W2 ACE. Lab fee.
BIO 333
A study of the structure and function of bacteria and related organisms. Prerequisite: 221. Not open to students with prior credit in BIO 223. Fee charged.
BIO 336
Cell Biology
A study of the evolution, structure, and functioning of cells. Topics include membranes, bioenergetics, intracellular sorting, the cytoskeleton, cell communication, and cellular mechanisms of development. Laboratory emphasis on the methodology of cell biology. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Lab fee.
CHE 161
Principles of Chemistry I
Presents current theory regarding the nature of matter from the nuclear scale to that of the molecule and a descriptive and theoretical introduction to the chemical reaction; organized around two central ideas: the atom and energy. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Fee charged.
CHE 185
Principles of Chemistry II
A continuation of 161. Prerequisite: 161. Fee charged.
CHE 221
Organic Chemistry I
Structure, nomenclature, and properties of organic and biomolecules. Common analytical methods for determining molecular identity are introduced. Includes laboratory work and a laboratory fee. Laboratory experiments focus primarily on common techniques in synthesis including recrystallization, extraction, distillation, and filtration. Prerequisite: Che 185. Fee Charged.
CHE 222
Organic Chemistry II
A continuation of the study of organic reactions with an emphasis on the determination of reaction mechanisms. Components of this course include spectroscopy and theoretical applications. Laboratory components include synthesis, instrumental analysis, and kinetics. Prerequisite: Che 221. Fee charged.
CHE 325
Instrumental Analysis
Chromatography and spectrophotometric methods of analysis, including GC, LC, HPLC, UV-VIS, IR, NMR. Prerequisite: 222. Fee charged.
CHE 341
Biochemistry I
Introduction to the application of fundamental chemical principles to the structure and function of proteins and cell membranes. Exploration of bioenergetics and metabolic pathways. Emphasis on protein structure, enzyme catalysis, and regulatory mechanisms. Includes laboratory work and a laboratory fee. Laboratory work includes enzyme kinetics and protein purification. Prerequisites: CHE 222 and BIO 185. Fee Charged.
CHE 342
Biochemistry II
Examination of carbohydrate, fatty acid, lipid, nucleotide, and amino acid metabolism. Additional topics include photosynthesis, nucleic acid chemistry, and protein synthesis. Prerequisite: 341.
MAT 121
Calculus I
An introduction to the theory of differential and integral calculus for functions of one variable. Includes the concepts of limit, continuity, derivatives, and indefinite integrals and definite integrals, culminating in the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Applications to related rates and optimization problems. Recommended: A strong background in algebra and trigonometry, or 113. Students are advised to take the departmental placement exam to assess their proficiency in algebra and trigonometry. Partially satisfies the SM CCR and satisfies the QL ACE. Prerequisite: MAT 113, or placement at the Ready for Calculus level
PHY 161
General Physics I
Algebra-based introduction to classical mechanics. Topics include the character of science, measurement, kinematics, Newton's laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum, rigid body motion, equilibrium, elasticity and fracture, fluid mechanics, and oscillations. A strong background in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry is essential. Lecture and laboratory. Satisfies the SL CCR. Partially satisfies the SM CCR. Satisfies the QL ACE. Partially satisfies the Natural World LADR. Not open to students with prior credit in Phy 162 or equivalent. Fee charged. Prerequisite: MAT 101, MAT 113, MAT 121 (or above), placement at the Ready for Precalculus level orabove, or concurrent enrollment in MAT 101.
PHY 185
General Physics II
Algebra-based introduction to electricity, magnetism, waves, and light. Topics include electrostatics, electric currents and circuits, magnetostatics, electromagnetic induction, waves, sound, electromagnetic waves, and geometric and physical optics. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: 161 or 162. Satisfies the SL CCR. Partially satisfies the SM CCR. Satisfies the QL ACE. Not open to students with prior credit in Phy 186 or equivalent. Fee charged.