SBU adds biochemistry and forensic chemistry degrees

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University will offer two new chemistry majors starting with the Fall 2019 semester. Bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and forensic chemistry provide more options for students.

“We are always exploring new majors that are market relevant and will give students more options after graduation,” said SBU Provost Dr. Lee Skinkle. “Students pursuing majors that prepare them for advanced professional degrees in a variety of medical fields are a significant portion of our student population, and now they have another great undergraduate option to help them pursue their ambition.”

Biochemistry focuses on the chemistry of biological reactions. It is the most-recommended major for students wanting to attend medical school. Further education in biochemistry on the graduate level would prepare a student for research careers, such as pharmaceutical or cancer research.

Forensic chemistry is a combination of chemistry and criminal justice classes that teach how to apply chemistry principles to crime scene evidence testing. Hands-on laboratory training includes instrumental analysis and analysis of evidence. A criminal justice minor also can be added to the major. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs as forensic science technicians are expected to grow at a rate of 17 percent from 2016-2026, much faster than average for all occupations.

“Both of these majors are rigorous academic programs,” said Dr. John Patton, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics. “Biochemistry will prepare students very well for further education, and the forensic chemistry degree will prepare students to pursue their dream of analyzing crime scene evidence.”

SBU is home to the Darrell R. Strait Center for the Integration of Science and Christian Faith. The Center focuses on equipping students to study the history and philosophy of science, Biblical hermeneutics, and the integration of science and faith. SBU believes strongly that science and Christian faith can be integrated and support each other. Students in either of these majors will take the course Chemistry Through the Eyes of Faith.

For more information about these new majors, go to or call the SBU Admissions Office at (800) 526-5859.

*Published: 6-27-19