The Biology and Chemistry departments offer a rigorous joint major to those students interested in the intersection of biology and chemistry. The Biochemistry major consists of core courses from the Biology and Chemistry departments, cognates in Math and Physics, and a capstone seminar experience.

Health Professions

Pre-Health at HWS

Hobart and William Smith is an ideal place to prepare for a career in the health professions. Over the past five years our placement rate for medical, dental and veterinary school applicants has exceeded 80%, well above national averages. Many recent graduates are also now successful physical therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, and a variety of other clinical practitioners.

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Student Profile: Ferdy Simons-Barrientos '21

Ferdy Simons-Barrientos '21

Major: Biochemistry
Minors: Public Policy

“The faculty at HWS are supportive and encouraging and there is a tight-knit community among the science students. I've had classes as small as 8 students and as large as 35, but I've never felt like I was competing with my peers. Rather, it feels like we are all working together and lifting each other up. Organic Chemistry has proven the most challenging so far, but I enjoyed the interactive nature of the course and it was cool to see our lab work tested in an actual research project on campus.”

Meet Our Faculty

Through hands-on laboratory and field-based coursework as well as research collaborations with the faculty, you will gain exciting new knowledge from experts in the field. Scroll below to meet our team of scientists, scholars and above all, teachers. Meet the entire department >

Biochemistry News

Widing ’22 Earns Research Scholarship to Germany

Tue, 11 May 2021

Widing and Elana Stennett in lab KColtonWith the support of a prestigious scholarship, Charlie Widing ’22 will research water purification techniques at the Technological University of Berlin this summer. Charlie Widing ’22, who has been studying…

New STEM Research Stipends for HWS Students

Tue, 27 Apr 2021

Summer Research 2 “HWS research students are not laboratory assistants; they are co-investigators into our unknown world. They design experiments, collaborate within their labs, with other labs on campus often from other departments, and with labs at other institutions. Thanks to the Sherman Fairchild Foundation’s support and other ongoing initiatives, we anticipate the number of research students on campus this summer to reach an all-time high,” says Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Affairs Joe Rusinko.

Improving Filtration for Cleaner Water

Fri, 23 Apr 2021

Kilmer and Stennett KColton-0092BUsing water pressure and a series of filters, reverse osmosis is a common method of water purification. But as Noah Kilmer ’21 explained in his recent Senior Symposium presentation, it “has been plagued by biofouling, which is the buildup of biological material that makes the membrane less efficient, much like the buildup of leaves at the end of a gutter.”

More Biochemistry News

Spotlight: Recent Grad

Recent Grad

Namita Neerukonda '17

Current Position: Medical Student, SUNY Upstate

Current Location: Syracuse, N.Y.

Majors: Biochemistry and Spanish and Hispanic Studies

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Sample Courses

Class Complete Course List

Organic Chemistry I
This course is an introduction to the study of organic molecules, and includes structure, mechanism, reactions, synthesis, and practical methods for structure determination. The laboratory emphasizes learning modern techniques and the identification of compounds using spectroscopic methods.