Accredited online biochemistry courses are a great way to fulfill requirements, pick up credits, and level up your education. The convenience of not having to leave home to do so is a big one.
I’ve researched the top courses that deliver exactly that and listed them in this article.
Here’s what else we’ll cover:
- Accredited online biochem courses from top colleges
- The best courses offering online or virtual lab
- Recommended free/cheap options
- What to expect from studying biochem online
As a med student who’s taken several biochemistry courses myself, I know what’s important to look out for when it comes to selecting the best courses available.
Ready to learn more about what’s out there? Let’s go.
Best Accredited Online Biochemistry Course Listings
Here’s a quick overview of all the recommended courses…
|Biochemistry||N/A||University of Arizona||MCAT/Grad School||College-level biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry||38 weeks||Variable||Variable|
|Online BS Biochemistry (with virtual/in-person lab)||N/A||Arizona State University||Undergraduate Bachelor of Science (120 total credit hours)||3 years lab sciences (1 year each from biology, chemistry, earth science, integrated sciences or physics).||Full Bachelors Degree||5-10 hours per week||Variable (financial aid available)|
|CHEM 1005: Medical Biochemistry||N/A||University of New England||Upper-level undergraduate (Credits: 4)||College-level biology, chemistry, and organic chemistry||16 weeks||Self-Paced||$1510|
|Biochemistry (BIOL-40357)||N/A||UC San Diego||Beginner (Credits: 4.5)||None||10 weeks||3-6 hours per week||$745|
|Biochemistry M.S.||N/A||University of Saint Joseph Connecticut||Post Grad (Masters) (Credits: 30)||Science GPA 2.8 (or higher)/introductory chemistry, organic chemistry and physics (all with labs)||52 weeks||5-10 hours per week||$23,300 ($789 per credit)|
|Biochemistry (with virtual lab)||N/A||Southern California University of Health Sciences||Upper-level undergraduate (Credits: 4)||Organic Chemistry II (OCHM316 and OCHM316L) or equivalent and General Biology II (BIO116 and BIO116L) or equivalent||5 weeks||Self-Paced||$2000|
|Biochemistry Open & Free||Open Learning Iniative||Carnegie Mellon University||Beginner (Unaccredited)||None||Variable||Self-Paced||Free|
|Principles of Biochemistry||EdX||HarvardX||Intermediate||College-level introductory biology, college-level introductory general chemistry||15 weeks||4-6 hours per week||Free (or $199 for a certificate)|
|Biochemistry: Biomolecules, Methods, and Mechanisms||EdX||MIT||Intermediate||Undergraduate Introductory Biology||12 weeks||3-6 hours per week||Free (or $150 for a certificate)|
|Biochemistry Free and Easy||iTunes U||Oregon State University||Beginner||None||Variable||Variable||Free|
|Biochemistry: The Molecules of Life||OpenLearn||University of East Anglia||Beginner||None||3 weeks||3 hours per week||Free|
Best Online Biochemistry Courses
The following online courses are offered by some of the top colleges in the U.S.
University of Arizona Biochemistry
The University of Arizona has several offerings when it comes to online biochemistry courses.
Their “Biochemistry” course is specifically tailored for MCAT and Grad school prep and is taught by world-class scholar and textbook author Roger Miesfeld.
Two courses are available:
- Biochemistry 384, “Foundations in Biochemistry”
- Biochemistry 385, “Metabolic Biochemistry”
Each is offered year-round as stand-alone courses running through Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms. Prerequisite waivers may be available.
- Name: Biochemistry
- Institution: University of Arizona
- Website: https://online.arizona.edu/biochemistry
- Price: Check website
University of New England Medical Biochemistry
UNE Online offers a self-paced (to be completed within 16 weeks) medical biochemistry course that is four-credit lecture-only.
Focusing on human medical biochemistry, this course promises to teach the core concepts of the subject and help you understand the main mechanisms and reactions required for better understanding human health.
There is no associate lab component for this course but all exams are taken online via ProctorU.
The course uses Harper’s Illustrated Biochemistry to teach and requires use of a UNE-approved external webcam for proctored exams.
Courses typically begin every 2-3 weeks.
- Name: CHEM 1005: Medical Biochemistry Lecture
- Institution: University of New England
- Website: https://online.une.edu
- Price: $1510
UC San Diego Biochemistry
UC San Diego offers a 4.50 credit online biochemistry course for beginners with only a rudimentary understanding of biology and chemistry.
The course runs for 10 weeks and covers the following topics:
- Atoms; Life; Water
- Protein Composition and Structure
- Concepts and Kinetics of Enzymes
- Hemoglobin, Carbohydrates, and Lipids
- Membranes, Signal Transduction, and Digestion
- Metabolism, Glycolysis, and Acetate
- The Citric Acid Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation
- Nucleic Acid Structure and DNA Replication
- RNA synthesis, processing and regulation
- Protein synthesis
Courses typically begin every 4 weeks. There is no lab component.
- Name: BIOL-40357
- Institution: UC San Diego
- Website: https://extension.ucsd.edu
- Price: $745
University of St Joseph Biochemistry M.S.
USJ offers a completely integrated online Biochemistry Master’s Degree with a two course load per semester.
Program director, Dr. Sarah Zingales, has put together a curriculum with varying outcomes, including:
- Recognize the interconnections between Biology and Chemistry
- Relate medical diagnoses and treatment at the molecular level
- Interpret the relationship between the physical properties of the reactants and products, and the reactivity of biological reactions
The Online Master’s offers all its courses online and is focused prep for the American society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) certification exam.
It’s by no means cheap, the total degree costs something in the region of $23,300 ($789 per credit), but it’s no doubt destined to open career doors in fields like biomedicine, date science, forensic science, and more.
Here’s a promo for the course…
- Name: Biochemistry M.S.
- Institution: University of St Joseph Connecticut
- Contact: email@example.com – 860.231.5727
- Website: https://www.usj.edu
- Price: $23,300
Online Biochemistry Courses With Lab
Arizona State University Online Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Arizona State is one of two online biochemistry courses with options for virtual labs.
Unlike the community college option below, this course is a fully accredited Bachelors in Biochemistry. It’s delivered in 42 total classes, 7.5 weeks per class and has 120 total credit hours.
The degree includes both online and in-person lab courses. The organic chem and biochemistry labs must be done in person, while the other lab science requirements (general chemistry and physics), can be done via eScience lab kits and online labs.
The in-person lab works by spending a week at Arizona State University and completing the requirements in a fast-track format.
Up to 80% of Arizona State’s students recieve financial aid.
See the website for more details, as well as admissions criteria.
- Name: Online Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
- Institution: Arizona State University
- Website: https://asuonline.asu.edu
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: Variable
Southern California University of Health Sciences Biochemistry
SCU’s Biochemistry course with virtual online lab describes itself as a good fit for Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Dentristry Programs and more.
All classes at SCU are recorded in the same way on transcripts and the course is divided into lab credits (1) and lecture credits (3).
Course instructor Astor Suriano welcomes new enrollments every 5 weeks, with self-paced and interative online lecture options also available.
Lab courses provide hands-on experiences that complement the lectures, occuring in real time. Classes begin with intensive lectures (up to 5 hours) and are a made up of a mix of presentations and small-group discussions.
Recommended prerequisites include Organic Chemistry II (or equivalent) and General Biology II (or equivalent).
- Name: BIO322
- Institution: Southern California University of Health Sciences
- Website: https://acceleratedsciences.scuhs.edu
- Price: $2000
Free/Cheap Online Biochemistry Courses
The following courses, although not accredited, are still good options for students looking to take structured biochemistry courses to help in the preparation for exams and further education.
Carnegie Mellon University Biochemistry Open & Free
Carnegie Mellon’s Biochemistry offering is a completely free course aimed at biology and chemical engineering majors with a basic understanding.
Delivered via the Open Learning Initiative platform, the course has two main learning goals:
- Predicting how changes in structure affect function.
- Utilizing quantitative approaches to characterize structure-function relationships in biochemical systems.
Beginning with amino acids and moving on to oxygen transport and immunoglobulins, the course is a comprehensive and self-paced option that you can begin and start at any time.
- Name: Biochemistry Open & Free
- Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
- Website: https://oli.cmu.edu
- Price: Free
HarvardX Principles of Biochemistry
Offered by HarvardX, the Principles of Biochemistry course on EdX is another free offering aimed at intermediate-level learners.
15 weeks long, you’ll need to put in around 4-6 hours per week to ensure you complete the course and get the chance to pick up a verified certificate.
As far as learning goals, here’s what you can expect to master:
- The structure and function of the chemical building blocks of life
- How to navigate protein structures using PyMOL
- The central role of enzymes in catalyzing the reactions of life
- The primary metabolic pathways that power cells
- The intricate mechanisms that regulate cellular metabolism
- The integration of biochemical processes in the context of cells, tissues, and whole organisms
The course intructors are genuine Harvard professors; Alain Viel, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Rachelle Gaudet, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
One of the best rated science courses on the platform.
- Name: Principles of Biochemistry
- Institution: HarvardX
- Website: https://www.edx.org
- Price: Free (or $199 for a Verified Certificate)
MIT’s intermediate-level biochemistry course is a 12-week commitment at 3-6 hours per week.
Hosted on the EdX platform and delivered by MIT’s own Professor Yaffe, this course uses molecular visualization software to help teach and understand what’s happening in important biochemical reactions,
Stand-out students have the opportunity to take the MITx 7.05x Biochemistry Competency Exam for extra credit.
The course covers the following topics:
- Introduction to Biochemistry; pH and Buffers
- Amino Acids and Proteins
- Protein Structure
- Protein Folding
- Hemoglobin and Allostery
- Hemoglobin and the Bohr Effect
- Enzyme Chemistry
- Enzyme as Catalysts
- Enzyme Kinetics
- Membranes, Channels, Transporters, and Pumps
- Blood Clotting
- Signal Transduction
MATLAB, a programming platform, features sporadically throughout the course. Although no prior knowledge of it is required, students unfamiliar with it can find it a struggle.
- Name: Biochemistry: Biomolecules, Methods, and Mechanisms
- Institution: MIT
- Website: https://www.edx.org
- Price: Free (or $150 for a Verified Certificate)
Oregon State University Biochemistry Free and Easy
Oregon State University’s Biochemistry Free and Easy course is taught by Dr. Kevin Ahern and aimed at complete beginners to the subject.
It’s less structured than the other courses on this list – and less interactive, but the 36 video lectures are comprehensive enough to give you solid foundations.
The course comes with a free textbook that helps reinforce the concepts and include several practice questions.
Oregon University also offers a Biochemistry for Pre-Meds course too.
Unfortunately there’s no certification or credits awarded with this course.
- Name: Biochemistry Free and Easy
- Institution: Oregon State University
- Website: https://itunes.apple.com
- Price: Free
University of East Anglia Biochemistry
This 3 week long course only asks 3 hours per week of you but still delivers a good grounding in the basics of biochemistry.
Aimed at 15 to 19-year-olds who already have some knowledge in biology and chemistry, you don’t need any formal qualifications to sign up.
The topics you’ll cover include:
- Skills from biochemistry
- A brief history of biochemistry
- Everyday biochemistry
- Metabolism and bioenergetics
- Future developments in bioenergy
- Natural products and healthy living
- Future developments: new technologies in the molecular sciences
- Getting involved in biochemistry
Course platform Future Learn gives the course a 4.7/5 rating from 79 reviews, while the extra payment grants access for 5 weeks and issues you a digital Certificate on completion.
- Name: Biochemistry: The Molecules of Life
- Institution: University of East Anglia
- Website: https://www.futurelearn.com
- Price: Free (£52 Certification)
What are the most important things to look for in an online biochemistry course?
Biochemistry is a hard subject to learn (I talk about this here). But learning it online can be just as effective as taking a class in person. To get the best out of an online course you’ll want to look for the following qualities:
- Structure: how well are the course goals defined and the curriculum laid out?
- Time commitment: does the course give you a rough estimate of how much time you’ll need to commit to it each week?
- Cost: does it fit your budget?
- Instruction: is the teaching professor suitably qualified and delivering the classes in an easy-to-understand format?
- Prerequisites: what level of knowledge should you have before starting the course?
- Support: once signed up, how much support is available to you to help meet your goals?
- Assessment: how is your knowledge and progress assessed?
Many of these questions are answered in the introductory table at the beginning of this article.
Anything else should be researched via your own criteria and the contact you make with course providers.
What is a biochem lab?
Biochem lab is the practical component of a course. A reputable and accredited course should have a lab component that has you making hypotheses and designing experiments based on biochemical concepts.
Virtual labs typically introduce you to microscopes and other important instruments. Depending on the institution, they’ll typically have you observing the effects of drugs and food on biological processes, etc.
Can I get a biochem degree online?
Yes, as previously mentioned, Arizona State University offers undergraduate and graduate biochemistry degrees while the University of St Joseph Connecticut offers an online Biochemistry M.S.
Can I take biochem without orgo?
For intermediate or undergraduate level biochem courses, you’ll typically need to have completed an introductory organic chemistry course.
Others can be more flexible depending on their level and learning goals.
What study tips can I use for biochem?
Biochem is best studied via active recall techniques such as flashcards and a ton of practice questions.
I’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the best way to study for biochemistry here.
Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in digital marketing and journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.