Best Biochemistry Courses Online [2021]

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Are you a medical student in need of an additional certification to add to your career? Or are you someone who has always wondered about what happens when biology and chemistry intersect and interact? 

If you answered yes, and  if you’ve been scouring the internet for the best Biochemistry courses online, look no further. We’ve curated a list of the top biochemistry courses available online. 

The majority of the courses on our list are for advanced learners, such as medical students searching for accredited courses to boost their careers. We have also included a few introductory courses for beginners.

We have ranked the following courses based on the highest number of 5-star ratings, student reviews, and instructor quality.

The Best Biomechanics Courses Online

1. Principles of Biochemistry (edX, conducted by Harvard University)

Principles of biochemistry

We have ranked this course at # 1 because of the detailed and extensive amount of content covered, its self-paced nature, and several positive student reviews. 

It is perfect for students preparing for the MCAT exam and medical students on their way to becoming practicing physicians. It also provides beginners with no prior knowledge of biochemistry with a solid introduction to the subject. 

Conducted by Harvard University, this edX course has seen over 277,000 students. It has received praise for the organization and accurate delivery of the content, the high-quality reading material, and the helpful quizzes that follow each lesson. It is self-paced, 15 weeks long, requiring about 4-6 hours of study per week.

While the course itself is free, you can also purchase a Verified Certificate for $199. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It verifies your achievement of successfully completing the course. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

Alan Viel and Rachelle Gaudet teach this course, members of the Molecular and Cellular Biology department at Harvard.

Review by Davey J on coursetalk.com:

“The content is excellent. I used this course as a supplement for reviewing my MCAT exam. The introductory bioenergetics background information, along with some chemistry background (e.g., molecular orbitals), were helpful indeed. The contents are organized in a logical fashion. Essential elements of biochem – macromolecular structures/functions and cell metabolism are covered in-depth. The questions that come along with the lectures are exceptional. They really helped me rethink the concepts learned. Lecture notes were offered as PDFs in high resolution (they are great resource for making your own study sheets and flashcards). The course also incorporates exercises of PyMOL, which sets this course apart from all biochem classes that I have formally taken in school.”

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2. Biochemistry: Biomolecules, Methods, and Mechanisms (edX, conducted by MIT)

Biology and life sciences course by edx

At #2, we’ve included this course by MIT because it is perfect for those of you preparing for careers in medicine, STEM fields, and research. It is also excellent if you are considering a transition in your career to the field of Biotechnology. 

Conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and taught by Prof. Micheal Yaffe, a practicing surgeon, this course has seen over 20,000 students. It has received praise for the engaging and simple lecture format and Prof. Yaffe’s presentation of the material. The videos’ length and the appropriately spaced intermediary ‘test yourself’ questions at the end of every lecture have also been praised. You will also be given access to PyMOL and MATLAB.

It is 11 weeks long, requiring 3-6 hours of study per week.

While the course itself is free, you can also become a certified edX learner through the MITx 7.05x Biochemistry Competency Exam. This option is only available to those of you who register for the verified certificate track. To achieve the grade that counts towards a certificate, you must successfully complete this exam. The cost of the Verified Certificate for this course is $150. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

Along with Prof Yaffe, the course is also taught by Mary Ellen Wiltrout, Darcy Gordon, and Monika Avello; they are members of the Department of Biology.

An anonymous review from classcentral.com:

I am 2/3 through this course and am thoroughly enjoying it. The lecture content is presented by Professor Yaffe in a clear and easy-to-follow format. The interspersed ‘test yourself questions’ break up the lectures nicely and help make sure I have understood topics before moving on. The problem sets are written in a fun, anecdotal way that is very engaging and helps me imagine what it would be like attending labs with students. The problem sets are not a simple regurgitation of facts but challenge you to think critically and truly test your understanding of the material. I am concurrently studying to write the MCAT and am finding the knowledge I’m learning here is definitely improving my practice testing in the Bio/Biochem section. Thanks for the opportunity!”

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3. Biochemistry: The Molecules of Life (FutureLearn, conducted by University of East Anglia)

Biochemistry The molecules of life

This is another one of the best biochemistry courses online. We’ve ranked it at #3 because it is a beginner-level course perfect for high school students and learners interested in gaining a better understanding of biology and chemistry.

Conducted by the University of East Anglia, this course has seen over 40,000 students. It has a 4.7-star rating on FutureLearn. Professors Richard Bowater and Francis Macmillan teach this course. It has been praised for the lessons’ interactive nature and the clear and simple delivery of complex topics. Former students have also praised the detailed information that inspired them to pursue biochemistry in their undergraduate degrees and graduate research in biochemistry and medicine.

While this course is free, you can pay $79 for an Upgrade and a Certificate of Achievement. By doing so, you receive unlimited access to the course for as long as it remains on the FutureLearn website. It is three weeks long and does not require any prior qualifications.

Review by Evelyn A.:

“Very interactive and had lots of information that made me want to do further reading on it – the course also guided me on where I could find these resources. Very interested in a degree in biochemistry.”

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4. Biochemical Principles of Energy Metabolism (Coursera)

Basic Science course

We would recommend this course for those of you already working in the field of biochemistry and biotechnology.

This course is taught by Dr. Seyun Kim, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at KAIST in Korea.

While this course is not about biochemistry alone, it deals with the biochemical processes involved in energy metabolism, energy production, and photosynthesis. Dr. Kim’s research interests lie in exploring the biochemical and genetic mechanisms of how inositol phosphate metabolism is linked to controlling metabolic homeostasis.

Features of the Course:

  • Seven week-long course
  • Over 11 hours of video footage
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Subtitles available in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German Russian, Spanish, and English

Please note: A shareable Certificate of Completion is available with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $388.65 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

What You Will Learn:

  • Fundamentals of energy metabolism
  • Metabolic reactions to fat
  • Regulatory actions among different organs
  • Dysregulated energy metabolism in pathological conditions such as diabetes and cancer
  • Glucose oxidation and energy production 

This course has seen over 20,000 students. It has a 4.9-star rating on Coursera. 25% of former students have also reported that they got a tangible career benefit from this course, while 33% said they earned a promotion or pay increase.

Review by 이상준:

“This professor knows what he’s doing. As a huge lover of biology, chemistry, and medicine, I can see that he puts his love for his lessons and when he talks as well. He is an expert in his field, knows what he’s talking about, and puts pride in KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). I love his lessons, 5/5!”

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5. Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life (edx)

Introduction to Biology - The Secret of Life (edx)

Our next course is for those of you that want an introduction to Biology, with Biochemistry included as part of the course.

‘Introduction to Biology’ is conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eric S. Lander, the President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, teaches this course. He was also one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project. Now, along with his colleagues, they are using their findings from the Project to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the basis of human diseases.

Along with Prof. Lander, the course is also taught by Michelle Mischke, Graham Walker, Brian White, and Mary Ellen Wiltrout, members of the Biology department at MIT.

We would recommend taking this course with the foundational knowledge of high school level biology and chemistry.

Features of the Course:

  • 16 weeks long
  • Requires about 5-10 of study per week
  • Self-paced
  • Instant feedback after trying problems
  • Video transcripts available in both English and Chinese

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can also become a certified edX learner through the MITx 7.00x Biology Competency Exam. This option is only available to those of you who register for the verified certificate track. To achieve the grade that counts towards a certificate, you must successfully complete this exam. The Competency Exam is the only assessment in this course that counts towards a certification.

The cost of the Verified Certificate for this course is $149. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The structure and function of macromolecules
  • The mysteries of biochemistry
  • How to apply an understanding of heredity and information flow within cells to human health and disease
  • Molecular biological techniques and their potential to impact the changing world

This course has seen over 162,000 students. In addition to an introduction to Biology and biochemistry, you will also be introduced to the basics of genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA, genomics, and rational medicine.

Review by Heavenly Frasier on classcentral.com:

“When I first took the course in 2016, I was excited. It was my first MOOC and was easy enough for someone who didn’t have a background in biology to begin. Lander explains everything clearly, adds in a few jokes as well and has lecture notes in case you missed anything. You can take this class despite having no idea what biology is and leave with a great idea. I dropped the class due to time but have restarted it and love it just as much. There’s resources for a lot of the topics, and it makes you want to learn more. If you take proper notes, you can easily get all of the work correct. I’m currently on week one and have no problems with the course! Take this course, and you will not regret it!”

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6. Biotechnology – Biochemistry (Udemy)

Biochemistry course : biotechnology - biochemistry

If you have been searching for practice tests to exercise the knowledge you’ve gained in Biochemistry, look no further. We would recommend this course for biotechnology and biochemistry students.

While this isn’t a course like the others mentioned above, with video lectures and exams, this well-structured “course” comes with practice tests allowing you to put the knowledge you have acquired into practice.

This course is one of the newer courses on the Udemy platform.

Features of the course:

  • Four practice tests with 30 questions each
  • Full lifetime access to the course
  • Access on your mobile device

What You’ll Learn:

  • Oxidation of fatty acids
  • TCA Cycle
  • Oxidation of amino acids
  • Nitrogen excretion and the urea cycle
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Biosynthesis of carbohydrates in plants and bacteria
  • Biosynthesis of lipids
  • Biosynthesis of amino acids and nucleotides
  • Hormones and their regulation

This course has a 4.7-star rating on Udemy.

Review by Subhash C Sahu:

“This course is very well structured. The list of questions put together in these tests shows in-depth knowledge of the author and deep study/research done by her in the field of biotechnology & biochemistry. This course will really help people who are doing a degree course in biotech, appearing for entrance tests related to professional biotech courses and also for people looking for biotech research-related jobs.”

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7. Biochemistry (UC San Diego Extension)

Biochemistry (UC San Diego Extension)

The final course on our list is conducted by the University of California, San Diego.

This course is perfect for you if you have not taken a biochemistry course before and would like to refresh your knowledge in that area.  It requires a rudimentary amount of knowledge of both biology and chemistry.

Unlike the other courses included in our list, you cannot begin this course whenever you want. You must check the UC San Diego website regularly to see when the next batch starts. This course also costs $745, and the instructors vary from batch to batch.

biochemistry course costs $745

Features of the course:

  • Completely Online
  • All instruction and course materials are delivered and completed online between the published course start and end dates.

Please note that if you enroll in this course after the published start date, you will receive your course materials one business day after enrollment.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Protein composition and structure
  • Hemoglobin, carbohydrates, and lipids
  • Membranes, signal transduction, and digestion
  • Protein synthesis
  • RNA synthesis, processing, and regulation

Click here to sign up.

The courses in our carefully curated list were chosen based on the content included in each course, the amount of material available, and the instructor’s quality. We also made sure to look into the student reviews and feedback for each course. Except for FutureLearn, the different platforms we chose also have mobile apps, allowing you to access the classes when you’re on the go.

FAQs about Biochemistry

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is a branch of science that deals with and explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms. It is laboratory-based, bringing together biology and chemistry. It also focuses on the processes taking place at a molecular level, looking at what happens inside our cells. It examines components such as protein, lipids, and organelles, studying how cells communicate with each other when fighting an illness or during growth, for example. A biochemist needs to understand how the structure of a molecule relates to its function. This allows them to predict how molecules will interact with one another.

It is a multidisciplinary field, including microbiology, genetics, forensics, medicine, and even plant science.

What are the job opportunities for Biochemistry?

With a biochemistry degree or certificate, there are several jobs available that would allow you to put your skills to good use. Some of them include:

  • Academic researcher/ research assistant
  • Forensic scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Nutritionist

Is Biochemistry a promising career?

It is essential to keep in mind that every career has its pros and cons, and biochemistry is no different. There are many paths you can go down. It is a good career choice. If you are considering pursuing a career in this subject, you could consider the following:

  • If you want to do a Ph.D., Biochemistry can open a lot of doors for you in the fields of medical and pharmaceutical research, as well as in forensic science.
  • Science and technology are advancing in the field of regenerative medicine. As a biochemist, your skills and knowledge will be in huge demand.

In addition to what is mentioned above, to succeed in this particular field, you remember that the type of degree or certification you have determines your career direction.

A Master’s degree will earn you a more active role in research.

A Ph.D. will allow you a higher position in research and development. You will have the ability to direct a project, gain access to upper management, and obtain more resources. Eventually, you’ll also have the ability to start your own research and projects (depending on the company you work for).

Will an online Biochemistry course suit me?

Answering this question is a bit of a challenge because, ultimately, the answer is relative to you. However, here are some of the benefits to learning about biochemistry online:

  • Self-Paced Learning

You may have noticed this label on some of the courses included on our list. Self-paced learning means that you can start completing the course on your own time and create a schedule that works specifically for you. If you are a medical student in need of a biochemistry certification or a learner searching for a new field of study, a self-paced online course is one of your best options!

  • Boosts Career Advancement

As we mentioned earlier, a successful career in biochemistry is dictated by educational accomplishments. An online course is an excellent starting point. By signing up for one of the courses that we’ve listed above, you will be taking your first steps towards boosting your career advancement. These courses are only a few weeks long, thus providing you with an idea of what a more advanced degree looks like.

  • Review Course Material Repeatedly

An online biochemistry course may suit you if you prefer going over the material provided on your own time, as many times as you like. In a classroom filled with a large group of students, asking a professor to repeat something a few times can sometimes be awkward or uncomfortable for you to do. However, the online course format allows you to review the material comfortably, as often as you want.

Is there a lot of Math in Biochemistry?

The answer to this question depends on what part of Biochemistry you are studying. For molecular biology, pathways or enzyme mechanisms, not much is required.  For steady-state enzyme kinetics, algebra is quite useful. For non-steady-state enzyme kinetics (metalloenzymes and others), thermodynamics,  or any structural biology or spectroscopy, you will need differential and integral calculus.

A good understanding of probability and statistics is helpful for interpreting any theoretical analysis of experimental data.

How much do Biochemists make?

The average salary for a biochemist is between $46,000 and $94,000.

Biochemistry is an exciting field that has many possible applications and career options. Click on one of the links above to expand your knowledge and boost your career today!

About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).