Undergraduate Student Programs & Opportunities

Saint Louis University offers several degree paths to students interested in drug and biotherapeutic discovery and development. A list of relevant degree programs is shown below.

Research careers in drug & biotherapeutic discovery and development may be be pursued with a degree in one of four related fields of study: Chemical Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or Biology. A comparison of these degree requirements is below.

Students interested in applications of biomaterials and engineering to drug and biotherapeutic discovery, development, and delivery may wish to consider a degree in Biomedical Engineering offered through the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) Programs

SLU undergraduates may also wish to consider enrolling in an Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) program that enables students to complete a MA or MS in Chemical Biology with only one additional year following the bachelor’s degree.

ABMs are available for students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry and Engineering; details can be found at the websites for the respective programs: Biology BS to Chemical Biology MA or MS; Biochemistry BS to Chemical Biology MA or MS;. General information about applying for the accelerated bachelor’s/masters programs can be found in this student guide. The Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology also offers a combined BS-MS program.   Advanced degrees in Engineering offer concentrations in the specific area of interest (eg. BME, MechE, AE, etc).

Opportunities to get involved in Research

Most of the BS degree programs discussed on this page include a research requirement, and descriptions about finding a laboratory to work in are on departmental websites. Many of the faculty members who are principal investigators (PIs) in the IDBI provide opportunities for undergraduates to work on projects in their laboratories. Information about the PI and their area of research can be found at the IDBI website, and a partial list of available openings is maintained at the Department of Biology Undergraduate Research google site. Students interested in research in any PI’s laboratory are encouraged to reach out to inquire about openings.

Pharmacy Scholars Program

Students working toward a Bachelor of Science in Biology or Health Sciences at SLU can apply for admission at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy (UHSP) in St. Louis after three years of undergraduate study (formerly St. Louis College of Pharmacy). Courses taken as part of the first professional (P1) year of study at UHSP in St. Louis will also satisfy senior-level degree requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Information about the program can be found on  the Department of Biology website, the Doisy College of Health Sciences website, and the Pharmacy Scholars Program website.


Suggested Interdisciplinary Coursework

Drug & biotherapeutic discovery and development is a highly interdisciplinary area of study and undergraduate students in all programs are encouraged to enroll in courses outside of their primary field of interest. The course syllabus and topic schedule for some relevant courses can be reviewed by on the Courses, Training and Resources Page.