Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Aromatic and medicinal plants are critical components of medications, food and perfumes. The use of essential oils as anointments is ancient. It is estimated that half of the world’s drugs are based on compounds isolated from plants, often first identified by ancient folklore. The current search for potential drugs is so widespread that most countries have enacted laws about usage rights. In addition to the pharmacological use of patented, prescription and/or over the counter compounds, incorporation of plant products as a health regimen is still routinely accepted practice.  

This growing market is an ideal opportunity for biochemistry majors to apply their specific skill set- extraction and characterization of biochemicals- in an applied program. Manufacturing, testing for purity and safety, and research on medicinal and aromatic plants is a growing field. One need only examine the explosion of cannabis products, including those containing CBD oils, which are not likely to produce a “high” but touted by medical professionals and research as safe and effective.

 Medicinal and Aromatic plant studies require foundational courses in biology, biochemistry and chemistry. To learn this field also requires understanding of plant biology, extraction and characterization techniques, and the relevance of pharmacology and toxicity to any naturally derived compounds

Offering this program as a biochemistry certificate option builds upon the foundational training of biochemistry majors. By combining and stacking the required courses an applied track is created.   The requirements are designed so that a biochemistry major only needs to take 2-3 additional courses, of which 2 would meet program requirements.

 This certificate would appeal to students interested in health and wellness and there are ample opportunities to apply these certificate skills in a wide variety of industry, business, consulting and health opportunities, including areas such as: The study and application of alternative medications, Bioactive plant extraction purification and characterization, integrative medicine and many other fields.

13 Credits Required
Required Course
BCHM 413Extraction, purification, and characterization of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants 3
Select one of the following:4
Plant Biology
Plant Physiology
Plant Ecology
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Toxicology
Biochemical Pharmacology
Select one of the following experiential options:3
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Culture and Practice ( Field/Study Abroad)
Off-Campus Research in Biochem
Laboratory Research in Biochem
Total Credit Hours13


1. A minimum grade of D+ is required for each class in the certificate.

2. BIOL 333 is the only course allowed as transfer credit from another institution.

3. Courses may share with other majors, minors, certificates.

4. Pass/Fail grade mode is permitted BCHM 495, BCHM 499 only.

4.  A minimum 2.0 GPA in the courses counting toward the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Certificate is required to earn the certificate.